• Central Asia strongman regimes challenged by stuttering economy


    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: Pensioner Anna Kovalyova, 63, would struggle to make ends meet on her pension worth $250 if it was not for the subsidies from the authorities in Turkmenistan that make water, gas and electricity almost free. “In 25 years of independence our country has proven that it does not cast its citizens adrift,” Kovalyova, a former employee of the government, told Agence France-Presse. “This is a state that looks after its people.”



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