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The Weakness Behind Central Asia's Strongmen

May 23, 2016 | 23:26 GMT
Police break up an anti-government protest in Kazakhstan. The country's highly centralized government has cracked down hard on its opponents over the past year.
(Reuters)

The former Soviet states of Central Asia are known for their strongly centralized, autocratic governments. Yet lately some leaders' efforts to keep opposition elements in check indicate underlying weakness. Few of the region's governments tolerate any hint of opposition, whether in the form of public demonstrations or opposition political parties. But denied a legal outlet for dissent, the opposition elements in Central Asian countries often resort to violence, meaning the political situation in the region is likely to remain volatile at best. ...

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