Sunday, February 18, 2024

Uzbekistan Residents who don’t Know Uzbek Either ‘Occupiers or Idiots,’ Tashkent Media Leader Says, Sparking Outrage in Moscow

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 14 – Sherzod Kudratkhodzhayev, a leading advisor to the Uzbek government on media affairs, said that residents of Uzbekistan who don’t know the national language must decide whether they are “occupiers” or “idiots,” a comment on social media that prompted the Russian foreign ministry to protest to the Uzbekistan ambassador in Moscow.

            Moscow viewed this remark as reflecting Tashkent’s official views, given that he is not only rector of the Uzbek media university but also president of the National Media Association and of an advisory council to Uzbekistan’s pre-school education ministry; and it is demanding Tashkent denounce his words (

            But Moscow is especially angry because of the reference to “occupiers” and because Kudratkhodzhayev cited words from Karl Marx on that point, words that Ukrainian writers have been promoting ( and

            After pointing out that many Russians now living in Uzbekistan came 40 to 60 years ago but still don’t know Uzbek, Kudratkhodzhayev quoted the observation of Marx that there are only two kinds of people who do not know the language of the country in which they live: occupiers who believe they should dominate or idiots “who aren’t capable of thinking.”

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