Do the Russians Want Bakiev Back to Bishkek?


For the last two days the situation in Kyrgyzstan has seriously deteriorated. The supporters of ousted Kyrgyz president Bakiev attempted to reclaim power in Jelalabad and Osh, the ‘southern capital’ of Kyrgyzstan and main narco-gate to Central Asia. Two people have been killed and 61 injured in clashes as reported by the RT. Rosa Otunbayeva, the leader of the interim government, has commented on a popular liberal Russian radio station ‘Ekho Moskvy’ that the unrest in the south of Kyrgyzstan was ‘masterminded from Moscow’. Later she defined that she meant ‘not Russian officials but Kyrgyzs fled to Moscow’.

These events suggest that ORIENTAL REVIEW was regretfully right in its article “Kyrgyzstan Destined to become Another Narco-State” when fearing that the Central Asian republic is collapsing thus creating an ideal environment for the operations of narco-mafia in the region. The concurrent government in Bishkek is despairingly weak. They are failing to consolidate Kyrgyz society on ideas of national unity and economical recovery. First internal disturbance made them seek external ‘Moscow hand’ against any logic and reason. Unfortunately there is no public figure on the political horizon of the country capable to emerge as such consolidator.

The Russian attitude towards Kyrgyzstan was clearly indicated on April 20, 2010 at the meeting of Dmitry Medvedev and Uzbek president Islam Karimov: “We need strong government in Bishkek… Now we face the menace of permanent chaos in this country for years…”

Meanwhile the fact that the governmental offices in the south of Kyrgyzstan were captured simultaneously suggests that the assaults indeed were masterminded from a single center. The real authorities there are not ‘governors’ appointed by the interim government, but local clans and criminal gangs. Without any doubt, the organizers are the followers of former leader Bakiev striving to retain assets accumulated during his presidency.

Kyrgyzstan still survives under factual economic blockade. Its borders with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are closed yet. The economic activity is slowing down and hundreds of local merchants are suffering losses. The prices are on the rise, budgetary revenues abruptly going down.

So where is the next stop? Is Kyrgyzstan on the eve of Tajikistan-style civil war or the former ‘sample democracy in the Central Asia’ will happily pass through the difficult times and a new legitimate government to come to power in Bishkek will cope with the criminal challenges and save the country’s integrity? I’m afraid we will know the answer well before the parliamentary elections to be held in October… Too much time to wait, too thin patience to wear…

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