From prison to the presidency. The incredible journey of Kyrgyzstan’s new acting head of state and the political crisis still ahead

On October 15, Sooronbay Jeenbekov resigned Kyrgyzstan’s presidency, bowing to pressure from the country’s new prime minister, Sadyr Japarov, who became the country’s acting president before the end of the day. Just 24 hours earlier, after meeting privately with Japarov, Jeenbekov said he’d step down only after Kyrgyzstan held new parliamentary elections, but his resolve collapsed almost immediately. Leaving office, he said resigning was necessary to prevent violent clashes between opposition protesters and law enforcement. Reporting from Bishkek, Meduza special correspondent Maxim Solopov explains what comes next for Kyrgyzstan and why the president had to choose between resignation and blood in the streets, becoming the country’s third leader forced from office early by mass protests. 

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