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Death of Uzbek President Karimov and instability in Central Asia

GOF58

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The news was announced this morning that the tyrannical leader of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, died of a stroke in Tashkent last night. Unlikely to be over-mourned by his people, he was a leftover from the Soviet era having come to power as General Secretary of the Communist Party in the Uzbek SSR in 1989, and presided over a nepotistic police state that concentrated power and wealth in the hands of security apparatchiks, with torture rife in his prisons, a muzzled press, and state-sponsored slavery in the cotton industry, the country's largest cash-crop. Freedom House ranked his regime a 6.96 out of 7 (1 being most free and 7 most unfree) in its ratings for 2015, scoring the maximum 7 out of 7 for corruption and judicial interference. Despite these obvious failings Karimov was supported whole-heartedly by both the Russians and Western Powers, supplying bases and CIA black-sites during the Afghan war, with the UK going so far as to issue written warnings to their ambassador in Tashkent, who spoke out against Karimov's crimes.

With no obvious successor (his unpopular daughter Gulnara Karimova, who was perceived to be the likely successor, was put under house arrest in 2014) and an aging ruling class, there are questions over whether the type of volatility prevalent in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan (whihc has experienced two coups since 2005 and has a growing Islamist insurgency in the country's south) could spread to Uzbekistan. The country already has its own problems with extremists, with the Ferghana valley (incidentally abutting Afghanistan) a stronghold for Islamist terrorists and a trade route for opiate smugglers. In addition the collapse of hydrocarbon prices has cut growth forecasts for all countries in the regions, with all countries reliant on hydrocarbon revenues or remittances from citizens living in hydrocarbon producing neighbours. The above cocktail of problems raises the spectre of state collapse in the event of political infighting over succession, and the investment of Russian military forces and expenditure (coupled with Russia's own economic problems) in Ukraine and Syria means the Russians are hamstrung in their ability to influence events here.

Anti-Slavery - Forced labour in Uzbek cotton industry
The envoy who said too much | Politics | The Guardian
Radicalization in Kyrgyzstan Is No Myth | The Diplomat
 
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firefly123

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I think a safe bet is to avoid any countries that end in -istan as a rule.

Tis amazing how our freedom loving leaders (both East and west) can ignore scum bag dictatorships if the scumbag dictators play ball.

May he rest uncomfortably for eternity
 

Dame_Enda

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His other daughter Lola Karimova is a possibility
 

tsarbomb

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It was reported a few years ago that the late president had several people boiled to death. I think that the Uzbeks will use this opportunity to try to bring about a more moderate government. There will inevitably be challengers from the regime who will try to stop this from happening. All in all its a recipe for disaster. There are several interested world powers who would possibly get involved in any trouble there and there is a cohort of Islamists who will probably try to cause as much trouble as they can.
 

Boy M5

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I'm sure that "instability" will result in Russian intervention
 

Partizan

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I'm sure that "instability" will result in Russian intervention
If the US leads in with its 'democratisation' attempts just like it did with stunning success in Iraq, Libya and Syria, Moscow may well have to curb the malign influence of the Empire of Chaos.
 

Karloff

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I think a safe bet is to avoid any countries that end in -istan as a rule.

Tis amazing how our freedom loving leaders (both East and west) can ignore scum bag dictatorships if the scumbag dictators play ball.

May he rest uncomfortably for eternity
Any country situated on the faultline between Russia and the West is a big no no at any time. Proxy wars break out there - usually at the instigation of the US which is on the offensive and Russia on the defensive. In the case of Uzbekistan the appalling human rights situation there has the approval of both East and West. Karimov was also a big ally of Israel.
 
O

Oscurito

Uzbekistan experienced horrific ethnic clashes in the 1989-90 period. Without the iron fist of Karimov, these divisions may well re-emerge.
 

IvoShandor

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If the US leads in with its 'democratisation' attempts just like it did with stunning success in Iraq, Libya and Syria, Moscow may well have to curb the malign influence of the Empire of Chaos.
It appears that the USSR's (and the Russian Empire's previously) record in governance was so poor that the Stans relapsed straight into authoritarianism and civil conflict as soon as they became independent. And now you want the Russians to intervene. Somewhat like giving Typhoid Mary a job helping the afflicted in the Pest House. Good idea

Any country situated on the faultline between Russia and the West is a big no no at any time. Proxy wars break out there - usually at the instigation of the US which is on the offensive and Russia on the defensive. In the case of Uzbekistan the appalling human rights situation there has the approval of both East and West. Karimov was also a big ally of Israel.
Proxy wars? And apparently Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran (all vying for influence in the region, based on cultural and ethnic links) have nothing to do with these troubles. Not to mention what close neighbours the Chinese might be up to. Your world vision seems only to encompass the USA and Israel-and nothing else. A one-note man.
 
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Cynicist

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Uzbekistan experienced horrific ethnic clashes in the 1989-90 period. Without the iron fist of Karimov, these divisions may well re-emerge.
Unlikely. Turkmenistan has recently gone through a similar scenario and the new is a mirror image of the old with its paranoia, nationalism and closed / controlled interaction with foreigners.

Natural resource riches will help to keep everything in order and the new regime will deal with any sign of opposition with an iron fist.
 

Partizan

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It appears that the USSR's (and the Russian Empire's previously) record in governance was so poor that the Stans relapsed straight into authoritarianism and civil conflict as soon as they became independent. And now you want the Russians to intervene. Somewhat like giving Typhoid Mary a job helping the afflicted in the Pest House. Good idea



Proxy wars? And apparently Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran (all vying for influence in the region, based on cultural and ethnic links) have nothing to do with these troubles. Not to mention what close neighbours the Chinese might be up to. Your world vision seems only to encompass the USA and Israel-and nothing else. A one-note man.
How's 'democracy' proceeding in Libya and Syria whose Islamic headhacking rebels you give full support to and have even referred to them as freedom fighters akin to the International Brigades who fought in Spain.
 
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IvoShandor

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How's 'democracy' proceeding in Libya and Syria whose Islamic headhacking rebels you give full support to and even referred to them as freedom fighters.
Who are you talking to? Not me, I guess.

Doesn't matter. I'm still right about the 'Stans.
 

Cynicist

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Is Gulnara Karimova the despot's daughter dead or alive:

"In the late 2000s, Karimova was rumoured to be a possible successor of her 75-year-old father, who has ruled Uzbekistan since before the 1991 Soviet collapse. Uzbek media described her as a patron of the arts and a successful businesswoman who supports orphanages, pays for the weddings of poor couples, and who had restored a medieval religious complex in the capital, Tashkent, where one of the world's oldest Qurans is exhibited.

But in 2014, Karimova fell out with her father and was placed under house arrest after releasing hundreds of tweets in which she described a Shakespearean power struggle in the presidential family, accused her mother and younger sister of practising witchcraft, and lashed out at top Uzbek officials.

Her business holdings disappeared, and dozens of her former employees have been jailed.

A batch of papers leaked from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm possibly marks a new low in Karimova's fall from grace - and the fate of her jailed boyfriend, a former Uzbek pop star. 
The papers describe a string of companies owned by a certain Rustam Madumarov. This is the name of Karimova's longtime boyfriend who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in Uzbekistan in 2014 - along with two of her confidants - on charges of stealing assets worth tens of millions of dollars and tax evasion.

Madumarov is listed as director of Stockbridge Plus Ltd and Trident Overseas Management Ltd, offshore companies linked to several more companies registered in the UK, Romania, Belize and Hong Kong, according to the website of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a Washington-based group that obtained 11.5 million documents from Mossack Fonseca. 

Uzbekistan: President's daughter and the Panama Papers - AJE News

Now would be a good time for a resurrection or perhaps not considering the many citizens from whom she has stolen money from.
 


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