Dispatches

On the Ground in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan ended Wednesday with its president taking flight and its opposition party declaring a new government. What exactly happened? D. Dalton Bennett offers an on-the-ground dispatch from the capital Bishkek, where the revolt went down. The crowd assembled to protest President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s alleged human-rights abuses and began growing when police began arresting some protesters. “Police released riot dogs, tear gas, and rubber bullets into the crowd, but they still had to retreat under the force of the growing crowds,” Bennett writes. The crowds seized the police’s weapons, and “used a tractor and a large truck to break through the locked gates of the White House, where Bakiyev lives, disregarding signs that read, 'If you enter you will be met with live ammunition.'" Protesters eventually moved on to take over the parliament and intelligence headquarters. Observing the protests, Bennett writes, “A young man, not realizing he had been shot, reached down to the hole in his wrist. He raised his arm to the sky and blood poured onto the street.”