ENGRUS
A few days after the arrest of a leading opposition politician in Kyrgyzstan, the US State Department replied to a reporter’s query about the incident with a circumspect statement.  
Sitting in a modest, domed brick mausoleum, a bust of the partisan Nurmagambet Kokembayev smiles Buddah-like as he gazes out upon the snow-laden steppe of central Kazakhstan. It betrays nothing of the turbulent historical period he lived in, an...
Polina Ibrayeva is now a frail old lady with sparkling brown eyes. Seventy-three years ago, she was a three-month-old infant suddenly uprooted from the Chechen mountain village where she was born and deported thousands of kilometers east to the...
Imperious khans and assorted dignitaries gaze into the distance. Meanwhile, fierce battles are raging all around. These are scenes from artworks at a recently opened exhibition in Kazakhstan, representing a reimagining of key events in the nation’s...
Few parts of the world are the subject of as much sustained journalistic ignorance as Central Asia. News from what are patronizingly known as the “stans” rarely makes it into mainstream news outlets, except in connection to Islamic terrorism,...
Kazakhstan made the front pages of international newspapers last month when it hosted the first round of Syria peace talks. The diplomatic initiative is kicking off a year that will see a major PR push to portray Kazakhstan as a global player.  
Things are getting serious again in western Kazakhstan. This oil-rich region on the Caspian Sea was the scene over several months in 2011 of prolonged labor unrest, culminating in clashes that December that killed at least a dozen people.  
“He opened our eyes.” Toizhan’s face lit up as she recalled how the leader of her trade union, Amin Yeleusinov, first began spreading the word about worker rights.  
Officials in Kazakhstan, by issuing an unexpected and urgent press release about an imminent televised address by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, unleashed a squall of chatter. But not all the talk about the contents of the January 24 address may be...
The oil workers were shocked to see that the city would try to hold a party just yards from the spot they had occupied for months in the hope of negotiating higher salaries. The day was December 16, 2011, and authorities in the city of Zhanaozen in...