Is Putin losing his grasp on ex-Soviet spaces amid Covid-19 chaos?
Economic hardship, made worse by lockdown, sees citizens in Kyrgyzstan, Belarus rise up against Russia’s allies
When mobs stormed government buildings and hounded the president from office in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan after disputed elections last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed unimpressed.
“Every time they have an election they practically have a coup,” he told the Valdai discussion club, a gathering of Russian experts, by video conference from his residence. “This is not funny.”
The observation may be valid: Kyrgyzstan, a parliamentary democracy on paper, has experienced three revolutions in the past two decades. But this latest uprising, as the stories of Kyrgyz people such as Ulan Kudaiberdiyev reveal, was different...