Staunton, May 30 – For months, Dushanbe has been carrying out repressions against the Pamiri peoples of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast; and Moscow has done nothing, a remarkable departure from Soviet and Russian Imperial Practice which saw the Pamiris as allies and often intervened to help them, the Central Asian Bureau of Analytic Reporting says.
The current Russian government could have been expected to act in the same way or at least serve as a mediator between Dushanbe and Khorog, CABAR’s editors say; but it hasn’t done so, given its need for Tajik support on Ukraine, concern about Afghan intervention, and worries about China’s growing role (cabar.asia/ru/rol-rossii-na-pamire-igrok-ili-nablyudatel).
“Without the mediation of an influential intermediary, the confrontation between Dushanbe and the inhabitants of the Pamirs will continue to escalate, CABAR says. “And considering the experience of the civil war of the 1990s in Tajikistan and the proximity to troubled Afghanistan, this will inevitably affect the stability of the entire Central Asian region.”
But it is likely to have even larger consequences, ones that neither Moscow nor Dushanbe appears to be thinking about. “Just as events in Ukraine have forced the world community to rethink Russia’s role as an aggressor globally, Moscow’s unwillingness, or inability to maintain historical relations with the Pamir peoples, may lead to a rethinking of Russia’s role regionally.”
“In other words,” the editors of the influential portal concludes, “Russia’s defection in the Pamirs not only speaks to its waning economic and military influence in the region but may also lead to a decrease in trust in Russia as a reliable ally.