Civil tensions in Kyrgyzstan came to a head in April 2010, when President Bakiyev was toppled and an interim government was set up under the leadership of former Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva. Serious outbreaks of Kyrgyz Uzbek interethnic violence in June 2010 led to hundreds of deaths and estimates of over a million displaced persons. The humanitarian crisis in Kyrgyzstan threatens to de-stabilise Central Asia, a key geo-political region for security and energy and Kyrgyzstan also features in the US-Russian rivalry for control of Central Asia, as both powers have military air bases in the country.
Nick Megoran is a lecturer at Newcastle University who studies the political geographies and geopolitics of post-Cold War inter–state relations and has recently visited southern Kyrgyzstan. He will talk about the situation there and the wider geopolitical implications of the crisis for Central Asia and US Russia relations.