Russians Say Tajikistan Trains "Health Hazard"

Russians Say Tajikistan Trains "Health Hazard"

From Tajikistan, it sometimes seems that whenever the Kremlin is unhappy for some reason, it threatens to make life difficult for the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who are just trying to earn a living in Russia.

In the latest example of what Tajiks see as excessive political leverage, Russian officials took one look at a railway train heading for Moscow from Central Asia and declared it unfit for transporting human beings. The incident happened while Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was leading a government committee on a mission to Astrakhan, near Kazakstan, on April 14.  

Were Russian officials really so concerned that Tajik travellers had to put up with unsanitary railway carriages? Commentators in Dushanbe say no. They see it as just another way of pressuring Tajikistan’s government into subservience. For instance, Moscow is keen for Tajikistan to get on with ratifying a pact that will securing the long-term future of Russian military forces in the country.

Khurshed Durakhsh is an IWPR-trained radio reporter in Tajikistan.

The audio programme went out in Russian and Tajik on national radio stations in Tajikistan, as part of IWPR project work funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

If you would like to comment or ask a question about this story, please contact our Central Asia editorial team at

Frontline Updates
Support local journalists