“Was able to maneuver and not making enemies”: what I remember about Islam Karimov

David Yakobashvili, Vice-President of the Union, the company founder “Vimm-the bill-Dann”

“If you look at the path of development of Uzbekistan during the years of Karimov, it just was not this development.

The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Merits no special. There are several buildings, several hotels and some buildings.

In General, all remained at the same level. A lot of pressure from law enforcement agencies. The power of the poor, nothing there could do.

Some said that there is no other way, but I don’t think so. There are examples. Singapore and Vietnam. Karimov could not attract investment. Investments there have taken. The power to intimidate people.

Karimov was able to maneuver between Russia, China and America. To his credit that he was able to avoid military conflicts and not to make enemies.

He gathered around him an army of 50 000 people, did the service it is very prestigious and effective. It was enough for all 3 million people.

It was a typical Central Asian totalitarian regime. The only thing he gave to break his country and prevent any clashes in the country.

I met with him. I was invited to any events for fashion shows, holidays. But this is tinsel for those who come. Then there was the case that I wanted to come on the inter-state Council, when there has arrived Dmitry Medvedev, but I was not given a visa and said if I was there to land the plane to arrest me, so I expressed it as something negative.

He ruled all with an iron hand and as a man he was a loner, secretive. Had closed his eyes and all reacted with suspicion”.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Chairman of the liberal democratic party

“Directly did not have to face, but since I am from Central Asia, he (Karimov. —) a typical representative of parlamentary that it has developed in the last years of the last period. It is harder than Nazarbayev, since the Uzbeks are the most warlike nation in Central Asia.

It (the economic and political situation in Uzbekistan. —) the most powerful in all respects, as the Kremlin relied on Uzbekistan in terms of the national question.

He (Karimov. —) just made a purely authoritarian regime: no opposition, no parties, about Iraq, Saddam Hussein or the same Syria, Bashar al-Assad. He had a lighter. He was the representative of the dominant nation — Uzbeks. He didn’t need to control the relationship. There were Karakalpaks. Now nothing is known about them.

That is, he went through Turkey. One nation — the Uzbeks, the language of one Uzbek and one head — it, Karimov. It was his post — the first Secretary of the Communist party of Uzbekistan.

He is not allowed (of failures. —). He left a powerful KGB of the Soviet regime and put it at the service of loyalty to him personally, as the leader.

A purely authoritarian style of management. — ) when no one and nothing could say. No papers in opposition. There was a small speech in Andijan, 2005, but he suppressed it brutally. There was none and never had.

The similarity with Saddam Hussein that they (the Uzbeks. —) not followed the path of Islamization. They have retained a secular character. This has ensured that there is no effect of religious groups. That is, he kept the atheist state. So they tried and drug. Not allowed to the Uzbekistan was a transit country for distribution. Everything was in his hands (Karimov. —).

I think the stiffness in the first place, the preservation of the secular regime and moderate Uzbek nationalism, when he did everything for the Uzbeks, strongly prejudice the rights of the Tajiks, Karakalpaks, Kazakhs and all the others.”

Zurab Tsereteli, the sculptor

“Karimov’s death is a great loss. I’m worried that he passed away. He was tsuneishi. Loved the art, loved those who were involved in culture.

We met him a long time ago, 20 years ago. There was a meeting on culture. I was very young. I went first to him. When I looked into his eyes, then immediately got up and went. We got to talking.

And then we had a very good, unique relationship. When he came to Moscow, we communicated at me in the gallery of the house on Bolshaya Gruzinskaya street, in the Museum at Petrovka. And I was delighted, as he loved creators — people who create art in Russia.

You know, the amazing man was. A huge patriot. Loved not only his job, loved the people of Russia. He respected them. Development of Uzbekistan — is a very good example for all the republics.

He was a good man. He loved people. He loved presidents. He was a decent man. I loved it.

I have so raised the tone after a conversation with him that I immediately wanted to go and work. So friendly it was that I wanted to create a composition I wanted to create work. So good was he that passed on me as an artist.

I his country has designed, built, spatial, and bulk composition.

I am very worried. In a bad mood we all.

Alexander Gamov, Deputy editor of the politics Department of the newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda”

“I first saw President Karimov in 1999. I as a journalist came to the Russian delegation, which was headed by the then Prime Minister Putin. I was struck that Karimov had already spoken with Putin as equal as President. As though he felt it. They had good contact with Putin, and then, one time when Uzbekistan was excitement it came to Putin.

Karimov often came to Moscow on various summits, and I don’t remember any of the moves with his hand in the direction of Russia. He was a very sober politician.

I know that the Russians in Uzbekistan are very good to him.

The character of this man is very difficult to study. I think it was honest and direct politician. He has good training, honesty towards the people present.

Really creepy repressive apparatus in Uzbekistan was not. By and large it is not a dictator, he was always in the dynamics of it changed. He was kept in power because he was flexible, had his views on the development of post-Soviet space and respect them, and including their respected Putin. His manners were always simple and universal, despite the high post.