March 26th, 2009

  • jolita

Kyrgyzstan and Manas Air Base

Late last month, the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan voted - by an overwhelming margin - to terminate their lease to the United States of Manas Air Base, and required the Americans to vacate the base within six months. The vote followed closely on the heels of an earlier announcement that Russia would be providing over $2 billion in financial aid to Kyrgyzstan. Manas is a crucial air base for operations in and around Afghanistan, and U.S. officials remain hopeful that there may still be room for negotiation. The majority of Kyrgyzstan's population appears to have little concern about the closure, instead focusing on their own struggles to get by, as migrant work in Russia has recently evaporated, and jobs at home in Kyrgyzstan are hard to come by. News photos from Kyrgyzstan are few and far between - that said, here is a collection of recent scenes from festivals, rural life, and Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan.

A Kazakh hunter flies his golden eagle during a hunting festival "Solburun" in the village of Bokonbayevo, Kyrgyzstan, some 300km outside Bishkek on October 18, 2008. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images)

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