Kyrgyzstan. According to Countryaah.com, Kyrgyzstan population in 2020 is estimated at 6,524,206. The government sharpened its attitude to Islamist groups during the year compared to its previously relatively permissive attitude. President Almazbek Atambayev criticized the spread of “Arab culture” at the expense of “indigenous ethnic culture”. He complained to everyone who wore “long beards” and forced girls to dress in black, like widows, instead of colorful clothes.
Atambayev also criticized the state-sanctioned leadership of Muslims in the country after a scandal in which the third muftin in four years was forced off. The storm must have left after being caught on a sex video, which he said was a trap rigged by government officials.
At the beginning of the year, several parties formed the National Opposition Movement under the leadership of Ravshan Djejenbekov. The protest protest meeting in April was dissolved by police and at least 150 protesters were arrested.
In a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kyrgyzstan’s police were accused of systematic abuse in the form of lawless arrests, threats, blackmail, abuse and sexual abuse of homosexuals. The Storm Muftin protested and the government rejected the report. Counter-reaction also came from nationalist groups, which used Kremlin-like rhetoric against the US and against EU-funded citizen groups. The Kalys youth group burned in protest a photo of a local ethnic Ukrainian blogger who was accused of being a “gay activist” with a Ukrainian-like revolution in the country. The police did not intervene against Kalys, even though the blogger feared for his life.
The government split in March. The motherland (Ata Meken) left the coalition with harsh criticism of Prime Minister Zjantoro Satybaldyev. He was charged with corruption and for failing to increase the state’s share in the Canadian-owned gold mine Kumtor, which accounts for about half of the country’s exports.
Prime Minister Satybaldyev chose to step down, and the task of forming a new government went to Deputy Prime Minister Dzjoomart Otorbaiev. Following doubts and pressure from Moscow, the government decided that Kyrgyzstan should join the Russian-dominated Euro-Asian Economic Union (EEU), which also includes Kazakhstan and Belarus. But according to the government, it will take five years for the country to prepare for entry into the Union. Moscow has promised the equivalent of $ 500 million in financial assistance to accelerate Kyrgyzstan’s integration into the customs union. In the capital Bishkek, protests were held with accusations that the government sold out part of the country’s independence.
In June, the US and NATO left the military base Manas, which has been used for over a decade for transports to the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.
During the year, KyrgyzGaz was wholly owned by Russian Gazprom for a symbolic price of one dollar. Gazprom took over the company’s debts and promised investments equivalent to more than SEK 4 billion to upgrade the country’s gas network, secure deliveries before the winter and lower gas prices. The many interruptions of the past winter drove Gazprom’s takeover.
After nearly four years of trial, exile former President Kurmanbek Bakijev and his brother Janysh were sentenced in July to life imprisonment for the strike against protesters in 2010, when about 80 people were killed. Several people were sentenced to long prison terms in the same indictment, and Bakijev’s son was sentenced to ten years for money laundering, among other things.