It’s not unusual for American soccer players to go abroad to chase dreams of playing professionally. But you might say Nicholas Pugliese, a 24-year-old from Rochester, New York, took things to an extreme by signing with Ferozi FC, a team based in Kabul, Afghanistan.
There are three ways Central Asian guest workers travel to Russia, the magnet that draws millions of Kyrgyz, Tajiks and Uzbeks each year. The most expensive is by plane. Train is less pricey. Bus is cheaper still, but it’s also the slowest and most prone to scams from beginning to end.
When Zeinulla Kakimzhanov took over a dilapidated vineyard in the foothills of the Tian Shan Mountains in south-eastern Kazakhstan in 2006, he had ample reason to wonder whether the property would ever be productive again.
Moldova’s signature on an association agreement June 27 with the European Union keeps it on a path that has, over the last five years, brought the small, former Soviet republic increasingly into the EU's orbit, despite strong objections from Moscow.
On June 26, Russia plays Algeria in a World Cup Group H match that should determine which of the two teams moves on from group play to the round of 16. Beyond Russia’s borders, in other formerly Soviet states, there are plenty of football fans cheering for the Russian national team to win.
Aside from a famously bland brand of diplomatic rhetoric, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization represents the only major Eurasian club that caters to both Russian and Chinese interests. Yet with Moscow and Beijing presenting visibly divergent visions for economic cooperation in Central Asia, it is unclear how those competing views can be reconciled.
Summer is supposed to be the one season when people in Kyrgyzstan can forget about electricity shortages. But this year, it seems, summer will bring no respite, as the government has announced it will import electricity from Tajikistan.
Shahbol Mirzoev voluntarily answered the call in Tajikistan, appearing for his military service last fall shortly after graduating university. By spring, the 22-year-old was paralyzed from the neck down, a victim of a brutal tradition in the Tajik military that officials seem unable to stop or even admit – hazing.
It was a local Uzbek reporter and friend who accompanied me to the famous Osh bazaar in Kyrgyzstan’s southwest during my first visit in June 2006. The sprawling shopping complex – centuries ago a key stop on the ancient Silk Road through Central Asia – straddles the Ak-Buura River north of the city center.