Kyrgyzstan Destined To Become Another Narco-State?

On April 13 the prominent US research center STRATFOR published an analytical brief ‘Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Insurgence’. The main idea was spinning around the recent bloody riots in Kyrgyz’s capital Bishkek culminated with 84 dead, more than 1500 injured and the expulsion of the former President Bakiev and his corrupt family members. The report clearly states that the Russian authorities are behind the scene of the upraising in that remote and pauper Central Asian republic, once a part of the Russian Empire. Despite such allegations are apparently making credit to the emerging new Russian abilities in their traditional area of influence, few facts still contradict to the assumption of the Russian involvement and ‘success’ there.

First, Kyrgyzstan is indeed a country of unique geopolitical location. It encircles Fergana valley – a heavily populated oasis at the core of Central Asia, shared with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Besides the vital Russian interest to control Fergana as the first outpost defending vast and open deserts and steppes on the way to the Volga, all Chinese moves in Uyghur Autonomous Region can be easily monitored from Kyrgyz Tien Shan highlands as well. Perhaps that is the main reason why the USAF installed Manas military base few kilometers away from Bishkek soon after the start of NATO operations in Afghanistan in 2001. The base is still operating there in full fledge as the ‘US military transit centre’.

Another key point is that since then Kyrgyzstan became the most notable hub for distribution of the Afghan drugs to Eurasian ‘markets’, a business that had multiplied in times under the NATO guardianship in Afghanistan. The town of Osh, the ‘southern capital of Kyrgyzstan’, has long ago become a major cross-point for the Great Heroin Way through non-controllable mountainous Tajik-Kyrgyz border and transparent way to the north-west. Most likely the illicit profits proceeding from narco-trafficking were the main sources of spectacular enrichment of Bakiev’s clan during his presidency in 2005-2010. There were numerous evidences that the very arrival of Kurmanbek Bakiev to power in March 2005 as a result of ‘Tulip revolution’ was financed and supported by prosperous international narco-mafia. It is also notable that while in office Bakiev liquidated Kyrgyz Anti-Drug Agency.

As a matter of fact, Kyrgyzstan, once a ‘model Central Asian democracy’, as it used to be regarded in 1990s, and the first (!) post-Soviet state that joined WTO back in 1998, has ended up with two illegitimate coup d’etat in 5 years. It makes us believe that the events we witnessed in early April are only partly a result of mismanagement by the Kyrgyz ruling clan, their reckless appropriation of the state funds, international credits and national assets at the expense of their our people. We can assume that the tragedy in Kyrgyzstan reflects a wider diabolic strategy.

The theory of ‘manageable chaos’ as a perfect instrument for dominating the world ‘after tomorrow’ is thoroughly scrutinized by the leading Western minds and political practitioners. The old London’s and later Washington’s habit to impose ‘puppet’ dictators anywhere in the world has proved its ineffectiveness. Sooner or later the dictator starts playing his own game, as it was in case of Saddam Hussein. Much more promising are configurations with a sequence of weak and irresponsible ‘democratic’ governments holding office exclusively thanks to propaganda support from the media centers of global power. Such scheme allows maintaining ‘controllable conflicts’ in any zone, making up ideal environment for elusive ‘terrorist cells’ and drug cartels, targeting the strategic adversaries in the neighborhood.

Kyrgyzstan’s return to the Russian sphere of influence is irreversible. A country lacking any notable resource is living mostly on transfers from relatives who work in Russia (1 out of 5.5 million Kyrgyzs are doing unskilled jobs in the former metropolis). For some time the US rental payment for the base in Manas provided almost half of the national budget of the country. Oscar Akaev, the first president of Kyrgyzstan, once said: “Our mission is to survive until Russia gets richer”. So now, when the time has come, the Washington’s task is to let Kyrgyz elect such ‘pro-Russian’ government, which would be unable to cope with the narco-cartels operating at the Great Heroin Way and criminal-terrorist gangs of any nature. That would either prevent Kyrgyzstan from entering the new Customs Union being formed by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus and effective since July 1, 2010 or make the policy of narcotization of Eurasia easier after customs procedures on its borders lifted once Kyrgyzstan accepted to the union. So at this time the geostrategic interests of the US and the international narco-mafia happily merged again. It was only logical for the US establishment to use the services of narco-barons to overthrow Bakiev, who demanded from the US more and more pay-offs for his loyalty and even dared engage with Chinese and Russians on multimillion investments in Kyrgyz economy.

Finally the last point of our analysis will be in finding a documentary proof that the ‘spontaneous’ riots in Talas and later in Bishkek on April 6-8 were lavishly sponsored and supplied by a ‘third party’. It did not take long. On April 7, 2010 the Daily Telegraph web-site published a photo report ‘Kyrgyzstan unrest in pictures: state of emergency declared in Bishkek after revolt’.

A protester carries an RPG and a riot shield in Bishkek. Picture: REUTERS

A Kyrgyz riot policeman’s vehicle burns near the government building in the capital Bishkek. Picture: AFP/GETTY.

You will not find Palestine-style stones and sticks in the hands of protesters. They carry RPGs and AKs, of the Russian origin, for sure. A small detail reveals the real source.

A Kyrgyz opposition supporter fires an automatic weapon near the main government building during a protest against the government in Bishkek. Picture: AFP/GETTY

The HWS (holographic weapon sight) attached to the AK gun in the hands of an opposition fighter is the product of the US L-3 Communications EOTech Corporation, 500 series, retail price 600 USD each one (four average monthly salaries in Kyrgyzstan). According to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) of the USA, the commercial sales and exports of this equipment requires a license issued by the US Department of State and Department of Commerce. These models were not officially delivered to Kyrgyzstan or Russia. Hence this AK with an advanced HWS could NOT be used by a regular Kyrgyz special unit officer and then captured by a protester at the ‘battlefield’. The Telegraph snapshot clearly indicates that the ‘pro-Russian revolt’ in Bishkek was surprisingly supplied from a US military site in Kyrgyzstan or, perhaps, Afghanistan.

Kyrgyz riot policemen try to protect themselves during clashes with opposition supporters demonstrating against the government in Bishkek. Picture: AFP/GETTY.

So the only pending question is the following: who is the dominant ‘third party’ in April events in Kyrgyzstan? Whether international narco-mafia is subject to the orders from Washington or maybe in reality the American administration is just a docile servant to those who generously invest into the US political campaigns?

Andrey Fomine is the founder of the open dialogue research journal Oriental Review where this article first appeared. Read other articles by Andrey.

11 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on April 19th, 2010 at 10:00am #

    Stratfor is a private intelligence company based in Texas (sic!) and I would put it in the same category as the various other private “contractors” we’ve been hearing about. Such people have a vested interest in spreading the “new cold war” myth. The Daily Telegraph is hardly more reliable and the photos could easily be fakes. But this could indeed be part of a US scheme to destabilise China via the Uyghurs. The interesting part is that that would tie in with the “Maoists” in Nepal, which borders Tibet. What if Kyrgyzstan and Nepal were just two fronts in “Charlie Wilson’s other war” and the whole thing was being financed by the US and the drug lords? Now, wouldn’t that be a laugh!

  2. Rehmat said on April 19th, 2010 at 2:52pm #

    It looks like Washington is replaying its 2005 “Tulip Revolution” against its own puppet, Kyrgyzstan’s president Kurmanbek Bakiyev by using the country’s Opposition leaders as it used Kurmanbek and other Opposition leaders against previous president Askar Akayev in 2005. It is reported that as the result of large-scale protests in Bishhek on Wednesday, president Kurmanbek has fled from the city and Opposition leader Omurbek Tekebaev, the former Speaker of Parliament has demanded that president Kurmanbek and the rest of his government resign. Kurmanbek Bakiyev had angered his masters in Washington when he switched his alliance to Moscow for a US$2.15 billion aid package and demanded the closer of US military base at Manas in 2010. The US military base at Manas is a key transit point for US occupation troops and supplies bound for Afghanistan. Last month alone, 50,000 US and coalition troops passed through Manas enroute to Afghanistan, according to Pentagon source. In March it was reported that Pentagon plans to build a US$5.5 million training facility for Krygyz Special Forces in the southern province of Batken – the home to the so-called “Islamist terrorists”, who are against the occupation of their country by both Russia and the US.

    Israeli Hasbara organ, The Wall Street Journal, has reported today that an interim government has been established under the leadership of Roza Otunbayeva with Vice-premier Omurbek Tekebayev, Vice-premier Temir Sariyev and defence minister Ismail Isakov. The interim government has promised to keep the US military base at Manas operating indefinitely.

    The Zionist puppet, Ban Ki-moon was not happy with the ousted president either. Ban had visited the country last Saturday and criticized Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s government for human-righst violation (he would dare to say so in case of the US, Britain, France and Israel). Ban is despatching his special envoy, Jan Kubis, Slovakia’s former foreign minister, to Kyrgyzstan on Friday in order to legitimize the new pro-West, anti-Muslim government.

    Askar Akayey was hailed by the West as one of the few democratic leaders after the dismemberment of USSR in 1991 as result of Red Army’s defeat at the hands of Afghan Mujahideen. He joined the ranks of a long list of former US assets, such as, Saddam Husein (Iraq), Manuel Noreiga (Panama), Slobadan Milosevic, Eduard Shevardnadze (Georgia), Lech Walensa (Poland), Pervez Musharaf (Pakistan), Yasser Arafat (PLO) and Leonid Kuchma (Ukraine). In the aftermath of 2005 “Tulip Revolution”, the Wall Street Journal had reported that Kyrgyz Opposition was largely funded by pro-West NGOs. Two of the major NGOs working with the Opposition, the Coalition for Democracy and Civill Society (CDCS) and the Civil Society Against Corruption (CSAC), receive bulk of their funding from US government and anti-Islamist organizations.

    All the Communist-turned- Nationalist governments in the former five USSR republics with Muslim majority – have close relations with the Zionist entity and the dictators are supported by the powerful Israel Lobby in the US. This is the reasons none of the leaders had criticized Tel Aviv for its genocide of Muslims in Gazzah in December-January 2009. These dictorial governments have no other alternative but to maintain friendly relations with the West in order to suppress public hatred toward Zionist-created “War on Islam” and their national anti-Islam leadership. Mars Sariev, an independent political oberser, summed-up the situation in Kyrgyzstan: “The more strongly the situation in Palestine aggravates, the more Islam is politicized. There are some politicians who use Islam for their purposes. The position of moderate Muslims has suffered and radical Islam grows. And this factor cannot be stopped with weapons. It’s wrong.”

    Kyrgyzstan is home to nearly 6 million people (80% Muslims, 20% Christians). The natural resources include natural gas, oil, gold, coal, lead and uranium. The region was part of Muslim Uzbek Khanate till 1876, when it was annexed by Russia.

  3. hayate said on April 19th, 2010 at 11:19pm #

    Odd story. First. The picture where the label says the person is carrying and rpg. That’s odd looking very small rpg.

    Second. The picture labeled thus:

    “The HWS (holographic weapon sight) attached to the AK gun in the hands of an opposition fighter is the product of the US L-3 Communications EOTech Corporation, 500 series, retail price 600 USD each one (four average monthly salaries in Kyrgyzstan). According to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) of the USA, the commercial sales and exports of this equipment requires a license issued by the US Department of State and Department of Commerce. These models were not officially delivered to Kyrgyzstan or Russia. Hence this AK with an advanced HWS could NOT be used by a regular Kyrgyz special unit officer and then captured by a protester at the ‘battlefield’. The Telegraph snapshot clearly indicates that the ‘pro-Russian revolt’ in Bishkek was surprisingly supplied from a US military site in Kyrgyzstan or, perhaps, Afghanistan.”

    A quick websearch brought up this:

    Apparently one can buy one of these sights over the web like one can buy a book from Amazon. That’s confirmed lie #1 in this article. Lie #2 is the amount one of these costs – $70-210, depending on which one. The one shown with the AK 47 is about $100. It’s also not all that clear the item in the article photograph matches what they call it in the article, since the picture doesn’t appear to match any of these that are depicted at the store website, even though they are listed as the same item mentioned in the article. And this brings me to a related point. The mount depicted in the article photograph is in a different place than on the AK 47 mount at the store site. Very different place. This also raises the question about whether it’s not another type of HWS altogether. Going by the fact the author lied about the availability and cost of the sights, it’s probable he lied about what type it is, as well. Likely he didn’t even know the type for certain.

    Anyone can associate the u.s. guv with drug traffickers to gain a bit a dissident credibility, since everyone knows that that such links are rampant. It’s likely that much of the heroin smuggling from Afghanistan is passing through u.s. and nato operated bases in neighbouring countries. Considering such went on in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam war, and during the 80’s coke was coming into the usa from Latin America via u.s. air bases. But because of the lies, it doesn’t pass the “smell test”.

    I suspect this article is disinformation. Perhaps to illlegitimise the new guv, maybe to just sow confusion all around. I’m still waiting to see where this rebellion goes. I don’t think there is convincing evidence of any side orchestrating it, yet.

  4. Andre said on April 20th, 2010 at 12:42am #

    You can refresh your knowledge about RPGs here: There are a lot of pictures of the ‘handy’ model in the Net. Everyone can find it. Moreover the sub-pic labels are not mine, but of Daily Telegraph:
    Second. Click on web-site of HWS producer: Price USD599.00 indicated.
    Third: Regarding ‘Amazon sales’. Follow e.g. the link Find warning: “Requires State Department License for export”.
    1.Where can I suit you for the false accusations?
    2. Are you on the pay-roll of narco-mafia?

  5. hayate said on April 20th, 2010 at 12:46pm #

    Andre said on April 20th, 2010 at 12:42am

    OK, I apologize about claiming you lied about the price of the sight. It looks like the model you claim it is at the manufacturer’s website. The rpg appears to be the model you claim in your response, and is being carried with the rear facing forward.

    The availability of the sight is less clear at the manufacturer’s website from what I saw. One needs a special clearance to export it and these differ with the country exported to, but it doesn’t appear one needs anything special to buy one in the usa, though maybe they say so in some on a part of the site I didn’t see. It is distributed by dozens of different dealers in each state, I noticed.

    Even if availability is restricted, that wouldn’t stop a determined person from getting hold of one. There is any number of ways the sight could have made it into the hands of that guy. In Russia, on the “black market”, one can pretty much find anything. I don’t know how it is in Kyrgyzstan, but I would imagine it’s even more wide open (the existence of the rpg means nothing, the source of the rpg, being a Russian make, could easily be black market). Who those 2 people are in that photo is unknown. They could be connected with drug traffickers, the ousted guv operating undercover, Russian spooks, or as you claim, opposition protesters working for the usa. In fact what proof is there the photo even comes from Kyrgyzstan or from the recent protests? Telegraph? Not a very honest source. BTW, one can buy all sorts of restricted item on the u.s. “black market” as well, example: when I was a teenager at a peaceful, suburban u.s. high school, no gangs, no or very little serious drugs, an acquaintance offered to sell me a silenced, semi-auto pistol. My guess is the likely source of your sight, if the photo is genuine, is probably drug smuggler related

    To base a theory that the protests were u.s. sponsored and organised on one photo of one guy armed with an expensive sight of u.s. origin is reaching a bit to much. You need quite a bit more evidence than that. I’m not saying the ami didn’t sponsor the protests, there is some circumstantial evidence of u.s. backing, but it’s about of the same strength of the evidence saying the Russians did it. I’ll remain neutral till more evidence surfaces.

    And no, I’m not involved in drugs or mafias. Are you?

  6. hayate said on April 20th, 2010 at 12:55pm #

    One other thing. Since the usa invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, billions of dollars of u.s. equipment has ‘disappeared in those countries. Also, the private contractors are a major presence, and they are even less bound by restriction on what they may sell for a few bucks on the side. Your site could easily be among the many items “disappeared” from the inventories of these sources and bought (and resold) up by any number of shady characters for any number of uses.

  7. Andre said on April 20th, 2010 at 8:26pm #

    Great to hear 🙂 At least two here not involved in mafias…
    Yes, you are right, we can presume that the HWS items were counterfeited to Kyrgyzstan. But then where is the responsibility of the US government suppling hi-end equipment to private military contractor while unable to control further smuggling? And presuming the worse, what about safety of Nuclear Weapons in the US arsenal?

  8. hayate said on April 20th, 2010 at 8:53pm #

    Andre said on April 20th, 2010 at 8:26pm

    “And presuming the worse, what about safety of Nuclear Weapons in the US arsenal?”

    There was that incident of the missing 6th bomb a couple of years ago in the usa. There was quite a shake-up reported after that, and a few mysterious deaths of military personnel that fell under the radar. Whatever that was about still remains a mystery, but something serious went down. In the UK, there was litvinenko & co. playing po-210 smugglers, with full knowledge of UK, israeli & u.s. security services, for what purpose is still not disclosed (“Chechen” dirty bomb, for planting in an Iranian facility to be “found”?). The only reason this now known outside the spook world is that over-confident horse’s backside accidentally contaminated himself.

    Nuclear weapons are given a lot more security that regular weapons, for obvious reasons. If there is a nuclear “terrorist” incident, one can be certain it is a state sponsored terrorist incident in my opinion.

  9. hayate said on April 22nd, 2010 at 8:39am #


    Bhadrakumar has a new piece out you might find interesting. He talks about u.s./drug mafia support being behind the Kyrgyz rebellion. Claims the Russian media/guv is promoting this theory.

    A Russian-Uzbek challenge to the US By M K Bhadrakumar

  10. Andre said on April 22nd, 2010 at 11:00am #

    Thanks for the ref. I guess it was justified to raise the issue right now when the period of uncertainty is still on in Kyrgyzstan. ‘Russian media/gov promoting this theory’… Hmmm… I do not know. They want strong and responsible ruling team in Bishkek, that is the fact. And they are very sensitive to any information regarding high-level links to drugs traffic in Central Asia.

  11. hayate said on April 23rd, 2010 at 11:32am #


    I agree, the Russians want to reduce the drug business going through the region as a lot of it ends up in Russia and does a lot of damage there. It’s not just the drugs, it’s also a way to infiltrate covert operatives, something else Russia has been having severe problems with.