After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan became an independent nation. Its independence, however, was not the result of a struggle for self-governance by the Kyrgyz people. It was rather a situation the Kyrgyz were forced to accept. On December 8, 1991, the heads of the Soviet Socialist Republics of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine formally acknowledged the breakup of the Soviet Union by recognizing each other’s independence and forming the Commonwealth of Independent States as the successor to the Soviet Union. The Kyrgyz were not represented at the conference and had shown little interest in independence. In March 1991, 88.7% of Kyrgyz citizens had voted in a referendum to preserve the USSR.
This transition to independence has not been easy for Kyrgyzstan. The country’s relative lack of natural resources has left it without the base for economic growth that allowed other former Soviet states, such as Kazakhstan, to gradually improve the economic quality of life for their citizens. The lingering effects of the Soviet Union’s haphazard delineation of ethnic borders and entrenched corruption have further complicated the transition.
Corruption and nepotism destabilized Kyrgyzstan and helped lead to both the 2005 and 2010 revolutions. When Kurmanbek Bakiev worked to overthrow Askar Akayev in 2005, he promised to root out corruption and nepotism. However, once Bakiev assumed the presidency, he continued the practices that he had vowed to abolish. This clearly helped to motivate the opposition movement in its efforts to overthrow the government in both 2005 and 2010. However, corruption and authoritarianism are also evident in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan; yet their opposition movements have been unable to overthrow the local regimes.
The thesis of this paper is that while corruption and authoritarianism did help to motivate the 2005 and 2010 revolutions, there were also a number of other factors, such as Kyrgyzstan’s poverty, ethnic issues, and clan politics, which both engendered greater popular support for revolutions in Kyrgyzstan and allowed foreign powers to have greater influence in affecting Kyrgyzstan’s stability. By examining these influences, this paper will assess the ability of the new government to overcome challenges to stability and to prevent another revolution.
During much of the period of Soviet rule, Kyrgyz citizens could expect that the Soviet Union would meet their fundamental needs. Basic foods, such as bread, were extremely cheap due to subsidized imports from other republics within the Soviet Union. Everyone who was employable was given a position that enabled them to earn more than enough money to survive. The elderly and infirm did not have to fear for their survival, since the state provided generous pensions and state support. Once the Soviet Union collapsed, however, the belief that people could rely on the state for their survival collapsed with it. Pensions were drastically reduced, food prices soared, the economy collapsed, and employment was no longer a given.
Some former Soviet states have been able to adapt well to capitalism. The Baltic states and countries with large hydrocarbon reserves have been able to rely on their already well-established industrial base or on natural resources. Kyrgyzstan, however, lacked an industrial base and the natural resources to create jobs and cash flow. The Soviet Union had focused on the production of raw goods such as wool, cotton, and mutton in Kyrgyzstan. In return, other republics of the Soviet Union provided industrial and finished goods. With the Soviet collapse, the Kyrgyz lost the main market for their agricultural products. In 1990, for example, 98% of Kyrgyz exports went to other parts of the Soviet Union. Moscow had centrally controlled the economies of all Soviet states during the Soviet Union, so Kyrgyzstan struggled to learn how to manage its own economy when it gained independence. Furthermore, the Soviet Union had heavily subsidized many goods essential for economic growth, such as fuel, and the loss of subsidies presented severe challenges for Kyrgyzstan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the only former Soviet states whose economies were worse than Kyrgyzstan were Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan. Many Kyrgyz managed to survive the transition only by practicing subsistence farming. Even today, an estimated 40% of Kyrgyz live below the poverty line.
The lack of opportunities for average Kyrgyz citizens to succeed in the capitalist economy has left many Kyrgyz with a certain degree of nostalgia for the former communist system. A broad survey of Kyrgyz citizens in 2007 found that 70% of Kyrgyz agreed, that “the fairest way of distributing wealth and income would be to give everyone equal shares.” The continued expectation of the Kyrgyz that their country should ensure that their basic needs are met was a large hurdle for both the Akayev and Bakiev governments.
Revolutions have allowed average Kyrgyz citizens the opportunity to take their idea of redistributing wealth into their own hands. During both the 2005 and 2010 revolutions, mobs swarmed local businesses and robbed them of their goods. The justification was that the stores were controlled by corrupt leaders, and thus the bandits were not violating any ethical codes by stealing from these individuals. Kyrgyz citizens also used the revolutions to redistribute land, especially in heavily populated areas around the Ferghana Valley and Bishkek. Land ownership is critical to the lives of many Kyrgyz, since agriculture is a predominant feature of the Kyrgyz economy, employing 48% of the labor force. Shortly after the 2010 revolution, landless Kyrgyz flooded government land and began erecting buildings. It took considerable negotiations to convince these Kyrgyz to leave their newly acquired land. A spokesman for the Russian embassy in Bishkek stated that Russia believes these landless Kyrgyz actually helped bring the opposition to power.
Poverty helped directly bring about the overthrow of Bakiev in 2010. In the months before the revolution, the government decided to increase the price of electricity, which it had previously heavily subsidized. The Kyrgyz government had planned to double electricity prices in January 2010 and to continue increasing the prices afterward. The increases meant many families had to choose between buying seed that would allow them to grow crops for the next year or paying their electricity bills. Hundreds organized to protest the increase in electricity prices.
Poverty is one of the largest hurdles for Kyrgyzstan. It complicates all the other issues that Kyrgyzstan faces. The disappointment that many Kyrgyz feel due to Kyrgyzstan’s struggling economy delegitimizes the Kyrgyz governments, as they fail to meet the demands of their citizens. As the governments become increasingly delegitimized in the eyes of their people, average Kyrgyz are also more likely to voice other grievances against the government, as we shall see below, and to join protest movements.
Kyrgyzstan’s Ethnic Tensions
Ethnic tensions have played an indirect role in increasing support for opposition movements. Today, according to official statistics, Kyrgyzstan is 64.9% Kyrgyz, 13.6% Uzbek, and 12.5% Russian. There is considerable tension among the Kyrgyz and Uzbek populations.
During Soviet rule, Stalin demarcated the borders of the various republics. He purposefully created the borders in such a way that many minorities were included in each of the Central Asian republics, with hopes that dividing the ethnic groups would prevent nationalist tendencies that could lead to rebellion against the Soviet regime. A former British ambassador to Uzbekistan once described Central Asia’s borders as “a jigsaw cut by a one-armed alcoholic.” In Kyrgyzstan, the Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and Uighurs are Muslim, but their languages, cultures, and appearances separate them. Communist indoctrination helped to unite these ethnicities during the Soviet Union, since everyone was taught to believe in Stalin’s goal of the Soviet Union’s gradual assimilation of all Soviet peoples into a homogenous community united in their support of communism. Once the Soviet Union collapsed, however, Kyrgyzstan lacked an ideology that could unite the various ethnic groups.
Despite the large numbers of minorities in Kyrgyzstan, the government has been overwhelmingly run by ethnic Kyrgyz ever since Kyrgyzstan achieved independence. This lack of representation of ethnic minorities, as well as periodic violence between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, has further alienated the Uzbeks. Uzbeks form a majority in some parts of south-west Kyrgyzstan, and thus many Kyrgyz are afraid that the Uzbeks may try to join neighboring Uzbekistan, diminishing the already small country of Kyrgyzstan.
The Kyrgyz have also sometimes exacerbated tensions between themselves and the Uzbeks. Word of mouth travels quickly in a small, clan-based country like Kyrgyzstan; when there is any incident, members of both ethnicities tend to congregate wherever the unrest is occurring to forcefully support members of their own ethnicity. For instance, ethnic violence erupted in 1990 over a dispute regarding land allocation, resulting in the deaths of over 250 people in one week. After the Andijan Massacre in Uzbekistan in 2005, which saw peaceful Uzbek protestors shot by their own government, Uzbek refugees flooded into Kyrgyzstan, causing fear among the Kyrgyz that the increased Uzbek population would gain greater influence in the country. In 2010, the mass violence in Osh demonstrated that the Kyrgyz-Uzbek rivalry is a simmering issue that can easily break out into violence. Armed Kyrgyz gangs set fire to Uzbek homes and both Uzbeks and Kyrgyz committed atrocities against each other. Analyses of the initial cause of the violence vary greatly; the Kyrgyz government has alternately blamed Uzbek separatism, a plan by the former president to seize back power, and involvement by forces outside the country. However, despite the unsettled issue of who may initially have incited the violence, it is clear that both Kyrgyz and Uzbeks participated.
Ethnic unrest does not seem to have directly contributed to either the 2005 or 2010 revolutions. Neither the Uzbeks nor the Russians, who are the main minorities in the country, are either interested in taking or have a substantial enough population to take power in Kyrgyzstan. However, continuing problems between the Uzbeks and Kyrgyz make it difficult for the government to stabilize the country, which is essential in order for Kyrgyzstan to grow economically and for its government to obtain greater legitimacy.
Corruption and clan politics have been some of the most widely-cited grievances that the opposition held against the government prior to both the 2005 and 2010 revolutions. These issues go hand in hand. In Kyrgyzstan, as in many Central Asian states, it is almost impossible to obtain a position of power without either bribes or nepotism. This occurs on both the micro and macro levels in Kyrgyz society, and was reflected in both the Akayev and Bakiev administrations.
Corruption occurs largely as a carry-over from the Soviet rule of Kyrgyzstan. Everyone in the Soviet Union was supposedly equal, but it soon became commonplace for high-level members of the Communist Party to receive higher pay than average citizens and to have greater access to goods, services, and financing. Nepotism became a common method for individuals to acquire these high-level positions. Central Asians, in particular, often used pre-existing tribal and family ties for economic gain. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it was still profitable for Central Asians to use their connections to obtain scarce goods or achieve high-level positions, since lack of adequate oversight and continued societal acceptance of the practice likely made many officials believe that they would not face any repercussions for their corruption.
In modern times, the extensive wealth that Kyrgyz politicians have accumulated stands in sharp contrast to the struggle by average Kyrgyz citizens to meet their basic needs, making state corruption a rallying point for citizens who protested against the Akayev and Bakiev regimes. Akayev’s family is thought to have illegally pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars every year, siphoned into foreign bank accounts. Furthermore, after the 2005 revolution, it was revealed that the Akayev family had acquired at least 42 companies in Kyrgyzstan and all of Kyrgyzstan’s largest assets, including the banking, energy, and gold industries. Following the 2010 revolution, Bakiev is now under investigation by the new Kyrgyz government for corruption, and Bakiev’s son was sought by Interpol for embezzling Kyrgyzstan’s state funds.
Corruption has served as a rallying point for the Kyrgyz in both recent revolutions. Many felt that the state was failing to meet their basic needs, when they had grown accustomed to the Soviet Union ensuring that all of the basic needs of its citizens were met. The vast accumulation of wealth by both presidents stood in sharp contrast to the poverty of the majority of the citizens they ruled, and it eventually helped to spur their downfall.
Nepotism and clan-based politics, which have always been prominent in Kyrgyzstan, played an integral role in the 2005 and 2010 revolutions. Traditionally, the clan, rather than the state, was the Kyrgyz’s highest level of perceived identity. Kyrgyzstan only came into being as a united political entity after the Soviet Union took power in the region. Prior to that, the various Kyrgyz clans paid tribute to Russia, khanates, or other states, but Kyrgyzstan did not exist as an incorporated or unified entity; the Kyrgyz did not see those empires as part of their identity, but rather as superior powers that had to be paid off for the clans to continue their regular lives. Thus, clan identity remained the highest level of identity in the everyday lives of the Kyrgyz.
Today, there are many small tribes in Kyrgyzstan, but the tribes can be generally divided between the Left Alliance, which consists of northern and western tribes, and the Right Alliance, which consists of southern tribes. These tribal differences are largely a result of Kyrgyzstan’s geography; a massive mountain range divides northern and southern Kyrgyzstan, which has created noticeable cultural differences by long making communication and transport difficult between the two regions. The north is better developed, wealtheir, and tends to have closer relations with Russia and the West. The south is more populous and holds more traditional Islamic values. At the national level, each group tends to vote for candidates from its own region, believing that those candidates will support the development of the region.
Akayev, a northerner, was more popular in the north than in the south. Bakiev, a southerner, was able to use his popularity in the south to help overthrow the Akayev regime by relying on his southern supporters. Initially, a far greater number of people participated in the 2005 protests in southern Kyrgyzstan than in northern Kyrgyzstan. In Jalalabad, for example, a crowd of 50,000 protesters gathered on March 19, 2005. The protesters did not flee even when the government deployed troops, but instead organized 1,700 men on horseback to continue the protest from a more defensible position. Before this, protests had been limited to only a few thousand people in the north. Thus, southern forces greatly bolstered opposition forces in 2005.
The opposition movement in 2010, by contrast, was mainly supported by northerners who were unhappy with Bakiev’s regime and control of the government by southerners. Bakiev had slowly appointed southerners to most positions in the Kyrgyz government, and was thus popular in the south, but had been increasingly losing support among the northerners. Rosa Otunbayeva, an opposition leader who initially supported Bakiev, turned against him and rallied support for the opposition movement in northern Kyrgyzstan. Talas and Naryn, located in the north, were the first territories in which the opposition seized control. The opposition movement then swept into the capital and appointed Rosa Otunbayeva as the interim president. The southern territories, however, were Bakiev’s stronghold, and it proved difficult for the new government to gain control of the south. Bakiev’s family initially fled to Jalalabad, Bakiev’s traditional stronghold, and rallied support against the opposition. On April 12, 2010, 500 Bakiev supporters rallied to support his presidency. Even after the new leadership established itself in southern Kyrgyzstan, many southerners did not look favorably on the change in government. While two-thirds of northerners in a poll attributed Bakiev’s fall to “a spontaneous uprising by a population driven to desperation,” only 15% of southerners agreed with this statement. Kyrgyz politics has largely been divided among the northern and southern politicians vying for influence, and their constituencies mainly support candidates belonging to their own tribal alliance.
The New Great Game
Kyrgyzstan is strategically placed on the ancient Silk Road, at the historical boundaries of the Russian and Chinese empires. Today, Kyrgyzstan’s location is even more strategic than it has been in the past, since it is located close to Afghanistan. Thus, the United States has made great efforts to continue its use of the Manas Airbase in Kyrgyzstan. Russia, however, feels threatened by the location of an American airbase close to its territory and has made great efforts to close the American airbase and bolster its own presence in Kyrgyzstan. For example, in 2009, Russia offered Kyrgyzstan $2 billion in financial aid shortly after the Kyrgyz parliament voted to close Manas. The decision was later reversed, as Bakiev played both sides against each other and later agreed to lease the base to the United States in exchange for the base rental increasing from $17.5 million to $60 million annually.
Though there are not enough facts to point decisively to direct involvement of either the United States or Russia in organizing Kyrgyzstan’s revolutions, it is clear that the United States initially favored the Bakiev regime after 2005 and worked to build his government’s legitimacy, while Russia has favored Rosa Otunbayeva’s administration and helped to build her administration’s legitimacy after its ascension in 2010.
The United States, through its ambassador, Stephen Young, spoke out against the fraudulent Kyrgyz elections in 2005 and criticized the government for suppressing freedom of speech. Shortly after the 2005 revolution, the United States offered Kyrgyzstan $31 million in aid under the Freedom Support Act. Senator John McCain echoed a view common in Washington at the time, stating that the Kyrgyz revolution could be the beginning of the democratization of the entire Central Asian region. Thus, US criticism of elections prior to the revolution and quick support of the new government helped to undermine Akayev’s legitimacy and then helped to build the legitimacy of the new Bakiev government.
Russia used its influence to support the opposition movement in Kyrgyzstan. In the months before the 2010 revolution, popular Russian-language media in Kyrgyzstan, much of it with ties to the Russian government, launched decidedly anti-Bakiev news stories, thus helping to delegitimize Bakiev’s regime. According to David Trilling, a journalist from Eurasianet.org,
The media bashing began even before a Bakiyev-backed national gathering, officially called the Kurultai Soglasiya (or Congress of Accord), ended in Bishkek. On March 24, the Vremya Novostei newspaper compared Bakiyev to Genghis Khan. The same day, the gazeta.ru website called him Kyrgyzbashi, an unflattering reference to deceased Turkmen dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, known as Turkmenbashi. On March 25, both the Izvestia and Kommersant dailies reported that Bakiyev is attempting to anoint his 32-year-old son, Maxim, as his successor. Izvestia dubbed the kurultai, “Operation Successor.”
Due to the sudden outpouring of criticism by Russian media on the same day, it seems that it was a coordinated effort. Furthermore, Stratfor, an independent intelligence analysis organization, states that its sources reported there were substantial Russian Federal Security Service troops on the ground during the crisis, and these were supplemented by 150 elite paratroopers the following day. Russia was the first country to recognize the new government and quickly offered Kyrgyzstan $50 million in aid.
Thus, Kyrgyzstan’s strategic location close to Afghanistan has made it a contested area for Russian and American interests. Russia and the United States both have a tremendous ability to influence politics in Kyrgyzstan, along with the motivation to do so.
Conclusion: Can the Cycle be Broken?
Kyrgyzstan’s new government realizes that past governments failed partially due to an overly powerful executive branch. This powerful branch has allowed traditions of corruption and nepotism to continue and has caused increased competition between the southern and northern clans, as they both see securing the presidency as the sole way to assure their interests are attended to by the government. In an attempt to break Kyrgyzstan’s cycle of instability, the new constitution, ratified in a popular referendum shortly after the 2010 revolution, has installed a parliamentary system with a weak executive branch. This system marks a radical change from the near-complete power that both the Bakiev and Akayev administrations held prior to their downfall, but may be exactly what is needed to bring lasting stability to the country.
First, the new system may help to decrease tension among the various tribes. The parliamentary system spreads power among all parties that receive more than 5% of the vote. Five parties passed the five percent threshold in the October 2010 elections, since votes were highly dispersed among the 29 parties that ran in the election. Ata Jurt, which had the highest percentage of votes at 8.69 percent, has its support base in the south and mainly consists of officials from Bakiev’s regime. However, the Social Democratic Party, which has a strong support base in northern Kyrgyzstan, obtained 8.13 percent of the votes. Thus, the new system has enabled both northerners and southerners to be represented in the government.
Second, the parliamentary system may enable the state to better fight corruption. According to the new system, the president can only be elected for one six-year term, and the number of seats in parliament was increased from 90 to 120. The powers of the parliament were significantly increased, while the president’s powers were decreased. By limiting the term of the presidency and increasing the power of the parliament, this system prevents one person from gaining enormous power that could then be used to intimidate other politicians into not investigating corruption and nepotism. Rosa Otunbayeva, the current President of Kyrgyzstan, is optimistic about these changes. She stated,
The people have put an end to the era of totalitarian family rule… The new constitution will create a legal barrier in the way of corruption, will help destroy years’ old schemes of stealing people’s money. The citizens of Kyrgyzstan voted for democracy for a new country.
Third, the dilution of power means that politicians will have to prove they are making strides to improve life in Kyrgyzstan for its average citizens if they want to be reelected. Competition and accountability should thus improve the lives of average citizens.
The parliamentary system may eventually solve some of the major problems that led to the 2005 and 2010 revolutions, but Kyrgyzstan still has a long road ahead. Poverty, rooted not only in corruption but also in Kyrgyzstan’s relative lack of natural resources, will be a difficult obstacle for any government to overcome. The ethnic tensions which broke out in June 2010 could break out again and serve to destabilize and delegitimize the government. Competing Russian and American influences could also lead to a soft power campaign that could undermine the legitimacy of the new government. Furthermore, the difficulty that Kyrgyzstan has had in forming coalitions proves that the parties are having trouble finding common ground. Thus, the parliamentary system may help Kyrgyzstan, but its success is far from assured.
Abilov, Shamkal. “The Russian Influence over Central Asian Countries in the Context of Kyrgyzstan,” 13 January 2010.
Alkan, Haluk. “Post-Soviet Politics in Kyrgyzstan: Between Centralism and Localism?” Contemporary Politics. September 2009. Vol. 15. No.3.
Arynov, Mirajidin. “Some Factors that Caused Interethnic Conflict in Southern Kyrgyzstan,” NewEurasia.net, 18 June 2010, http://www.neweurasia.net/politics-and-society/some-factors-caused-inter-ethnic-conflict-in-southern-kyrgyzstan/
“Bakiyev Supporters Join Forces in Kyrgyzstan’s South,” RIA Novosti, 12 April 2010, http://en.rian.ru/exsoviet/20100412/158546565.html
“Corruption,” Kyrgyzstan: Revolution Revisited, Eurasianet.org, 2006, http://www.eurasianet.org/kyrgyzstan/reportcard/issue3.shtml
Dukenbaev, Askat and Hansen, William. “Understanding Politics in Kyrgyzstan,” DEMSTAR Research Report No. 16 (September 2003).
“Economy (Kyrgyzstan),” Jane’s Sentinel Country Risk Assessments-Russia and the CIS Countries, 15 June 2010, http://articles.janes.com/extracts/extract/cissu/kyrgs170.html
FPA Administrator. “Kyrgyzstan’s Manas Airbase: The Americans Got to Keep Their Base, but who Really Won?” Foreign Policy Association, 24 June 2009, http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2009/06/24/kyrgyzstans-manas-air-base-the-americans-got-to-keep-their-base-but-who-really-won/
Galperin, Elina. “Kyrgyzstan’s Parliamentary Elections,” Foreign Policy Association, 12 October 2010, http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2010/10/12/kyrgyzstans-parliamentary-elections/
Goodrich, Lauren. “Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Resurgence.” Stratfor. 13 April 2010.
Huskey, Eugene. “Kyrgyzstan: the Fate of Political Liberalizations,” in Conflict, Cleavage, and Change in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Eds. Karen Dawisha and Bruce Parrot. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
“IFAD in the Kyrgyz Republic,” Rural Poverty Portal, http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/web/guest/country/home/tags/kyrgyzstan
Junisbai, Azamat. “Understanding Economic Justice Attitudes in Two Countries: Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.” Social Forces (June 2010). Vol. 88. Issue 4.
Kharchenko, Victor. “Tye, Kto Zahvatyvayet Zemli, Pomogli Oppozitsii Priiti k Vlasti.” Stan.tv.
Kirchick, James. “Dispatch from the Knife’s Edge: The Coming Kyrgyzstan Catastrophe.” New Republic. October 2010.
Kulski, W.W. “Class Stratifications in the Soviet Union,” Foreign Affairs, 1 October 1953, 1-3.
“Kyrgyz Protest Electricity Price Hike,” Radio Free Europe, 25 February 2010, http://www.rferl.org/content/Kyrgyz_Protest_Electricity_Price_Hike_/1968192.html
“Kyrgyzstan.” The World Factbook. The Central Intelligence Agency. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kg.html
“Kyrgyzstan and Manas Airbase,” The Boston Globe, 2 March 2009, http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/kyrgyzstan_and_manas_air_base.html
“Kyrgyzstan North-South Split Poses Political Risk-Poll,” Eurasianet.org, 8 October 2010, http://www.eurasianet.org/node/62116
“Kyrgyzstan: the Revolution Revisited,” Eurasianet.org, http://www.eurasianet.org/kyrgyzstan/timeline/index.html
“Kyrgyzstan: Russian Press Bashing Bakiyev,” Eurasianet.org, 29 March 2010, http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insightb/articles/eav033010.shtml
“Kyrgyzstan: Stalin’s Latest Victims,” The Economist, 17 June 2010, http://www.economist.com/node/16377279
Marat, Erica. “The Extent of Akayev Regime Corruption Becoming Clear,” The Jamestown Foundation, 26 April 2005, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=30298
Marat, Erica. The Tulip Revolution. Washington, D.C.: The Jamestown Foundation, 2006.
Osmonov, Joldosh. “Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Referendum,” CACI Analyst, 8 July 2010, http://www.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/5366
Pannier, Bruce. “Kyrgyz Parliamentary Vote Results Point to the Past, and a Potential Stalemate,” Radio Free Europe, 12 October 2010, http://www.rferl.org/content/Kyrgyz_Parliamentary_Vote_Bring_Surprise_And_Potential_Stalemate/2187230.html
“Q&A: Kyrgyz Unrest.” BBC News. 21 April 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8608870.stm
Stenin, Stenin. “Kyrgyzstan Votes in Favor of New Constitution and Interim President,” Ria Novosti, 27 June 2010, http://rt.com/news/kyrgyzstan-referendum-parliamentary-republic/
Trilling, David. “Wanted: Bakiyev, Maxim Kurmanbekovich,” Eurasianet.org, 6 May 2010, http://www.eurasianet.org/node/60999
US Department of State. “Background Note: Kyrgyzstan.” 26 October 2009. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5755.htm
Vardys, Stanley. “Soviet Nationality Policy Since the XXII Party Congress,” Russian Review, Vol. 24, No. 4, October 1964, http://www.jstor.org/stable/126919
“Violence in Kyrgyzstan: Stalin’s Harvest,” The Economist, 14 June 2010, http://www.economist.com/node/16364484
Wood, David. “Electricity Plays Key Role in Kyrgyzstan Uprising,” World Resources Institute, 19 April 2010, http://www.wri.org/stories/2010/04/electricity-plays-key-role-kyrgyzstan-uprising