This article presents a discussion on olitical contradictions of post-independence Turkmenistan. As part of a broader effort to understand the social and power dynamics resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union, we apply a descriptive analysis of the principal domestic and foreign policy events involving the Ashkhabad government, as well as the implications for the lives of Turkmen migrants in Russia, who have chosen to leave their country of origin in search of better opportunities. The current paper suggests that Turkmenistan not only became a laboratory for the exercise of a local version of a ‘Cult of Personality’ of the leader, but also precariously operationalized its political neutrality due to economic dependence on Moscow and, more recently, on China. Regarding Turkmen migrants abroad, we evidence their difficulties of assimilation in Russia, due, in part, to a ‘stereotyped’ view about migrants on the part of Russian population.
Turkmenistan, Central Asia, Authoritarianism, Post-Soviet Space, Russian Public Opinion