A large screen shows Sadyr japarov and Vladimir Putin speaking via video link

[Newsletter] Russia and Kyrgyzstan open operations at Jeeroy gold mine

This is a copy of our newsletter dated 22 March 2021. Sign up here to receive it directly in your inbox every Monday.

This newsletter is dedicated to post-Soviet Central Asia. Each week, we let you know the latest from the region. Question, comments, suggestions? Write to us at [email protected].

Above: Vladimir Putin attended the inauguration of the Jeeroy gold mine via video link on 17 March. Source: president.kg

In the news

First of all, happy Nowruz to everyone who celebrated this weekend or is celebrating this week! Today, we’re looking at the Jeeroy gold mine, the environment in Turkmenistan, tourism in Tajikistan, and more…

Sadyr Japarov and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin launched (EN) operations at Kyrgyzstan’s second-largest gold deposit, Jeeroy. The launch took place on 17 March via video link. As Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, mining projects, especially the Kumtor gold mine, have been the cause of protests in Kyrgyzstan in recent years. At the same time, they are an important part of the country’s economy.

The national companies Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, KazMunayGas and Kazatomprom may go public in 2021, Vlast.kz reports (RU). They are, respectively, the national railway, oil and gas, and uranium companies. Note that Kazatomprom is also the world’s largest producer of natural uranium.

In an article (RU) published on the Turkmen news site Orient.tm on 16 February 2021, the journalist Gozel Sahatova praised Turkmenistan’s environmental record as it prepares to celebrate 30 years of independence. But what does Turkmenistan’s past and current environmental policy look like, and what does it reveal about the country? (EN)

According to official statistics the number of tourists visiting Tajikistan fell by 72% from 2019 to 2020 (EN). The number of visitors to the country fell to 350,000 in 2020, from 1,254,000 in 2019.

Who is Manizha, the Tajik-born singer representing Russia at the Eurovision? We look back (EN) at the musician and activist’s career.

Covid-19 in Central Asia

As of 22 March 2021, there have officially been 413,923 cases, 5,126 deaths et 388,134 recoveries. In more detail:

– Kazakhstan : 232,906 cases, 2,924 deaths, 211,754 recovered
– Kyrgyzstan: 87,462 cases,  1,490 deaths, 84,223 recovered
– Uzbekistan: 80,247 cases, 622 deaths, 78,939 recovered
– Tajikistan: 13,308 cases, 90 deaths, 13,218 recovered (no new cases according to official figures)
– Turkmenistan: 0 cases, 0 deaths, 0 recovered (no cases according to official figures)

As parts of Kazakhstan face new restrictions, Novastan looks back (EN) at life during the country’s second lockdown, from 5 July to 16 August 2020. Strict measures were enacted to slow down the crisis, impacting people’s daily lives.

Our photo of the week

A crowd in Bishkek. They are gathering to watch Kyrgyz kokboru teams play for Nowruz

Kok boru fans attend a game as part of the Nowruz festivities in 2019, by Antonin Lechat. Click on the picture for more information.

Every day, we publish a photo from Central Asia. You can find it on our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Novastan news

Speak French? Join Novastan France on 24 March to talk about everything Nowruz in an informal (virtual) setting. Click here to sign up.

Help Novastan grow. Click here for more information about how to contribute. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

That’s it for this week!

Thank you for reading! See you next week for more information and analysis from Central Asia. For daily updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram.

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