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Mourners watch the funeral procession of President Islam Karimov, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Sept. 3, 2016 (AP photo).

The Death of Islam Karimov and the Unraveling of Authority in Uzbekistan

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016

On Aug. 26, Uzbekistan’s state media abruptly announced that President Islam Karimov had passed a new resolution: This year, in addition to the annual Independence Day festivities on Sept. 1, the following day, Sept. 2, would also be a national holiday. According to the Uzbek media, the extra day off was necessary “for the creation of favorable conditions for the rest of the population, and the rational use of working time.”

It is unlikely that Karimov actually signed off on this resolution, though. By Aug. 26, Uzbekistan’s first and only president was brain-dead, having had a massive stoke, as confirmed by the Finnish surgeon who was flown in that week to try to save him. ...

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