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Bruce Pannier is a longtime journalist and correspondent covering Central Asia. He currently writes Central Asia in Focus and hosts the Majlis podcast for RFE/RL. Prior to joining RFE/RL in 1997, Bruce worked at the Open Media Research Institute in Prague. In 1992, he led a sociological project in Central Asia sponsored by the University of Manchester and the Soros Cultural Initiative Foundation. During that time he lived in villages in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Bruce studied at Tashkent State University in the summer of 1990 and studied at Columbia University under Professor Edward Allworth. Bruce has also written for The Economist, Janes Intelligence, Oxford Analytica, Freedom House, The Cairo Review, the FSU Oil & Gas Monitor, and Energo Weekly.  

Latest Updates

Central Asia in Focus: Many Problems Surround Bishkek Violence on May 17-18

In this week’s edition: South Asian students in Bishkek are targeted during a night of violence, Kazakh flood victims are frustrated with the state’s slow response, and more.

Clamping Down On Religious Freedom In Central Asia

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) just released its annual report on freedom of religion in the world.

Central Asia in Focus: The Kazakh Venue for Peace Talks

In this week’s edition: Almaty will host upcoming talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are both planning to build nuclear power plants, and more.

British Foreign Secretary Cameron Visits Central Asia

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron just completed an official trip to all five Central Asian states.

Central Asia in Focus: Kazakhstan’s Lower House Passes Controversial Draft Media Law

In this week’s edition: Kazakhstan’s lower house of parliament passed a controversial draft media law, massive dust storms are hitting Central Asia, and more.

Are Tajik Government Policies Helping Create Terrorists?

Can an authoritarian government’s policies contribute to its citizens becoming terrorists?

Central Asia in Focus: Central Asians Targeted in Russia

In this week’s edition: Central Asians are being targeted in Russia, Kyrgyzstan’s President explains the need for a “foreign representatives” law, and more.

Tajiks In Russia Living In Fear After Moscow Terrorist Attack

Russian security forces arrested several Tajik citizens in the wake of the March 22 attack on the Crocus City Hall outside Moscow that left more than 140 dead.

Central Asia in Focus: Central Asian Migrants in Russia Living in Fear after Terrorist Attack

In this week’s edition: Central Asian migrants in Russia are living in fear after the recent terror attack, the Kyrgyz government says it foiled an attempt to assassinate top Kyrgyz…

Turkmenistan’s Search For New Gas Markets

In the first two weeks of March, Turkmenistan has been unusually active in promoting its potential as a natural-gas supplier.

Central Asia in Focus: Doing Business with the Taliban

In this week’s edition: Business relations between the Taliban and Central Asia are blooming, two Kazakh citizens were killed in a Russian anti-terrorism operation, and more.

Death, Detention, Deportation: The Plight of Karakalpak Activists

Karakalpak activists are experiencing problems in Kazakhstan and in Europe.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyaev (from left to right) at the opening ceremony of Russian gas supplies to Uzbekistan through the territory of Kazakhstan on Oct. 7, 2023. Akorda.kz (Public Domain).

Central Asia in Focus: Uzbekistan to Spend $500m to Prep for More Russian Gas Imports

In this week’s edition: Uzbekistan will spend $500m to prep for more Russian gas imports, the price of flour and bread jumps in Turkmenistan, and more.

Kloop’s Closure: A Bad Omen For Independent Kyrgyz Media?

A court in Kyrgyzstan ordered the closure of Kloop Media on February 9.

Activist Liya Bergen stands by the monument to independence with a sign addressing the mayor: “Dosaev, don’t break tradition, allow the march!” in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Feb. 2, 2024. Manshuk Assautay (RFE/RL).

Central Asia in Focus: Kyrgyz Court Closes Down Kloop

In this week’s edition: a Bishkek court ruled to “liquidate” Kloop Media. Plus Kazakh activists are working to be allowed to gather for International Women’s Day, and more.

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