President Serzh Sargsyan’s early September announcement that Armenia is ready to join the Moscow-led Customs Union is stirring uneasiness in Yerevan. Some analysts contend the move would do more to bolster the incumbent government’s authority than benefit the country as a whole.
Turkmenistan is the Central Asian nation most associated with vast deserts. It’s also a place that is dealing with the consequences of the Aral Sea disaster. But these facts aren’t deterring Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov from moving ahead with a scheme to create a giant artificial lake in the middle of nowhere.
Turkish government officials and Kurdish militants are divided when it comes to Syria, with Ankara strongly supporting the prospect of American military strikes, and most Kurds opposing them. This difference could place great strain on the Kurdish peace process in Turkey, in the event the United States takes action in Syria.
For years industry observers have asserted that environmental protests outside the Canadian-run Kumtor Gold Mine in Kyrgyzstan’s eastern mountains were part of an elaborate shakedown scheme. Now a video has emerged that appears to substantiate this view.
Outside Aslan Arlozorov’s cottage in suburban Bishkek three people discuss their ailments as they wait in line. One has asthma; a second has a stomach ulcer; a third, cancer of the liver. The last patient is turning to Arlozorov, a practitioner of herbal medicine, or a “travnik,” out of desperation.