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Kyrgyzstan

Independent republic bounded by Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The area was inhabited by the nomadic Mongolian, Turkic-speaking Kirghiz as early as the seventh century a.d. It was under the khanate of Kokand in the 19th century and was included in the annexation of Russian Turkistan in 1864. The Kirghiz resisted conscription under the czar in 1916 and then by the Bolsheviks from 1917 to 1921. Approximately 500,000 died in a famine in 1921–22. In 1990, Askar Akayev, president of the republic’s Academy of Sciences was elected president by the legislature. In 1991, Kyrgyzstan declared independence from the Soviet Union, and became a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Akayev was reelected in 1995, and signed a treaty of economic cooperation with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. In the late 1990s there was civil war with Islamic militant and tribal groups. Akayev was reelected in 2000 amidst voter fraud charges. In 2005, after parliamentary elections were disputed by the opposition, demonstrators took control of the cities and Akayev fled to Russia and resigned. Kurmanbek Bakiyev, a former prime minister who had resigned in 2002 and then opposed Akayev was appointed prime minister and acting president.


     

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