Kyrgyz Press Review
The following are a series of synopsized articles drawn from various Russian-language publications in Kyrgyzstan, covering everything from politics to culture. This press review is meant to give a summary of current events happening in Kyrgyzstan as well as to Kyrgyz daily life and society. Weblinks to the related stories in Russian are provided when available online.
Kyrgyzstan 'Tired of Being Toyed With by Other Nations'
Roza Otunbayeva, the head of Kyrgyzstan's provisional government, announced that when it comes to developing relationships with countries such as Russia and the United States, she intends to act in her country's national interests. She said that Kyrgyzstan does not want to remain a toy in the hands of other nations and she will no longer allow them to utilize the country for the benefit of their own national interests. Otunbayeva also said that she was well aware that Russia and the US are vying for influence in Central Asia, but that their efforts to gain this influence should not be detrimental to Kyrgyzstan. From now on, she continued, relations with the US and Russia will be based more on Kyrgyzstan's national interests.
Source: Kyrgyz-language newspaper Delo
'A Worthy Contender' Heading Kyrgyz Government
Israeli government specialists on Central Asia affairs have proclaimed Roza Otunbayeva to be a fitting leader for Kyrgyzstan's provisional government.
However, immediately after the coup which overthrew former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the name of the "future president" was not mentioned by either local or foreign media. According to the Israeli officials who maintain contacts with representatives from Kyrgyzstan's special forces, it has still not been widely publicized.
Only when the revolutionary conflicts quiet down will members of the interim government begin to fight for the presidency in the forthcoming October elections. According to the Internet site IzRus, one "mystery" candidate, who started his career working for the KGB during the Soviet period and who reportedly has ties to organized crime, has made his ambitions for the presidency known.
After the April 7 revolution in Kyrgyzstan, such information on future presidential candidates was actually disclosed to the public. According to some sources, this mystery candidate is Baktiyar Aliev, grandson of Kyrgyz military General Ergesh Aliev. The aspiring presidential candidate is reportedly being prepared for the position by his patron and colleague, Vladimir Putin.
Source: Kyrgyz-language newspaper Agym
Money Belonging to Bakiyev Family Uncovered
Temir Sariev, Finance Minister of Kyrgyzstan's provisional government, announced that "over $20 million belonging to Bakiyev and his brothers was discovered in two commercial banks." Sariev went on to say, "this information, along with the statements Bakiyev made in Kiev yesterday, prove yet again that he is being irresponsible and inconsistent in front of the world community, and that he is not even concerned with [Kyrgyzstan's] fate or the deaths of dozens of its citizens. It shows that this entire time, he was only concerned with power and wealth."
The Prosecutor General of the capital city of Bishkek reported that over $7 million belonging to two figures close to Bakiyev were discovered in an account in Manas Bank. A number of documents from various firms and with stamps from the offices of the Pervomaisky, Sverdlovsky, Oktyabrsky, and Sokuluksky Regional tax inspectorates further attest to the corruption and negligence amongst Bakiyev and his political inner circle.
Source: Kyrgyz television and radio service KOORT
Kyrgyzstan Victim of 'Informational Warfare'
On April 22, the Kyrgyz television station KOORT aired a program featuring a number of the country's top political analysts, including independent political analyst Marat Kazakbayev and Kubanychbek Oruzbayev, a former deputy defense minister, who claimed that an information war was deliberately being carried out by foreign media against Kyrgyzstan. A number of foreign news sources have been reporting that the country is supposedly on the brink of a civil war, that the interim government is unable to control the situation in the country, and that it was going to be necessary to bring in armed peacekeeping forces from the Collective Treaty Security Organization to restore order. Such information warfare is usually carried out by a great power that is seeking to generate a desire and demand within the target country for intervention or assistance from outside forces. The more powerful nation then sends its own armed forces into the country and thus gains the ability to utilize the target country for its own national interests, such as the situation was with Afghanistan in the 1980s.
One of the main tasks currently facing the local Kyrgyz media is to accurately report on the actual events taking place in the country, while the provisional government must work faster to get the situation under control to avoid a power vacuum and an ensuing game of "who can grab the most power first."
Source: Kyrgyz television and radio service KOORT
Political Double Standards
The Kyrgyz youth movement "Ak-Niyet" has expressed resentment with the actions and statements of ex-president Kurmanbek Bakiyev and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. They are accusing the two of illegal acts against their own people and of harboring a criminal after Lukashenko personally invited Bakiyev to Minsk and promised him protection there. Yesterday in Bishkek, protestors picketed outside of the Belarusian embassy, demanding that the country extradite Bakiyev back to Kyrgyzstan.
Source: Vecherny Bishkek
Kyrgyz Communists Making Demands
On April 22, the 140th birthday of Lenin, members of Kyrgyzstan's communist party made a plea to the country's interim government and parliament to seek military peacekeeping assistance from members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The communists are adamant that order cannot be restored in the country without outside assistance. Sergei Kozhemyakin, leader of the Young Communists, said that he does not think the provisional government is effectively dealing with the current situation in Kyrgyzstan.
Source: Komsomolyskaya Pravda (Kyrgyzstan)
Kyrgyz Writer Speaks Out on Medvedev's Remarks
Topchubek Turgunaliyev, an activist of the opposition People's Movement of Kyrgyzstan, recently wrote an article entitled "Kyrgyz Should Be Fluent in Three Languages." In this article, he commented on recent remarks by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. He writes, "I completely disagree with Dmitry Medvedev's recent remarks. He claimed that Kyrgyzstan has neither a government, nor the federal status of a nation. This is a distorted view of our country. Personally, I don't think he thought up this concept himself, but was probably led to believe such notions by his advisors. This is extremely offensive to our national dignity."
Source: Komsomolyskaya Pravda (Kyrgyzstan)
Revolution in Kyrgyzstan - A Timeline of Events
The following articles outline the April 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan as well as the developments that have occured in the aftermath of the country's change in government.
Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic
The legitimacy of the April 2010 coup that ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has been called into question since many, including Bakiyev himself, have claimed that the coup violated the 2007 Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Kyrgyz Opposition Seizes Power, Dissolves Parliament
Kyrgyzstan's opposition said today it had taken power and dissolved parliament in the poor but strategically important Central Asian state after deadly protests forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee the capital.
US, Russia Considering Cooperation on Kyrgyzstan
U.S. officials said Thursday they're working closely with Russia to respond to the uprising in Kyrgyzstan despite previous conflict over a military base in the Central Asian nation.
Is Russia Behind Regime Change in Kyrgyzstan?
Is Russia behind the regime change in Kyrgyzstan? Has Russia moved into the "democracy promotion business" in its backyard in Central Asia? What are the likely consequences of the events in Kyrgyzstan for Russian policy in the near abroad?
Tasting Your Own Medicine
Ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev emerges in Belarus as Kyrgyzstan faces a new wave of unrest.
Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Resurgence
This past week saw another key success in Russia’s resurgence in former Soviet territory when pro-Russian forces took control of Kyrgyzstan.
ANALYSIS: Otunbayeva Draws on Diplomacy to Seal Kyrgyz Rule
Roza Otunbayeva is drawing on her diplomatic prowess to secure her authority as interim leader of Kyrgyzstan, having achieved recognition of sorts from two world superpowers within days of toppling the regime of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
U.S.-Russian Ties Tested in Kyrgyzstan Revolution
Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government held talks in Moscow today as the tremors of the former Soviet republic's violent uprising create a "test case" for U.S.- Russian relations.
U.S. Says it is Ready to Help Kyrgyzstan's New Rulers
The United States said on Wednesday it was prepared to help Kyrgyzstan's new rulers, putting pressure on ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who hinted he may attempt to go into exile.
Gunfire at Rallies Heightens Kyrgyz Tensions
Competing rallies held by the ousted president of Kyrgyzstan and the interim government broke up amid chaos and gunfire Thursday as concerns mounted over the risk of further bloodshed.
Kyrgyz President Formally Resigns After Turmoil
Deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev formally resigned in a handwritten letter sent to Kyrgyzstan's new leaders, officials said on Friday, allaying fears of civil war in the strategic Central Asian country.
Is the Unrest Over in Kyrgyzstan?
On a rainy evening in Kyrgyzstan's southern city of Jalalabad, the roaring sound of plane engines filled the air.
Fresh Resistance as Kyrgyz Leaders Vow Reforms
Kyrgyzstan's interim rulers faced renewed resistance and lawlessness on Monday after pledging fresh elections and reforms to restore order in the volatile Central Asian state.
Kyrgyzstan Sets Date for First Elections After Uprising
Kyrgyzstan's interim government set a date for parliamentary and presidential elections, stepping up efforts to build legitimacy after the country's ousted president fled into exile.
Ex-BBC Reporter Vugar Khalilov Held in Kyrgyzstan
A British public relations executive who once worked for ousted Kyrgyzstan president Kurmanbek Bakiyev has been arrested and detained in Bishkek.
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