China on the move.
Tajikistan (EAN) – Only days after being fired as mayor Tajikistan’s capital city, long-serving and ultimate elite loyalist Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev has found himself potentially becoming a target of corruption investigations. The deputy head of the state anticorruption agency, Abdukarim Zarifzoda, announced…
The exodus of Tajikistan’s best minds has reached record levels, according to figures coming out of Russia.
In 2016, 14,000 Tajik family units filed residency applications withs Russia’s Interior Ministry under a state resettlement program designed for former citizens of the Soviet Union.
The number of applications marks a notable increase from 13,000 in 2015 and 10,000 in 2014.
Of those, in 2015, 1,200 families received residence permits, and that figure rose to 1,850 in 2016.
Despite occasional whiffs of volatility, Central Asia has remained remarkably resistant to real change, either the type that could see it deteriorate into a hotbed of violence and chaos as some have predicted, or the kind that might inch it in the direction of democratic rule and socio-economic wellbeing, which almost no-one suspects will happen.
Consequently, while a lot of things happened in the region this year, none of it will necessarily look meaningful when (or if) historians look back on Central Asia’s 2016 in 50 years time.
Russia has promised a “large quantity” of military aircraft to Tajikistan over the next year. The aid is part of a deal that the two countries signed in 2012, but which has taken on more urgency since Moscow began worrying about China’s military/diplomatic advances in Tajikistan.
The deal was announced on November 30 at a meeting of defense ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Moscow.
“Next year the key phase of our military-technical cooperation will begin, the delivery of weaponry and military equipment,” said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said after a meeting with his Tajikistan counterpart, Sherali Mirzo. “In particular, this is a large quantity of aviation equipment, airplanes and helicopters. I think this will be implemented according to plan and on schedule.”
Repression of dissenters in Tajikistan is taking a worrisome turn, with family members inside the Central Asian country facing retribution for the actions of activist relatives abroad.
Events surrounding the annual human dimension implementation meeting, convened in Warsaw by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), have highlighted the issue of payback by proxy. On September 19, during the forum, supporters of political groups persecuted in Tajikistan staged a protest, holding up posters that highlighted reported abuses by the Tajik government.