Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Explaining Russian Strength in Central Asia

Despite the best efforts and billions of dollars spent by the United States to gain influence and access in Central Asia during the war in Afghanistan, Russia has become stronger in Central Asia. This paper examines how Russia has increased their strength in the region. The aftermath of September 11, 2001 brought the US military to Central Asia and revitalized Russian interest in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Rising oil prices and growth in the Russian economy gave Russia the ability to increase their economic and military strength in Central Asia. I will show how Russian economic connections to remittances, trade and foreign direct investment are irreplaceable to some economies in Central Asia and how they are used by Russia to influence the region. I will also show how the connection to the security in and around each country has allowed Russia to become stronger.