The Meaning of Kyrgyzstan

The cold war is over but Russian–U.S. rivalry is not.

While the U.S.’s attention is focused on Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, Russia is pushing back U.S. influence in the former Soviet republics. In January, a pro-Russian government was elected in Ukraine and in the same month Moscow signed a customs union agreement to reintegrate Russia with Kazakhstan and Belarus.

And now a pro-Russian government has taken power in Kyrgyzstan, a country that is six hundred miles from its border. It is not much of a prize, has no economy or strategic resources to speak of and is highly dependent on its neighbours for food and energy. But thanks to its geographical location, it has control over Central Asia. Moreover, its highlands overlook China’s Tarinn Basin, part of the contentious Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous region.

According to the Stratfor Geopolitical Intelligence Report of April 13, Russia has taken a page from the U.S. playbook and sparked a revolution in Kyrgyzstan along the lines of the pro-Western colour revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine.

The revolution was quick and intense. Within twenty-four hours, protests that had been simmering for months spun into country-wide riots as the president fled and a replacement government took over. The manner in which every piece necessary to exchange one government for another fell into place makes it clear that the revolution was pre-arranged.

It is further evidence, says the Report, of Russian Resurgence.

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