Moving forward after the death of Islam Karimov will be difficult and secret services and diplomats around the world will be involved. Uzbekistan is a crucial country in post-Soviet Central Asia and taking control of it, directly or through a third party, will be a move of highly strategic value.
There were only a few days left for the 25th anniversary of the independence of Uzbekistan, but now, concern is more prevalent over Tashkent than celebrations. The latest news on the health condition of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, who was admitted hospital on Aug. 29, is filled with the term “critical.”
Islam Karimov is one of the two heads of the former Soviet states who had been ruling the country since independence in 1991. The other one is the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev (age 76). After Karimov’s death, a country where power was centralized in one man, risks falling into destabilization.