Central Asia’s Dilemma and the Paradoxical Lessons of the Ukrainian Crisis
Russian Analytical Digest, No. 158, December 2014
By Marlene Laruelle
Factoring in Central Asia’s perception of the Ukrainian crisis means above all acknowledging: 1. The lack of factual data such as sociological surveys on which an analysis could rely; and 2. accepting to put each element of the sentence in the plural: there are several Central Asias, and several Ukrainian crises. Each of the five Central Asian countries has its own perception of the Ukrainian crisis. Each of these perceptions is far from monolithic and can be divided into several components—very schematically, political regimes, intellectual elites and activists, and public opinion. And there are at least three Ukrainian crises—EuroMaidan, Crimea, and Eastern Ukraine—each with a distinct meaning: street revolution against a regime, annexation of part of the territory, and new secessionist conflict.