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Independence Day celebrations in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek (RFE/RL)
August 31, 2007 (RFE/RL) - Kyrgyzstan today is marking the 16th anniversary of its independence with official gatherings, concerts, and sporting events in the capital, Bishkek, and other cities.
Kyrgyzstan declared its independence on August 31, 1991, making it the first of the Central Asian countries to gain independence from the Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, preparations are under way in Uzbekistan to mark its own Independence Day on September 1.
The government -- which has repeatedly told Western critics to stay out of its internal affairs -- has declared that the theme of this year's celebrations is "Don't Teach Us How to Walk."