Strange Rituals TV - Roza Otunbayeva - Simon Reeve TV - BBC News online -
Kyrgyzstan: bride capture – it’s an old tradition that has made a comeback; ever since Kyrgyzstan won its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 young boys have struggled to claim their manhood in one definitive and sometimes violent act: abducting a girl honours the nomadic traditions of Kyrgyzstan’s ancient past. Strange Rituals: Till Death Us Do Part s1e10, H2 2016
A unique opportunity has opened up in Kyrgyzstan to deal with democracy. We started to go toward democracy, and it was interrupted. Now there is a chance to come back to democracy, and in half a year my interim government should prepare elections – open and transparent elections – and we should pass a constitution based on political agreement between the parties. We have quite a task. Roza Otunbayeva
Central Asia: once part of the Soviet Union. It’s a region dominated by oil, Islam and enough radioactive waste to terrify the West. China, Russia and China are all vying for power here. The countries are strategically vital and they’re all called Stan. Simon Reeve: Holidays in the Danger Zone: Meet the Stans: Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan, BBC 2003
The future of central Asia lies in these vast oil and gas reserves – the largest untapped energy reserves on the planet. ibid.
On the eastern edge of central Asia bordering China lies Kyrgyzstan … The government here is the most welcoming of all the Stans countries. ibid.
There aren’t the natural resources here like in neighbouring Kazakhstan. And it’s a country that few in the West have ever heard of. ibid.
Islam is dominant here not just spiritually but politically. ibid.
The Kyrgyz government says it wants to help the US in the War on Terror and the base is used to fight the ongoing campaign in Afghanistan just a few hundred miles south. ibid.
The Soviets left their backyard in a mess after mining uranium in Kyrgyzstan for their nuclear weapons programme; there has been little cleaning up since. ibid.
A Central Asian state bordering China, Kyrgyzstan became independent with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
It has some oil and gas and a developing gold mining sector, but relies on imports for most of its energy needs.
Resentment at widespread poverty and ethnic divisions between north and south have spilled over into violence, and the country's first two post-Soviet presidents were swept from power by popular discontent.
Settled by Kyrgyz tribes from southern Siberia in the 17th century, the area was ruled by various regional powers before coming under Russian, and then Soviet, rule.
Most of its six million people are Turkic-speaking Muslims.
In 2014 Kyrgyzstan shut a US military base which had supplied US troops in Afghanistan with personnel and cargo since 2001. Russia retains a military airbase in the country. BBC News online article 26 February 2018