Tashkent's Shakespearean Drama: Scandal Shakes Uzbekistan's Ruling Family

Tashkent's Shakespearean Drama: Scandal Shakes Uzbekistan's Ruling Family

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 03, 2015

Germany's closest ally in Central Asia is a brutal dictator. Islam Karimov has ruled Uzbekistan with an iron fist for a quarter-century. Now, Shakespearean plotting within his own family is raising questions about who will succeed the 77-year-old leader. By Erich Follath in Tashkent, Uzbekistan more... Comment ]

Path of a Tyrant: Uncovering Genghis Khan's Lost Legacy

Path of a Tyrant: Uncovering Genghis Khan's Lost Legacy

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 03, 2013

As competing researchers race to locate Genghis Khan's tomb, discoveries by German and Mongolian archaeologists are shedding light on his son Ögödei's equally impressive accomplishments. By Frank Thadeusz more... Comment ]


Mining the Gobi: The Battle for Mongolia's Resources

Mining the Gobi: The Battle for Mongolia's Resources

SPIEGEL ONLINE - August 07, 2013

The construction of a huge mine in the middle of the Gobi Desert was supposed to catapult Mongolia toward rapid economic growth. But an ongoing conflict over profits from the gold and copper mined there threatens to capsize the young democracy. By Bernhard Zand more... Comment ]

Conspiracy Theories in Kyrgyzstan: Accounts Tie Boston Bombers' Family to Mafia

Conspiracy Theories in Kyrgyzstan: Accounts Tie Boston Bombers' Family to Mafia

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 03, 2013

As law-enforcement officials search for clues about the early life of the Boston Marathon bombers, a number of conspiracy theories are coming to light. Many are based on alleged ties between the men's father and a local mafia boss in Kyrgyzstan. By Marcus Bensmann and Matthias Schepp in Bishkek/Moscow more... Comment ]


'Boys and Their Toys': The US Befriends Azerbaijan's Corrupt Elite

'Boys and Their Toys': The US Befriends Azerbaijan's Corrupt Elite

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 13, 2010

Azerbaijan is rife with corruption and comparisons to European feudalism in the Middle Ages are hardly a stretch. But with vast reserves of oil and natural gas at stake, the US is willing to risk the embarrassment that comes with courting the country. By Gregor Peter Schmitz more...

'Bridges to Nowhere': America's Unsavory Friends in Central Asia

'Bridges to Nowhere': America's Unsavory Friends in Central Asia

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 12, 2010

The US is anxious to broaden its influence in Central Asia -- and limit that of Russia. The result, however, are questionable alliances with some of the strangest despots in the world. By Uwe Klußmann and Christian Neef more...


'There Will Be Another War': An Islamist Uprising in Tajikistan

'There Will Be Another War': An Islamist Uprising in Tajikistan

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 05, 2010

International observers consider Tajikistan to be a failed state in the midst of a national crisis. A growing mood of protest there is benefitting the Islamic opposition. Hundreds of new mosques have opened since the beginning of the year, and more women are seen wearing veils on the streets of Dushanbe. more...

Hubs for Gas and Militaries: The World Powers Court Central Asia

Hubs for Gas and Militaries: The World Powers Court Central Asia

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 05, 2010

The world's great powers are all vying for influence and access in Central Asian countries, which are important supply hubs in the Afghanistan war and could become pivotal in reducing Europe's dependence on Russian natural gas. Despite the interest, the countries in the region still haven't come up with a vision for a common future. By Erich Follath and Christian Neef more... Comment ]


Appeasing the Uzbek Dictator: Who's Afraid of the Ruler of the Silk Road?

Appeasing the Uzbek Dictator: Who's Afraid of the Ruler of the Silk Road?

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 29, 2010

Uzbekistan is both a nation of terror led by brutal dictator Islam Karimov and a partner of the West that is an important staging ground for NATO's war in Afghanistan. Its story is best told through the eyes of two men -- the flamboyant former British ambassador and the current top German diplomat in the country. By Erich Follath and Christian Neef more...

Dreaming of Snow Leopards: Nazarbayev Dictates a Bright Future for Kazakhstan

Dreaming of Snow Leopards: Nazarbayev Dictates a Bright Future for Kazakhstan

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 15, 2010

Kazakhstan has oil, coal and uranium -- and a capital full of stunning architecture. President Nursultan Nazarbayev hopes his country can become the region's leading economy, but his heavy-handed cult of personality is not universally welcomed. Others worry about China's growing influence. By Erich Follath and Christian Neef more... Comment ]