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Central Asia

A Chinese bank employee counts 100-yuan notes and U.S. dollar bills
A Chinese bank employee counts 100-yuan notes and U.S. dollar bills

China Is Quietly Trying to Dethrone the Dollar

Regional groups and small banks are helping insulate Beijing against sanctions.

Leaders of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member states pose for a family photo during a summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 16.
Leaders of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member states pose for a family photo during a summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 16.

Kazakhstan Is Breaking Out of Russia’s Grip

The Ukraine war has given Astana a unique chance to frustrate Moscow.

China's President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other participants attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Sept. 16.
China's President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other participants attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Sept. 16.

Why Xi Jinping Chose Central Asia for His First Post-COVID-19 Trip

The region has long served as a testing ground for Beijing’s economic and foreign-policy ambitions and is becoming increasingly close to China.

Taliban fighters
Taliban fighters

The Taliban’s Neighbors Fear Afghanistan’s ‘Boiling Pot’ of Terrorism

A three-day conference in Uzbekistan has united the region, worried about the guerrillas in their midst.

People walk near a large white mosque with green domes in the evening.
People walk near a large white mosque with green domes in the evening.

Uzbekistan’s Unrest, Explained

Violent protests over proposed changes to its status have swept the autonomous region of Karakalpakstan.

Demonstrators hold placards during a rally in support of Ukraine in Almaty, Kazakhstan on March 6.
Demonstrators hold placards during a rally in support of Ukraine in Almaty, Kazakhstan on March 6.

Former Soviet States Are Distancing Themselves From Their Old Imperial Master

The war in Ukraine is prompting countries from Kazakhstan to Moldova to reexamine their colonial past and seek diplomatic allies beyond the Kremlin.

Protesters rally over energy prices in Kazakhstan.
Protesters rally over energy prices in Kazakhstan.

How Western Media Framed Kazakhstan’s Protests

A complicated conflict was reduced to an easy narrative of riots and chaos.

Protesters wave flags during a rally in Almaty.
Protesters wave flags during a rally in Almaty.

Kazakhstan’s Reforms Should Be More Than Just Show

Promised changes after January’s chaos are unpromising so far.

Schoolgirls look out through a window while attending class at their bullet-riddled school in the Afghan village of Arzo.
Schoolgirls look out through a window while attending class at their bullet-riddled school in the Afghan village of Arzo.

World Bank Freeze Leaves Afghanistan Bracing for Economic Impact

Amid Taliban crackdowns, the country continues to be locked out of billions of dollars in crucial international funds, with little resolution in sight.

People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.
People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan Can’t Torture Its Way to Stability

Until the Tokayev regime shows remorse for its brutal crackdown, the country’s reforms won’t bring progress.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov poses with an ancient Akhal-Teke breed three years old studhorse, Begkhan, that won an Inernational Annual Horse Beauty contest in Ashgabat on April 23, 2016.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov poses with an ancient Akhal-Teke breed three years old studhorse, Begkhan, that won an Inernational Annual Horse Beauty contest in Ashgabat on April 23, 2016.

Turkmenistan Is All About the Berdimuhamedovs

Central Asia is about to receive its first dynastic family.

Kyrgyz troops are greeted after returning from Kazakhstan.
Kyrgyz troops are greeted after returning from Kazakhstan.

Washington Must Step Up Its Engagement in Central Asia

Recent unrest in Kazakhstan underscores the risks of ignoring the root causes of political instability in the region.

People protest energy price hikes in Kazakhstan.
People protest energy price hikes in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan’s Unrest Leaves Behind a Traumatized Society

Overloaded hospitals are struggling amid a coronavirus spike.

In a Russian Defense Ministry photo, Russian peacekeepers are welcomed at the Chkalovsky airfield as they arrive from Almaty, Kazakhstan.
In a Russian Defense Ministry photo, Russian peacekeepers are welcomed at the Chkalovsky airfield as they arrive from Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Russian Propagandists Zero In on Kazakh Crisis

Intense interest by diplomats and state media underscores the significance of Russia’s intervention.

Russian soldiers from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) attend a ceremony marking the end of the CSTO mission in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 13.
Russian soldiers from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) attend a ceremony marking the end of the CSTO mission in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 13.

Kazakhstan Exposes the Central Flaw of Biden’s Foreign-Policy Doctrine

Lofty democratic rhetoric can’t compete with autocratic boots on the ground. That should make Washington uncomfortable.

A resident surveys the damage in the aftermath of protests
in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 11.
A resident surveys the damage in the aftermath of protests in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 11.

Kazakhstan’s Protests Aren’t a Color Revolution

The country’s widespread popular demonstrations transcended class, region, and politics—making them distinct from those in Belarus and Ukraine.

A destroyed bank in Kazakhstan
A destroyed bank in Kazakhstan
Joint military drills for the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Kyrgyzstan
Joint military drills for the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Kyrgyzstan
A gas mask lies near the fence of an administrative building in central Almaty, Kazakhstan.
A gas mask lies near the fence of an administrative building in central Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Why Russia Sent Troops Into Kazakhstan

Moscow’s swift aid to a neighboring regime tracks with its wider strategic goals.

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