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Home A Russian Made Disaster in Kyrgyzstan

A Russian Made Disaster in Kyrgyzstan

The violence unleashed in Kyrgyzstan is being spun as ethnic rioting. The reality is a good deal more complex, and the blame can be laid directly at Russia's door. Russia's coup against the Bakiyev government which took power in the Tulip Revolution leveraged Uzbek separatists in the Osh Province to suppress Kyrgiz nationalist supporters of Bakiyev.

Russia had been trying for a while to force out Manas Air Base, a US air force base that serves as a vital link to US forces in Afghanistan. Russia tolerated Bakiyev, so long as he was against the US base. But once Bakiyev made a deal with the United States, and began exploring an energy deal with China that might have ended Russian leverage over the country, Putin pulled off a coup during Obama's nuclear arms reduction treaty signing with Medvedev, a true "Godfather" moment.

People like Uzbek nationalist leader Kadyrjan Batyrov were used to stage riots, and suppress counter-riots, in order to remove Bakiyev from power, and replace him with Roza Otunbayeva. Otunbayeva was a former Soviet diplomat at the UN, Marxist academic and local Communist party official. This completed a series of Russian reversals of "Revolutions" in former Republics and Warsaw Pact nations, with only Georgia still in the way. But the Kyrgyzstan coup left behind a lot of unfinished business.

A Russian coup usually comes in several stages. First a wave of propaganda thunders forth from Russian media outlets, which are government controlled, blasting the government of the country they want to overthrow as corrupt and repressive. This is followed by a domestic uprising staged by organizations tied to Russia. If this uprising fails, a new wave of propaganda follows aimed more at the West, which brands the target government as repressive and contributing to regional instability (a coded threat which warns Western countries that if they attempt to intervene, it could lead to a regional conflict) and that leads to an invasion by Russian "peacekeepers".

In Kyrgyzstan, Russia's coup succeeded, but at the cost of severely exasperating existing ethnic tensions. By leveraging Uzbek separatists like Kadyrjan Batyrov, Putin had managed to light the fuel dump of ethnic tensions that had been constantly simmering in Osh already. This was not entirely unplanned.

In the Soviet era, Russian policy took a Divide and Conquer approach to the Republics, often transplanting ethnic populations or drawing borders so as to create multicultural tensions that would prevent the locals from uniting against them. This approach however leads to long term disastrous consequences, as it did when the British utilized it in Israel, importing Arabs to balance out Jewish immigration, resulting in decades of terrorism and war. In Kyrgyzstan, the toxic mix of Uzbeks, ethnic Russian settlers and others among the dominant Kyrgyz ethnic group means that Russia always has plenty of levers when it wants to destabilize the country, but that instability may not always end when Russia says it does.

Uzbek separatism has been the explosive issue in the Osh Province because of its sizable number of Uzbeks. Which in turn has meant a region polarized between Kyrgyz nationalists determined to keep Osh and Uzbek nationalists who want secession or at least cultural autonomy. Former President Bakiyev who won solidly in the Osh Province with 2/3rds of the vote made some effort to defuse it, but because he was from Osh himself, he couldn't do so without alienating his own base, which due to Uzbek separatism, was both Kyrgyz and nationalist. This made Kadyrjan Batyrov and his Uzbek nationalists a handy tool for Moscow when they wanted to remove Bakiyev and replace him with their own puppet. But it also meant that Putin had lit a fire that couldn't easily be put out.

By using Batyrov to enforce a takeover in a region ripe with Kyrgyz nationalists, Putin stoked fears of Uzbek separatism that would be backed by the full might of Mother Russia. Much as Putin had done for Abkhazians and Ossetians in Georgia. And indeed had Bakiyev managed to remain in power, the way that Saakashvili had-- there is little doubt that Russia would have backed Uzbek secession and used that as a pretext for invading Kyrgyzstan. Just as they did in Georgia.

And since Kadyrjan Batyrov's Uzbek nationalists had used armed force to suppress pro-Bakiyev protesters, and with clan vendettas a major factor in the region, Osh was bound to be a tinderbox for some time to come. Russia's Otunbayeva puppet regime could not turn its back on Batyrov, because he had helped it secure power. But alienating a regional majority already afraid that they were about to become the next Kosovo or Georgia, was extremely unwise. For Otunbayeva anyway, less so for Russia, which might actually have been waiting all along for the chance to send in its "peacekeepers".

The Kyrgyzstan armed forces had not proven useful to Bakiyev, but as they are in the vast majority Kyrgyz. They might not have been willing to back Bakiyev, but they would be even less willing to defend Batyrov and his followers. Batyrov's Uzbek group had warned that any attempt to arrest him for his armed suppression of protesters would be an attack on all Uzbeks. This insured that the formula for the rioting would fall along ethnic lines.

Russia's government controlled media is predictably monopolizing the reporting, focusing on Uzbeks asking for Russian troops. The reality however is that Russia created the rioting and the massacres for its own agenda. Putin wanted to drive out the US airbase in Kyrgyzstan, even at the cost of inflaming ethnic tensions by appearing to endorse Uzbek separatism. Everything that followed can and should be laid at his doorstep.

Now Putin is trying to bring in the People's Republic of China via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to form a united front on Kyrgyzstan in support of his own Otunbayeva puppet regime. With a weak Obama Administration that was unable to respond even to Russia pulling off the Otunbayeva coup during an arms reduction treaty signing, as a deliberate slap in the face, Russia has nothing to worry about in the way of US interference. However it has a much bigger invisible problem to worry about.

By feeding Uzbek separatism in Kyrgyzstan, Putin is empowering a population that has increasingly come under the sway of Islamist groups such as Hizb ut Tahir, whose goal is to rebuild the Caliphate. While the old Bakiyev government had cracked down on Islamists and in particularly on Hizb ut Tahir (to the outraged protests of European and Russian human rights activists), the Otunbayeva government has sought their support by giving them a pass. Including amnesty for Hizb ut Tahir members imprisoned in what Uzbek separatists and their human rights allies call, the Nookat Incident. Providing amnesty for participants in the Nookat Incident in which Hizb ut Tahir supporters rioted during Eid al-Fitr served as a dangerous message by the new government of open door for the Islamists.

Hizb ut Tahir's strategy goes beyond Uzbek nationalism, but does piggyback on it. And it can best take advantage of the fighting in Kyrgyzstan by using the African model that has worked so well for Islamist groups there. While its base is still the Uzbeks near the border with Uzbekistan, it is also moving up into the north, and successfully recruiting Kyrgyz as well. This is in keeping with the phased approach utilized by Islamist groups in countries with an existing Islamic population and an impoverished rural base. (In Western nations however Islamists are a growth factor in urban or suburban areas where their base of Muslim immigrants tend to be located, while native non-Muslims living in rural areas tend to be their key source of opposition).

While Otunbayeva's Social Democratic Party has not endorsed or legalized Hizb ut Tahir, the instability in the Osh Province, where Hizb ut Tahir, is strong, can only build support for them in the long run. Whether Uzbek separatism gains new life or is suppressed again, Hizb ut Tahir will begin to seem like more of a viable alternative, by promising traditional Islamic values as an alternative to the corruption of secular political parties. And while for now, religious parties have been banned, Hizb ut Tahir has financial backing built on oil money and a great deal of patience. While Putin tries to dominate Kyrgyzstan, Islamist groups know that they are the ones who will win in the end.


  1. Governments are becoming very good at creating disasters and situations for excuses to fight and conquer.

  2. excellent article

    this info is vital as well:

    The Killings in Osh, Kyrgyzstan are Stalin's Legacy


    See... this way anytime the Soviets wanted to they could enact a "must to create populist anger" / ethnos against ethnos "revolution" plan....
    the borders were demarcated in this fashion specifically for this purpose - all you have to do at any given point is stir the pot and BLAMMO -insidious, brilliant.

    OHHHH But why should we care? There are no Jews to blame there... so everyone quick! Look at GAZA.


    and they know it.

  3. Anonymous14/6/10

    You again forget the Russian Solution(TM) to the resultant secondary problems. The nation that massacred 20+ million in the twentieth century through mass terror, germ warfare and engineered starvation will not, in the end, have great difficulties controlling Islamists in its Near Abroad.

    The last Islamist attempt to create a Caliphate in Central Asia ended very badly for the Islamists. And the Red Army was only using unmodified yersinia pestis in those days. The next time around, with advances in technology, the Russians will do far worse.

  4. Russia is projected to have an Islamic majority by 2050. And Russian government controlled media trumpet this fact as an achievement. It's fairly clear that the authorities there, as in the West, have decided that Muslims would make a more useless and less independent citizenry.

  5. Sultan It is 100% right what you say. All these governments (our own included) think they can use Islam as their proxy army to marginalize and quell us, and because they are such superior forms of life compared to these 7th century Islamic creatures - they assume they will be able to rule over them handily once we are out of the way, subduing them once they have served their purpose against the rest of us. Huge fookin' mistake.


    will EAT them.

  6. Anonymous14/6/10

    Annonymous, when and where was plague used by the Russians? Afghanistan in the 80s?


  7. sure, but tyrants like the idea of having a more backward population that isn't going to demand things like free speech or democracy

    they just don't understand that the whip hand won't be theirs for long, because people are most easily governed by members of their own culture

  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2ROvtYu0tM

  9. http://www.rferl.org/content/10_Things_You_Need_To_Know_About_The_Ethnic_Unrest_In_Kyrgyzstan/2071323.html

    10 Things You Need To Know About The Ethnic Unrest In Kyrgyzstan

  10. re: "...tyrants... just don't understand that...... people are most easily governed by members of their own culture."
    and that this fact applies much more deeply under Islamic "culture" (with it's proportionately violent rule of law) is indeed the achilles heel of secular minded government.

    DG, if you know the stats offhand, what percentage of russian population is currently muslim?

  11. It is estimated that between 11.7%-19% of Russians are moslems.

    "There are between 7 and 9 million people who practice Islam in Russia, and that the rest are only Muslims by ethnicity. Muslim communities are concentrated among the various minority nationalities residing between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea: Adyghe, Balkars, Chechens, Circassians, Ingush, Kabardin, Karachay, and numerous Dagestani peoples."

  12. Anonymous14/6/10

    wow. I had no idea the muslim population in russia was that high.

    I wonder what it is in the US and Canada?


  13. Anonymous15/6/10

    The Byzantines thought they could use Islam too, for their own ends.

    Anybody heard of the Byzantine Empire lately?


  14. Anonymous15/6/10

    Non-Moslem Russians are pretty much a dying breed at this point.

    These guys can't even keep themselves alive, and they think they're going to manage the Moslems?


  15. Author makes judgments based on wrong information. Several things that are not true (from the bottom):
    1. Otunbaeva is no longer a member of Social Democratic Party since May 2010.
    2. Hizb ut Tahir is in a list of terrorist organizations and never could be endorsed or approved (very stupid of author) by Otunbaeva.
    3. it is not Nootak Incident but Nookat Incident (check google now) it was fabricated case of Bakievs to suppress opposition.
    Other thing are not based on facts and only is author's imagination.

  16. Otunbaeva left only after taking power to maintain the farce that this wasn't a political coup.

    I never claimed Otunbaeva endorsed Hizb ut Tahir, however her party's willingness to pardon Hizb ut Tahir members panders to a dangerous Islamist organization.

  17. Anonymous15/6/10

    @jlp4221: The Red Army used the Black Plague, starvation and poison gas extensively in the late 1920s in Central Asia.

    @Daniel: Projected does not equal fait accompli. I repeat, again, there is a reason why Cossack hosts have been reconstituted. If Putin's mild policies fail, the Russian national flag will change from red-white-blue to white-black-gold. The which I do not look forward to at all as a Jew. But the Moslems will get screwed either way.

  18. Jazgul,
    About your #3 enlightenment for the author:
    Grandmother says, "Honestly Dear, while pursuing the Holy Grail of fact-correction Missions, CHECK GOOGLE NOW for the term "typographical error", which is the obvious explanation for "Nootak" versus "Nookat" in the article.
    Lowered distraction levels could free up intellectual energy for actually trying to substantiate your final statement
    --> "Other thing are not based on facts and only is author's imagination.", which you left entirely open to, guess what? Our imaginations."

  19. The Cossacks aren't going to be a whole lot of use in the 21st century. And not much use demographically unless they can begin having 12 children a piece.

    Russian policies, like European policies, are geared toward coopting Islam. What they fail to realize is that Islam is coopting them.

  20. Russian policies, like European policies, are geared toward coopting Islam. What they fail to realize is that Islam is coopting them.

    BINGO, Sultan.

  21. http://www.eurasianet.org/node/61306
    Afghan Resupply Route Entangled in Central Asian 'Cold War'

    Powers caught up in central Asia's new 'great game'

  22. Kyrgyz interim leader Roza Otunbayeva on Tuesday again asked Russia to send troops to help quell the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan, according to reports reaching here from the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek.

    The interim government was negotiating with Russian officials for the possible deployment of Russian troops to separate the conflicting ethnic groups, Otunbayeva said.

    She said the order that Kyrgyz troops could "shoot to kill" the mobs was not executed at all, so Kyrgyzstan needed the military aid from Russia.

    She said Kyrgyz soldiers and police could not rein in the violent situation in the southern part of the country.


  23. Alex from Canada15/6/10

    Dude, I used to live in this area for 30 years... "Russia's coup against the Bakiyev government... Tulip Revolution leveraged Uzbek separatists... Otunbayeva government has sought their support by giving them a pass. Including amnesty for Hizb ut Tahir..."... so on...
    Where did you pick up your info and What kind of delirium you had writing this article?...
    It seems to me that Graham Greene had you in his mind depicting Quiet American...

  24. Used to would be the operative word, yes.

    I'm sure you can come up with a better rebuttal of these facts than a metaphor from a deceased mentally ill British Communist.

  25. Anonymous16/6/10

    "The Cossacks aren't going to be a whole lot of use in the 21st century."

    LOL. Do you think they still ride horses and swing sabers? What do you think is a Cossack, pray tell? Cossacks were certainly of great use, for example, when Abkhaz, Chechen and Cossack troops had a three-way soccer game in Gagra, using the heads of Georgian prisoners. That was 20 years ago, when the Cossacks were just barely being reborn.

    Daniel, you need to learn A LOT about that part of the world.

    "And not much use demographically unless they can begin having 12 children a piece."

    Really? You think? Why do you think the Hosts have been reconstituted? Why are the uniforms back, and the churches and the culture, if not for this purpose? Seriously, Daniel, do you think Russia's rulers are stupid or can't read a graph?

    The Russians are bringing back the Russian Empire piece by piece. They know full well that this is the only solution to the demographic problem. Yes, they will bring up the Russian birth rate. They will also significantly increase the non-Russian death rate if they have to.

  26. I'm aware of what the cossacks are, but terror units are not going to salvage the situation. Any side can field terror units. It's not a particular achievement. And terror units are of no use against demographics, unless Putin goes Full Hitler.

    Russia's rulers have been reading graphs for a while, and trying to fund higher birth rates, with no real result. Putin hasn't had a whole lot more luck.

    The Church will not salvage the situation. The Catholic Church hasn't done it in even the most Catholic countries in Europe. And if anything Russia has modernized more since the USSR.

    Russia is still on track to demographic suicide. Nothing Putin has done has changed that. And its rulers seem to accept a Muslim majority as acceptable if they remain in power.

  27. "The Russians are bringing back the Russian Empire piece by piece. They know full well that this is the only solution to the demographic problem."

    Virulent nationalism has never solved any problem in the past...
    on the contrary it always leads to copious blood

    Virulent universalism has never solved any problem in the past...
    on the contrary it always leads to copious blood

    there is no secular solution
    no political solution
    no military solution
    no organized "religious" solution

    the only solution is to make like Hezekiah - he was the only one who was able to save Jerusalem

    see Second Chronicles.

    I'm just a watchman on a wall. The Torah is history's DNA. We keep doing the same thing over and over with different actors, costumes and soundtracks, and expecting a different result. I believe the secular shrinks would agree that is the definition of insane.

    People will do anything under the sun except look to GOD and repent.

    You may now hurl invectives if you so desire. Makes zero difference to me.

    ~ Just another crazy Juden

  28. 2 Chronicles 32:26
    Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the LORD's wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah.

  29. Kuffur16/6/10

    Someone above said the Russian population is 11% moslem . it is not. Its much higher, in fact nearly half is Moslem already, Russia now calls itself Moslem country after joining OCI the Caliphate of today all the Moslem nations represent the OCI

    apparently Putin was twice rejected by the OCI but now Russia is an honorary member and brags about it.They see it as something to be proud of to be called Moslem country. Putin had a Moslem mistress, a gymnast who had his son,

    I also think this is where the US is headed too, if the left the Moslems ally's stay in power.

    Knish what do you think of Pipes take? if moslems take over the military they may take on the US in war as revenge, i think


    the possibility of Muslims taking over parts of the military in a decade or two or three. They appear as heedless of this problem as the American government. … The Russians are not factoring in the renewed appeal of Islam for some Muslims in Russia, especially in the Caucasus but also in Moscow itself, .

    June 24, 2009 update: Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev addressed a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo that "Islam is an inalienable part of Russian history and culture, given that more than 20 million Russian citizens are among the faithful. Consequently, he said, "Russia does not need to seek friendship with the Muslim world: Our country is an organic part of this world."

    July 15, 2009 update: More from Medvedev, this time while visiting the Central Mosque in Moscow, where he stressed the importance of Islam in the Russia. "Russia is a multi-national and multi-confessional country. Russian Muslims have enough respect and influence. Muslim foundations are making an important contribution to promoting peace in society, providing spiritual and moral education for many people, as well as fighting extremism and xenophobia. There are 182 ethnic groups living in Russia, and 57 of them claim Islam as their main religion. This figure speaks for itself." He also promised the government would continue to assist with funding organizations to train imams and teachers.


    Russia's Muslim Population
    How Russian Muslims are influencing Moscow's foreign policy
    Jun 25, 2008 Vincent Gagnon-Lefebvre
    Russia's growing Muslim population is changing the way Russia sees itself and has direct influence on Moscow's foreign policy.

    Russia's Muslim Population: How Russian Muslims are influencing Moscow's foreign policy http://russia.suite101.com/article.cfm/russias_muslim_population#ixzz0r37dLGLr

  30. We're already indirectly at war with Russia, since Russia still not only serves as the arms dealer for our enemies, but also deliberately stirs up trouble to exploit to their advantage and our of resentment

    obviously if Islam displaces the Russian Orthodox Church, we'll be seeing Russia take a more Iranian type role

  31. Kuffur16/6/10

    except that Russia has nuclear weapons able to take on the US, and all the oil and minerals that the moslem nations have, and the Arab nations maybe will dump the US which is propping up all the moderate sheikhs, which Hizbut Tahir and their own people detest,

    the USA will be at a big disadvantage then, because south america has waited for this, and will be with Russia.

    the good news is that the Russian Moslem are not anti Israel. This may be good for Israel. I never did trust the USA pretend to support us, but only do so as a buffer against Islamists,

  32. By then I expect a lot of Muslim countries will have nuclear capability. Or none of them will have independent countries.

    Russian Muslims once properly Islamized will be against Israel and all the other infidels.

  33. Anonymous17/6/10

    Those talking about Hezekiah and at the same time condemning "virulent nationalism" ought to read, again, the account of Hezekiah's reign.

    As for Putin "trying to find higher birth rates", he has found them. It just takes time. Do not compare the Russian Orthodox Church with the Catholic Church. These are vastly different institutions. The power of the former is waxing. The power of the latter is waning.

    When the time comes, abortion and contraception will be banned, women will be barred from the workplace and from the universities and childbearing will be trumpeted by the media as the highest career for a proper Russian woman. The Church is just not strong enough for this. Yet.

    And do not talk about Putin schtupping a Moslem woman. Remember, Stalin had a Jewish wife. This did not prevent him from plotting to exterminate the Jews.

    The Russians will not go "full Hitler". They will go Full Stalin.

    But I see this discussion is serving no useful purpose. You are all locked into your favorite American trope -- seeing the world as if all people everywhere are the same, have the same goals, aspirations and desires. Only when you abandon this false premise will you be able to understand what is really happening in Russia, Central Asia and, incidentally, Israel.

  34. Putin might play at it, but he's no Stalin. And he's already chosen a pro-Muslim path.

    The Church alone is not going to solve the demographics. The propaganda for hero mothers has been around for a while. It hasn't worked. I'm not too sure anything will at this point. Because everyone is in the same boat. Even Japan.

  35. Those talking about Hezekiah and at the same time condemning "virulent nationalism" ought to read, again, the account of Hezekiah's reign.

    "Those who speak about the reign of Hezekiah" will stand on the word of GOD.

    You are free stand on the words of man.

  36. Anonymous17/6/10

    A final note on the subject of Russia:

    Here is a bit about Russian demographics from an actual demographer, and not a polemicist. It took me some work to find this stuff in English.


    As for "pro-Moslem path", I suggest you look at Stalin's "pro-Jewish" path before the Case of the Doctors. Your problem is ignorance of Russia. The same ignorance that causes you to misidentify Cossacks as "terror units" instead of a heavily mythologized national-ethnic group, like the dati leumi or the cowboys of the American West.

    I will not even dignify BabbaZee with a response. Go read the Tanakh and you will see what I am talking about.

  37. Unless you're proposing Cossacks will save Russia as an ethnic group, then terror units are exactly what we're talking about. Hence your own reference to severed heads.

    At no point in time did Stalin or anyone in the USSR adopt a pro-Jewish ethnic approach. Jews were expected to assimilate. Jewish separatism was banned. Brief exceptions such as Birobidzhan or some permitted Jewish culture were only transitions to a final crackdown.

    They did not have Jewish army units, integrate the Rabbinate or talk about a Jewish majority in Russia.

    As for the essay you linked to, the key phrase is here

    "Instead, it is likely that the next few decades will see stagnant or slow population growth as Russian fertility patterns converge to that of France or Canada, with any shortfalls between births and deaths filled in by immigration"

    How much of that immigration will be Slavic?

    Anatoly claims;

    "Alarmist analysts like Daniel Pipes and Paul Goble, Islamic fundamentalists and certain plain demented Russophobe bloggers raise the specter of Russia's transformation into a majority Muslim nation within the next 50 years."

    I believe he means the very Russophobic Pravda, which is of course run by Daniel Pipes



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