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Majlis Podcast: Just How Bad Has The Situation Become In Turkmenistan?

People line up to buy food at a state shop in Ashgabat. Turkmenistan, where people's lives continue to be badly affected by decades of corruption and misrule. (file photo)

The government of Turkmenistan combines some of the most odious aspects of misrule seen in the world today.

It's a police state where the slightest expression of dissent provokes extreme responses while a small group of people around the president continually siphon off the country's money, leaving citizens in poverty.

Information provided by authorities is, at best, unreliable, and in the worst case, ridiculously false, such as the claim that there have never been any cases of coronavirus in the country.

A recent report from the U.S.-based NGO Crude Accountability delves deeply into the corruption, nepotism, and misrule that have characterized Turkmenistan's government through nearly 30 years and two presidents.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion that looks at the report and more about what has been happening in Turkmenistan in recent days.

This week's guests are: from Britain, the author of the Crude Accountability report Tom Mayne, who is also a researcher at the University of Exeter; from London, Maximilian Hess, currently a fellow with the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute; from Prague, Farruh Yusupov, the director of RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Just How Bad Has The Situation Become In Turkmenistan?
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.​

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.


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