By Slavomír Horák (05/21/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Karakalpakstan is a remote autonomous republic on the Western edge of Uzbekistan in the lowlands of the Amudarya River. It suffers from high unemployment and substantial emigration to neighboring Kazakhstan and Russia, not least due to the hydrocarbons boom in Kazakhstan’s Mangyshlak. However, the crisis in Ukraine is having ramification also in this region of Uzbekistan. Leaflets have been distributed around the region in recent weeks, appealing for the organization of a referendum on the region’s independence and secession from Uzbekistan and/or to request annexation to Kazakhstan or even Russia. Can we expect a new round of instability and state partition in Central Asia in line with the continuing dissolution of Ukraine?
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.