By Dr. Brian Williams (8/2/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Shamil Basayev began his career as a fighter in 1992 when he joined the secessionist Abkhaz fighting for independence against the majority Georgians. Basayev's "Abkhaz Battalion" was responsible for the subsequent Abkhaz defeat of the Georgians. When the Russians invaded Chechnya in 1994, Basayev played a key role in the Chechen fighters destruction of Russian forces in Grozny on New Years Eve 1994-5.
By Gulsara Osorova (8/16/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The March 2000 parliamentary elections shifted the image of Kyrgyzstan from an "island of democracy" that was supposed to guarantee the freedom of speech and basic norms of human rights, to a powerful image of a strengthening authoritarian regime. Feliks Kulov, the politically disgraced vice-president and former mayor of Bishkek, resigned his office in 1998 to join the political opposition. Kulov resigned his office and quit his political party over conflicts he had with President Askar Akaev and his politics.
By Dr. Robert M. Cutler (8/16/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: The Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) asserts that Xinjiang has 17.4 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves. However, it is not clear that they are all recoverable.
By Dr. Stephen Blank (8/16/2000 issue of the CACI Analyst)
BACKGROUND: Since 1992, there has been a steep rise in the incidence of Muslim insurgencies in both Russia and China. The escalating violence, originating but not confined to Xinjiang and Chechnya, added to fears of American/NATO support for other potential separatist movements have led China and Russia to display stronger expressions of partnership. Those expressions are intended to exclude the United States from the area, suppress local insurgency, cement ties with Central Asia's authoritarian rulers, suppress efforts by insurgents to link up with other insurgent movements across state lines, and expand the Shanghai-Five from a community of states sharing borders to a regional and collective security system explicitly designed against the United States and its positions on human rights, missile defense, and Asian security issues like Taiwan.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.