August 8, 2004 |
The new nation of Turkmenistan, one of several Central Asian republics that rose from the Soviet Union's ashes, is ruled by a 64-year-old dictator named Saparmurad A. Niyazov, a strutting, miniature Saddam Hussein who calls himself Turkmenbashi (father of the Turkmens). A man of monstrous ego and modest intellect, he has outlawed beards on men and forbidden women to wear gold teeth, a sign of status.
July 11, 2004 |
A gigantic statue of Tamerlane gazes over this fabled Silk Road city, marking the fierce conqueror's transformation into national hero after decades of abuse. "He was the leader of the nation. He's our pride," said Rakhmatulla Sagatov, an Uzbek tourist admiring the 6-year-old sculpture of the 14th century Muslim ruler, who used the riches of vanquished lands to build a glorious capital here. "In Soviet times they were calling people like Tamerlane 'thugs' and 'cutthroats.'
July 5, 2004 |
His democracy watchdog group had just been ordered out of neighboring Uzbekistan by an authoritarian president who seemed fearful the American billionaire might foment a revolt. But George Soros wasn't pulling any punches. "Unfortunately, the Uzbek government is very repressive," the controversial Hungarian-born philanthropist told reporters here in the Kyrgyz capital in April. "It has 7,000 people in prison for political offenses.
June 18, 2004 |
The presidents of China, Russia and four Central Asian nations met in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to bolster a security alliance and open an anti-terrorism center. The one-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization marked what Russian President Vladimir V. Putin said was the start of the group's work to become a vital international institution. Chinese President Hu Jintao offered $900 million in credit to alliance countries, which include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
October 24, 2003 |
The presidents of Russia and Kyrgyzstan on Thursday opened the first new Russian military base abroad since the collapse of the Soviet Union, marking Moscow's interest in restoring lost influence in Central Asia. The air base in Kant "will provide security for Kyrgyzstan itself and the entire region where it is located," Russian President Vladimir V.
December 29, 2002 |
Redwing Two Moons hung on to the reins as the exotic horse raced around a small circular corral. Rarely ridden, the horse known as Yellowhand was refusing to take orders from the 16-year-old member of the Nez Perce Indian tribe. But after several minutes, the exhausted horse slowed to a trot and submitted to the teenager's will. "You did good, Redwing," riding instructor Rudy Shebala said. "You got the worst out of him, that's for sure. You keep him running until he acts good."
July 30, 2002
The Central Asian republics that once were part of the Soviet Union keep marching backward politically, jailing opposition leaders or forcing them into exile, guarding against independent media that, no matter how irritating they are to the powerful, are a bulwark of democracy and a voice for those ruled. The latest blast of bad news came this month from Kazakhstan.
July 22, 2002 |
Irina Petrushova was upset when she received an anonymous funeral wreath on Women's Day. She was more anxious when a decapitated dog was found hanging on the window of her office. And she became further disturbed when someone left the dog's head in a package on her doorstep.
March 24, 2002 |
The Soviet Union's demise a decade ago sent ethnic Russians streaming out of Central Asia's steppes, leaving behind war, shriveling salaries and neighbors suddenly resentful of their erstwhile colonizers. But many more quietly stayed behind. Some couldn't afford the journey to Russia. Others saw little point in leaving these sunnier lands they have called home all their lives for Russia's frigid expanse.
January 29, 2002 |
President Pervez Musharraf's decision to reshape Pakistan as a moderate Islamic state carries implications that extend far beyond its borders, many people in this region believe. Among other things, they argue, Pakistan's new moderate course will: * Undercut extremist groups from throughout the Arab and broader Muslim world that have used Pakistan as both an important support base and a way station in the conduct of global terrorism.