However, the decision of the Moscow authorities, approved by the Moscow City Duma, caused a negative reaction from many Muscovites and residents of other regions of the country. October 29 2017 of the year on Change.org appeared a petition against the installation of the monument. Its author believes that Islam Karimov did not have any merit before Moscow and the Muscovites to erect a monument in his honor. In addition, Karimov was not, according to the author of the petition, a friend of Russia and the Russian people. And this position is not completely unfounded.
Today, a huge Uzbek diaspora lives in Russia. There are natives of Uzbekistan in every city of the country. But they ended up here precisely because of the policy of the late Islam Karimov, in which Uzbekistan found itself in such a difficult economic situation, that millions of its citizens were forced to leave the country in search of earnings. This is about the Uzbeks themselves. As for the Russian and Russian-speaking population (Koreans, Armenians, Jews, Germans, Poles, and so on), they began to travel en masse from Uzbekistan immediately after the proclamation of the country's sovereignty - and precisely because of the nationalist leadership policy. The Meskhetian Turks were the first to flee from Uzbekistan after the notorious Fergana events. Although there were no pogroms of other nationalities in the country, conditions for the non-Uzbek population were far from being the best.
Islam Karimov really kept Uzbekistan in the “heels of mitts”, fighting with the slightest manifestations of opposition sentiments and, above all, with religious fundamentalists. It was them that he considered the main threat to his power and led the fight against them not for life, but for death. Therefore, Islam Karimov was considered the main partner of Russia in Central Asia in the fight against religious extremism, with the penetration of radicals from Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the defense of his power against political opponents, in which Karimov was strong, did not mean that he treated the Russian population of his country well and, in general, Russia as a state. Let's see what the power of Karimov is remembered for Russia and for the Russian population of Uzbekistan.
Russians appeared on the territory of modern Uzbekistan even in the pre-revolutionary era, settling mainly in Tashkent. At the beginning of the twentieth century there were a lot of Russians in Tashkent. They were civil servants, military, merchants, teachers and doctors, workers and artisans. In many ways, they identified the economic and social face of Turkestan. The influx of the Russian population, as well as representatives of other peoples into Uzbekistan, continued during the Soviet era. Many people were sent here by distribution - to work in enterprises, to serve in law enforcement bodies, to work in schools and hospitals. Their hands created the infrastructure, the remnants of which are still used today in post-Soviet Uzbekistan.
By 1989, the Russian population in the Uzbek SSR was 1,6 million people (9,3% of the population of the Uzbek SSR). In Tashkent, Russians made up 37% of the city’s population. Russians were one of the largest peoples of the republic along with Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Kazakhs. As in many other Central Asian republics, the Russians were joined by “Russian-speaking” - Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles, Germans, Jews, Armenians, Koreans, some Tatars. The attitude of the local population and the authorities to them after the proclamation of sovereignty was almost the same as that of the Russians. The riots in Fergana, the increase in crime, hooligan manifestations led to the fact that already from the end of the 1980-ies a gradual outflow of the Russian and Russian-speaking population began from Uzbekistan. He gained momentum as nationalist sentiments grew in Uzbekistan.
Life for the non-Uzbek population was getting harder and it was not at all a matter of worsening the economic situation. Already in the 1980-s, Russian and Russian-speaking people increasingly faced with the manifestations of domestic nationalism, and by the end of the 1980-s. they became simply intolerable - they raped girls, beat men and boys, insulted them and hinted at any occasion that they should leave the republic. Of course, the smallest, youngest and most aggressive part of the Uzbeks from the marginal environment took part in these antics, but this did not make it easier for the victims of oppression. Many cultural representatives of the Uzbek people themselves looked upon with horror at what their fellow tribesmen were doing, but could not prevent violence - as always, decent people in such situations turn out to be much weaker than the aggressive crowd united by nationalist slogans.
By the time of the events described, Uzbekistan was already headed by Islam Abduganievich Karimov. In 1989, he became the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan, and in 1990 - the president of the Uzbek SSR. After the proclamation of independence of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov led a new republic. It is known that Islam Karimov was against the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, he was guided, of course, rather by economic considerations.
After the independence of the country was declared, the outflow of the Russian population increased even more. And many were forced to leave almost refugees. Due to the sharp deterioration of the economic situation, total poverty, the growth of nationalism, it was possible to sell apartments or houses for very little money, sometimes they just had to be thrown away, especially if it was a deaf Uzbek province. In Russia, immigrants often had to start their lives literally from scratch. Moreover, many of them lived in Uzbekistan for generations and practically had no relatives in Russia. Adaptation for many immigrants was very painful, especially since the Russian state made almost no efforts to alleviate the situation of immigrants. Many people are still trying in vain to obtain Russian citizenship, being Russian by nationality. Now they will have the opportunity to contemplate the face of Islam Karimov and in Moscow itself.
Naturally, the Uzbek authorities themselves in every way ignored discrimination against the Russian and Russian-speaking population in the republic. Islam Karimov continued to smile and embrace with the “big brothers” - Boris Nikolayevich, Vladimir Vladimirovich, Dmitry Anatolyevich, again with Vladimir Vladimirovich. Meanwhile, the facts spoke for themselves. By 2015, the Russian population in Uzbekistan decreased from 9,3% to 1,8% of the country's population, with the overwhelming majority of Russians remaining in Tashkent. Of course, a reduction in the percentage of Russians in 1989 and 2015. It was also caused by a very high birth rate among the Uzbek population, while among Russians in the republic the birth rate declined dramatically - the community began to grow old, the majority of young people left for Russia, and pensioners and middle-aged people remained.
Unlike Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, in Uzbekistan, the Russian language almost immediately began to be squeezed to the verge of cultural life. Although the Uzbeks themselves opposed this - they understood perfectly well that in those conditions, when more and more citizens of the country go to work in Russia, Russian is necessary. But the authorities, pursuing a nationalist policy, sought to eradicate everything connected with Russia and the Russians. In 1993, President Islam Karimov, who today is erected a monument in Moscow, signed the law "On the introduction of the Uzbek alphabet based on the Latin script." Moreover, the Latin alphabet in Uzbekistan didn’t get accustomed to the end - many Uzbeks still write Uzbek words in Cyrillic. Of course, the school curriculum on humanitarian subjects has undergone a total change. The country began a massive renaming of not only the streets and squares, named after Soviet and Russian statesmen, but also named after the great Russian scientists, writers, poets. So, in 2008 in Tashkent Pushkin Street was renamed into Independence Street. After 9 years, the Moscow authorities for some reason decided that for this and similar decisions Islam Karimov is worthy of a monument in the Russian capital.
As in many other post-Soviet republics, in an attempt to eradicate all the Russian government did not even spare history most of the Uzbek people. For example, in 2010, the Sobir Rakhimov district of Tashkent was renamed. The district was named in honor of Major General Sabir Rakhimov - Hero of the Soviet Union, during the Great Patriotic War, who commanded 37 Guards Rechitsa twice the Red Banner Order XUNX XI Kutuzov 2 X of the Bohdan Khmelnitsky 1 X. of the Belarusian Front. For some time in Uzbekistan, at the initiative of the authorities, they did not recommend celebrating 2 on May - even though tens of thousands of Uzbeks fought on the fronts of World War II, 2 Uzbeks received the high title of Heroes of the Soviet Union.
In 2017, the leadership of Uzbekistan decided to cancel the action "Immortal Regiment", which was supposed to pass 9 May. They explained their decision by the “difficult political situation”. However, a few days after the cancellation, apparently frightened by the public resonance, the authorities allowed the action, but not in the format of a procession, but the laying of wreaths and a festive concert.
In the center of Tashkent, a monument to the Friendship of Peoples was dismantled, which was installed in honor of the Tashkent blacksmith Shaakhmed Shamakhmudov and his wife Bahri Akramova, who adopted fifteen orphans from other republics of the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War. During 2000 in Uzbekistan, almost all objects were renamed, named after the Uzbek playwright Hamza Hakim-zade Niyazi, including the Uzbek State Academic Drama Theater in Tashkent. That is, not only Russian names came under the pressure of the nationalist policy, but also the names in honor of the Uzbek activists, who sought friendship with the Russian people. The memory of everything Russian and Soviet was uprooted so diligently that they even began to demolish quite good buildings in Tashkent, replacing them with buildings in the "national style".
Modern heroes have appeared in modern Uzbekistan - for example, the same Basmachi who fought with the Soviet authorities and brutally cracked down on the Uzbeks themselves - teachers, Komsomol members, simply girls and women who went to study literacy or took a job. The younger generation, educated in the new ideological paradigm, in a large part of its attitude to Russia is much worse than the older Uzbeks who found the Soviet Union. Although Karimov seemed to have fought against religious extremists, but with his policy of de-Russification, the archaization of the country, the spread of nationalism, he actually prepared an excellent ground for the spread of religious-fundamentalist ideas among Uzbek youth. Actually, this is what we are seeing at the present time - more and more immigrants from Uzbekistan are adjacent to radical groups, fighting in the Middle East. This is also facilitated by the complete economic fiasco of the republic in combination with the harsh suppression of any dissent.
But perhaps Islam Karimov, at least in foreign policy, was located towards Russia? Far from it. If during 1990's Uzbekistan still somehow acted in the orbit of Russian influence, then with the start of the 2000s. from it finally fell. In 2001, Uzbekistan provided the United States with the opportunity to create a military base in Uzbek territory. What the British failed to achieve in 100-200 years ago was succeeded by the Americans under President Karimov. Uzbekistan tried to maneuver between Russia and the United States. More recently, when the Russian Aerospace Forces launched an anti-terrorist operation in Syria, Islam Karimov (then still alive) described it as nothing less than an adventure. In 2012, Uzbekistan withdrew from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, in which it was twice - in 1992-1999. and 2006-2012
Now Islam Abduganievich Karimov erect a monument in the center of Moscow. This honor was given to the head of state, under whose authority in Uzbekistan, during 25 years, almost all geographical names were renamed, streets, squares named after Russian historical figures, monuments of any Russian and Soviet (including Uzbeks by nationality) were removed or moved to the backyards personalities. But for some reason this circumstance is not taken into account by the metropolitan authorities.