At the height of the slaughter in Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan, Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov’s only comment was that a Russian military base may be established in the city to add to the one already in Kant, just outside Bishkek. Ivanov’s suggestion underscores what journalist Alexander Golts calls Russia’s “imitation empire.”
The Kyrgyz are slaughtering Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan. If Russia is an empire — with the white man’s burden and all that jazz — it must send troops. If it is not an empire, then the poor Kyrgyz and Uzbeks can sort out their own problems.