Cover Osteuropa 3-4/2020

In Osteuropa 3-4/2020

The fear of losing control
The corona pandemic in Central Asia

Edda Schlager

Deutsche Fassung


The Sars-Cov-2 pandemic appears to have reached Central Asia later than many other parts of the world. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan did not report their first cases of infection until mid-March 2020, followed by Tadzhikistan four weeks later. To date, Turkmenistan has reported no cases at all. This information is implausible. The official case figures are in fact a reflection of the nature of the regimes. In Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the ruling powers are using measures to combat the pandemic to suppress members of the opposition. However, they have also demonstrated that they can impose similar restrictions to those introduced by the European states and provide emergency financial support. In Tadzhikistan, and in particular in Turkmenistan, information about the pandemic has been suppressed by the authorities. All five regimes fear that they might lose control.

(Osteuropa 3-4/2020, pp. 131–142)