Analyst comment on Kryrgyzstan crisis; plus file of president


Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – March 24, 2005
1. Wide shot, White House government building
2. Mid shot, protestors at doors of White House
3. Wide shot, protestors trying to storm building
4. Wide shot, protesters at gates
5. Mid shot, protesters on horse

6. Wide shot, protestors surrounding injured man
7. Injured man being carried away
8. Mid shot, protesters

Moscow, Russia – March 24, 2005
9. Setup shot Irina Zvyagelskaya, Central Asian Specialist, Institute of Oriental Studies
10. Cutaway books
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Professor Irina Zvyagelskaya, Central Asian Specialist, Institute of Oriental Studies
”I want to stress that I doubt whether these people (the opposition) when they come to power will become real democrats and I doubt whether those people who supported them are fighting for democracy first, because they have no notion of what it is about. I am also not sure that they will be satisfied with the results because they want justice and I wonder whether they will really receive it.”

Moscow – APTN File 2000
12. Various Askar Akaev meeting Russian President, Vladimir Putin

Moscow, Russia – March 24, 2005
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Professor Irina Zvyagelskaya, Central Asian Specialist, Institute of Oriental Studies
”First as I said, it is very difficult to pacify these people (the protesters) and I am not sure whether the opposition is in full control of these radical sentiments. Secondly I am not sure that the Islamicist (fundamentalists)m who by the way have their roots in the South (of Kyrgyzstan),’ that they will be kept for a long time behind the scenes, since the very slogan as I said, ‘For Justice’ is the slogan which they widely use and for them Justice means an Islamic state.”

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
14. Wide crowd and riot police, protesters jeering and throwing stones at riot police

15. Wide, zoom in to injured man being carried away
16. Wide shot protesters


Although protesters’ seizure of Kyrgyzstan government headquarters and the reported resignation of President Askar Akayev unfolded with stunning speed on Thursday, trouble had been looming for the government for weeks.

Even before the allegedly fraudulent parliamentary elections that sparked Kyrgyzstan’s uprising, the government had a taste of disorder when protesters blocked two key highways to protest the exclusion of opposition candidates from the ballot.

But the elections went forward, the government rejected foreign observers’ criticism and Kyrgyzstan slid into accelerating disorder.

Kyrgyzstan’s crisis broadly followed a pattern already set in fellow former Soviet republics Georgia and Ukraine, where protests over fraudulent elections brought masses to the streets and eventually led to the old guard losing power.

Akayev and his government were clearly aware of the precedents and had complained that outside forces were trying to stir up trouble. But they apparently did little, if anything, to break the mould.

Opposition forces were angry that many of their members had been denied slots on the ballot for Feb. 27 parliamentary elections and the backers of two thwarted aspirants blocked highways and briefly took control of some local administration buildings.

The protests dispersed peacefully before the elections, but the anger didn’t.

After that round, protesters occupied an administration building in Jalal-Abad, and unlike the previous demonstrations, this one continued.

That kept tensions stoked for the March 13 second round. When the results from that round came in, Akayev had won a compliant parliament overwhelmingly dominated by his supporters – whom the opposition suspected would try to change the constitution to allow Akayev to run for a third term.

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Post time: 04-22-2017