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Kyrgyzstan

An encounter with the local authorities in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
An encounter with the local authorities in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Russia’s Great Reverse Migration

Central Asians used to flee the Soviet empire’s periphery for Moscow. Russia’s mobilization has sent escaping Muscovites in the other direction.

A chicken runs near a burned-out house in the village of Kapchygay, near the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, on Sept. 21.
A chicken runs near a burned-out house in the village of Kapchygay, near the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, on Sept. 21.

Why Russia and China Aren’t Intervening in Central Asia

As tensions between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan flared, Moscow and Beijing chose to remain on the sidelines.

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

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence participate in the vice presidential debate moderated by Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today Susan Page at the University of Utah on Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence participate in the vice presidential debate moderated by Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today Susan Page at the University of Utah on Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Is a Vice President Who Doesn’t Know Much About Foreign Policy a National Security Risk?

Pence and Harris talked about international politics at the debate, but their performances will leave voters asking if they would be ready to act as commander in chief.

Members of the Islamic State stand alongside their weapons, following their surrender to Afghanistan's government in Jalalabad on Nov. 17, 2019.
Members of the Islamic State stand alongside their weapons, following their surrender to Afghanistan's government in Jalalabad on Nov. 17, 2019.

Indians and Central Asians Are the New Face of the Islamic State

Terrorists from India, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan were never at the forefront of global jihad before—now they are.

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.
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.
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.

Photos gathered from social media and friends of the ethnic Kyrgyz students gone missing in China.
Photos gathered from social media and friends of the ethnic Kyrgyz students gone missing in China.

Kyrgyz Students Vanish Into Xinjiang’s Maw

Musicians, folklorists, and storytellers disappear after being forced back to China.

Uali Islam shows photos of his wife Sairagul Sawytbai at his house in Baidibek village, Kazakhstan.  (Izturgan Aldauev/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Uali Islam shows photos of his wife Sairagul Sawytbai at his house in Baidibek village, Kazakhstan. (Izturgan Aldauev/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Central Asia Struggles With Fallout From China’s Internment of Minorities

Kazakh case draws attention to plight of hundreds of thousands detained in Xinjiang

GettyImages-490741339
GettyImages-490741339

Scenes From Central Asia’s Forever War

In Kyrgyzstan’s Fergana Valley, ethnic strife, corruption, and poverty collide in the country’s ongoing fight against extremism.

CHOLPON-ATA, KYRGYZSTAN - SEPTEMBER 4, 2016: Hollywood actor Steven Seagal (R) and people in traditional dress in a specially built village setting, Kyrchin, at the 2016 World Nomad Games. Viktor Drachev/TASS (Photo by Viktor DrachevTASS via Getty Images)
CHOLPON-ATA, KYRGYZSTAN - SEPTEMBER 4, 2016: Hollywood actor Steven Seagal (R) and people in traditional dress in a specially built village setting, Kyrchin, at the 2016 World Nomad Games. Viktor Drachev/TASS (Photo by Viktor DrachevTASS via Getty Images)

Hawk Hunting, Goat Carcass Chasing, and Steven Seagal at World Nomad Games, in Photos

Goat carcasses, hawk hunting, bone throwing, and Steven Seagal: The World Nomad Games in photos.

A Kyrgyz police officer patrols next to the Chinese embassy in Bishkek on August 30, 2016.

A van driven by a suicide bomber exploded after ramming through a gate at the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan on August 30, wounding three people, authorities said. / AFP / Vyacheslav OSELEDKO        (Photo credit should read VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)
A Kyrgyz police officer patrols next to the Chinese embassy in Bishkek on August 30, 2016. A van driven by a suicide bomber exploded after ramming through a gate at the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan on August 30, wounding three people, authorities said. / AFP / Vyacheslav OSELEDKO (Photo credit should read VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)

Questions of Responsibility Loom After Attack on Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan

Chinese and Kyrgyz officials are investigating who launched a suicide bomb attack on the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek.

h_50882097
h_50882097

NGOs Avert Russian-Inspired Restrictions in Central Asia’s Only Democracy

After a grassroots campaign, Kyrgyzstan’s lawmakers struck down a controversial “foreign agents” law.

GettyImages-495475890 crop
GettyImages-495475890 crop

A Perfect Storm in Central Asia

For years, the five ex-Soviet republics have enjoyed surprising stability. But Russia’s economic crisis is shaking their foundations.

Horses are tethered to a rope at a pasture of the Suu-Samyr plateau, 2,500 meters above the sea level, along the ancient Great Silk Road from Bishkek to Osh, some 200 kilometers from Bishkek, on August 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO        (Photo credit should read VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)
Horses are tethered to a rope at a pasture of the Suu-Samyr plateau, 2,500 meters above the sea level, along the ancient Great Silk Road from Bishkek to Osh, some 200 kilometers from Bishkek, on August 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO (Photo credit should read VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)

Note to Self: Don’t Make Horse Penis Jokes in Kyrgyzstan

A Scottish gold miner may have been arrested for mocking a traditional Kyrgyz dish on Facebook.

GettyImages-486067746 crop
GettyImages-486067746 crop

Central Asia’s Island of Democracy is Sinking

Next week’s elections lay bare the failure of Kyrgyzstan’s revolutionary dream.

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