Kyrgyzstan The collapse of the Soviet Union created 15 new states. These states over the last 5 years have all struggled with economic, ethnic, political and territorial problems left to them by the Soviet empire. Kyrgyzstan, is a former Soviet Republic (FSR) located in the Central Asia. This paper will give a statistical representation of the state, Kyrgyzstan. The statistical data will reflect the basic geography of the subject country containing population, size and location.
This miniature report will also contain brief descriptions of current political and economic situations. Included in the current information section of this report, is an outlook for possible near future events concerning both political stability and economy. Kyrgyzstan is located in the southern area of the former Soviet Union. Its boarders are defined by China to the east (& South), Kazakhstan to the north (& Northwest), Uzbekistan directly west and Tajikistan to the south (& Southwest). Kyrgyzstan features 76,641 square miles of land, which consisted of .9% of the former USSR’s land-mass.
The land is primarily used for pastoral purposes. Only 7% of the farmable land is cultivated. The population is approximated to be 4,258,000 people (see Figure A). The Kyrgyzstan populace has experienced a 25.3% growth in population during the last 12 years (Population Growth Data from 1979-1991), and a birthrate at 29.1/1000. Population distribution is 61.9% in rural areas and 38.1% in urban centers.
City & Population The top 4 cities are: Bishkek (formally Frunze) 616,000 (Capitol) Osh 213,000 Przhevalsk 64,000 Naryn 26,000 In June of 1990 ethnic violence arose in the city of Oh. Kyrgyz clashed with Uzbeks resulting in a bloody conflict which was eventually suppressed by Soviet Interior Ministry troops. This clash outlined political and economic problems present in Kyrgyzstan even when the USSR was still existent. These ethnic clashes in Oh served to cement political groups who were organizing outside of the communist party during Perestroika. It also gave voice to the large economic problems in central Kyrgyzstan. The “head of state” and leader of the communist party in Kyrgyzstan was Absamat Masaliev. Masaliev invoked policies which were rigid and served to enhance the existing social problems.
Because of the decline present in the government’s abilities to meet the expectations of the populace, the allowances granted by the Perestroika police and ethnic tensions, communist authority in Kyrgyzstan was challenged. The communist party’s rule came to an end in October of that same year. A liberal democratic reform movement had sweeped the country and Askar Akaev was elected by a coalition vote in the Supreme Soviet (Legislature of Kyrgyzstan), resulting in the removal of Masaliev from the Presidency. Askar Akaev is a liberal politician (former head of the Academy for Sciences) and represented reform in the form of privatization and democracy. The transformation of government from communism to a liberal democracy occurred smoothly without violent uprisings or revolution.
However, Akaev has opponents on both sides of the political spectrum. Masaliev, though not the president, is still the head of the communist party and very powerful. On the right, the government has to deal with the potential time bomb of ethnicity and nationalism. The current political agenda for the reform government contains these issues: economic stimulation, development of diplomatic relations with other states, privatization of property, a language purification issue and environmental concerns. These issues are all presently being address and codified in the formation of the new constitution (only economics, privatization of property and industry and language are addressed below).
The industrial sector of the Kyrgyzstan economy is primarily owned by residing Russians in the capital, Bishkek. This is a point of contention in the on-going debates of land and industrial privatization between the nationalists and liberals in Kyrgyzstan. Though Kyrgyzstan is primarily an agrarian economy, an alarming amount of tension is present concerning foreign owned industry. Language purification standards are being debated in the Kyrgyz Parliament. In the 1950’s the Duma passed a number of resolutions in attempts of transforming Soviet Republic languages by using a Cyrillic based alphabet.
The adoption of the Cyrillic alphabet fundamentally changed the Central Asian Turkic based languages. This served in a dual purpose of dividing the Central Asian peoples by accenting their language differences and interrupting communication. The debate argues that old style Kyrgyz is to be re-instated thus assuring ethnic and lingual identity. Thus, statistical data has been reproduced to highlight population allocations and ethnicity. This miniature report has also discussed pertinent issues from both a historical analytical perspective and a current political and economic outlook present in Kyrgyzstan.
The previously stated issues that are currently on the floor of the Kyrgyz Legislature, describe possible outcomes which will directly affect the stability of Kyrgyzstan.