Communist Dictatorship in Kyrgyzstan (1918-1991)

Most of Kyrgyzstan, a country which has a history spanning more than two millenia, was annexed by Tsarist Russia in 1876. The defeated areas were attached to the Turkestan district where the Russian colonists quickly proceeded to occupy Kyrgyz lands. In 1916, a revolt against the Tsarist Empire lead to a bloodbath during the suppression. After the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, repressions against the Kyrgyz people continued and the tribes of Kyrgyzstan fell under the control of communist Russia.

In 1936, Kyrgyzstan was reorganized into the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic. The Soviet power coerced the nomadic Kyrgyz people into settling in one place, before launching forced collectivization in the 1930s. After the Second World War, immigration by Russians lead to the country being dominated by them until the 1960s. The second half of the 20th century did not ease the tensions between the Kyrgyz people and the Russians. Liberal changes to the regime and change of the party leadership at the end of the 1980s lead to mass revolts in the capital Bishkek in 1990. In February 1990, clashes took place between Kyrgyzs and Uzbeks in Osis that led to 186 deaths.

After a thousand years of divisions, lack of statehood and occupation by foreign powers, in August 1991, the independence of Kyrgyzstan was declared. In the post-communist state with political instability, a weak civil society and privatization of the state-owned economy, negative trends in democracy and political freedoms, corruption and interethnic relations occurred. The so-called Tulip Revolution attempted to bring about change in the autocratic state.