Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Two days later and we still don't know whether President Karimov is alive or dead.

Which probably means that he is dead. I mean, if he were alive and opposition sources started saying he was dead, the Uzbek government would have every incentive to at least deny it. But instead there seems to be nothing. (I say seems to be because I can't read Uzbek news sources--which are pretty much government mouthpieces--so I am not sure whether one of them issued a denial that just wasn't reported elsewhere)

Anyway, if we assume that Karimov died a few days ago and the government of Uzbekistan is just delaying the announcement, it makes me wonder what exactly their game plan is and how long they think they can keep this up. Because of his various ailments Karimov probably hasn't really run Uzbekistan for a little while. So do they really need a public head of state? Eventually, yes. Foreign powers will want to know who they are dealing with. I just wonder how long this can go on until it reaches that point.

UPDATE: Schrodinger's Karimov:

UPDATE 2: TV news anchor reads Karimov's Independence Day address on air in the first person--i.e. as if he were Karimov himself delivering the address. (UZ Independence Day is September 1). Meanwhile Karimov's daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, implied her father was still alive by posting in social media that the public's well-wishes "are helping his recovery."