Hard work

Kazakhstan Passes Polemic Labor Code

Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan.

Almaty recently announced the implementation of a revised labor code. The controversial code is rife with regulations that harm ordinary workers, leading many analysts to dub it a “bill against the people.”

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Relentless

Baku Refuses to Release Political Prisoners, Criticizes Washington

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On December 28, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev signed his annual list of pardoned prisoners. Despite the hopes of many in Azerbaijan and abroad, none of the country’s 95 political prisoners were on the list. Human rights activists are at odds as to the reasons for Aliyev’s continued crackdown on journalists and political dissidents.

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Slipping

Kazakh Tenge Among Worst Performing Currencies in Europe

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Kazakhstan’s tenge has suffered a 125% devaluation against the US dollar in the past two years. While the country’s Central Bank blames falling oil prices, analysts say the problem is far more complex and point to systemic mismanagement.

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Immunity

Russian Officials Unlikely to Suffer from Corruption Probe

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In early December, Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny posted several articles, a film, and a series of infographics exposing illegal businesses belonging to Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika. The film has been viewed on YouTube over 3 million times, but analysts doubt Moscow will dismiss any of the implicated parties.

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Branching out

Kyrgyz Worried about Unrestricted Travel from China

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Following Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariyev’s December 14-17 visit to China, the government announced that it plans to abolish the visa regime for Chinese citizens. Local analysts and residents are worried about unabated Chinese expansion as a result of this policy.

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