Revolution kicks out Kyrgyzstan’s president

The people of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia rose up and overthrew President Bakiyev in mid-April. Rapidly rising energy prices have been one cause of the rebellion. Russia’s decision to impose new import duties on the oil and gas it supplies the country is the main reason for the price hike.
The police fired live bullets while protesters used stones and Molotov cocktails. Then the people captured an armed personnel carrier and took weapons from the police. Official reports put the number of people killed at more than 75 and those wounded at more than 1,500.
The struggle between Russia and the US for dominance over the Central Asia region shaped the revolution. The revolt shook the US establishment because its base there is a key staging post for the war in Afghanistan. But events are not reducible to the conflicts between the major powers.
The people have demonstrated that the state does not possess a tight control over the means of violence, and that popular demands cannot be ignored or suppressed.
But the new government looks too much like the previous two to suggest that it will bring change. That can only come from the people who brought down the government.