There is a tragedy here, one that goes even beyond the thousand and one failures of governance that marks this as perhaps the very worst run of the former Soviet Republics.
Lola’s backhanded dismissal of her older sister’s prospects is therefore both a profound familial sin and a sign that Karimov, while very likely suffering from some sort of psychosis, is not completely insane.
Karimov will use his extended grace period to continue to put his house in order for the day when stern words become sterner words, and possibly renewed sanctions. Until then, the regime will continue its barbarous ways.
Uzbekistan is a terrible place, and will remain so until Islam Karimov is long dead. For the sake of the people of Uzbekistan, let us hope that day comes sooner than later.
With Karimov’s grip on power slowly loosening as mortality does what moral suasion could not, Tashkent cannot afford any threat to whatever succession plan Karimov is currently entertaining.
Karimov’s campaign against modernity, wrapped in the thin guise of protecting the people from themselves, is of course not at all about the dangers of the Internet, or nudity, or terrorism. It is about control.
There are some inspiring stories among the former republics and satellite states of the Soviet Union. The same, regrettably, cannot be said for the Uzbeks.