The More Things Change…

by Nathan Hamm on 4/26/2006 · 4 comments

Remember this picture from about a year ago?

Kurmanbek Bakiev wants to make sure nothing like the above happens this weekend.

Trying to nip in the bud the possibility of the kind of protests on which he rose to power himself, Bakiev is handling this weekend’s planned protests like the country’s old management.

Today students at more than one university were told that if they attend the demonstration, they will be kicked out of their university. Instead universities are planning activities for Saturday, like assigning students to clean the buildings and grounds so they can’t go to the demonstration.


It’s now painfully obvious that improving Kyrgyzstan is far from one of Bakiev’s top priorities.

UPDATE: And I hadn’t even seen this yet. Sounds like the guy is scared of something. He’s seemed pretty out of touch to me, but at least he is aware of his weakness.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Nick April 27, 2006 at 3:10 am

Regarding “revolutions” like this one, one is instantly reminded of that wonderful line from Lampedusa’s novel set during the risorgimento, The Leopard:

“If you want things to remain as they are, things will have to change … “

Josh April 27, 2006 at 10:50 am

I haven’t paid too close attention to it lately, but wasn’t Bakiev’s revolution helped in part through the activities of groups like Freedom House? Has he allowed them to continuie to operate, and if so, are they having any impact on what’s happening?

Nathan April 27, 2006 at 11:00 am

I do believe he was recently overheard hinting that foreign ngos are a potential danger.

Josh April 28, 2006 at 3:05 pm

Great, maybe he’ll pull a Karimov.

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