As John Quiggin suggests, perhaps the best starting point is Eurasian politics and news blog Registan. (As they inform us: ?Registan? means ?sandy place? in Uzbek and a number of other Turkic languages). Surfing around Registan can send you off in any number of directions.
Just how many have died so far? This seems difficult to determine. As the NYT piece linked to by Scraps of Moscow indicates, what matters just now is not how many died, but how they died.
The BBC is reporting that the eastern border town of Korasuv (aka Karasuu) has been shut off by Uzbek troops. Googling around a bit I found that the affair of the bridge has a history (the town is in fact divided in two, and the bridge joins the two sides of the town).
Background information on the way the drama unfloded in Andijan can be found here.
This quote from Registan’s Nathan seems to sum something up.
My primary concern is to make sure that readers in the West don?t buy the Uzbek government?s story without thinking long and hard about what we actually know. Some people on my side of the ideological fence seem way to quick to chalk the whole kit ?n? kaboodle up to a fanatical mob trying to turn the country into a Taliban clone. On the other side, there are too many people who are eager to label the protest a kumbaya, ?can?t we all get along and be democratic?? get-together. We won?t know all the details for a while if we ever do, but suffice it to say that the situation isn?t easy to fit in a box.
(Taken from the comments section
Reuters have Dmitry Solovyov in Andizhan, and his reports are making interesting reading, in particular his suggestion that some activists fear that mass arrests may be in the offing.
In signing off for the time being, I keep thinking about one of the quotes I found over at Whiskey Bar:
“The US government is putting the best face possible on Uzbek President Islam Karimov?s visit to Washington. Officials from the State Department, National Security Council and the Pentagon stress that Karimov promised to improve Uzbekistan?s human rights record . . . “He is not stupid,” one US official said. “He delivered a surprisingly intelligent speech to the business community; and his remarks to President Bush were quite sincere ? unless he deserves an Oscar for acting.”
What this really reminds me of are statements made about Miloshevik by those who met him. Are conventional politicians always really so gullible when it comes to dealing with psychotic dictators. (Chamberlain certainly was when it came to his meeting with ‘Herr Hitler’).
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