February 2021

Uzbekistan’s rocky start toward democratic reform

By: Nick Mosher and Lane Johansen On October 14, 2020, Uzbekistan was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) for the first time ever. The country became one of the worst perpetrators of human rights abuses in the world under Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan’s only previous president, who held power from 1990 until his death in September 2016. Human Rights WatchContinue reading “Uzbekistan’s rocky start toward democratic reform”

Ethnic tensions continue to fester after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabkh war

By: Lane Johansen Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed territory in southwestern Azerbaijan (near the Armenian border) with a majority ethnic Armenian population. It was established as an autonomous region of Azerbaijan in 1923, but Nagorno-Karabakh’s government voted to unite with Armenia in 1988; intensifying separatist efforts resulted in Azerbaijan abolishing the enclave’s autonomous status in 1991.Continue reading “Ethnic tensions continue to fester after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabkh war”

The struggle against Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko

By: Nick Mosher On August 9, 2020, the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, announced that he won 80% of the vote in the latest election. Belarusian citizens and the West have widely condemned this election as fraudulent, with repeated demands for a recount. Lukashenko, often referred to as Europe’s last dictator, has been president forContinue reading “The struggle against Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko”

Sadyr Japarov’s rise from prisoner to president in Kyrgyzstan

By: Wes Culp A new era of Kyrgyzstani politics has arrived. This is heralded by the inauguration of President Sadyr Japarov on January 28th following an election the OSCE declared to be dominated by Japarov through misuse of financial and administrative resources. While fundamental campaign freedoms in the election were “generally respected”, the presidential electionContinue reading “Sadyr Japarov’s rise from prisoner to president in Kyrgyzstan”

Who is Alexei Navalny and why does Putin want him dead?

By: Nick Mosher On August 20, 2020, Vladimir Putin’s greatest political opponent, Alexei Navalny, was poisoned by an agent of Russia’s security service, the FSB. The opposition candidate fell ill while on a flight after Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent, was applied to his clothing. The pilot made an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors saved Navalny’s life by treating himContinue reading “Who is Alexei Navalny and why does Putin want him dead?”


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