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middle east

Heavy metal fights to survive, and bridge communities, in the Caucasus

In a damp, dimly lit tunnel underneath Tbilisi, a singer, clad in...

Expert Opinions: The Trump Organization in the Caucasus

Masha Udensiva-Brenner tells the story of New Yorker staff writer Adam Davidson’s...

US Military Giving Up on Kyrgyzstan

The United States appears to have given up on military cooperation with...

Georgians Fear Visa-Free Travel to Europe in Jeopardy

A year ago, when the European Union declared that Georgian citizens could...

Diversity Declines in Georgia's Southwestern Mountains

For centuries, mountainous southwestern Georgia lay at the crossroad of the Ottoman,...

Kazakhstan Steps Up Campaign Against Ultra-Orthodox Islam

A good Muslim should look the part – legislation now being pushed...

Fear, Silence Weigh on Turkey's Armenians after Failed Coup

Aruş Taş, a silversmith in Istanbul’s historic Grand Bazaar, has witnessed decades...

Is This Putin’s Utopia?

“To be a Eurasianist should be cool, it should be stylish.”...

Turkey's Afrin Operation Draws in Armenians, Azeris

As Turkey’s military intervention in Kurdish-majority Afrin, Syria, entered its third week,...

Academic Freedom in Tajikistan Endangered: What is to be Done?

Academic freedom is imperiled in Tajikistan, and determined action by the international...

Behind Uzbekistan’s Bus Tragedy, a Story of Grinding Despair

A tiring, uncomfortable bus trip to Russia ended in tragedy for 52...

Kyrgyzstan: The Quiet Success of an Islamic Woman’s Group

Every week, hundreds of women trickle in and out of Dilyarom Hamrakulova’s...

Kazakhstan: Financial Illiteracy Hampering Economic Recovery

Kazakhstan’s National Bank will embark on research next year to find out...

Russia’s Oil Industry: Surmounting the Bolshevik Legacy of Inefficiency

As an economic experiment, the communist system of central planning constituted a...

Georgia: Athletes, Politicians Back Soccer Player’s Support for LGBT Rights

Georgian soccer player Guram Kashia faces an outcry at home over his...

Full Steam Ahead: Long-Awaited Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Opens

The launch of a new railway in the South Caucasus has the...

Georgia Keeping Its Land Off-Limits for Foreigners

Every month Yuriy embarks on a 17-hour drive from Donetsk to Tbilisi,...

Fuel Crisis Grips Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, a nation rich in hydrocarbons, is grappling with a gasoline shortage...

Azerbaijani Navy Visits Iran for First Time Amid Warming Ties

Azerbaijan's navy has made its first-ever visit to Iran, signaling warming ties...

As Russian Military Exercises in Armenia, Is Syria on its Mind?

The Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Russia-led military bloc, is carrying out...

China Eyes Iran as Important Belt and Road Hub

China’s strategic interest in Iran is intensifying. Chinese manufacturers are looking to...

Murky Azerbaijani Flights to Syria: Whistleblowing or Black PR?

Earlier this summer, the Bulgarian daily newspaper Trud published a sensational report,...

Uzbekistan: Ethnic Iranian Shias Face Legal Troubles in Bukhara

Back in early February, police in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, detained 20 men in...

Russia & Turkey: The Arms Deal that Signals the Age of Pragmatism

If any single arms deal can capture the shifting nature of Russian...

Tajikistan Accuses Iran of Assassination Campaign in Foreign Policy Gambit

Despite the close cultural connection that Tajikistan has with Iran, Dushanbe seems...

Armenia: Ethnic Minorities Gain a Voice in Parliament

Armenia is the most ethnically homogeneous of all the post-Soviet states. But...

Georgian Women March against Misogyny and Racism

An ethnically diverse historic neighborhood in Tbilisi has become the battlefield for...

Kazakhstan: Law Narrows Field for Presidential Contenders

Implausible as it might seem, a day will come when Kazakhstan will...

Uzbekistan Breaks Silence on Tajik Giant Dam Project

Uzbekistan has after a long pause broken its silence on Tajikistan’s plan...

Tajikistan: Opposition Beds Down and Plots in Polish Exile

The smell of plov and freshly prepared kulcha bread wafts improbably throughout...

Tajikistan: Relatives of Islamic State Commander Killed in Clash

Four close relatives of the riot police commander that left Tajikistan to...

Russia and Nuclear Power

In an age where sources of renewable energy are becoming an increasingly...

India, Pakistan Extend Reach of SCO to Half the World

After years of speculation about their accession, India and Pakistan have finally...

Tajikistan: Citizens Doling Out Violence to Law Enforcers

The southern Tajikistan region of Khatlon has seen two vicious attacks on...

As Islamic Games Open, Azerbaijan Wrestles With Muslim Identity

With an opening ceremony rich in pageantry, Azerbaijan welcomed athletes and tourists...

Washington’s Tool Box Is Empty When It Comes to Russia & Iran

A piece in the Wall Street Journal not too long ago indicated...

Russia: Metro Bombing Raises Alarm on Central Asia Terror Link

Was the St. Petersburg bomber the one that got away?...

Uzbekistan: Leader Pays Bridge-Building Visit to Turkmenistan

The president of Uzbekistan’s maiden foreign trip, to Turkmenistan, may prove a...

Georgia: PM Stokes Debate About Discrimination and the Sex Industry

In the heart of Tbilisi, not far from luxury hotels and high-end...

Stalin’s Giant Pencil: Debunking a Myth About Central Asia’s Borders

Few parts of the world are the subject of as much sustained...

Can the Caucasus Grab Donald Trump’s Attention?

Pink protest hats were not the only piece of clothing to mark...

Team Trump on Russia: Words and Actions

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has picked his Cabinet members and advisors. Here...

Kazakhstan: Security Services Waging War on Extremists

Kazakhstan’s security services say they have rounded up 33 members of a...

Russia Promises Tajikistan "Large Quantity" of Military Aircraft

Russia has promised a "large quantity" of military aircraft to Tajikistan over...

Eurasia and the Appeal of Illiberalism

Brexit, a Trump presidency and populist and pro-Russian leaders coming to power...

The Armenian Diaspora and Armenia: A New Relationship?

Leading members of the Armenian Diaspora are looking to take on a...

Russia: The Clash of Civilizations Comes to Valdai Club

Founded in 2004 with the support of the Russian government, the Valdai...

Kazakhstan: Almaty Shooting Spree Trial Comes to a Close

The trial in Kazakhstan of a man accused of embarking on a...

Edward Allworth: The Last of the Great Masters of Central Asian Studies

The field of Central Asian Studies lost perhaps the last of its...

Uzbekistan: Tashkent Residency Rules Eased, But Headaches Persist

For out-of-towners, moving to Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent has long meant playing a...

Kazakhstan: Qatari Emir Falcon Death Creates Diplomatic Stir

Middle Eastern royalty are not an uncommon sight in Central Asia, which...

Central Asia: Measuring the Geopolitical Impact of the Bishkek Bombing

While attention in Central Asia in late August was fixated on the...

Uzbekistan: Turkish Coup Probes Hitting Emigre Community

The wave of arrests of suspected coup plotters and sympathisers in Turkey...

Guns of August: Fears of Full-Scale War Return as Casualties Mount in Ukraine

Maryinka, Ukraine -- Framed by a tiny cutout in the fortified bunker,...

Erdogan Goes to Russia: Turkish Leader Seeks to Mend Fences with Kremlin

What a difference a few months can make.   Last November, a...

Tajikistan Jails Leading Salafist Figure

A court in Tajikistan has sentenced the leader of an ultraconservative Islamic...

Kazakhstan: Security Services Lay Out Coup Plot Account

Kazakhstan’s security services have presented an extraordinarily exotic case against a businessman...

SCO Continues To Expand, But To What End?

As the 15th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is set to...

Kazakhstan: Nazarbayev Embraces Color Revolution Paranoia

In his first public statement since the bloodshed in Aktobe, Kazakhstan’s President...

Kazakhstan: At Least 10 Killed in Unrest Blamed on Extremists

Authorities in Kazakhstan said at least 10 people were killed on June...

Turkey, Russia: Ties Worsen Over Downed Turkish Helicopter

Kurdish rebels’ “game-changing” downing of a Turkish attack helicopter with a Russian-made...

Armenia, Azerbaijan Air Grievances Against "Allies"

With Nagorno Karabakh's worst violence in two decades having abated, Armenia and...

Tajikistan: Fashion at Heart of Anti-Islamic Culture War

Even with his country falling into economic ruin, the deputy head of...

Don't Worry, Russia: China's Not Starting A "Central Asian NATO"

In an apparent attempt to assuage Russian concerns, Chinese defense officials have...

Russian Officials Fault the West Over Brussels Blasts

MOSCOW -- The death toll was still mounting in the Brussels bombings...

China Proposes New Central Asian Military Alliance

China's plans to create a new Central Asian security bloc have raised...

Tajikistan Looks to Emirates for Investments

In his latest endeavor to gin up some or any foreign investment,...

The First 40 Days: Uzbekistan's Tales of Success and the Reality on the Ground

Coming out of 2015, Uzbekistan’s authorities were able to ignore signs of...

Syrian Refugees’ Cuisine Helps Spice Up Armenia

The arrival of thousands of Syrian-Armenian refugees in Armenia is injecting a...

Kazakhstan: Warm Welcome For Egypt’s Visiting President

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has paid a rare visit to Kazakhstan,...

Pentagon Proposes $50 Million Program To Help Tajikistan Fight Terrorists

The United States plans to give Central Asia an additional $50 million...

Russia: Raising a Red Flag About Imperial Overreach

Part 1   Some experts in Russia are cautioning that the Kremlin’s...

How Much Should the United States Still Care About Central Asia?

The United States has struggled in the post-Soviet era to define a...

Tajikistan: President Vows Radiant Future, and More Money for Security

As economic anxieties begin escalating into panic across many former Soviet republics,...

Azerbaijan: Staying Mum on Trump’s Call for a Muslim Travel Ban

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a ban on Muslim...

Azerbaijan: Examining the Source of Discontent in Nardaran

Interior Ministry troops in Azerbaijan are continuing to maintain tight control over...

Finding the Next Flashpoint in US-Russian Relations

Since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, US-Russian relations repeatedly have been...

Kyrgyzstan Court Stiffens Imam's Sentence

A court in Kyrgyzstan has doubled the prison sentence handed down to...

Terror Plot Foiled In Kazakhstan’s Capital – Mayor

Security services in Kazakhstan’s capital recently foiled a major terrorist conspiracy, city...

Possible Russia-West Rapprochement Over Syria Stokes Fears in Europe's East

France's surprise embrace of Russia in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist...

IMF: Central Asian Economic Outlook Bleak Amid Wave of Shocks

Central Asia faces a bleak economic outlook and policy-makers should prepare for...

Repeated Airspace Violations Raise Tensions Between Russia And Turkey

A series of airspace violations related to Russian airstrikes in Syria has...

Where Does the Caspian Sea Figure in Russia’s Strategic Calculus?

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced in early October that Russian warships...

Kyrgyzstan’s Colossal Dordoi Bazaar: A Time of Opportunity and Change

In August, Kyrgyzstan became the fifth member of the Eurasian Economic Union...

Ukraine: IDPs Turn to Volunteers, Rather than Government for Support

Nearly a year and a half after war in eastern Ukraine with...

Kyrgyzstan: Popular Imam Gets 5-Year Jail Term

A court in the southern Kyrgyzstan town of Kara-Suu has sentenced a...

Russian Missile Launch Jolts Sleepy Caspian

Russian cruise missiles launched from ships on the Caspian Sea have struck...

Tajikistan: Climate Change Imperils Mountain Dwellers

One day in mid-July, Nazim brought a truckload of clothes and food...

British Peer Proposes Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees in Central Asia

On September 16, Lord Desai stood up in the British House of...

Summit Focuses on Central Asia's Islamic State Anxieties

As expected, anxieties about the claimed threat posed to Central Asia by...

Moldova: Examining the Russian Media Factor in Protests

The ongoing protest in the Moldovan capital Chișinău is posing a fresh...

Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University Fights Censorship Allegations

Management and staff at Kazakhstan’s flagship university are disputing recent accusations of...

Tajikistan’s Ancient Treasures Suffer from Neglect

After a brief, winding trek up the hillside along a main thoroughfare,...

Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Devise New Punishments for Terror Suspects

Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have in close succession come up with a new...

Kyrgyzstan Joins Eurasian Union, Takes Leap Into the Dark

After months of stops and starts, Kyrgyzstan is finally becoming a full-fledged...

Eurasian Trade Opportunities in a Post-Sanctions Iran

The Iranian nuclear deal has broad trade implications for Eurasia. The pending...

Central Asia: India Woos Regional Leaders

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the middle of a five-nation...

State Department, Assessing Terror In Ex-USSR, Turns Focus To ISIS

The State Department has released its annual "Country Reports on Terrorism" reviewing...

State Department Downplays ISIS Threat In Central Asia

A senior State Department official has downplayed the threat of Central Asian...