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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 11:41 GMT
One year on: Burul Usmanalieva
The revolution was a defining moment in our history. Whether it justified people's hopes is another story.

Burul Usmanalieva
Name: Burul Usmanalieva
Age: 28
Lives: Bishkek
Job: Political scientist
Verdict: "It's too early to judge"

It was a reaction to stagnation, it was a desire for change. But it had unintended consequences.

There was no new generation who could immediately replace the old guard and it's still too early to judge success.

I was part of the youth movement Kelkel. We were political well before the revolution.

As the political situation became more tense the youth of Kyrgyzstan started to get together. As a political scientist I couldn't be indifferent to this. We felt there should be new blood in politics.

We had no office and no leader - just a website and an email address. We met in streets and apartments to discuss what a real democracy should look like, what was happening in Kyrgyzstan and what we should be doing.

We fought against double-standards in politics when we realised the elections process was being manipulated.

On 24 March we joined in the popular uprising. We were too excited not to be part of it.

'Refrigerator effect'

Kelkel on the streets of Kyrgyzstan
The youth movement met on streets to discuss democracy
Initially, we were happy to be rid of the authoritarian regime. But afterwards there was great chaos, a lot of bad feeling expressed through the uncontrollable looting.

I was shocked and thought our country would sink into deep depression.

There is a lot of disappointment in the new government. There has been a real refrigerator effect. People felt the government followed the old Soviet way.

But the legacy of the revolution is that it has given us confidence. Things may not have changed much on the ground, but everyone realises that freedom to act is a great thing.

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