The renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said that “politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” Such an outlook may have played a role in encouraging Turkey and Russia to set aside mutual animosity and try to get back to business.
Imagine if the Olympic Games were held in Genghis Khan’s day – with fields full of galloping archers, competitive birds of prey, horse races and wrestling, and of course, horsemen clashing over a goat carcass. Now add selfie sticks and shuttle buses – and you’ve got what the World Nomad Games were like.
While attention in Central Asia in late August was fixated on the looming leadership transition in Uzbekistan, another event with even greater potential to reshape the region occurred in Kyrgyzstan: an apparent suicide bomber attacked the Chinese embassy in Bishkek, killing himself and wounding at least three others.
Eleven hard-liners in the Soviet government, military, Communist Party, and KGB were named in a Russian court as the organizers of the failed August 1991 coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
In a highly dramatic development, Russian bombers have begun using an Iranian base for bombing missions over Syria. Why Moscow would want to do this is clear: flight time to Syria is much shorter from northwestern Iran than from southern Russia.
For the past several years, the volume of goods and crude oil shipped through the commercial port of Makhachkala on Daghestan's Caspian coast has been declining, from 4.8 million tons in 2010 to 3.8 million in 2015 and 1.6 million in the first six months of 2016.