Based on fieldwork in southern Kyrgyzstan in October and November 2017, this article explores at a micro-level the security practices undertaken by Uzbek people in Osh. It closely examines the experiences of Uzbek taxi-drivers, traders and businesspeople and thereby seeks to understand how and why local actors have managed to find creative ways to secure their economic activities. The business sector is the sector in which the Uzbek community is dominant, whereas the Kyrgyz community dominates the state structures.
The aim of this paper is to look at the coping strategies of Osh Uzbek migrants in the aftermath of conflict, and to pursue a set of related questions: Why did Osh Uzbek refugees choose Russia, but not Uzbekistan? What are the experiences of Osh Uzbeks in Russia? How do they perceive their homeland in the aftermath of conflict? I discuss the situation in the aftermath of the Osh conflict of 2010, in which the Kyrgyz government consciously created uncertainty for Uzbeks (a minority ethnic group), thereby forcing them to leave for Russia as ‘post-conflict’ migrants.