Eurasia / Features

OUTLOOK: 2022 Uzbekistan

bne IntelIiNews January 15, 2022

Uzbekistan is taking its “opening up” policy to the next level. A wary eye will watch for more instability in both Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. Growth is bouncing back with the worst of the Covid crisis over.

Perspectives | Why Uzbekistan does not fear a ‘Kazakh Winter’

Alisher Khamidov for Eurasianet January 14, 2022

Uzbek insiders think they can avoid Kazakh-style unrest, but they’re not taking any chances.

Turkey-Armenia talks seen as key to opening up regional transit links

Neil Hauer in Yerevan, Javid Agha in Baku January 13, 2022

Yerevan will not countenance the adoption by Ankara of any of Baku’s hardline demands as a necessity for any opening of the border.

INTERVIEW: Kazakhstan in crisis

IWPR January 13, 2022

With Kazakhstan experiencing its worst unrest in three decades of independence, Abakhon Sultonnazarov, Central Asia director of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), assesses latest developments and wider implications of the crisis.

PPF still has the deal-making mojo after death of founder Petr Kellner

Robert Anderson in Prague January 11, 2022

New CEO Ladislav Bartonicek is reported to be selling Home Credit Russia as part of the investment group's shift to more mature markets.

Is viral video of 'Kazakh terrorist group' KLF Russian disinformation?

bne IntelliNews January 9, 2022

A mysterious video was uploaded to Telegram on January 7 showing four supposed terrorists with a Kalashnikov and a Kazakh flag who claimed to be members of the "Kazakh Liberation Front" or "KLF".

Nazarbayev ousted from power, search for Kazakhstan’s vanished ‘Leader of the Nation’ centres on Switzerland, Russia and China

bne IntelIiNews January 7, 2022

Former president widely thought to have fled abroad in panic as nation’s unrest mounted.

Inside Kazakstan’s cradle of unrest

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow January 6, 2022

Kazakhstan’s December 2011 Zhanaozen massacre was followed by protests but unlike this week’s mass unrest – which also started in the remote western oil town – they petered out. What has changed?

Amid Kazakhstan upheaval 'Leader of Nation' Nursultan Nazarbayev reportedly leaves country 'for medical reasons'

bne IntelIiNews January 6, 2022

Whatever reshaped establishment emerges out of the country’s carnage may lick its lips at the prospect of taking over the fabulously wealthy Nazarbayev’s assets.

Smoke rises from Almaty government HQ and presidential residence as Kazakhstan protests intensify

bne correspondents in Almaty & Prague January 5, 2022

Resignation of Cabinet announced as concession but Kazakhs know real power is held by presidential regime.

SPECIAL REPORT: Uzbekistan Rising

Ben Aris in Berlin January 4, 2022

Uzbekistan’s economy has taken off in the last two years as the reforms implemented by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev start to bear fruit. We collect our recent articles on the transformation in a special report.

Armenia’s new road projects: no simple endeavour

Neil Hauer in Ltsen December 22, 2021

Armenia is now scrambling to improve alternative roads or construct them from scratch after the vital southern highway to Iran was seized by Azerbaijan in last year's war.

DEATH OF THE SOVIET UNION: The borders drawn in the 1920s are serving Russia well in the 2020s

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow December 17, 2021

Frozen conflicts along contested borders in the former Soviet space have created levers for Russian influence.

Azerbaijan's new law on media unites journalists in opposition

Javid Agha in Baku December 17, 2021

The law envisages the creation of a registry of journalists, and demands that owners of media outlets be Azerbaijani residents.

The rejuvenation of Uzbekistan’s NavoiAzot chemical works

Ben Aris in Navoi December 15, 2021

NavoiAzot's renovation was kicked off in 2016 with some state-guaranteed credits, but since then it seems the investment drive has reached a critical mass, and NavoiAzot has attracted several partners. Business is booming.

Mongolian traders in disarray as China’s zero-Covid policy chokes business

Antonio Graceffo & Khangal Odbayar, & Enkhjin Erdenetulga December 15, 2021

Prolonged border closures disrupt supply chains, drive up inflation and hammer exports. Mongolia, dependent on China for 60% of its economy, remains at the mercy of Beijing’s coronavirus directives.

INTERVIEW: Bootstrapping Uzbekistan’s finances

Ben Aris in Tashkent December 14, 2021

Uzbekistan was one of the only two major economies in the world to avoid recession last year but now the economy is bouncing back. The new government hopes to lift the economy up by its bootstraps by smart spending and targeted privatisations.

Kyrgyzstan: TV presenter’s racy photos ignite morality furore

Ayzirek Imanaliyeva for Eurasianet December 14, 2021

Debates about women’s bodies recur periodically in Kyrgyzstani social media skirmishes; now there are signs that policymakers are eager to get involved.

Uzbek banking privatisation gathering steam

Ben Aris in Tashkent December 13, 2021

Uzbekistan's most profitable bank, UzPromStroyBank is going to be the first big bank to be sold off as the country’s banking sector privatisation gets under way.

DEATH OF THE SOVIET UNION: Widespread nostalgia but no going back

bne IntelliNews December 10, 2021

Many older citizens across the former Soviet Union look back nostalgically to the ‘golden age’ before the transition but few genuinely want a return to socialism.