It was an extraordinary day in Bishkek yesterday. The President woke in up in charge and went to sleep in exile.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev reportedly escaped to Manas airbase, and there are no reports specifying where he ended up. Russian news agency Interfax reports that the Bakiyev’s family home was looted and burned. Dozens are dead, hundreds are wounded, the Interior Minister Moldomusa Kongantiyev was killed, the deputy Prime Minister was taken hostage and the government crumbled.
The opposition who led the riots were not deterred by security forces who reportedly fired live rounds into the crowds. The angry protestors continued to surge, over-running the police in some cases, as was seen in video posted on the internet.
This is a major concern to the U.S. military because Manas Air Base in northern Kyrgyzstan is a critical component in the U.S. military strategy in Afghanstan.
Where did this come from? It seems like it just exploded out of the blue and how could it have achieved such stunning results in such a short period of time?
There are those who claim the Russians had a hand in this. If you think about how several thousand could overthrow the government of even a poor country like this in a matter of hours, it would seem that they had some help.
According to Reuters, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denied speculation that Russia had played a hand in the clashes.
“Neither Russia, nor your humble servant, nor Russian officials have any links whatsoever to these events,” Putin was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.
As the story continues to unfold, we see that a government was already waiting to assume control while clashes were still spilling out into the streets of Bishkek and other cities. Within hours after the first signs of unrest, the Parliament was taken over, the old government resigned, the President fled, and new government had been installed.
Let’s be honest, massive discontent, no matter how sincere it is, does not possess the sensitive intelligence, tradecraft and practiced timing necessary to overthrow a government.