‘The Stans’ are the five post-Soviet Central Asian republics — Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — with similar historical, political and cultural roots.
These nations are asserting their cultural identity by proposing ethnic language policies — potentially banning the use of the Russian language.
This week, Chinese President Hu Jintao opened a new gas pipeline that extends from Turkmenistan to north-west China — the first without Russia’s Gazprom.
Martin Savidge hosts William Fierman, a professor of Central Asian studies at Indiana University, and Nikolay Petrov, a scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center.
- Common political, cultural and historical roots but not a homogeneous entity
- Post-Soviet relationships between ‘The Stans’ and Russia — how ethnic tensions and discrimination continue
- Economic crisis, drug trafficking, oil and migration
- How Russia, China and the United States are vying for ‘The Stans’
- Political instability and poor economic well-being raise concerns about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism
- Could Central Asia become the next conflict zone — even the next Afghanistan?
Nikolay Petrov is a scholar-in-residence at the Carnegie Moscow Center. He has served in the Supreme Soviet and Russian Presidential Administration. Nikolay writes a regular column for The Moscow Times.
William Fierman is a professor of Central Asian studies at Indiana University. His research focuses on the politics of Central Asia, especially policies affecting language, Islam and state identities. He’s currently researching language politics and problems in Kazakhstan.
Host: Martin Savidge
Producers: Christine Kiernan, Lisa Biagiotti and Ben Piven
Researcher: Michael Ramirez