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Former Kyrgyz President Bakiev Calls 2010 Ouster 'Armed Coup'

Interview: Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev
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Interview: Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev

MINSK -- Kyrgyzstan's former President Kurmanbek Bakiev has described his 2010 ouster as "an armed coup."

In an interview with RFE/RL that was published on March 7, Bakiev claimed that dozens of people who were killed during antigovernment protests in April 2010 had not been shot by government forces.

Bakiev claimed that the killings, which led to his ouster, were instead carried out by "armed groups."

Bakiev also said that Russia's then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had telephoned him during the protests and recommended that he leave Kyrgyzstan in order to avoid larger disturbances.

"I heard then that U.S. President [Barack] Obama talked to Russia's then-president, Dmitry Medvedev, and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev, asking them to secure my safety and the safety of my family," Bakiev told RFE/RL.

He also said Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka called him in the midst of the 2010 violence to offer political asylum for Bakiev and his family.

Bakiev accepted Lukashenka's offer.

Bakiev was sentenced in absentia to life in prison after being convicted by a court in Kyrgyzstan of involvement in the killing of almost 100 protesters during the 2010 uprising.

He told RFE/RL that he never received a subpoena or official notification about the trials in Kyrgyzstan.

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