Narcotics use is wreaking havoc in Russia, responsible for 30,000 annual deaths and 200 new HIV infections every day. But Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin is letting knee-jerk hostility toward the United States cloud its response to the drug-trafficking crisis.
OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- The Kyrgyz city of Osh in the Ferghana Valley is known as the "capital of the South." But it also bears another name that gives no reason for pride: Osh is also called the region's "drug capital."
The city is located on one of the major drug-trafficking routes from Afghanistan to Russia and Europe.
In a nondescript office in Kazakhstan’s commercial capital, Almaty, a group of men and women observed a minute’s silence one day recently. They were told to focus their thoughts on a person “whose life is dependent on drugs” -- a subject with which they could empathize.