chapter  2
32 Pages


During the August 1991 anti-Gorbachev putsch, President Karimov failed to make his position on events in Moscow clear, although it is widely assumed that he was supportive of the action against the Soviet President and he may even have had connections to the coup plotters. In any event, Karimov did not condemn the putsch in Moscow until it became apparent it had failed. With the collapse of the coup, however, Karimov moved quickly to embrace independence for Uzbekistan. On 31 August, the Republican Supreme Soviet voted to declare the Uzbek SSR independent and on the following day the country’s name was changed to the Republic of Uzbekistan. At the demise of the USSR, the Karimov regime lacked a defined strategy to carry the country forward. With independence suddenly thrust upon the republic, however, the government quickly adopted a set of domestic policies built upon the twin pillars of stability and consolidating Uzbek independence.