OSH, Kyrgyzstan, July 28 (Reuters) – Authorities in Central
Asia’s former Soviet “stans” are taking draconian measures to
stamp out militant Islam, but their harsh methods and the
absence of democratic politics risk provoking a backlash that
could bring even greater instability.
While the region’s authoritarian rulers have battled Islamic
militancy throughout the quarter century since the Soviet Union
broke up, the rise of the Islamic State group has brought what
security services describe as a new, more dangerous threat.
ALMATY, July 28 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan is aspiring to host the 2022 Winter Olympics but many in the Central Asian nation view the bid as yet another vanity project of long-ruling President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Almaty, the financial capital, will go head-to-head with the Chinese metropolis Beijing on Friday when the International Olympic Committee elects the winner at its session in Malaysia.
ASTANA/ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev celebrates his 75th birthday on Monday, in good shape and vastly popular, but the expected fireworks and fanfare mask uncomfortable questions about the future of the second-largest post-Soviet economy.
Nicknamed “Papa” and officially titled “Leader of the Nation”, he extended his 26-year reign in April by another five years, “apologizing” to his critics for cornering 97.7 percent of the vote in an early election which Western observers said offered no real alternative.
ALMATY, June 11 (Reuters) – Three astronauts landed safely
in the steppes of Kazakhstan on Thursday, ending their 199-day
mission after an unexpected “bonus month” aboard the
International Space Station, NASA Television showed.
“It was a textbook homecoming for the Expedition 43 crew,” a
NASA presenter said after the descent capsule of the Soyuz
TMA-15M spacecraft touched ground amid waving feathergrass at
1944 local time (1344 GMT), some 92 miles southeast of
Zhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan.
CAPE CANAVERAL/ALMATY, June 11 (Reuters) – An international
space trio climbed into a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on Thursday
and left the International Space Station after 199 full days in
orbit to begin their delayed return to Earth, NASA Television
Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA, Samantha
Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency and Russian cosmonaut
Anton Shkaplerov gave a hearty hug to three crewmen remaining
aboard the ISS before sealing themselves into the Soyuz TMA-15M
spacecraft shortly after 0700 GMT.
ALMATY (Reuters) – The U.S.-trained commander of Tajikistan’s elite police force has defected to Islamic State, he said in a YouTube video, and his former unit will issue a statement condemning him, media said on Thursday.
Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov commanded the Central Asian nation’s special-purpose police known as OMON, used against criminals and militants. He disappeared in late April, prompting a search by Tajik police.
ALMATY, May 19 (Reuters) – Russia’s recession and lower oil
prices have slowed economies in the Caucasus and Central Asia,
the IMF said on Tuesday, presenting its weakest outlook for the
region since the global financial crisis.
Economic growth in the eight ex-Soviet states, in a region
stretching from the Black and Caspian seas to Siberia, Iran and
China, will slow to an average 3.2 percent this year from 5.3
percent in 2014, the International Monetary Fund said in a new
ALMATY, May 16 (Reuters) – A Proton-M carrier rocket
carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned and burnt up over
Siberia minutes after launch on Saturday, the latest in a series
of mishaps for Russia’s space industry.
The third stage of the rocket carrying the MexSat-1
communications satellite suffered a problem about 500 seconds
after launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russian
media quoted Russian space officials as saying.
ALMATY (Reuters) – A Proton-M carrier rocket carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned and crashed in Siberia soon after launch on Saturday, the latest in a series of mishaps for Russia’s space industry.
The third stage of the rocket carrying the MexSat-1 communications satellite suffered a problem about 500 seconds after launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russian media quoted Russian space officials as saying.
ASTANA/ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s long-serving President Nursultan Nazarbayev apologized on Monday for winning re-election with 97.7 percent of the vote, saying it would have “looked undemocratic” for him to intervene to make his victory more modest.
Sunday’s election gives another five year term to the 74-year-old former steelworker, who has ruled the oil-producing nation since rising to the post of its Soviet-era Communist Party boss in 1989. Central Election Commission data showed turnout was 95.22 percent.