Bishkek Building Boom Sharpens Social Divisions

Glance at the parking lot outside parliament, at the fleet of Lexus SUVs kitted out with chrome, and you might think Bishkek is the capital of a wealthy country. A block down Chui Avenue, a shiny new Range Rover is parked on the sidewalk. Police drive their own BMWs.

Kyrgyz Officials Outline Restructuring Plan for Lucrative Gold Mine

As officials in Kyrgyzstan prepare to negotiate with their country’s largest investor in Bishkek this week, new details are emerging about how the Kyrgyz government wants to restructure the agreement covering operations at the country’s flagship gold mine.

Kyrgyzstan News Site Unblocked, Yet Still Illegal

An authoritative Central Asia-focused news website has defeated attempts to silence it in Kyrgyzstan: authorities have unblocked it. Yet under the prevailing interpretation of a parliamentary resolution, the website, Fergana News, still appears to be banned in the Central Asian nation.

Kyrgyzstan Officials Taking Cultural Right Turn

Authorities at Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Culture want to ban a play that discusses domestic abuse and sexual violence because it “promotes scenes that destroy moral and ethical standards and national traditions of the peoples of Kyrgyzstan.”

China Muscles into Kyrgyzstan’s Energy Market, Fueling Suspicion

China is financing the construction of Kyrgyzstan’s first major oil refinery, and excitement is building in Bishkek that the facility could enable the Central Asian nation to break Russia’s fuel-supply monopoly.

Kyrgyzstan’s Bacon Glut Smells of Meat Leak at Manas Air Base

If bacon, lobster tail and Chicago-style steaks are your thing, the last few months have been a good time to dine out in Kyrgyzstan’s capital.

Kyrgyzstan’s Labour Migrants Leave Behind “Social Orphans”

Like most residents of her children’s home in Osh, Nargiza is a part-time orphan. Her father disappeared when she was born and her mother works long spells in Russia. Nargiza has no siblings and doesn’t know her grandparents. But she does see her mother from time to time.

Kyrgyzstan’s Economic Nationalism Threatens to Choke Chinese Trade

A surge of economic nationalism is making life uncomfortable for Chinese companies working in Kyrgyzstan.

Distrust in Kyrgyz Police Means Privatisation of Law and Order

One morning last year in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Dilnoza awoke to find her brand-new Toyota Corolla missing. She knew immediately whom to call, and it wasn’t her local police precinct.

KYRGYZSTAN: Mining Sector in Nationalists’ Crosshairs

When nationalist MP Kamchybek Tashiev led his supporters over a fence surrounding parliament in early October, both foreign and local executives working in Kyrgyzstan’s mining industry braced for the worst.


During the day, when Uzbek border guards patrol its streets, Mingdon is a sleepy Ferghana Valley town. But after night falls, Mingdon, a hamlet of 10,000 on Uzbekistan’s frontier with Kyrgyzstan, turns into a smugglers’ paradise.

KYRGYZSTAN: Rape Trial Spotlights Women’s Plight

Allegations that a member of Kyrgyzstan's KGB-successor agency organised the brutal rape of his wife have outraged women’s rights activists in Bishkek. But what rights defenders call an ordinary crime is having an extraordinary effect because of the victim’s response: she pressed charges.

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