Posts by Shairbek Juraev

Shairbek Juraev 01-15-2014
This is a brief note on the mayoral elections in Bishkek and Osh. Both cities now have new mayors. Replaced were Bishkek’s hugely unpopular Isa Omurkukov and Osh’s enormously problematic Melis Myrzakmatov. Mayoral seats have never been much contested at the voting stage in the past. Elections often reflected decisions already taken by the country’s key executives. This time expectations were different. To begin with, Osh’s former mayor Myrzakmatov became...
Shairbek Juraev 09-16-2013
The 2013 summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization once again revealed the member-states do a better job at developing a common rhetoric on international politics than agreeing amongst themelsves on concrete development-oriented initiatives. The thirteenth summit of the SCO, hosted on September “Friday the 13th“in Bishkek, gathered leaders of all six member-states as well as the presidents of Afghanistan, Iran, and Mongolia, along with high-ranking...
Shairbek Juraev 08-06-2013
On August 1, Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon paid a quick visit to Moscow to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Commentators agree the visit is essentially linked to the expected presidential elections in Tajikistan in November, as Rakhmon needs to ensure full support for himself in Moscow. Russian-Tajik relations remain fairly complicated. Some key unresolved issues that have dominated the bilateral agenda for past years include:...
Shairbek Juraev 06-21-2013
On June 20, 2013, the Kyrgyz parliament voted 91-5 to cancel the U.S.-Kyrgyz agreements on the Transit Center at Manas airport to be effective one year from now in July 2014. There has been much  speculation about parliament accepting or rejecting President Almazbek Atambaev’s decision to close or transform the Center. Whether the decision will be implemented is yet to be seen as the president still has to sign the documents. Discussions about the fate of...
Shairbek Juraev 06-05-2013
A wave of unrest hit Kyrgyzstan last week, creating two “hot” zones, one in northern Issykkul and another in southern Jalalabad. The events turned dramatic, illustrated by the president decreeing a state of emergency in the Jeti Oguz district of Issykkul as well as the protesters' implementation of a “people's governor” in Jalalabad. A crowd of several hundred protesters blocked the road leading to the Kumtor gold mine, and on May 31 they cut the power...
Shairbek Juraev 05-29-2013
On May 28, 2013, Kyrgyzstan hosted an informal summit of the heads of state of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The summit discussed various issues related to regional security, mainly the situation in Afghanistan - particularly the local measures needed to withstand the challenges related to the ISAF's withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. However, there was little information for the media on what exactly was covered at the high level...
Shairbek Juraev 05-06-2013
A U.S. Air Force tanker plane crashed in northern Kyrgyzstan on Friday, May 3, less than ten minutes after take-off from the Manas Transit Center near Bishkek. The KC-135 plane was bound to Afghanistan with reportedly about 60 (possibly 90) tons of fuel to support operations in Afghanistan. Little is known yet what caused the crash except that the last message from the plane was the crew’s plan to “get round of a thunderhead.” As witnesses from villages...
Shairbek Juraev 04-16-2013
This month Kyrgyzstan celebrates the third anniversary of the overthrow of country’s second president, Kurmanbek Bakiev, which led to major changes in the country’s structure of governance. Three years on, a more inclusive political power sharing system appears to remain the key tentative achievement of the “April Revolution.” One can indeed observe a drastic difference in the way political governance is set up. In direct contrast to pre-2010, the current...
Shairbek Juraev 04-01-2013
Over March 25-28, the Kyrgyz-Uzbek joint commission for delimitation and demarcation of state borders, chaired by deputy prime ministers Shamil Atakhanov of Kyrgyzstan and Rustam Azimov of Uzbekistan met in Tashkent. The only reported outcome was the agreement on the dates of the next meeting in late April. Unfortunately, lack of results from these intermittent bilateral talks is rather expected. The joint commission has not made any progress concerning...

About the author