Central Asia

A man leaves flowers next to portraits of victims in front of the Reina nightclub where an Uzbek gunman acting on behalf of the Islamic State killed 39 people, in Istanbul on Dec. 31, 2017.

Jihadist Networks Dig In on Social Media Across Central Asia

Almost 500 extremist channels on Telegram, VKontakte, and other networks spread propaganda and vie for recruits. Most of them have ties to the Islamic State.

Supporters of newly appointed Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov wave Kyrgyz flags during a rally in support of Japarov in Bishkek on Oct. 14.

Kyrgyzstan’s Protests Won’t Keep Corrupt Criminals Out of Politics

Members of the criminal underworld have long turned to politics to avoid prosecution. Ousting one set of corrupt leaders in favor of another won’t end the country’s crisis.

People protesting the results of the parliamentary vote gather by a bonfire in front of the seized main government building, known as the White House, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Oct. 6.

Is This the Beginning of Kyrgyzstan’s Next Revolution?

The Central Asian state is the latest post-Soviet republic jolted by an electoral crisis. But the ongoing protests are driven by internal dynamics, not international ones.

Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Baku, Azerbaijan in December 2003.

Putin Is Ruling Russia Like a Central Asian Dictator

The Kremlin didn’t invent term limit resets and constitutional referendums. The autocratic leaders of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan blazed the trail.

A health care worker gives a COVID-19 test to a medical staff near Halyk Arena in Almaty on July 5, as Kazakhstan imposed a second round of nationwide restrictions to counter a huge surge in coronavirus cases.

COVID-19 Heats Up the New Great Game in Central Asia

Washington has a golden opportunity to counter China’s gains.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin prior to their meeting in New Delhi on Oct. 5, 2018. During the visit, India signed a $5 billion deal to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems despite a U.S. law ordering sanctions on any country trading with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors.

Why India and Russia Are Going to Stay Friends

Conventional wisdom holds that New Delhi will turn to Washington as it increases competition with Beijing. But Moscow’s importance cannot be ignored.

A cotton grower looks on as she works in a cotton plantation.

It’s Not Time to End the Uzbek Cotton Boycott Yet

Companies should not buy Uzbekistan’s cotton until labor protections and responsible sourcing are guaranteed.

Taliban militants and villagers attend a gathering as they celebrate the U.S.-Afghan peace deal in Laghman province, Afghanistan, on March 2.

For the Taliban, the Pandemic Is a Ladder

The Islamist group is using the coronavirus crisis for propaganda—with potentially dire consequences for those living under its control.

A food delivery courier cycles as municipal vehicles clean and disinfect the area, with a building decorated with a mural depicting Soviet WWII commander Marshal Georgy Zhukov in the background, in downtown Moscow on April 14.

The Pandemic Could Tighten China’s Grip on Eurasia

Despite border closures, Russia and others may be pushed even closer to Beijing.

The now-demolished Camel Youth Hostel in Kashgar, Xinjiang

Xinjiang’s Hui Muslims Were Swept Into Camps Alongside Uighurs

Testimonies and eyewitness accounts suggest the mass incarceration of ethnic Hui in China’s northwest.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks by the media as he prepares to board a plane at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., on June 23, 2019.

Behind Pompeo’s Big ‘We Care’ Trip to Ukraine

Hobbled by the impeachment trial, the U.S. secretary of state faces the tricky task of explaining a Trump administration policy that has often looked two-faced.

Visitors check out 5G smart city technology at the China Mobile booth

China’s Surveillance State Has Eyes on Central Asia

Autocrats are handing their citizens’ data to Beijing under so-called smart city programs.

Uighur men make their way past a subway entrance after marking the end of Ramadan at the Id Kah mosque in Kashgar, in China's western Xinjiang region early on June 5.

U.S. Terrorism Policy Paved the Way for China’s Repression

U.S.-favored policies in Central Asia must be rolled back to help save the Uighur people.

Liu Yifei  in Disney’s live-action Mulan.

Let a Thousand Mulans Bloom

The upcoming Disney film is already a cultural battleground. But China’s most famous heroine thrives in many tellings.

Taliban fighters and local residents celebrate the ceasefire on the second day of Eid in the outskirts of Jalalabad on June 16,2018.

There Will Be No Peace for Afghanistan

Despite optimistic signs from U.S.-led peace talks in Qatar, Afghanistan’s future looks bleak.

Kazakh president-elect Kassym-Jomart Tokayev speaks to the media during a press conference at Ak Orda Presidential Palace in Nur-Sultan on June 10, 2019.

Kazakhstan’s Second-Ever President Can’t Tolerate Protest

Nazarbayev’s successor has an impressive foreign profile but a raft of domestic problems.

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