Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has backfired, weakening Moscow economically, politically, and militarily, and these setbacks have undermined Moscow’s strategic position in its so-called near abroad. Russia had considered Central Asia one of its most secure regions of influence, thanks to a multitude of linkages developed over a long period. But the war and its repercussions are altering Russia’s relations with its five former colonies in Central Asia, which are looking to end old dependencies and form alternative partnerships with other powers.

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