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Soviet Central Asia

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 24, 1986
For months Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev has been complaining that bureaucratic defenders of the status quo were stubbornly resisting his efforts to modernize the creaky Soviet economy. However, last week's student riots in Alma-Ata--the capital of the Central Asian Soviet republic of Kazakhstan--were the first known instance of resistance taking a violent turn. Gorbachev has used economic shortcomings in Kazakhstan as a horrible example of old-style Communist leadership.
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NEWS
May 22, 1994 | IAN MacWILLIAM, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The United Nations' top drug control official watched 14 metric tons of captured hashish go up in smoke here Saturday and rewarded this Central Asian nation with more money to fight narcotics bound for the streets of North America and Europe. The hash, with an estimated street value of $650 million, was seized by the authorities as it entered Uzbekistan last year from neighboring Afghanistan.
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NEWS
February 14, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
President Mikhail S. Gorbachev today lashed out at rioters in the republic of Tadzhikistan and called for harsh action against them, saying the "country's destiny and the safety of our citizens is at stake." The strong words from Gorbachev came as Soviet troops opened fire today in the riot-torn Tadzhik capital of Dushanbe, killing at least eight people, journalists in that area said.
NEWS
February 1, 1994 | HUGH POPE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Bleak and grandiose Soviet-era government buildings still dominate the icy center of this capital city, a mute, powerful warning to all who would try to break the grip of these temples of bureaucracy on the small Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan. But it is precisely here that the International Monetary Fund, with the blessing of the United States, has tried to set up a free-market showcase for the 50 million people in the five newly independent states that once constituted Soviet Central Asia.
NEWS
June 16, 1989 | From Associated Press
A moderate earthquake shook northwestern Tadzhikistan in Soviet Central Asia on Thursday, but there were no reports of deaths or serious damage, Tass said. The epicenter of the quake was 150 miles north of the city of Dushanbe, the capital of the republic that borders China and Afghanistan, the news agency said.
NEWS
July 18, 1985
A Soviet airliner crashed on a flight from Soviet Central Asia earlier this month, apparently killing all aboard, an official newspaper said. A brief report in the Uzbekistan Communist Party newspaper said the plane went down July 10 on a flight from Karshi to Leningrad. In keeping with Soviet practice, no other details were given. The Soviet airline Aeroflot uses the three-engine Tupolev 154, which carries up to 150 passengers.
NEWS
March 2, 1992 | From The Times' Washington staff
PORK BY ANY NAME: The U.S. food giveaway to the Commonwealth of Independent States ran into a problem in the Muslim nations of what was formerly Soviet Central Asia. . . . Many meals contained pork, a forbidden food for Muslims. To avoid embarrassment, advance teams told the governments they had two options: to refuse the food shipments altogether or to allow distributors to sort out the pork and give it to the needy elsewhere.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 1989 | GRAHAM E. FULLER, Graham E. Fuller is the former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council and is currently a senior political scientist at the RAND Corp. and
The world of Soviet Central Asia has long been a twilight zone for the West, at one time an exotic far-flung region redolent of the nomadic hordes of Genghis Khan, later sealed off from Western eyes for well over half a century by an Iron Curtain. But spectacular change, as everywhere else in the Soviet Union, has penetrated even to this area so remote from the West.
NEWS
January 19, 1993 | CAREY GOLDBERG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
What could they do? Their military duty required them to defend the border and open fire on anyone who violated it. But these were women and children and old people, fleeing across the Pyandzh River to escape the bloodshed afflicting their homeland in Tajikistan. "We were caught in a very complex position," said Lt. Col. Vladimir Zhernakov, deputy commander of the Russian guards who man the border with Afghanistan here.
NEWS
March 7, 1992 | MARK FINEMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The young hotel owner softened his voice as he related the latest rumor in the villages of southeastern Bangladesh: Moujahedeen rebels from Afghanistan had slipped into a local compound owned by a Saudi Arabian relief group, where they trained fundamentalist Bangladeshi and Burmese Muslims in the use of machine guns.
NEWS
March 2, 1992 | From The Times' Washington staff
PORK BY ANY NAME: The U.S. food giveaway to the Commonwealth of Independent States ran into a problem in the Muslim nations of what was formerly Soviet Central Asia. . . . Many meals contained pork, a forbidden food for Muslims. To avoid embarrassment, advance teams told the governments they had two options: to refuse the food shipments altogether or to allow distributors to sort out the pork and give it to the needy elsewhere.
NEWS
December 31, 1991 | MARK FINEMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A senior and usually staid official of the Indian Foreign Ministry was quietly sipping his Scotch and soda at a recent cocktail party in the capital, when, inevitably, the conversation turned to the collapse of the nearby empire that for so long has so profoundly influenced the fate and direction of his own nation.
NEWS
November 5, 1991 | MARK FINEMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Amid the chaos of the collapsing Soviet empire, a young Tadzhik man emerged from a crowd of pro-democracy protesters on the troubled streets of this Central Asian capital recently with a tattered poem in his hand. It was titled "Tigris"--the work of an Iranian poet who wrote extensively against the Shah of Iran at the height of the fundamentalist Islamic revolution that changed the face of that country more than a decade ago. "And the rebuilders build again," the poem began.
NEWS
October 2, 1991 | MARK FINEMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A line of brides, grooms, teen-agers and tourists formed in the downtown park called Lenin's Garden to wait for Viktor, the official state photographer who works at the base of the main Lenin statue here in the capital of Turkmenistan, the most remote southern outpost of the crumbling Soviet empire. "Mostly, they all want their pictures taken with Lenin," Viktor explained. "Here, you see, everybody still respects Lenin. Well, almost everybody, I guess."
NEWS
September 28, 1991 | MARK FINEMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For the first time since glasnost liberated the millions of Muslims of Soviet Central Asia, Dushanbe's main mosques were empty Friday. And for the first time that anyone here could recall, the city's five Islamic priests canceled their sacred Friday prayers. It was the latest round in Soviet Central Asia's 70-year war between Islam and communism.
NEWS
September 1, 1991 | CAREY GOLDBERG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Soviet Union's political turbulence spread into the heart of Muslim Central Asia on Saturday as the republics of Uzbekistan and Kirghizia declared independence and the president of neighboring Tadzhikistan was swept from office. The two Central Asian defections from the crumbling Soviet empire brought to 10 the number of republics that have formally sought to break away in an accelerated exodus brought on by the attempted coup two weeks ago by reactionary elements of the Kremlin.
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