One year ago, thousands of people crowded the streets of Kyrgyzstan’s capital and ousted the country’s then-president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, seen as the leader of a thuggish, kleptocratic regime. Nearly 90 people were killed in the standoff between protesters and security forces. Immediately afterward, a motley crew of Bakiyev’s political opponents formed an interim government that disbanded the old parliament and renationalized a number of major companies, promising that the country’s wealth – what little there is of it – would be redirected to boost the population’s standard of living, instead of enriching privileged individuals.
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Natasha Yefimov is a freelance journalist based in Bishkek. David Trilling is EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor.