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Kyrgyz President's Brother Creates Elite Military Unit

Janysh Bakiev, the president's brother, will control the new unit.
BISHKEK -- The younger brother of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has created an elite military unit that he will control, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Janysh Bakiev, who heads the State Security Service, has established a military unit called Arystan (The Lion). The new force was created on the basis of President Bakiev's recommendations for amending the constitution.

One recommendation was to dissolve the 2,000-strong National Guard and transfer its responsibilities to the State Security Service, which reports directly to the president.

Bishkek-based analyst Tabyldy Akerov told RFE/RL that special military units should only be subordinated to such state bodies as the National Security Service, the Defense Ministry, and the Interior Ministry.

He said the president's decision to establish a military unit controlled solely by himself and his brother is intended to prevent any revolt similar to the so-called Tulip Revolution that toppled President Askar Akaev and brought Bakiev to power in 2005.

Kyrgyz Parliament deputy Beishenbek Abdrasakov, a member of the ruling Ak-Jol (Bright Path) Party, told RFE/RL that the creation of Arystan to protect the country's leadership is an "important and timely" move.