Update: Kyrgyzstan Government Overthrown !

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

* The NYT is now reporting that the president has fled *

And this:

Opposition leaders said the toll was as high as 100 people, but that figure could not be confirmed.


Kyrgyzstan is in outright revolt, after years of fake elections, and the removal of any semblance of a free media.

They’re between a rock and a hard place since both Russia and the US supports the current regime. The US because it needs the airbase for the Afghan war, and Russia for the same reasons–they also have bases there.

With the unrest deepening, several opposition leaders were arrested, including a former prime minister and presidential candidate, Almazbek Atambaev, and a former speaker of Parliament, Omurbek Tekebaev.

Is the US concerned about arrests, at least 12 protester deaths, the fake elections, the closing of the media?

Uh, no.

The US response?

The United States Embassy in Bishkek issued a statement saying that it was “deeply concerned about reports of civil disturbances.”

There’s some horrifying images on the NYT site, I’ll post only this one:


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  1. rising.

  2. Large-scale protests appear to have overthrown the government of Kyrgyzstan, an important American ally in Central Asia, after violence between riot police officers and opposition demonstrators on Thursday killed at least 17 people.


    The Lede Blog: Video of Protests in Kyrgyzstan (April 7, 2010)

    The New York Times

    The country’s president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, fled the capital, Bishkek, on his plane, and the opposition declared that it was forming its own government.

  3. and I hope they can now finally close the US air base, which will really screw up Obama’s little war economy.  

  4. The unknown factor X seems to mess with plans.  How fortunate that Obama is in Prague working out a nuke deal with Russia.

    • Joy B. on April 7, 2010 at 23:26

    according to my brother-in-law retired general (more than one star) in the State Department, is…

    “Desperate, as usual.” Followed by an under-the breath qualification – “…as it’s designed to be.”

    Nothing in politics happens by accident…

  5. pictures, nytimes blog


    they descibe it as a “destitute, landlocked mountainous nation of around 5 million people which borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.”

    It’s Muslim but secular Muslim and the uprising was not over that but over the dramatic increase in heating and electricity prices, says another article fr the Toronto Star


    Over the past two years, Kyrgyz authorities have clamped down on free media, and opposition activists say they have routinely been subjected to physical intimidation and targeted by politically motivated criminal investigations.

    Many of the opposition leaders once were allies of Bakiyev, in some cases former ministers or diplomats.

    The anti-government forces have been in disarray until recently, but widespread anger over a 200 per cent hike in electricity and heating gas bills has helped them come together and galvanize support.

    Many of Wednesday’s protesters were men from poor villages, including some who have come to the capital to live and work on construction sites. Already struggling, they were outraged by the utility bill hikes and were easily stirred up by opposition claims of corruption in Bakiyev’s circle.

    Canada (MacLean’s) has an Al Jazeera story


    Following a day of deadly clashes between police and anti-government protesters, opposition party members announced on state television that they had seized control of the state. A Russian news agency, RIA, reports the opposition as saying that the government had resigned and President Kurmanbek Bakiyev had left the capital. “They came on air and talked about the situation, appealing for calm and appealing for people to protect small businesses and shops from looters,” an Al Jazeera reporter explains. The announcement cames on the heels of deadly clashes in Bishkek, in which at least 40 people were killed and more than 400 others were wounded, according to Kyrgyzstan’s health ministry.

  6. [O]pposition leaders were angered last spring when Obama administration officials courted Mr. Bakiyev – who they admitted was an autocrat – in an ultimately successful attempt to retain rights to the military base, Manas, used to supply troops in Afghanistan. President Obama even sent him a letter of praise.

    Russia had offered Mr. Bakiyev a sizable amount in new aid, which the United States interpreted as an effort to persuade him to close the base in order to limit the American military presence in Russia’s sphere of influence. After vowing to evict the Americans last year, Mr. Bakiyev reversed course once the administration agreed to pay much higher rent for the base.

    Think Moscow just may have had something to do with this sudden uprising?

    First the South Osettia embarrassment two years ago, now this.

    How many local, NATO-sponsored thugs does Putin have to royally punk the before the Yanks realize they shouldn’t mess with an old KGB hand on his homeboy Soviet turf?

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