Cover Osteuropa 9-10/2022

In Osteuropa 9-10/2022

The Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan Border War
Historical Causes and Current Reasons

Otto Luchterhandt

Deutsche Fassung


In September 2022, the Tajik army attacked places along a broad front in southwestern Kyrgyzstan. It was the largest attack in the conflict over the Tajik exclave of Vorukh, in the Batken region. This conflict has been waged by violent means on again, off again for over a decade. Tajikistan sees the Vorukh basin, which is surrounded by high mountains and is known for its fruit farming, not as an exclave, but as an integral part of its national territory. However, the narrow strip separating Vorukh from Tajikistan is Kyrgyzstan’s only link to the city of Isfana and the Sülüktü coalfield in the western part of the country. With increasing motorisation, this corridor has become more and more important. The conflict is mainly driven by the rapid growth of the population in the densely settled Tajik part of the Fergana Valley, which is close to the exclave. Tajikistan is choosing a path of violence against the backdrop of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which is further weakening Moscow’s already battered position of power in Central Asia.

(Osteuropa 9-10/2022, pp. 201–212)

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