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Introduction: A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, most of Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed to Russia in 1876. The Kyrgyz staged a major revolt against the Tsarist Empire in 1916 in which almost one-sixth of the Kyrgyz population was killed. Kyrgyzstan became a Soviet republic in 1936 and achieved independence in 1991 when the USSR dissolved. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAEV, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIEV. Over the next few years,...

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Government and Political Conditions: The 2010 constitution defines the Kyrgyz Republic as a sovereign, democratic, secular, unitary, and social state. The executive branch is headed by the prime minister and government, though the president retains numerous constitutional powers as head of state. The judicial branch comprises a Supreme Court and local courts. The legislative branch is composed of a 120-member unicameral parliament. ...

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International Relations: The current government of Kyrgyzstan retains close ties with Russia. Russia has leased an airbase at Kant, near Bishkek, since 2003. China remains a major trading partner of Kyrgyzstan. Relations with Kazakhstan are generally positive, including during Kazakhstan’s 2010 OSCE Chairmanship, when it responded constructively to the April overthrow of President Bakiev and the June inter-ethnic violence.

Tensions exist between Kyrgyzstan and some of its neighbours, primarily Uzbekistan, in the densely populated and agriculture dependant Ferghana Valley given that, as a hydro-carbon poor/water-rich country, Kyrgyzstan has to ...

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Stone implements found in the Tian Shan mountains indicate the presence of human society in what is now Kyrgyzstan as many as 200,000 to 300,000 years ago. The first written records of a Kyrgyz civilization appear in Chinese chronicles beginning about 2000 B.C. The Kyrgyz, a nomadic people, originally inhabited an area of present-day northwestern Mongolia. In the fourth and third centuries B.C., ...

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