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Tajik Edition Of Russian Daily Suspended For ‘Insulting’ Comment

The Tajik government has suspended the Tajik version of the Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda because of what it calls an "insulting" comment in one of its articles.

Sharif Hamdampur, who is in charge of the Tajik edition of the paper, said on July 21 that "the decision reflects our protest to a recent article by [Komsomolskaya Pravda] correspondent Sergei Ponomaryov."

Ponomaryov’s article has described Tajikistan as a country of “Ravshans and Jamshuds,” fictional characters of Tajik migrant workers in a popular Russian comedy show, Hamdampur said.

Describing a trip on a Tajik domestic flight, Ponomaryov wrote that he “was the only Slavic face shining” among the passengers who were “all Ravshans and Jamshuds.”

The article, Tajikistan: From The Wretched Soviet Existence To The Bright Future, was published on Komsomolskaya Pravda's website last week.

Hamdampur said at a news conference in Dushanbe that "the article was insulting and offensive for Tajiks and therefore we decided to suspend [the newspaper’s] reprinting."

The Tajik edition of the newspaper -- published weekly with a circulation of 5,000 -- has been popular among Russian-speakers in the capital, Dushanbe, and other Tajik cities.

More than 1 million Tajiks work as migrant laborers in Russia, mostly in construction and various seasonal jobs.