Russia Loves Kyrgyz Democracy

A pretty clever one from Simon Tisdall in the Guardian:

Now Russia is rightly worried about what it has wrought. President Dmitri Medvedev warned recently of anarchy and a “second Afghanistan”. This week the Russian military was told to be ready to protect ethnic Russians – 20% of Kyrgyzstan’s population.

It probably won’t come to direct intervention. But the downside for the Kremlin of its too-clever Kyrgyz coup is becoming clearer. A democratic Kyrgyzstan may prove less biddable than Moscow would wish. The level-headed Otunbayeva may yet refuse to evict the Americans from Manas. Political divisions may become lethally corrosive. And, most dangerous of all, ethnic violence combining with popular discontent and Islamist agitation in the Ferghana valley linking south Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, may spark a wider conflagration.

It’s happened before and it could happen again. Such are the perils of externally incited regime change.