This article examines the human rights records in Central Eurasia. First it surveys the experiences of citizens in Russia, Armenia and Georgia, and Central Asia. One of the author’s overall observations is that those freedoms that do not directly threaten authoritarian leaderships are usually permitted. His conclusion is that neither extreme instability nor unearned material prosperity is favourable. At the same time M. C. Spechler suggests that all strong presidents in Central Asia and the Caucasus are sensitive to both their reputations in the West and the needs of their powerful neighbours Russia and China to avoid chaos on their borders.