• KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 1

Intrigue Shadows a Rugged Motor Race with Central Asian Roots

Several vehicle crews from Turkmenistan are competing in the Silk Way Rally, a 5,243-kilometer race that started in Russia’s Siberian city of Tomsk on July 5 and will finish in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on July 15 after passing through mountain and desert terrain. The Russia-backed event has attracted scrutiny not just for the off-road adventure – its organizers face U.S. sanctions for allegedly helping Russian military intelligence. The annual Silk Way Rally, which comes at a time of high tensions between Russia and the West over the war in Ukraine, has a history of Central Asian involvement since it was first held in 2009. The initial route started in Kazan, Russia, went through Kazakhstan and finished in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. After a few more route variations, the 2016 edition began in Red Square in Moscow and passed through Kazakhstan on the way to the finish in Beijing after an epic 10,735 kilometers. The race was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. The rally has had competitions for various categories, including trucks, cars, SSVs (Special Service Vehicles, of a type often used by police or firefighting units for difficult conditions at high speeds) and quad bikes, which are four-wheel, all-terrain vehicles. [caption id="attachment_20146" align="aligncenter" width="374"] silkwayrally.com[/caption] The rally, which purports to follow routes used by merchants on the so-called Silk Road network many centuries ago, is reminiscent of the renowned Dakar Rally in West Africa. It has recently come under suspicion as an alleged front for Russian operatives. Past winners and competitors in the Silk Way Rally have included people from France, Spain and other Western European countries, as well as Ukraine, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Argentina. At least two dozen countries were represented in several editions of the annual race in previous years. This year, nationals from about half a dozen countries signed up and the vast majority are Russian, illustrating the impact of sanctions and the deterioration in ties since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Several two-member teams from Turkmenistan, including brothers Merdan and Shokhrat Toylyev, are competing in the T2 class of cross-country vehicles. A Kyrgyz citizen is listed with a Russian in a team in another vehicle category. The 2024 Silk Way Rally is not recognized by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, also known by its initials FIA. The Paris-based governing body of motorsport has taken action to isolate Russia and its ally, the government in Belarus, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The race has caught the attention of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which on June 12 said it was imposing sanctions on the organization and its directors for alleged ties to the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. The department said Silk Way head Bulat Akhatovich Yanborisov, a Russian citizen, had received awards from the GRU for his work and appears to use his properties in Europe as transit points for Russian military intelligence officers. “Bulat, who is Silk Way’s CEO and general director, alongside his son Amir Bulatovich Yanborisov (Amir),...