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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 15:16 GMT
Region's press gripped by Kyrgyz uncertainty
A torn portrait of ousted President Askar Akayev seen fixed on a pole decorated with a blue ribbon, Akayev's supporters colour, in downtown Bishkek

Newspapers across Russia and Central Asia have described events unfolding in Kyrgyzstan with increasing dismay and uncertainty.

Some commentators see President Askar Akayev's removal from power as an opening for chaos and economic decline, which will have an impact on Russia and the region.

The floral revolution is in fact a bloody coup, others argue, brought on nonetheless by popular anger at corruption and cronyism.

Instead of "velvet" and the aroma of roses and citrus in the air, there is the smell of smoke, blood and chaos.

Kazakhstan's Kazakhstanskaya Pravda

The tulip revolution has put the economic interests of Russia and Kyrgyzstan at risk. The country is gripped by chaos and disorder, and no-one knows what the new authorities will be like, or whether they will embark upon reprivatisation, Eastern-style. It is the West's economic policy which has first and foremost suffered a defeat in Bishkek.

Yevgeny Arsyukhin in Russia's Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Like all Kazakhs, I am anxiously following events in that country. And I desperately don't want that famous quote from the Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, to come true yet again: "Revolutions are planned by philosophers, carried out by idealists, and it's scum that reap the rewards."

Mark Aysberg in Kazakhstan's Ekspress-K

The Kyrgyz revolution has flared up out of a difficult socio-economic situation. It shows that, unless the new Kyrgyz authorities devise a clear strategy for their actions in the future and pay attention to solving the people's socio-economic problems, we may see fresh, widespread unrest. And it's unclear who that would sweep into power.

Roman Streshnev in Russia's Krasnaya Zvezda

Lying at the heart of the coup in Kyrgyzstan, as in other countries in the CIS, are popular dissatisfaction with the state of the economy, severe unemployment, corruption, arbitrary conduct among officials and in the courts, cynical cronyism and nepotism. No 'floral' revolution can happen without relying on widespread and justified protest. But the outcome of this popular discontent depends on who grabs it by the horns and gives it direction.

Y Kotofeyev in Russia's Sovetskaya Rossiya

The Kyrgyz revolution puts one in mind of that old English saying: "Where there's a will, there's a way". The opposition decided to come to Bishkek, and came. But life is rewriting that saying to accompany a rather revolutionary tune: "Where there's a way, there lie desire, enticement and temptation." Georgia and Ukraine paved the way for Kyrgyzstan, showed it the path, scattered with roses and decorated with orange road signs.

Sergei Maslov in Russia's Tribuna

The Uzbek side proceeds from the conviction that the events of recent days and weeks in Kyrgyzstan are not sudden and spontaneous processes, and that they have, first of all, resulted from indignation that has been mounting for a long time among the people...

Uzbek foreign ministry statement in Uzbekistan's Pravda Vostoka

An honest nation, a genuine nation, will not put up with oppression and humiliation. What is it, if not humiliation, when the country's president sidelines citizens who know the situation very well, and ushers in his relatives from all over the place?

Kazakhstan's Zhas Alash

Bishkek has officially spent its first night of freedom. After the rebels seized power in the country, the cradle of "stability and prosperity" was looted and destroyed... Even the wildest fantasy of a sick man could hardly expect that "revolutionaries" and "freedom fighters" - read: marauders and criminals - would destroy the centre of the city, seize arms and refuse to obey the leaders who led them to the barricades. And that "the people's anger" would in fact turn into banal robberies... Thanks to television the world has seen shameful footage: a coup d'etat and rebellion by a bestial crowd drunk on vodka and high on drugs - and which had been taken to the capital "for peaceful protests".

Kazakhstan's Liter

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

Violent scenes from the streets of Kyrgyzstan


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