Central Asia

The war in Ukraine is pushing Central Asia away from Russia
The war in Ukraine is pushing Central Asia away from Russia
As the Russian army pulled back the troops after a series of humiliating defeats in north-east Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin flew to Uzbekistan to attend a gathering…
The SCO: an illiberal club of growing global significance
The SCO: an illiberal club of growing global significance
The 22nd leaders’ summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, to be held on 15–16 September, will be the first in-person gathering of the central Asian grouping since 2019…
Full throttle: Australia’s advantages alongside Azerbaijan
Full throttle: Australia’s advantages alongside Azerbaijan
Historically, Azerbaijan was known as the world capital of black caviar. More recently, in the years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the thorny issue of the disputed…
Russia’s effort to escape diplomatic isolation
Russia’s effort to escape diplomatic isolation
As a consequence of its actions, Russia faces potentially stifling isolation. Russia will want to show the limits of this isolation through regional frameworks that also enable…
Kazakhstan’s longtime “leader” is out, but the regime he built remains
Kazakhstan’s longtime “leader” is out, but the regime he built remains
It has been more than a month since protests over the fuel price hike broke out in western Kazakhstan and spread across the country as demands grew more political. Protesters…
Mongolia suffers under China’s zero Covid policy
Mongolia suffers under China’s zero Covid policy
Food shortages, inflation, hundreds of thousands of people without an income, and thousands of shipping containers stuck on the border, not to mention rising Covid-19 cases, job…
Fear, loathing and infighting in Kazakhstan
Fear, loathing and infighting in Kazakhstan
Over the course of barely a week, the normally placid Kazakhstan, best known in the West for being the unwilling object of humour in the Borat films (and perhaps also for being…
China’s education diplomacy in Central Asia
China’s education diplomacy in Central Asia
Once upon a time, parents in Central Asia sent their children to Moscow or St Petersburg for higher education. Now, some of them are opting for China instead. China has become an…
Kyrgyzstan’s turmoil and the competition for Central Asia
Kyrgyzstan’s turmoil and the competition for Central Asia
Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic seen as Russia’s most loyal ally in Central Asia, has been rocked by unrest after a disputed parliamentary election held on 4 October. Moscow…
Yes, to balance China, let’s bring Russia in from the cold
Yes, to balance China, let’s bring Russia in from the cold
Last month, US President Donald Trump surprised allies by calling for Russia and Australia to be admitted together with India and South Korea to an expanded G-7. Writing in…