Friday 15 April 2005
April 11, 2005
Central Asia: Youth Have Few Options In Uzbekistan; Even Fewer In Turkmenistan
Will Ukraine's Orange Revolution have an effect in Central Asia's most closed regimes? Young people in Uzbekistan watched closely as events unfolded in Kyrgyzstan that led to the ouster of long-time President Askar Akaev. The repressive regime in Tashkent leaves Uzbek youth with few options for similar political expression. In Turkmenistan, the most tightly controlled of the Central Asian nations, young people have virtually no options at all -- except to rely on movements run by Turkmen youth abroad. For more on the rise of political youth groups, see RFE/RL's special website "The Power of Youth." --> /specials/youth/
April 08, 2005
Central Asia: Are Trophy Hunting And Wildlife Conservation Compatible?
Central Asia is home to many species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Hunting species threatened with extinction, like the Bukharan deer, is prohibited. But many foreign tourists come to the region to hunt other species, such as the Marco Polo sheep, whose populations are protected but still open to limited hunting. Hunting has raised worries among wildlife activists. But hunting and conservation can be compatible, under certain conditions.
April 07, 2005
U.S.: Key Cold War Legislation Still Plays Role In Trade
Ukranian President Viktor Yushchenko has called on Washington to "tear down the wall" of Jackson-Vanik The U.S. Congress passed the Jackson-Vanik amendment 31 years ago as a measure aimed at permitting the emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union. It was extraordinarily successful. But long after the collapse of the Soviet Union it has remained in force for a number of former Soviet states, preventing them from gaining permanent normal trade relations with Washington. Its importance has resurfaced this month as U.S. and Ukrainian officials move to strengthen ties. Ukraine appears ready to join a dozen other former communist states freed from its restrictions.
April 01, 2005
U.S.: Freedom House Unveils World's Worst Regimes
Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov was criticized in new report Freedom House has released its annual list of the world's most repressive regimes. Six of the 18 are members of the UN's Commission on Human Rights, which is supposed to monitor and condemn human rights violations. Others include the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
March 31, 2005
Kyrgyzstan: Are Further Revolutions Inevitable In The CIS?
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has concentrated power in his extended family. (file photo) Following uprisings in Georgia and Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev last week became the third post-Soviet leader in recent months to be felled by a popular uprising. The speed of Akaev's demise surprised many observers, prompting questions about what made his regime so fragile. Some are now asking who will be next in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)?
March 25, 2005
Central Asia: Regional Officials Cautious As Oppositions Rejoice At Events In Kyrgyzstan
Putin (in file photo) broke a virtual silence among regional leaders on events in Kyrgyzstan The official response in Central Asia has been muted to the swift ouster of President Askar Akaev's administration on Thursday. Such caution is to be expected in a region populated by regimes with notoriously spotty records on democracy and human rights. Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped into that void during a visit to Armenia on Friday, condemning what he described as "illegitimate" efforts to overthrow the Kyrgyz government. But he also hastened to say that Moscow knows the Kyrgyz opposition well and wants to maintain relations with Bishkek.
March 24, 2005
Central Asia: Neighboring Opposition Movements Keep Close Eye On Kyrgyz Events
Will the Turkmen opposition be closer to unseating Saparmurat Niyazov? The uprising in Kyrgyzstan -- where weeks of opposition protests led to the storming of the government building on Thursday -- could mark Central Asia's first real departure from post-Soviet leadership. The governments of nearby Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan are watching developments in Kyrgyzstan with trepidation. But opposition leaders in these countries are following events with a different mindset.