Kyrgyzstan. According to Countryaah website, national day of Kyrgyzstan is every August 31. Opposition leader Feliks Kulov was sentenced in January by a military court to seven years in prison, accused of falsification and abuse of power during a previous term as minister. In a new trial in May, he was indicted for embezzlement and sentenced to another 10 years in prison. The punishment would be served in parallel and thereafter Kulov would not be allowed to hold any government office for three years. Kulov denied all charges.
When one of the opposition MPs was arrested by the authorities, protests and hunger strikes erupted. A hunger-striking human rights activist died in February, leading to growing demonstrations and demands for President Askar Akajev’s departure. When Parliament approved a deal signed by Akajev on land disputes to China, the protests became violent. Five people were killed when police opened fire on protesters in southern Kyrgyzstan in March. A few months later, the government was forced to step down.
But turmoil continued and new Prime Minister Nikolaj Tanaiev warned of civil war. Amnesty was issued to the police who shot the protesters, which aroused the opposition’s anger and renewed the demands of the president’s resignation and Kulov’s release. One of Akajev’s employees suffered a grenade attack in September. Large security rallies met the continued protests during the fall and many protesters were arrested. At the same time, violent ethnic contradictions existed in southern Kyrgyzstan among Kyrgyz, Tajik and Uzbek.
Support for the banned Muslim non-violent movement Hezb ut-Tahrir seemed to increase during the year. Hezb ut-Tahrir wants to establish a Muslim caliphate across Central Asia.
Atambayev’s presidential term
Almazbek Atambayev took over as President of Kyrgyzstan on December 11, 2011.
Temir Sarijev was Kyrgyzstan’s prime minister from April 30, 2015. Sarijev filed his resignation on April 11, 2016, following a controversy surrounding state funds used for road repairs. On April 13, 2016, Sooronbaj Zjejenbekov took over as prime minister.
Disagreement over referendum on constitutional amendments held in Kyrgyzstan on December 11, 2016 led to strained public relations between Atambayev and several former members of the Interim Government. In 2017, the Atambayev government cracked down on independent media through the justice system. Security services GKNB arrested key opposition politicians ahead of the 2017 presidential election.
On August 21, 2017, Zjejenbekov declared the Prime Minister’s post in connection with his announced candidacy for the Kyrgyzstan presidential election.
The 2017 presidential election
During the Kyrgyzstan presidential election on October 15, 2017, former Prime Minister Sooronbaj Zjejenbekov received 54.22 percent of the vote. Challenger Omurbek Babanov received 33.49 percent. Like Prime Minister Sapar Iskaov, Sooronbaj Zjejenbekov is a relatively unknown political figure in Kyrgyzstan. Both had President Almazbek Atambayev’s support. Challengers such as Omurbek Babanov, Adakhan Madumarov and Temir Sarijev have argued that the use of administrative resources, the purchase of votes and the sword campaigns played an important role in the election. OSCE observers partially confirmed this impression during a press conference on October 16 in Bishkek.
Southern Kyrgyzstan is still characterized by political instability. The situation at the border with Uzbekistan has improved following increased communication between Kyrgyz and Uzbek authorities. At the same time, relations with neighboring Kazakhstan in the north deteriorated during 2017. This has led to problems for Kyrgyzstan travelers, who depend on open borders.
Despite significant economic difficulties, Kyrgyzstan has emerged as a leader in democratic reform in Central Asia, a region characterized by authoritarian regimes.
Several international human rights organizations have expressed concern over renewed pressure on freedom of expression after President Atambayev initiated criminal proceedings against three news agencies in 2016–2017. Sooronbaj Zjejenbekov has won significant money claims in the legal system against Kyrgyz news agencies and journalists.
Prime Minister Sapar Isakov resigned following a motion of no confidence in Parliament on April 19, 2018 and was taken into custody by the Security Police during the corruption charges in June 2018. Mukhammedkalyj Abylgazijev took office as new Prime Minister on April 20, 2018.
Kyrgyzstan Country Overview
Climate The climate in
Kyrgyzstan is really variable depending on the part of the country. Dry continental climate, cold mountain climate and subtropical south. High in the mountain valleys there can be as much as 30 degrees below zero in winter.
- According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, KYR stands for Kyrgyzstan.
Seasons The climate in Kyrgyzstan varies depending on the location. In the southwestern part of the country, temperatures rise by more than 40 degrees during the summer, so the best time to travel there is late spring and early fall. Winters bring with them severe frosts and even snow in the desert area. The risk of avalanches is in March-April and September-October. In most parts of the country, summer is short but really warm.
Finnish citizens do not need a visa when traveling to Kyrgyzstan if the trip takes less than 60 days. For trips of less than a month, it is not necessary to register with the authorities. It is always a good idea to have a passport or a copy of your passport with you.
The trip, it is advisable to check that the following basic vaccinations are valid: tetanus, polio, diphtheria / pertussis. In addition, we recommend hepatitis A vaccination. For more information on vaccinations, contact your health center or visit
Currency: Kyrgyz Som (KGS)
Currency can be obtained from Finland by booking in advance. Check availability and course at www.forex.fi.
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Everyone participating in the trip must have a valid travel insurance that covers medical expenses in the event of illness or other similar need. Please check the validity of your own insurance and the terms and conditions of the insurance cancellation cover.
Please pay attention to the special nature of your trip and check the coverage of the insurance in that respect as well. In many locations, the insurance must also be valid when moving at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, in which case it also covers mountain sickness.
Many hiking or diving trips require more extensive insurance, which covers, for example, diving or moving on a glacier. Please check the contents of your insurance with your insurance company.