Since the beginning of the year, it seems that hardly a week goes by without Kyrgyzstan’s media reporting on another tragic suicide. There have been suicides in the army, in the south and the north – three in Osh in one week.
Proposed changes to Moldova’s broadcast regulations are creating a free-speech conundrum. The amendments are primarily meant to counter propaganda from Kremlin-friendly Russian broadcast outlets, but they also could end up placing curbs on journalists’ ability to cover the Moldovan government.
Amid Russia’s economic woes, billions of dollars continue to disappear in offshore havens. The net outflow of capital from Russia reached $32.6 billion during the first quarter of 2015, according to the nation’s Central Bank.
Tajikistan's government is struggling to prop up its currency amid downward fiscal pressure emanating from Russia. Dushanbe’s policies appear to be creating a black market for currency traders with potentially long-term repercussions for the ailing economy.
An Olympic torch has been lit in Azerbaijan; an Olympic stadium has been opened in Baku. All seems ready for the June 12 opening of the inaugural European Games, a mini-Olympics for European states. There is only one big question still hovering over the event: how will Azerbaijan pay for it all?
The results of the April 26 presidential election in Kazakhstan offer a good illustration of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s aversion to what he described last month as “forced democracy.” He won reelection with almost 98 percent of the vote.
For more than a decade, I taught an area studies course at the Foreign Service Institute that focused on Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. My students were US diplomats, military staff, and government workers headed to assignments in the Caucasus. Several classes focused on the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the First World War, and Armenia.
They came by the hundreds, even thousands — ethnic Armenian women who had survived the World-War-I-era massacres in Turkey and were brought by ship to the United States to meet the equally anxious Armenian men, complete strangers, who would become their partners for life.