Tag Archives: Kyrgyzstan

Putin’s priorities are clear

But then, he’s too busy turning the Nazis into the only legitimate opposition in Russia to fight the Taliban:

The Weekly Standard
While Obama deals with the assorted tax problems of his nominees, the world continues to turn. The AP reports that “Kyrgyzstan will no longer allow US to use airbase that supports military operations in Afghanistan.” This as the Kyrgyz president arrives in Moscow for a state visit the agenda for which is to include Russia forgiving Kyrgyzstan’s debt and providing nearly $2 billion in loans and new investments.

This presents an opportunity. Historically, politics in Afghanistan was split between Iran, India, and Russia supporting the multiethnic north, and Pakistan supporting the Pashtun south. If Russia is actively preventing support of the Afghan government (which is a very “northern” institution), we may seeing de facto between Russia and Pakistan in supporting the Pashtun south.

Which means an Indian-Iranian-American alliance in support of Afghanistan’s national government is possible.


I hope Barack Obama is paying attention!

Kung Fu Fighting

The unsung role of Kung Fu in the Kyrgyz revolution,” AFP, 28 March 2005, http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050328/lf_afp/kyrgyzstanpolitics_050328194347 (from Coming Anarchy).

This is the weirdest news of the night. No wonder the Defense Minister wasn’t good at his job. I’m going to bed.

Many say people power brought down the regime in Kyrgyzstan last week. But Bayaman Erkinbayev, a lawmaker, martial arts champ and one of the Central Asian nation’s richest men, says it was his small army of Kung Fu-style fighters.

In southern Kyrgyzstan, where the protests that brought down the Askar Akayev’s 15-year regime first flared, the name of 37-year-old Erkinbayev seems to be on everyone’s lips.

Effectors of Regime Change in Former Soviet Central Asia?

Erkinbayev is the wealthy playboy head of the Palvan Corporation, who led 2,000 fighters trained in Alysh, Kyrgyzstan’s answer to Kung Fu, to protests launched after the first round of a parliamentary election on February 27.

A hero in his hometown Osh, he is generally considered to have financed the protests and sent his martial arts trainees to the front lines of the demonstrations, including in the capital Bishkek.

Heros of Democracy?

Oh, and the guy’s Tony Soprano too

In the parliamentary elections of 2000 he is said to have spent two weeks on the run from the police after allegedly beating a judge who ordered him to drop out of the race for failing to disclose some of his wife’s property in his registration form.

The ruling was later overturned under unclear circumstances and Erkinbayev described it as an “untruth.”

“When I met the judge later he retracted his accusations,” he said.

Perhaps a Sign the Defense Minister Was Less than Effective

Protesters Seize Kyrgyzstan Government HQ,” Associated Press, 24 March 2005, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,151351,00.html (from Instapundit).

It can be hard to know if a state’s military is truly great. A large discussion at Dawn’s Early Light discusses this, in the context of a mock Indo-American air battle. But this is probably a sign you need new security officials

About 1,000 protesters managed to clear riot police from their positions outside the fence protecting the building, and about half that number entered the compound and went into the building through the front entrance. Others smashed windows with stones, while hundreds of police watched from outside the fence.

Protesters led the defense minister out of the building, holding him by the elbows and trying to protect him, but others threw stones at the military chief and one protester kicked him. Interior Ministry troops led other officials out, and three injured people left in bandages, accompanied by a doctor.

Yet another day in Russia’s ironically crumbling post-Empire

Russia’s Ironically Crumbling Post-Empire

Moldova Communists stay in power,” BBC News, 7 March 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4322617.stm.

Russia Picking A Fight Over Kyrgystan,” by Tim Russo, Democracy Guy, 22 May 2005, http://democracyguy.typepad.com/democracy_guy_grassroots_/2005/03/russia_picking_.html.

There’s so many angles to this story: Putin’s alienation of Moldova, joint Opposition-Government patrols, Russia’s generation-old policy of trading power for money, the wave of democratic revolutions, Russia’s army being so incompetent that it can’t invade a country where it has military bases, etc.

Can the President Stand the Heat?

In the same month two new ex-Soviet states, Moldova and the unpronounceable Kyrgystan, look to be joining Georgia and Ukraine in cutting their ties to Moscow. But everything is swamped by this headline

Moldova’s governing pro-Western Communist Party has won parliamentary elections with a reduced majority

To those who need a second look

Moldova’s governing pro-Western Communist Party