And in another far-away country

Russia Picking A Fight Over Kyrgystan

What is new is the involvement of the Russian foreign ministry after the fact, arguing against election observation missions sparking demonstrations. Is this an indication that Russia may interfere, perhaps militarily, in Kyrgystan? I'd be surprised. The Russian army, particularly in that neighborhood of Central Asia, likely isn't prepared to manage daily drills, let alone invade a neighboring country.

But the stakes are without doubt getting higher. The developments in Ukraine and Georgia have made Russia look weak. Russian authorities are trying to play to a Russian audience that increasingly sees its government on the wrong side of geopolitical tectonic plate shifting.

More here:

Is it Kyrgstan that has just taken a step towards democracty recently when the govt gave in to populist pressure for some form of basic election? or am i thinking of another stan? :?
The Pesident is now claiming outside influence is to blame for the recent troubles (could it be russian influence or from the good old US of a?)

The president of Kyrgyzstan last night accused foreign powers of being behind a series of demonstrations threatening his 14-year rule.

Askar Akayev, echoing claims by Ukraine's leaders before Christmas that its "Orange Revolution" was funded from abroad, denounced the opposition for being "dictated to and funded" by outsiders.

The state "can't show weakness when faced with colour revolutions", Mr Akayev added, a reference to the upheavals in Ukraine and the 2003 "Rose Revolution" in Georgia.

"This action of home-grown revolutionaries is a direct challenge to the people and the government," he said, complaining that he was facing a coup d'état.

Kyrgyzstan, which was once thought to be the most liberal of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia, has been rocked by a series of protests since two rounds of parliamentary elections left opposition parties with just a handful of seats.

They allege that the voting was rigged and that Mr Akayev intends to change the law so that he can extend his term of office.

But Mr Akayev hit back yesterday, ridiculing the failure of the opposition to present a united front.

"The opposition leaders can't formulate acceptable conditions for negotiations," he said.

"They insist on annulling the elections and the resignation of the president.

"Each one of them has his own demands. You don't know with whom to hold talks."

Observers agree that the failure of a single, widely recognised opposition leader to emerge is one major difference with Georgia and Ukraine.

Nor is it clear that any of the opposition leaders have much control over events in the south of the country, where protesters have taken over the second city, Osh, and the city of Jalalabad nearby.

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