I have a new story on Uzbekistan in the December issue of The Atlantic:
“Business and state power are basically the same thing here,” says one journalist based in the capital of Tashkent who is well connected within the government and also friendly with the country’s beleaguered opposition. He talked freely with me about various internal intrigues, but when I asked about who might be profiting from the freight business, he clammed up. “You have to ask the Americans,” he said. “All I can tell you is, it’s impossible to do business clean here. And this transit is filling the budget of Uzbekistan.” A partial list of local operators, provided by the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, includes Fifth Millenium Networks, a former subsidiary of Zeromax, a huge holding company for state-owned businesses that is believed to have close ties to Karimov’s daughter.
Read the whole thing here.