Kyrgyzstan – 20 Years of Independence : Between Scandals and Corrupt Elite

REVOLUTIONS, scandals and doing business in one of the most volatile but exhilarating places in the world were part of the incredible but true story told for the first time in the UK at London’s Pushkin House.

Giorgio Fiacconi, editor of Kyrgyzstan-based newspaper The Times of Central Asia, spoke of his experiences in the two decades since the Kyrgyz Republic became the first state to its declare independence from the former Soviet Union.

More than 50 people attended the event held on 18 October to hear events discussed in Mr Fiacconi’s book, Kyrgyzstan, 20 Years of Independence: Between Scandals and Corrupt Elite. These included the disappearance of $2billion-worth of the country’s gold reserves; revolutions in 2005 and 2010 that changed governments; and also the tremendous respect and affection Mr Fiacconi has for the nation’s people, as traders, and also as a spontaneous and life-loving society which, for example, sets up innumerable impromptu tea shops every summer in the streets.

By coincidence, one of the book’s main protagonists, Maxim Bakiyev, son of Kyrgyzstan’s former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev who had to flee the country after the 2010 revolution, had been arrested in London only a week earlier, facing charges including fraud.


The event was supported by Silk Road Media, a London-based publishing house celebrating a decade in 2012 of bringing the culture, natural wonders and industry of Central Asia to the wider world. On 24 and 25 November Silk Road Media will host the Open Central Asia Book Forum and Literature Festival, to discuss further ways to promote Central Asian books and publishing both within the region and worldwide.


To buy your copy of Kyrgyzstan, 20 Years of Independence, visit:

Or visit The Times of Central Asia website at:

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