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Chapter Summary

Political instability and violence have returned to Kyrgyzstan. On 6-7 April 2010 violent uprisings erupted around the country. In what seemed like a replay of the 2005 'Tulip Revolution', demonstrators stormed the White House, causing the president to flee. The regime of Kurmanbek Bakiev, which had controlled the country through what many locals described to me as increasing authoritarianism and blatant corruption, quickly collapsed. On 12 June, ethnic Uzbek women and children began flooding to Uzbekistan's border. The interim government requested Russia to deploy peacekeeping troops, but the Russian government dallied and then declined military support. The image of Uzbeks as prominent businessmen and the push for greater recognition on the national level collided with a general perception of Kyrgyz identity and ownership of the state. While Bakiev's supporters did try to regain control, it was not expressed as a 'tribal' struggle.

Keywords: Kurmanbek Bakiev; Kyrgyzstan; Russian government; Tulip Revolution; Uzbekistan



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