| Diplomacy

'Outrageous' Sputnik article is Russia's latest attempt to spread fear in Central Asia

By Maksim Yeniseyev


This screenshot of Sputnik Uzbekistan shows its February 7 edition, which quoted Franz Klintsevich, head of the Russian Union of Veterans of Afghanistan.

This screenshot of Sputnik Uzbekistan shows its February 7 edition, which quoted Franz Klintsevich, head of the Russian Union of Veterans of Afghanistan.

TASHKENT -- Russian news website Sputnik is continuing to publish articles aimed at misleading readers and inciting hatred between the countries of Central Asia and the United States.

Russian mass media have long been known for their attempts to monger fear regarding the Taliban, "Islamic State" (IS) or in one recent case -- the United States.

One such alarmist article, "CA [Central Asia] will be subject to attacks by American intelligence services", was published on Sputnik Uzbekistan's website on February 7.


Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani meet February 14 in Munich to discuss prospects for co-operation. [Uzbek Foreign Ministry]

Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani meet February 14 in Munich to discuss prospects for co-operation. [Uzbek Foreign Ministry]

The article contains an interview with Franz Klintsevich, head of the Russian Union of Veterans of Afghanistan, in which he asserts that the "problems" that the United States is allegedly creating for Russia will also impact the post-Soviet republics.

"In the near future, Central Asia and this region will be subject to serious attacks, specific attacks that the intelligence services of the United States are creating for Russia today," he said in a Sputnik Uzbekistan podcast, meaning that US forces are massing Afghan militants for attacks on the Central Asian countries.

"And above all, these republics [of Central Asia] will be subject to these attacks. And the tactics that it [the United States] is forming are ... risk-free," he added.

'Outrageous'

The article came to the attention of Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov, who called it "outrageous" over its purported threats to Central Asia.

Kamilov publicly responded a day after the article was published, speaking to journalists at a briefing in Tashkent on February 8. He made his remarks amid preparations for an international conference on "Central Asian Connectivity: Challenges and New Opportunities" that was held in Tashkent February 19-20.

He told reporters that for 25 years he has been hearing that Central Asia's doom at the hands of militants is always imminent.

The minister cited Sputnik's article and stressed the absence of any evidence of the Taliban's intention to come to Central Asia.

"These arguments that the republics of Central Asia will be exposed to these attacks cause not only disagreement but also outrage," said Kamilov, Gazeta.uz reported February 8.

"This is the first time that an official in Uzbekistan has expressed outrage at Sputnik at such a high level. I think that [Sputnik's] editorial team should think and 'turn down' their propaganda 'faucet'," Tashkent-based Uzbek journalist Bobur Alalov told Caravanserai.

"After all, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry decides on the accreditation of foreign correspondents in the country," Alalov said.

Three Sputnik correspondents are accredited in the country, according to the Foreign Ministry website.

False alarms

This is not the first time that Kremlin-backed media have attempted to mislead readers in Uzbekistan with exaggerated threats, including those about the IS terrorist group.

The Kremlin-controlled Russkaya Vesna (Russian Spring) website published a story last May 16 titled, "A bloodbath looms in Asia: 5,000 IS militants already in Uzbekistan".

The report included a fake letter supposedly sent May 3 in the name of Uzbek Deputy Foreign Minister Abdujabar Abduvakhitov to then-US Ambassador to Uzbekistan Pamela Spratlen.

Uzbek authorities denounced the forgery, adding that their country had not even one IS militant. Uzbek media called on Russian media to not engage in "subversive informational activities against Uzbekistan".

Afghan officials have pointed out that IS forces do not have a serious presence in northern Afghanistan, uzjournal.uz reported February 13.

"The countries of the north [Central Asian countries]... don't need to worry. Reports of the presence of combat-ready IS groups in Badakhshan are inaccurate," said Mohammad Hanif Rezayee, the spokesman for the 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan National Army.

"In the provinces of Sar-e-Pul and Jawzjan, they suffered complete defeat," he said.

Do you like this article?

98
37
No
20 Comment(s)
Comment Policy Captcha
| 2019-02-28

Everybody has realized Putin's sinister plans for a while now

Reply
| 2019-02-26

Nasty successors of the NKVD [the Soviet Interior ministry during the Stalin era] sling mud at the Americans who had provided the USSR 100% of gun-powder, 80% of armour steel and numerous pieces of equipment since 1941... You are ungrateful jerks....Talking about the Afghan issue... Russia and its special services have been trying to revive the Taliban and provide financial and combat support for this terrorist group via the route in Tajikistan. They need the base there exactly for that.
There's not a trace of ISIL in Afghanistan and it can't be there, because those are Arabs and these are Pushtu, they speak different languages. Russia is stirring up the situation piling up new victims and making innocent people go through the circles of hell, Russia is doing nothing else. They have concocted HELL in Syria as they gassed and killed thousands of civilians hand in hand with Iranians and little Bashar. They murdered their brothers in the bloodbath in Ukraine and Georgia. Now they want to throw us in the same stinky mess. I very much hope that ours are not simpletons, and the leaders of our country will demonstrate political maturity and are not going to be puppets in the dirty Russian game.

Reply
| 2019-02-25

Yet another rubbish paid for by the Yanks! You'd better publish something clever...

Reply
| 2019-04-12

Impudent barefacedness and propaganda of Sputnik annoys people of Central Asia and Uzbekistan for long time now...

Reply
| 2019-02-25

Why can't Uzbekistan take all its migrant workers back from Russia? Let all of them go to the US. This foreign minister is a moron if his statement is not fake. He has been warned that ISIL is a threat, but he keeps saying it is not. So, he is an IS follower himself.

Reply
| 2019-02-25

And who will work hard in your country after a while? You Russians love the bottle so much that normal smart people can have normal jobs in your country, but drunkards are never willing to do menial jobs, that's why the Uzbeks do that. Wait a bit and Uzbek men will impregnate the whole world. When an Uzbek is impregnating a Russian woman, her Russian man is sleeping drunk

Reply
| 2019-04-12

We need to clean up the country from Russophiles like you...

Reply
| 2019-02-24

When are these pro-Russian websites such as sputnik.uz, vesti.uz, anhor.uz going to be finally closed?!!

Reply
| 2019-02-22

Finally this mess is being addressed although it's been going on for a few years already

Reply
| 2019-02-22

Russia, leave us alone! You've been meddling in Central Asia for more than one century.

Reply
| 2019-02-23

Could Uzbeks not go to Russia, by any chance?

Reply
| 2019-02-24

You are already personae non grata in Ukraine and the civilized world any more, next is Central Asia with its spooky "mujahidins" :-)

Reply
| 2019-02-25

You are right. Russia should leave you alone and not write off your multi-million debts and act to collect everything to the fullest. And not provide humanitarian aid.

Reply
| 2019-02-27

What humanitarian aid? LOL.

Reply
| 2019-02-20

Does Russia want to intimidate the countries of Central Asia and make them stay closer to Russia? That's not going to happen. They [Russians] are busted.

Reply
| 2019-02-22

But your America is warm and fuzzy, huh? We all know what happens to the countries it penetrates with its tentacles: Libya, Iraq etc. And yes, Uzbek people are wise, they kicked the American base out of here for good reason

Reply
| 2019-02-22

By the way, the second article with the message that no one threatens Central Asia was also published by the Russian media. Find the difference and figure out the sponsor. You will see the showdown between the USA and Russia. No one will leave us alone, but we have to be afraid. Everything is under control.

Reply
| 2019-02-22

Of course, Russians don't want Central Asia's development!!!

Reply
| 2019-02-25

Alas, this wise man (Islam Karimov) who kicked out American troops and who had done so much for our country is no longer with us... The provocation was a failure then. We can only hope the new leaders of Uzbekistan have enough wisdom and they will not let this happen in the future. And should that happen anyway they are strong enough to respond adequately. Because it's going to be initiated by the same American puppets acting on behalf of the transnational corporations. And of course, the target is Russia, not Central Asian republics. At least, this is "a no-brainer", although some folks are still unable to figure this out... You should have no illusions, the Euro-American conglomerate is active here not because it strives to make our life better...

Reply
| 2019-02-20

The Russians can really do that, the Uzbeks did a good job not buying into this intrigue.

Reply