Almost three months after the death of Uzbek leader Islam Karimov, political stability in the country seems to have survived due to a deal being reached between the competing Samarkand and Tashkent clans. However, Karimov’s death could mean that new players, especially ones “outlawed” under his regime, are seeking a re-emergence on the Uzbek political scene. Current acting President Shovkat Mirziyoyev’s decision to abolish the criminal case against the prominent Uzbek gangster Gaffur Rakhimov, who Karimov forced to leave the country, can be considered a sign that the acting President is attempting to reshape informal influence in Uzbekistan.

Another prominent figure, in this case, is Alisher Usmanov, who recently ceased to be a taxpayer in the Russian Federation, where he owns various industrial and media conglomerates. As one of the most influential Uzbek businessmen, Usmanov is listed by Forbes as the third richest person in the Russian Federation. At the same time, he has close ties to the Kremlin, with credible indications that his friendship with Putin dates back to 1990’s.