What’s up with Kyrgyzstan?

February 16th, 2009 | Sources: Wall Street Journal, Washington Post


In January, Russian cyber-militia knocked Kyrgyzstan off the grid for a week using a denial-of-service attack similar to the ones it leveled against Georgia and Estonia last year.

The attack targeted Kyrgyzstan’s 2 largest ISPs which provide over 80% of the nation’s bandwidth, according to Don Jackson SecureWork’s director of threat intelligence.

dontmesswiththebearThe cyber-attack overwhelmed key government Web sites and rendered emailing impossible, among other things.

At the time, neither Russian nor US officials would comment on the matter and Kyrgyz officials, ahem, couldn’t be reached for comment.

People wondered why would Russia cyber-bully an impoverished nation of 5.3 million that doesn’t mouth off to Vlad the Impaler or have a gas pipeline coursing through it, but now we have the answer.

Last week Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced he’s decided to shutter the US’ last remaining air base in Central Asia, just as the Big O was getting set to fire up the base in support of his plans to deploy 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

With Russian President Dmitry Medvedev glowering at his side, Bakiyev claimed the Americans were unwilling to pay more money for the use of Manas Air Base, and that locals were chafing at the military presence, established in 2001 to support the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

“We have repeatedly raised with the United States the matter of economic compensation for the existence of the base in Kyrgyzstan, but we have not been understood,” he said.

howtofixkyrgyzstanMedvedev didn’t just call off the cyber-dogs though. Nice guy that he is, he agreed to loan the former Soviet Republic $2 billion, cough up $150 million in direct financial aid and write off $180 million in debt, according to the Washington Post.

The US pays Kyrgyzstan $150 million each year, 40% of which amounts to rent for the base.


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