Kyrgyzstan: BBC Radio shut down, Russia increasing military strength in Kant, earthquake, AIDS on the increase

Sunday, December 07, 2008

City centre in Kant, Kyrgyzstan.

A search for articles in the Turkish language media on Kyrgyzstan doesn't really show any good news. Here it is anyway:
  • Lots of radio being shut down in Kyrgyzstan, and today (6 December) that includes BBC. A news agency called 24 KG said that BBC's four local radio frequencies that had been broadcasting in the Kyrgyz language have been shut down by the Kyrgyzstan State Radio and Television Institution. No statement was made by them on why, and BBC says that it will work towards solving the problem and talking with authorities. Other radio shut down this year includes broadcasts by Radio Free Europe, and Russian magazines such as Vecherniy Bishkek (Вечерний Бишкек).
  • Russia is increasing its military strength in Kyrgyzstan (5 December) by doubling the budget for the air force base in the city of Kant. 1.7 billion rubles ($60 million) is going to the base for 2009-2010, which is double the rate for the past five years. Being added to the base are An-26 transport planes and Su-27 fighter planes, plus 400 extra soldiers in addition to the 500 already there.
  • A bit more on the history of BBC in Kyrgyzstan: BBC broadcasting in Russian started there in 1994, and broadcasts in Kyrgyz began in 1996.
  • On 3 December there was an earthquake in Kyrgyzstan around 10:26, 120 km from the capital of Bishkek in the Tanrı Mountains (Tanrı = God). At its centre the earthquake was a 6 on the Richter scale, 3-4 in the capital, and between 4 and 5 in the city/district of Kara Balta (= Black Axe).
  • AIDS is on the increase in Kyrgyzstan, with 1931 people with the virus in 2008.


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