In Uzbekistan, unlike its neighbors, the division into clans occurs according to the principle of fraternity, and not related ties. There is historical causes. Before the entry of Uzbek lands into the Russian Empire, there were 3 khanates: Kokand, Bukhara and Khiva. With the advent of Russia, the Kokand Khanate was abolished, and the other two received protectorate status. After the civil war, with the advent of Soviet power, the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, the Bukhara People’s Soviet Republic and the Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic were formed, which in 1924 merged into the Uzbek SSR.
Thus, the Uzbek people were divided into 5 groups that correspond to certain regions and differ ethnoculturally from each other: Fergana Valley; Tashkent oasis; Samarkand, Djizak and Bukhara regions; Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya regions; Khorezm oasis. Some experts single out 10 clans, dividing, for example, the Ferghana clan into “Namangan”, “Andijan” and actually “Fergana” ones. One way or another, each of the 5-10 areas has its own political elite.
Karimov, being a native of Samarkand, nevertheless, for a long time did not enjoy the special support of his native clan. On the contrary, he successfully collaborated with other factions, which in the 1989 year allowed him to take the chair of the first secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee as a compromise figure, which Karimov remained until the end of his days, which, however, did not prevent the president from periodically and defiantly punishing the arrogant ".
Uzbekistan, being the most populated state of Central Asia with a population of 32 of a million people, having a strategically key location in the region, during the years of independence turned into one of the toughest regimes on the planet and slipped into the abyss of corruption and cronyism, which forces the active part of society to leave . However, the need to obtain an exit visa does not allow anyone to leave. The government uses the refusal to issue visas as a means of punishing dissidents. In prisons, thousands of political prisoners are serving sentences — the largest number in the CIS. Human Rights Watch talks about more than 12000 prisoners. Forced psychiatric treatment is practiced. In recent years, a number of human rights defenders have become victims of punitive psychiatry. Torture, extrajudicial executions and forced labor are widespread when people are sent to collect cotton every autumn, which is one of the country's main export items, while not only those in penitentiaries but also ordinary people, such as university students, collect. The work of minors is also ubiquitous.
The extensive apparatus of coercion provides absolute control over the life of the people, and here, in addition to the numerous apparatus of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Security Service and the Prosecutor’s Office, the local communities play an active role, the traditional local government, where under the guidance of an elected committee and chairman the outside world. Again, the mahalla is engaged in transporting people to pick cotton. The authorities are actively interacting with authorities from the community to strengthen their influence. In fact, the chairman of the makhalla works as a freelance officer, informing them about what is happening in the territory under his control.
Pervasive corruption is another integral part of life in Uzbekistan, long and firmly on the hit list for this indicator, adjacent to such territorial entities as Eritrea and Zimbabwe. In its latest annual perception rating of corruption, the international organization Transparency International gave Uzbekistan 153 a place from 167, giving it 19 points from 100 possible. This is the penultimate result in the post-Soviet space, the situation is only slightly worse in Turkmenistan (18). The remaining neighbors in the region, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, scored 26, 28, 28 points, respectively, taking 136 and 123 positions.
The well-known events in Andijan that took place on 13 in May on 2005, when the rebels seized local authorities and armored equipment and snipers were used to quell the unrest, clearly showed the state of affairs in the country. Then (unofficial data) over 1000 people died.
Multiple political, social, and economic problems create fertile soil for the establishment of radical Islam. The Salafi-Wahhabi teachings came to Central Asia back in the 1970-s with the “missionaries” from abroad. The second factor was the introduction of a limited contingent of Soviet troops into Afghanistan, which resulted in an increase in the number of contacts between the Uzbek population and the Afghan population, and geographical proximity and a large diaspora of Uzbeks, historically living in the north of Afghanistan, fixed the result. Later, with the capture of the Taliban authorities in Kabul and the civil war in Tajikistan, the position of the radicals increased significantly. It is also important that there are a number of religious Islamic buildings in Uzbekistan, such as the Gur-Emir mausoleum in Samarkand, where the great conqueror Amir Timur rests, or the necropolis of Shahi Zinda, where the grave of Kusama ibn Abbas, the cousin of the prophet Muhammad, is located brought Islam to the local region.
The list of terrorist organizations based in the country is quite wide: Akramiya, Hizb un-Nusrat, Jamaat Tabligh, Lashkar-Taiba, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), etc. The largest the threat comes from the last two. In the autumn, 2014 joined the Islamic State, and Hizb ut-Tahrir, which consists of more than a million people, is very popular in Uzbekistan and has an extensive network of cells in the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia. Europe, CIS.
These organizations pose a serious threat to our state, especially given the fact that in the territory of the Russian Federation, according to official data, there are at least 2 millions of citizens of Uzbekistan. This is the largest foreign diaspora. Back in the 2012-2013 years in the Crimea, under the Ukrainian government, Hizb ut-Tahrir organized thousands of meetings, actively recruited the Crimean Tatars for the Syrian war. Of course, the Russian Crimea, along with the regions of the Volga region and the Caucasus, major cities is one of the key goals of extremists, and with the prevalence of labor migrants from Uzbekistan in all regions, the field of work for the special services is truly enormous. Since the ban on Hizb ut-Tahrir 13 in Russia, years ago, a number of lawsuits over its members took place.
Today, up to several thousand Uzbeks are fighting for the idea of a world caliphate in the ranks of the Islamic State (forbidden in the Russian Federation) and other lesser-known groups, like Tawhid Wal-Jihad and Imam Bukhari, which are almost entirely Uzbek militants.
The predominance of young people in the age-sex pyramid of Uzbekistan, coupled with not the best internal situation, gives the terrorist underground a steady influx of young people. Indeed, since 1991, the population has grown from 21 to 32 million people, and the average age is 27 years.
There is ample evidence that the authorities are trying to reduce the birth rate and control population growth through the forced sterilization of women who have given birth by performing a hysterectomy, that is, removing the uterus, or implanting a spiral. Doctors are given a sterilization plan, the failure of which, if the number of newborns is higher than the estimated, may be followed by sanctions.
The inter-ethnic issue in Uzbekistan is acute. Despite the fact that there are dozens of peoples practicing the most diverse religions on its land, we can confidently say that nationalism is cultivated here at the state level. Uzbeks make up over 80% of the population, and their share is growing at the expense of higher birth rates and a decrease in the number of many national minorities. The Russian minority suffered most of all, having declined in 25 years from more than 1,6 million to about 800 thousand. The Uzbeks have the most difficult relations with the Kyrgyz: the conflict of peoples in the border areas has been smoldering since 1990, and the last outbreak of violence in the city of Osh has killed 2000 people.
The beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and its subsequent occupation by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) under the supremacy of the United States exacerbated the problem of drug production and drug trafficking. If this business had a rigid framework under the Taliban government, after 2001, the production of narcotic drugs increased 40 times. Today, the “northern route” of transit of the main Afghan export product passes through Central Asia to Russia and Europe, and the notorious Fergana Valley has turned into a staging post along this route. The Afghan-Uzbek border with a length of 137 kilometers is considered one of the most fortified in the world, but this is compensated for by the poorly guarded border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, through which most of the goods pass. On the part of Turkmenistan, the situation is no better. Moreover, many facts indicate that the highest strata of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan are involved in transit. In addition to the drug mafia, terrorist groups, in large numbers represented again in the Fergana Valley, most of which is occupied by Uzbekistan, are earning on the “northern route”.
The acute shortage of fresh water can be considered a problem №2 (after corruption) for Uzbekistan. The prerequisites were created under the USSR, when in the 1960-ies an active abstraction of water began to irrigate fields from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, which caused the Aral Sea to dry out and turned many lands suitable for agriculture into salt marshes. Uzbekistan on water is critically dependent on Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The fact is that most of the rivers in the region originate in the mountains, so the main hydroelectric power plants, reservoirs and reservoirs are located in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which allows them to regulate the flow of water for downstream countries. The “water issue” significantly worsened 5 years ago, with the start of construction by Tajikistan of the Rogun hydropower plant, the dam of which will be the highest in the world (335 meters). In case of its commissioning, heavy damage will be inflicted on Uzbekistan. Kyrgyzstan has similar but more modest plans to expand the national grid.
All the problems and contradictions of Uzbekistan and neighboring countries are especially strongly intertwined in the Fergana Valley, or the “valley of contention”, as it is often called. The fertile valley, which has rich deposits of minerals, stands out sharply against the background of mountains and arid plains that are prevalent in Central Asia. It is a mountainous enclave with a high population density and diverse ethnic composition, divided between Uzbekistan (Fergana, Namangan, Andijan regions), Kyrgyzstan (Osh, Jalal-Abad, Batken) and Tajikistan (Sogd). It turns out that the valley, remote from the capitals and surrounded by mountains, is capable of exerting a powerful influence on these states, but is itself dependent on each of them, in connection with which the drug mafia and international terrorism have been strengthened here for a long time and firmly.
The legacy left by Karimov is very heavy. The many problems that have emerged during the period of independence of this state, all the more strongly affect its viability. Internal contradictions, not the best relations with neighbors, the passivity of the authorities on many issues, or, conversely, inadequately harsh treatment of them, the beyond-the-limit level of corruption, the growing lack of fresh water, the threat from Islamic fundamentalists - this is what can turn Uzbekistan into another point of instability near our borders. Whether the elites together with the new president can even keep the situation under control is an open question.
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