Follow the Leader

Askar Akayev's abrupt departure took everyone by surprise—especially the people trying to oust him. Indeed, the President of Kyrgyzstan fled last Thursday before his opponents could even decide what to call the latest revolution to rock a former Soviet republic—pink? Lemon? Tulip? "We were expecting at least a couple of days of picketing," says Alexander Kim, editor of the main opposition newspaper, MSN. "No one thought [the government] would collapse in half a day."

As in Georgia's rose revolution and Ukraine's orange one, Kyrgyzstan's leader was ejected following protests over contested elections. But where Ukraine's revolution unfolded peacefully...

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