The government of Kyrgyzstan has
fallen! According to reports this morning President Kurmanbek Bakiyev,
who opened fire on his own people, has fled. The government has been
dissolved and opposition forces have begun to assume power. Yesterday www.marxist.com
received a report from a comrade in Russia, which gives a graphic
account of these events.
uprising began in the city of Talas, 59 km from Bishkek. The opposition
in the country had designated this day for the holding of kurultais
(conventions) in all regions of the country. As reported on the website
Fergana.ru, on March 31, leaders of the Central Executive Committee of
the United People’s Movement of Kyrgyzstan – the opposition to the
current government – held a press conference at which they announced
that on 7 April all over the country there would be regional kurultais
to “convey to the people the demands of the opposition and the kurultai
of March 17.”
In mid-March, the united opposition to the authorities launched a
series of demands, among them the abolition of the tariff increase for
public utilities, the balancing of the books of the Severelectro and
Kyrgyztelecom state enterprises, which are of strategic importance, the
dismissal of the relatives of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev from their
posts, as well as the cancelling of a number of legal sentences.
The time limit was March 24. On this day, we must remember, the
Republic celebrates the next (fifth) anniversary of the Tulip
Revolution, which brought acting president Kurmanbek Bakiyev to power.
The demands were not even considered, and the commemoration went ahead
without any incidents.
electricity and water in Kyrgyzstan since the beginning of 2010 have
been increased twice. "Fergana.ru" makes clear that the opposition
parties were especially active this spring, finding a cause to attract
people to their side. Another trump card for the opposition was the
arrest of Eugenia Gurevich, after a trial by a kangaroo court. According
to the media, a businessman close to Bakiyev’s son – Maxim Bakiyev – is
the head of the Central Agency for Development, Investment and
In response, the same night the government arrested nearly all the
leaders of the Kyrgyz opposition. They are charged with an attempted
coup d’etat. Among those arrested is party leader Atameken Tekebayev,
leader of the Akshunkar Temir Sariev (he was taken off the Russian
aircraft as he was flying in from Moscow) as well as the Speaker of the
Social Democratic faction in parliament, Rosa Otumbaeva, and others. The
movement became unstoppable. In addition to the arrests of politicians,
they began arresting journalists, and they also detained one of the
leaders of Internet site "Stan TV”, Kirill Stepaniuk. The reason for the
detention and whereabouts of Stepanyuk are unknown.
But this repression has not scared the people. The clashes with the
opposition began on Tuesday, April 6, at the regional centre, the city
of Talas. The reason for the conflict between protesters and police was
the detention of one of the leaders of the opposition party Ata-Meken
Swamps Sherniyazova, who intended to participate in the opposition
general kurultai on April 7. As a result, Sherniyazov was released, but
only under pressure from protesters.
According to local
media, about a thousand people surrounded the building of the police
department. The protesters demanded that the acting governor Beishenbek
Bolotbekova go over to the side of the opposition, and then when it was
clear that this was refused, according to several media, the mob took
him hostage and announced the appointment of an alternate governor.
According to others, Bolotbekov left the meeting under the protection of
the police. In order to suppress the rally a plane with special forces
flew in from the Kyrgyz capital.
By late afternoon on Tuesday, the disturbances were suppressed, and
on the basis of the mass meetings several criminal cases were initiated.
Throughout the region mass arrests of opposition politicians began. On
April 6, six people were arrested, among them Bakiyev’s former colleague
of the Tulip Revolution, Duyshenkul Chawton. The leader of the
parliamentary faction of the Social-Democrats, the ex-Minister of
Foreign Affairs of the Republic, Rosa Otunbayeva was forced into hiding
for fear of arrest.
Yesterday, Wednesday, April 7, the uprising spread to virtually the
entire country. The opposition went onto the offensive. Events are
moving with extraordinary speed. By 2pm the rebels had captured the town
of Talas in the west. Around 11-12 thousand people surrounded the
building of the local police department, which has been abandoned by the
special riot police. At 2.20 the rebels tried to seize the city
administration building in Tokmok, Chui region. A crowd of 3,000
surrounded the town hall and tried to take it by storm. All the
opposition TV channels were disabled, only pro-government channels being
allowed to broadcast.
began in the capital, Bishkek, when a huge crowd came to the house of
the Kyrgyz Government, where people tried to ram the fence with trucks.
In response, government forces opened fire. Snipers fired on the crowd.
There were the first victims. There were reports that the rebels had
seized the regional administration in the city of Kerben, raising their
own flag. Special Forces tried to prevent the seizure of the building
and fired into the air, but this did not stop the insurgents, and the
Special Forces had to retreat.
Later, the Kerben popular kurultai elected a new mayor – Kadyrkul
Omurbek, the candidate supported by Topchubek Turgunaliev. In addition,
the assembly elected the Chief of the District Department of the
Interior, a local human rights activist Sartbai Zhaychibekov. Also, the
participants at the meeting intend to continue the appointment of new
heads of the rural management area. According to the "AKI-Fergana"
website, nobody knows the whereabouts of Aksysky, the Mayor of the
Talent Orozova district, whose resignation was previously demanded by
According to reports of health workers, several people among the
crowd in front of Government House were killed or wounded. According to
the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, there have been between
93 and 100 victims. On April 6 the Ministry of Health established a
special unit to coordinate the provision of medical care.
About 200 people came to the village of Pokrovka rayakimiatu. They
were joined by people from all the surrounding villages. The procession
closed the road and did not allow any cars to pass. The protesters
planned to go further, to Karakol, to the central administration. They
began meeting in the village of Tup Tyup district, and villagers from
Saru, Darkhan and Barskoon Issyk-Kul region headed towards the village
of Pokrovka in order to attend the rally. At the White House military
trucks were burning, and now and then the Special Forces fired warning
President Kurmanbek Bakiev issued a decree imposing a state of
emergency for a month in the territory of Bishkek, as well as the Chu
and Talas districts. No activities are to be carried out. The decree
requires control over the media, limiting use of funds, and data
transmission. The decree was sent to Parliament.
According to information we have received, in Bishkek real battles
have been taking place. The people have been disarming the riot police
and arming themselves with shields, batons and riot equipment taken by
force from the agents of “law and order”. Riot policemen, refusing to
fire on the people, started going over to the protesters with their arms
in the air! At one point, the protesters took over a couple of police
cars and two dark-green trucks; in the back of one of them they found a
"Fly" grenade launcher. Also, the rebels seized several Kalashnikov
“The protesters seized the building of the Kyrgyz television and
radio, and ransacked the building”, said a member of the NTRC. It has
been reported that the Governor of Issykulsk province has been relieved
of his powers. According to human rights activists in Bishkek, there are
several dozen dead. A number of regional and district administrations
have been seized.
Human rights activists and others fear that the Government will
introduce a state of emergency and legitimise the use of firearms
against the people. Already armoured units are moving in the direction
of the main sources of protest.
At the present time, except for national television and entertainment
radio stations other stations have not been broadcasting, that is,
people are not getting any information about what is actually happening
in the country.
According to one report, "The whole country is in turmoil. Meanwhile,
mass kurultais have begun to appear. They are headed by representatives
of opposition parties. They are being held in the city of Naryn, in
Sukuluke, located near Bishkek and in Osh region.”
According to the latest reports, demonstrators have just found a
sniper who was shooting at them. He was sitting on the roof of the house
behind the demonstrators. He was almost caught, but miraculously
escaped. While there is a temporary lull around the White House, the
demonstrators go no further, but do not disperse.
The state of emergency has not yet been introduced, because a quorum
was not reached. Parliament condemned the actions of the opposition. The
opposition leaders are still detained. The people are on their own.
It has been reported that the Governor Issykulskoy has had his powers
removed. Human rights activists have given the following information.
Here is a summary of the situation at the moment: 5.09pm [April 7] in
“The KTD has been captured. Sasykbaeva Assia announces that he is
currently preparing a broadcast on the situation on the radio, because
some TV equipment has been smashed. In Talas, Naryn, Isykkulsk, Batken
regions the city administrations have been seized.”
“There are reports of the seizure of the state administrations in
Moskovsk, Sokuluk (Chuisk oblast), also the City Hall in the city of
Tokmak, Aksy (Jalalabad), Kochkor district of Naryn oblast.
“In Bishkek increasing numbers of protesters are gathering on the
square (from all regions of the republic). Unfortunately, there are
casualties – more than 30 people have been killed by sniping from the
roof of the White House.
“Despite this, the protesters have become more and more numerous – by
killing people, the State will only increase the anger of the people.
Bakiyev must stop shooting at people, and get out!
“Is the taste of power so sweet that it is worth killing people for?
After all, he will have to answer not only to the children and families
of the victims, but also before God? And all who do his bidding and
raise their arms against the citizens are also doomed, sooner or later,
to answer for their actions before the people and before God!
“The Kochkor-Bishkek road has been closed. In Talas, the
demonstrators have demanded that the Minister of the Interior cancel the
order on the use of weapons against the citizens, and he is severely
Postscript (8th April)
The government has fallen! According to reports this morning
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who opened fire on his own people, has
fled. Bakiyev, the hero of the “so-called” Tulip Revolution in 2005, was
forced to flee the capital ignominiously after his house was ransacked
by angry protesters. The government has been dissolved and opposition
forces have begun to assume power.
The Kyrgyzstan Health Ministry claimed 40 people were killed and a
further 400 injured during this bloody revolution. But unconfirmed
reports put the fatality figure at 100. The movement, which had a purely
spontaneous mass character, threw up embryonic soviets (kurultai).
Yesterday power was lying in the streets waiting to be picked up.
With a conscious leadership, this heroic movement of the masses could
have led directly to a workers’ and peasants’ government that would
have sent shock waves through all Central Asia and beyond.
Unfortunately, in the absence of a Marxist party, the leadership has
fallen into the hands of the Social Democrats, who lack any alternative
to the policies of capitalism.
Nevertheless, the events in Kyrgyzstan show the tremendous
revolutionary potential of the masses. They show how unstable are the
weak and corrupt bourgeois regimes that have replaced the former
Republics of the Soviet Union. These regimes offer nothing to the people
except misery, hunger, wars and oppression. They will be swept away one
after another in the stormy period that is opening up. What we just saw
in backward Kyrgyzstan is a mirror image of what the future holds for
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, the Caucasus – and Russia itself.