Farangis Najibullah is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL who has reported on a wide range of topics from Central Asia, including the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the region. She has extensively covered efforts by Central Asian states to repatriate and reintegrate their citizens who joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Also by Farangis Najibullah
June 05, 2023
Under 23 And Female? In Kyrgyzstan, Some Politicians Want To Stop You From Going Abroad
Some Kyrgyz politicians have called for restrictions to be imposed on women under 23 who want to travel abroad for work. They claim young women face exploitation and other hardships as migrant workers. The proposal has been rejected by the Foreign Ministry.
May 30, 2023
Private Firms Obtain Kyrgyz Citizenship For Russians Desperate To Escape Homeland
A growing number of private Russia-based firms are offering services to obtain Kyrgyz citizenship for their Russian clients. It comes as Russians continue to leave their homeland in a bid to avoid military service and escape the economic fallout from Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
May 17, 2023
Central Asian Migrants Flock To Mexico In Pursuit Of 'American Dream'
Thousands of Central Asians are entering the United States through Mexico in search of a better life. Several would-be migrants told RFE/RL they are not deterred by the arduous journey or by the new, tougher U.S. regulations aimed at curbing migrants.
May 14, 2023
Russian Recruiters 'More Assertive' Toward Central Asian Migrants As Dual Citizens Urged To Fight In Ukraine
Russian military recruiters are said to have become more assertive in approaching Central Asian migrants amid Moscow's efforts to recruit more men to fight in Ukraine. It comes as a Russian lawmaker criticized naturalized citizens for their unwillingness to fight.
April 29, 2023
No Compassion? Paralyzed Former Islamic State Militant Seeks Release From Kazakh Prison
A former Islamic State fighter who was paralyzed from the waist down by shrapnel in Syria is seeking an early release from Kazakh prison on medical grounds. But officials say there is no reason to parole him, as he is fit to serve his sentence and has failed to help counterterrorism efforts.
April 18, 2023
Russian Recruiters Target Central Asian Migrants At Mosques, Dorms To Join War In Ukraine
Russian military recruiters have increased attempts to recruit migrant workers in mosques, dorms, and migration offices to try to lure them into joining the Russian Army as Moscow struggles to prop up its depleted forces in Ukraine.
April 16, 2023
Uzbek Authorities Covered Up The Sexual Abuse Of Teenage Girls In Foster Care
Two Uzbek regional government officials are facing a retrial and possibly harsher sentences for the sexual abuse of children under their care. The case has been an embarrassment for the government, which disbanded Soviet-era orphanages in favor of placing children in foster and adoptive families.
March 10, 2023
Collecting Dead Russians: Central Asians Being Lured To Work In Occupied Ukraine
Hundreds of Central Asian migrants work in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories, digging trenches, collecting dead bodies, and repairing war-ravaged buildings. Their governments have warned them not to go to Ukraine, and Kyiv says they are seen as accomplices of the invaders.
February 28, 2023
Kyrgyzstan And Tajikistan Tout 'Progress' On Dangerous Border Dispute
Kyrgyz and Tajik officials are optimistic about their border demarcation efforts, which Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov wants completed by May. Politicians and experts are hoping for a final deal between Bishkek and Dushanbe that would end the protracted and often violent border dispute.
February 25, 2023
Central Asians Pressed To Fight In Ukraine With Russian Troops Returning Home In Coffins
Dozens of families in Central Asia have received the bodies of their loved ones killed in Ukraine. Some of them were recruited from Russian prisons. Others were migrant workers lured with promises of money and a Russian passport, and some went to war willingly.
January 30, 2023
Central Asian Universities Enrolling Afghan Women Amid Taliban College Ban
A group of young Afghan women have arrived in Central Asia to study at local universities on European Union-funded scholarships. But with the hard-line Taliban in power back home, the students' future is unclear.
January 24, 2023
Afghanistan's Ethnic Kyrgyz Want To Escape The Taliban, But It's No Easy Task
Dozens of ethnic Kyrgyz have sold their homes and livestock in Afghanistan's remote Wakhan Corridor and are seeking help from Kyrgyzstan to repatriate them to their ancestral homeland. The Kyrgyz government says it's committed to repatriating the ethnic Kyrgyz, but there are many hurdles to facilitate their return.
January 22, 2023
Living In Fear Of The Draft, Russian Émigrés In Kazakhstan Have No Plans To Go Home
Tens of thousands of Russians who fled the country following the Kremlin's military mobilization in September 2022 have begun a new life in neighboring Kazakhstan, settling in rented homes and getting local jobs.
December 24, 2022
Turkmen Presidency Double Act: Berdymukhammedov Keeps High Profile Despite Handing Power Over To Son
After ruling Turkmenistan with an iron first for nearly 16 years, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov stepped down as president earlier this year. But he continues to wield considerable influence in the Central Asian nation.
December 20, 2022
Uzbek Student Offered State Job After Proposing A 'Troll Factory' To Counter Government Critics
An Uzbek university student was offered a state job -- without even applying for one -- after she called on the authorities in her home province to recruit students to counter government critics online.
December 15, 2022
Uncle Samad Wants You! Tajikistan Taking Extreme Measures To Get Recruits Amid Failed Army Draft
Tajikistan says it has completed an autumn military call-up amid claims that authorities resorted to extreme measures, such as cutting off electricity and closing mosques in villages to force parents to enlist their sons in the army.
December 05, 2022
Kyrgyz Politicians Annoyed Over Russian Anger At Possible Soviet-Era Name Changes
Russia has changed many of the Soviet-era names of its cities, streets, and landmarks since the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. But Russian politicians were furious over a call in Kyrgyzstan for Bolshevik names in the Kyrgyz capital to be changed, seeing it as an attack on the Russian language.
December 04, 2022
Turkey Still 'Attractive' For Central Asian Women Migrants Despite Economic Woes
Turkey remains a popular destination for Central Asian migrant workers, especially women, despite its record-high inflation and a collapse in the value of its national currency. The financial turmoil has hit migrants hard, but many say they're not leaving the country.