Putin lays flowers at Uzbek strongman's grave

Russian President Vladimir Putin aid roses at the grave of late Uzbek leader Islam Karimov who death last week.

Published: 06th September 2016 03:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th September 2016 03:01 PM   |  A+A-

Uzbekistan Russia_Mukh

Putin arrived to express his condolences and visit a grave of Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov in Samarkand. Putin arrived to express his condolences and visit a grave of Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov in Samarkand. | AP


MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday laid roses at the grave of late Uzbek leader Islam Karimov, whose death last week after 27 years in charge sparked fears of instability in the Central Asian nation.

Footage broadcast by Russian state television showed Putin kneeling at Karimov's flower-covered grave in the historic city of Samarkand after he made a detour to visit ex-Soviet Uzbekistan on his way home from the G20 summit in China.

The Kremlin leader was accompanied by Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in a further hint that he could be in line to take over long-term from Karimov, who was announced dead at 78 on Friday and was buried Saturday with no clear successor.

Long lambasted by rights groups as a brutal despot who crushed all dissent, Karimov was one of the Communist Party bosses who managed to cling to power in their homelands after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The veteran leader portrayed himself as a vital secular bulwark against radical Islam who maintained peace in the strategically located country bordering Afghanistan, crushing fundamentalist groups at home.

Before flying to Uzbekistan Putin praised Karimov for keeping the "stability" in the country and said he hoped any new leadership would maintain the order the former Soviet apparatchik had imposed.

Karimov played former master Moscow off against the West and China to keep his cotton-rich nation of 32 million -- by far the most populous in ex-Soviet Central Asia -- from isolation and dampen criticism of his iron-fisted rule.

Analysts say that Russia is keen to see an orderly hand-over of power in the landlocked country over fears of the threat from jihadists close to its southern flank and could be hoping to exert more influence over Uzbekistan.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp