Apologies, readers, for the lack of coverage the past week – times have been hectic as the fall starts. A longer analytical article on water wars is forthcoming but for now, here’s what we’ve really enjoyed reading the past week.
“The First Political Trial in Kazakhstan” by Casey Michel at Registan: Article is a great explanation of the trial of Kazlov in Kazakhstan, why it matters, and why it sadly won’t get international attention. Pay particular attention to the author’s talent for subtle alliteration as he takes the opportunity to (again) chastise the slacktivist community for caring only about cause célèbre, and ignoring human rights in the region when the person on trial does not have anything particular outlandish or bombastic about his campaign.
The Gulag Doctor – Open Democracy Russia: Interesting interview with a man who was the doctor at Vyatlag prison for 20 years. Most of the article is the doctor telling stories, and its interesting to hear about from the perspective of someone who went to a Gulag willingly and stayed of his own accord.
Passions, History Run Deep In Safarov Case – RFE/RL: There were a lot of headlines this week about the rising tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia. I say this often, but it’s a confusing set of events – this article does a great breakdown of what’s going on and the impact it might have on the two countries.
Rediscovering Lost Tales from the Caucasus – Eurasianet: Mythology and folklore of the Caucasus – fascinating stuff. I can’t wait to get my hands on the actual book. Buy it here. One of my pet peeves is people who read and read about events in the region, but don’t take the time to understand the context, the ancient history, the art, literature and stories. Mythology is a great place to start, and this book was glowingly reviewed by Eurasianet.
182 people killed in the North Caucasus in August – The Caucasian Knot: This article isn’t long – it’s literally just a list of the number and locations of deaths caused by the conflict in the North Caucasus. However, for those following the conflicts, it’s a good way to keep tabs on what’s going on.
I know Afghanistan is outside of our list of covered countries, but we of course take strong interest in it, as what happens there will impact the rest of the region. Also, I am a big fan of this author. His ‘5 things’ format is easy to read and understandable for those trying to learn more about the region.
5 Things you should know about dead kids in Kabul: This is an article on tragedy and why it still matters that kids are being killed in Kabul, even when most of us who follow Afghanistan (and those who don’t, for that matter) are used to bad news. I think his first point is perhaps the most important to the casual watcher of the conflict or for those who expect easy solutions in faraway places if we can just change presidents, or switch tactics, or get more drones, etc etc etc – “ It may be a weakened insurgency, but this is far from over.”