Vyacheslav Miroshkin’s childhood in Kyrgyzstan three decades ago was characterized by long, cold winters. “You could pour a few buckets of water on the ground and you would have an ice rink for the whole season. In recent times we have not had many like that,” said Miroshkin, head of Heli-Ski on Tien Shan, a mountain sports company based in Bishkek.
Dina’s son Botir was killed last September fighting in Syria for one of the Islamist groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Six months later, she is not only still struggling to cope with grief, but also facing harassment from Kyrgyzstan’s powerful secret police, the GKNB.
The space for freedom of expression in Azerbaijan is now roughly the same size as a jail cell, watchdog groups say. Azerbaijani rights activists and journalists are accordingly fleeing the country in growing numbers.
The intrigue is building in Moscow. Vladimir Putin has not been seen in a week, and the rumor mill is going into overdrive.
Helping fan the flames of speculation, the official presidential website seems to be going into “Swan Lake” mode. The site has taken to posting old pictures of Putin in action in an attempt to make it seem as though it is business as usual.
Boris Nemtsov’s assassination can be considered the natural outcome of trends that have been shaping Russia’s development for the past couple of years. More ominously, the killing may signal that Russia is headed for a period of prolonged political violence.