Two years ago in early April thousands took to the streets in the city center of Bishkek infuriated over corruption in government, soaring utility bills and unresponsive leadership. Groups seized the Ministry of the Interior building, the state broadcasting building. The government responded by deploying hundreds of troops who shot dead dozens of protesters. Many more were injured.
Hundreds gathered this year for the anniversary. There was no violence. There were speeches. There were flowers laid at the foot of a statue to commemorate the dead and wreaths hung from the iron fence around the White House. And above all of it was the Kyrgyz flag, snapping insistently in gusts of early April wind.