At the height of the recent border standoff between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, a crew of journalists from Bishkek-based news website Kloop.kg made the arduous trek to the remote location to find out more.
“You must have some more of these potatoes,” the scholar next to me urged, ladling out beshbarmak, a tasty mixture of meat, flat noodles and broth that is widely considered Kazakhstan’s national dish. “They’re from Narynkol, one of the centers of the revolt.”
President Almazbek Atambayev is raising the stakes in his souring confrontation with former allies by calling on the Prosecutor General to investigate fellow members of the interim government that he led in 2010.
Ukraine has long been known as an outsourcing center because of its abundance of skilled programmers. Now, some IT analysts believe the country is ready to take the next step – establishing itself as a tech start-up hub.
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.
There is an old Ukrainian saying – if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. This adage can apply to politics, and it has particular relevancy these days for Mikheil Saakashvili, the erstwhile president of Georgia who managed to morph into the governor of the Ukrainian region of Odessa.
Following days of uncertainty surrounding the fate of the septuagenarian strongman who ruled Uzbekistan for more than a quarter of a century, the suspense is over: Islam Karimov is dead. Uzbekistan’s government confirmed his death on September 2 after he suffered a stroke in late August.
What was supposed to be a gala celebration of Uzbekistan’s 25th anniversary of independence ended up being a crisis-management exercise. Yet the Uzbek leadership’s awkward efforts to project an air of continuity only seems to have heightened the sense of intrigue and mystery gripping the capital Tashkent.
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.