Earlier this month, authorities in Turkmenistan allowed a prominent cultural icon, Geldy Kyarizov, to leave the country. It is a noteworthy development for a country that rights activists describe as one of the most repressive states on earth, but it is unlikely that it signals a significant easing of the Turkmen government’s authoritarian ways.
The spectacle of Kyrgyzstan’s politicians campaigning for votes ahead of the October 4 parliamentary elections cannot but bring to mind the words of Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter. “A party is a group whose members propose to act in concert in the competitive struggle for political power,” he wrote in his 1942 classic Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy.
The hippo has a new home, and the penguins have given up their wandering ways. Three months after a flood devastated Tbilisi’s city zoo, killing three zookeepers and 277 animals, the facility, a beloved spot for a family outing, has reopened. But questions remain about its future.
Authorities in Kazakhstan have burned through $414 million over two days in an effort to halt the slide of the country’s currency, the tenge, which broke the psychologically important barrier of 300 to the dollar on September 16.
Just three months ago, Azerbaijan was playing host to the inaugural European Games. These days, it seems as though Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s administration is prepared to make a break with the European Union.
The Russia-operated Electricity Networks of Armenia, the country’s main power supplier, claimed to be so cash-strapped that it had to raise rates, an announcement that sparked massive protests. But the company’s revenue woes did not prevent executives from authorizing millions of dollars in donations to a charitable organization chaired by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.