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Kyrgyzstan's military bases and regime change

Erica Marat calls attention to some little-noted changes in the structures of Kyrgyzstan's security services, which amount to President Kurmanbek Bakiyev consolidating centralized control over security structures to "prevent any attempt at regime change."

This, taken together with the recent Russian moves on its military bases in Kyrgyzstan, suggest that Bakiyev is less likely to rely on Russian support in the event of another regime change attempt in Bishkek, she argues:

Unlike Akayev, who fled Kyrgyzstan through the Russian air-base in Kant five years ago as a result of widespread demonstrations, Bakiyev shows no sign that he would rely on Russian support during a crisis. Rumors in Bishkek suggest that the Russian airbase in Kant will soon downsize its personnel, while Russia is reconsidering its plan to open a second base in Osh.

At the same time, the U.S. gives Kyrgyzstan more or less a carte blanche in return for hosting the Manas Transit Center:

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Kyrgyzstan's military bases and regime change

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