"But several protests have been held recently in the capital, Dushanbe, as well as in cities like Kulob, Panjakent, and Khorog. In one case, the appointment of a local official prompted a rally.
"'People are not afraid of the government's retaliation anymore,' says 22-year-old Safar, from the eastern Badakhshan region. 'What else can happen to us? With a university diploma in my pocket, I have to work like a slave in Russia, because I don't have any -- literally any -- job opportunities in Tajikistan. The situation can't possibly get any worse than this.'
"The attitudes of many Tajiks appear to have shifted recently, with skyrocketing food prices and energy shortages that left people freezing to death in their homes during the coldest winter in living memory."
Since Tajikistan relies on hydro-electricity for much of its energy supply, the recent drought has hurt more than just agriculture in the country.