Another attempt to make some kind of sense of what's going on east of the Dniester. Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan come in for special attention.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Head on over to the Roberts Report

Sean Roberts, whom I'm very proud to call a friend, writes an extremely good blog on Central Asia over at

I can't recommend it highly enough. Sean, along with Eric Sievers, is one one the smartest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with.

His official blog bio says:

Sean R. Roberts is presently the Central Asian Affairs Fellow at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He has lived in Central Asia on and off since 1989. He has a Masters degree in Visual Anthropology and a Doctorate in Social Anthropology both from the University of Southern California. In addition to conducting extensive research in the Uyghur community of Central Asia, Dr. Roberts also worked for approximately six years at the United States Agency for International Development in Central Asia.

He is all that, but even more, he is an honorary Canadian. His only failing is his refusal to embrace the Montreal Canadiens, preferring to stick with the Buffalo Sabres.

He's been all over Central Asia and we had more than a few good times in Almaty and Tashkent. One, I remember very well (parts of it, anyway). Celebrating Mustakillik (Uzbek Independence Day) in Tashkent, Sean complained of a cold, to which I replied that the only responsible approach would be to drink a bottle of pepper vodka together. We did, then had another. And, possibly, another.

It all ended up with Sean in Nukus discovering that he didn't have a cold, but pneumonia, and my wife asking why I arrived home missing a shoe. The photo shows us before the evil began.

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