According to the Wikipedia free encyclopedia Kyrgyzstan is officially the Kyrgyz Republic, a country in Central Asia. Landlocked and mountainous, it is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and People’s Republic of China to the east. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek.
The nation’s largest ethnic group are the Kyrgyz, a Turkic people, who comprise 69% of the population (2007 estimate). Other ethnic groups include Uzbeks (14.5%) living in the south, and Russians (9.0%) concentrated in the north. Small but noticeable minorities include Tatars (1.9%), Uyghurs (1.1%), Tajiks (1.1%), Kazakhs (0.7%), and Ukrainians (0.5%) and other smaller ethnic minorities (1.7%). Kyrgyzstan has over 80 distinct ethnic groups in the country.
Kyrgyzstan has undergone a pronounced change in its ethnic composition since independence from teh former Soviet Union. The percentage of ethnic Kyrgyz increased, while the percentage of European ethnic groups (Russians, Ukrainians, etc.) as well as Tatars has dropped. Between 1991 and 2002, more than 600,000 people emigrated from Kyrgyzstan and the ethnic minority population declined from 47 to 33 percent.
With hundreds dead and tens of thousands of refugees, ethnic violence has brought chaos to Kyrgyzstan.
A revolution brought a transitional government but it lacks legitimacy and control over substantial parts of the government. At the moment Kyrgyzstan doesn’t even have a parliament.
Why is all this important? Because the U.S. and Russia have national security interest in Kyrgyzstan.
Russia has troops stationed there and are looking to bring Kyrgyzstan into the Russian orbit. The U.S. has had use of an air base to refuel cargo planes heading to Afghanistan.
They probably have a rough road ahead but are not on the brink of collapse as some European news media are reporting..