Ajay Kamalakaran is a writer with a special interest in Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of three books about Russia and has lived in Sakhalin, Moscow and Khabarovsk. His main areas of interest are history, language, geography and migration. Ajay speaks Russian, French, Italian and a smattering of Indian and European languages.
India is rapidly increasing its economic engagement with Russia, and other former Soviet countries. This means it must look at old friends in Central Asia with new eyes. Uzbekistan is one of them. India is one of a quartet of geopolitical powers playing to the strategic interests of this nation which sits at the crossroads of South, East, West and Central Asia and Russia.
Language, nationality, and belonging have always been contentious issues in Ukraine. At least until February 2022, Russian remained the main language of business in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, as well as the main lingua in the streets. Now there’s a parallel battle ongoing to eliminate the Russian language from Ukraine.
Courtesy: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation
An estimated 9 million Central Asians reside and work in Russia, and almost every major city in the country is dependent on their labour. It’s a marriage of convenience but beneficial all around. Russia gets modernised infrastructure, while remittances bring in much-needed capital to Central Asia.
U.S. sanctions against Russia have made Moscow speed up work on the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) as it is now Russia's gateway to India and India's to Russia and Central Asia via Iran's Chabahar port. The author, who recently visited the Astrakhan and Volgograd regions, a major INSTC logistics node, writes about the Indian connection, and the corridor's progress and challenges.