By Hooman Peimani (12/3/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Unlike Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan did not experience the emergence of many anti-regime political groups upon its independence in 1991. As the worsening economic situation and the lowering living standards all over Central Asia created a growing dissatisfied population in the region, the establishment of Turkmenistan’s totalitarian regime prevented in that country the translation of emerging popular dissatisfaction into an anti-regime movement capable of challenging the ruling elite. Thanks to its repressive measures, the Turkmen regime created around President Saparmurad Niyazov’s cult of personality simply removed the possibility of active and growing opposition groups inside the country.
By Stephen Blank (12/3/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Shevarnadze was clearly a pro-Western figure but his hands were tied by his own internal misrule, Georgia’s weakness, and thus its vulnerability to Russian pressure. Countless statements attest to his desire to join NATO or at least have it protect Georgian energy pipelines. The new regime is even more forthright about its intention to integrate with the West and restore Georgia\'s integrity.
By Claude Zullo (12/3/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Pundits in the United States and abroad have had unanimous praise for the swift yet peaceful manner that led to the demise of the Shevardnadze government. Still, some question the legality of the tactics used by Georgia’s opposition movement. A closer look however reveals a transition that was not only brought about within the parameters of the law, but one that was actually brought about through the use of law.
By Andrew McGregor (11/19/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)BACKGROUND: Nadirskhaykh Khachilayev’s car was approaching his home in Makhachkala when a passing Lada motorcar opened fire with machine-guns, killing the 44-year-old leader of the Lak community. Police claimed their investigation led to three unidentified Chechen suspects after finding a burnt-out Lada on the outskirts of Makhachkala. While it is possible the Lak leader was the victim of a political assassination, he may have been the victim of a blood feud, arising after the deaths of several ethnic Dargin policemen in the 1998 Islamist assault on Parliament.
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.