Friday, March 25, 2005

Akaev falls has been doing a great job of keeping up with events in the (to us in the U.S.) remote regions of Asia. In recent days, the situation in Kyrgyzstan — long a center of repression with a crazy man running the place — has been boiling, and just yesterday the good guys appear to have one. As many bloggers have noted, we shouldn't be thinking the job there is done — there are too many thugs in the area who could establish another thuggish regime to replace Akaev's. And at least one pundit has noted with suspicion that Putin rushed to support one of the now-freed revolutionary leaders...a man with a dark and thuggish past himself. So we shall see what happens. For the moment, though, the news is just wonderful.'s roundup is an excellent place to start. Below is an excerpt from it, describing one of the moments of victory for the people:

Soon the bravest protesters came inside the gate and approached the soldiers with their arms raised, though it did not look like the soldiers were armed. General Chotbaev, who was responsible for guarding off the White House, said that he did not want for there to be any bloodshed and asked the protesters who went inside the gate to leave. He said it “was his job” and “there was nothing he could do”. The protesters asked the General to order his soldiers to leave the grounds or to join the protestors. He refused and left saying there could be no further discussion about that.

A few stones came flying on the soldiers while protesters cried not the hit the soldiers, but some angry youth did, risking hitting their comrades who were trying to talk the soldiers into a peaceful resolution.

As protesters saw that the soldiers looked calm and not extremely hostile, more and more crossed the gate and came in. The soldiers retreated slowly. Very soon there was a large crowd on the steps of the White House cheering and celebrating victory. Stones came breaking windows and people were pounding on the front doors that were locked from the inside. Soon the doors opened and the cheering crowd ran into the building. As they came, they broke glass, chandeliers and ripped down curtains. Some were on the stair case in the entrance hall, cheering, hugging each other and taking pictures. There was a large water pipe lying on the floor and some water - it appeared like the military planned to use water hose against the protesters.

As people went round the building, the soldiers and General Chotbaev left, taking their injured, arms and boxes with them. General Chotbaev said: “I decided to vacate the building for the sake of security of both sides”.

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