News Digest

Dec 20, 2020

Media Digest

Dec 20, 2020


Biweekly CAW Media Digest.
The Digest provides updates on
the most recent developments in Central Asia.
To subscribe to or unsubscribe from this list, please contact the CAW team.

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry has issued a complaint after two Russian politicians called into question the territorial integrity of Kazakhstan. This is merely the latest in a long line of provocative comments from Russian lawmakers, including a comment from Vladimir Putin in 2014 claiming that "Kazakhstan never had any statehood."
A recent report has highlighted the dire situation facing children with disabilities and their families in Kyrgyzstan. A lack of expertise and resources renders specialized institutions more dangerous than general education schools, but most schools in the region still struggle to provide inclusive education.
Jamshed Ziyoyev, the individual responsible for the collapse of Tajik bank Tajprombank, has been sentenced to nearly nine years in prison. The high-profile scandal revolved around bogus loan deals (including to Ziyoyev's son) and sent shockwaves across the Tajik banking sector.
The Tajik government has detained opposition politician Mahmurod Odinaev on charges of hooliganism. Odinaev had been reported missing for several days previously, but was seized during an altercation in which he protested a campaign of pressure aimed at his family members.
While the Turkmen government insists publicly that preventative measures have allowed the country to avoid COVID-19, a crumbling economy and society depict a far more grim reality. Crime rates and queues for food are growing, but high-ranking officials are loathe to admit their fallibility.
The saga of Uzbek cotton continues as recent work shows that forced labor in Uzbekistan has yet to be fully eliminated. The historic and often-lucrative cotton industry created quotas and incentives that led to calamitous human rights abuses as children and adults from all walks of life were coerced into working seasonal harvests.
Brian Song's new documentary Misha sheds a light on the tragedy and triumph of ethnic Korean Soviet soccer player Mikhail An. His rise to fame as part of Uzbekistan's FC Pakhtakor highlights the challenges faced by the Korean community in the USSR, while portraying their outsized influence on the culture of the country.
India and Uzbekistan have started winding up a swathe of partnerships and agreements across a range of industries. India has retained an interest in Central Asia despite never playing as important role as China or Russia, while Uzbekistan under Shavkhat Mirziyoyev has shown a greater willingness to seek out bilateral, international relationships.
The UN and the EU have started a new program in the region, the Spotlight Initiative for Central Asia and Afghanistan. The initiative will have $4.3 million in funding and will attempt to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
Asia Geopolitics host Ankit Panda talks with Catherine Putz about how the Biden administration will address Central Asia and Afghanistan. Discussion includes important individuals in the new regional policy team as well as the more general trends that the US will have to work with.

CAW Team