Russian influence in Central Asia is waning. Since attaining independence, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have forged their own paths—building relationships with outside powers and throwing off the last vestiges of Soviet domination. But in many ways, Moscow still sees Central Asia through the lens of the Soviet Union, and it struggles to redefine Russian relations with the region.
In The Fight for Influence, Alexey Malashenko offers a comprehensive analysis of Russian policies and prospects in Central Asia. It is clear that Russian policy in the formerly Soviet-controlled region is entering uncharted territory. But does Moscow understand the fundamental shifts under way? Malashenko argues that it is time for Russia to rethink its approach to Central Asia.
Contents 1. Wasted Opportunities 2. Regional Instruments of Influence 3. Russia and Islam in Central Asia: Problems of Migration 4. Kazakhstan and Its Neighborhood 5. Kyrgyzstan—The Exception 6. Tajikistan: Authoritarian, Fragile, and Facing Difficult Challenges 7. Turkmenistan: No Longer Exotic, But Still Authoritarian 8. Uzbekistan: Is There a Potential for Change? Conclusion Who Challenges Russia in Central Asia?