The Annual 2015 continues the series of books under this title which is being published since 2012. A specific feature of the current issue is that a number of articles appears to be the materials presented by the participants of the International scientific conference ‘Minorities and Conflicts: Asian and African States in the Modern World’ hosted by the Department of Asian and African Studies and the Centre for Asian and African Studies at the Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg on October 9-10, 2015. Along with that, the Annual retains its traditional sections. With the greatest pleasure we present to the readers’ attention an article in the ‘In Memoriam’ section devoted to an outstanding orientalist, arche-ologist and historian Alexander M. Belenitskiǐ (1904–1993) who was the head of archaeological excava-tions of ancient Panjakent for 15 years. His work ‘Mittelasien. Kunst Der Sogden’ published in Germany in 1980 is still recognized as an invaluable in its scientific significance research of Central Asian culture.