Thirty-five years ago, on Jan. 22, 1980, Andrei Sakharov was detained by KGB agents on a Moscow street and packed off to Nizhny Novgorod, then called Gorky. The decision to send the human rights defender and winner of the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize into internal exile came as relations with the West deteriorated after the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan a month earlier. Today, history is being repeated as the Russian government mounts a legal attack on human rights and civic organizations — including an institution created to preserve Sakharov’s legacy — at a time when Moscow’s relations with the world are strained by its involvement in a war in neighboring Ukraine.… Seguir leyendo »
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Events in Kyrgyzstan have once again seized headlines. Five years ago, in March 2005, the Tulip Revolution blossomed: Crowds upset by a falsified election stormed the main government building in Bishkek, the capital, and chased out then-President Askar Akayev. This week, after widespread riots in which security forces opened fire on opposition protesters, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev escaped the capital in a plane. A temporary people's government announced that it has taken power, with former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva in charge.
For Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous nation that prided itself on being an "island of democracy" in Central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, events represent a second chance to get back on track.… Seguir leyendo »