REVOLT AND REPRESSION IN UZBEKISTAN: THE DILEMMA OF WESTERN RESPONSE

The forceful suppression of revolt in Andijan shocked but also alarmed most international observers and seasoned politicians: the loss of hundreds of innocent lives was appalling but the involvement of Islamist networks was worrisome indeed. Moscow, in contrast, expressed unambiguous support to the ‘friendly Uzbek government’ and added more criticism to Western NGOs that were fostering discontent. This sincere belief that the massacre was an acceptable price for restoring stability is based not only on the own decade-long experience in suppressing rebellious Chechnya which caused a sustained devaluation of human life in the society as a whole. Russia is convinced that the march of forceful regime changes in the post-Soviet states has to be stopped – and assumes that President Islam Karimov has accomplished this task.

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