Since May of last year, President Karimov suffered a crisis - he found himself in a state of outcast after the events in Andijan, turning away even those who, despite criticism, tried to provide not only economic assistance, but also moral. After September 2001, when the United States launched the operation in Afghanistan, Karimov had a chance to become not only a full member of the antiterrorist coalition, providing airfields to accommodate NATO military units, but also try to change domestic policy.
Karimov had every chance of being accepted into the democratic community and all observers were eagerly waiting for the first steps of the Uzbek president: well, at least to legalize the already existing Erk and Birlik political parties, if not liberal reforms at all. Stop putting pressure on journalists and allow them to create a modern, high-quality press. Stop grabbing all indiscriminately only on the basis of the desire to go to the mosque, prisons, and so crowded. Well, at least something.
Karimov chose. At the beginning of his way at the head of independent Uzbekistan, he rushed about in search of ideology, chose between the Turkish and Chinese models, finally came to the national idea in the image of Amir Timur, better known as the creator of one of the totalitarian empires of the Middle Ages, created by force of arms, blood and enslavement.
Amir Timur, with the blessing of Karimov, became a national hero, patron of science and the arts, and the praises that the court intelligentsia said from that time were comparable to the flattery of Comrade Stalin, also the father of all nations, including athletes. True, studying the heritage of Amir Timur, the scientists could not have been unaware that the ideology of the Middle Ages did not fall into the modern problems of economics and politics.
Even Uzbekistan Karimov really wanted to become a country that would dictate the conditions to its neighbors in Central Asia. There have been many such attempts: support for Dostum in his adventures in Afghanistan, participation in the civil war in Tajikistan, gas blackmail of Kyrgyzstan. Only two countries turned out to be hard for Karimov - Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Karimov for a long time resisted the pressure of Moscow, preventing any military advisers from entering his territory, or entering into any military-political blocs.
The geopolitical center from Tashkent failed. The mythical economic prosperity was accompanied by propaganda rattle - about the discovery of oil in the Fergana Valley, the construction of the Korean car factory, reports on the implementation of the plan to collect cotton, unprofitable aircraft industry. The standard of living in Uzbekistan, even with gas production and trade, turned out to be lower than in Kyrgyzstan. And not much higher than in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
The rush between political models has led Uzbekistan to unsolvable economic problems - overpopulation of the Fergana Valley, corruption at all levels and a rigid system of relations between officials and the population. In order to make their ideology the only true one, tens of thousands of people were thrown into prison only because they think differently about the future of Uzbekistan.
Karimov was left alone: the opposition was planted, destroyed or expelled, the population was tired of living half-starving, the West sent protests about the dominance of state propaganda and numerous facts of human rights violations. Even having entangled the entire perimeter of Uzbekistan with barbed wire, Karimov does not feel safe, he continues to live in the Soviet reality, forgetting that the world has changed.
Now the president of Uzbekistan has a new “friend” - President Putin. Quotes by the way, since Karimov’s throwing is unlikely to stop at this, if, of course, he has not already bargained for the main condition - a lifelong presidency and the transfer of power to the heir. Then one can assess the rapprochement with the Kremlin as the last step to which Karimov was pushed by those who organized the Batkent events of 1999 and 2000, who told him to shoot Andijan in May last year.
The friendship of the Kremlin and Durmen (the official residence of the President of Uzbekistan) is built according to the imperial principle - we protect you, including internationally, and you sell us factories, fields and strategic facilities. And while in the dialogue between Karimov and Putin the topic of preserving power will prevail, in Uzbekistan nothing will change, as the situation has not changed in Angola, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia and other countries where local dictators and puppets only thought about extending their political longevity with the help of Moscow.
Karimov’s loneliness will not end there. The Kremlin is in Moscow, and Uzbekistan lives its troubled life, in which there is not the slightest reason to improve the economic and political situation.
What are the future scenarios? Karimov will get away from the political scene, if not in the next 3-5 years, then a little later. The gap between the Republic of Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries will not grow in favor of Uzbekistan. And the sale of state-owned property in the Russian business is highly undesirable for the environment of Karimov himself. In Uzbekistan, there are already quite non-poor people from among the officials, and the ruler’s authoritarianism limits their appetites. It can be expected that in the very near future they will not want to be content with prokha from the master's table. In particular, these may be governors — specific princes, who are outwardly absolutely loyal to the regime, but already having sufficiently serious means to try to independently express their interests. And in the most influential state. the structure of the SNB is also well understood and may if not take part, so at least be silent or stipulate their interests for the future. The upcoming events (joining the CSTO) may push and accelerate everything.