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21 May, 2010 16:35

Talks of an alleged coup d’etat in Kyrgyzstan leaked onto Youtube

A recording of a conversation between what appears to be Kyrgyzstan’s ousted president’s son and brother was posted on Youtube. The recording reveals plans to topple the interim government and return the ousted regime.

The audio was allegedly sent as a media file from a Kyrgyz number registered to an employee of the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan. The Embassy has, in turn, denied any involvement in the matter.

We need 500 low-lives who could raise hell,” the man, who sounds like Maksim Bakiev, son of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, says in the recording. “You know, walk into the White House…claim power. They just have to call themselves the interim government and say they already signed some decrees for peace and stuff.”

Most of Bakiev's family had high posts within his government, and as the recording points out, could be now planning to return to power.

One is, however, naturally tempted to wonder if the recording may be a hoax. But Ruslan Milchenko from the Federal Information Centre says the quality of the recording leads one to trust its authenticity.

As an audio expert, I can give you almost a 100% guarantee that this is not fake,” Milchenko said. “The quality of the recording, the evident lack of editing – all this makes me believe this is the real deal. Of course, I can't say whose voices these are; only a full-on audio analysis and comparison can do that. But taking into consideration the point of this dialogue, the things being said, and the current political situation in Kyrgyzstan – the dialogue makes sense. It feels real.”

While this may settle the question of the recording's authenticity, an even bigger question of who may have recorded the conversation still remains.

Could it have been the interim government keeping an eye on potential enemies?

Pretty much anyone can listen in to a cell phone conversation. It calls for some pricey equipment, but it can be done,’ said Milchenko. “So these people should have probably looked out their windows more often. They would have seen a little black van there – it would have given them a hint."

If one of the voices on the tape really is Bakiev's bother, it is somewhat strange that he – a man who was once in charge of state security services – himself became the object of surveillance.

The recording is also clearly aimed at an international audience since all of the 40 minutes of the conversation are fully subtitled in English.

If indeed authentic, however, the recording could be a sign of desperation from the Bakiyev clan, experts say.

They are going to try many things to win back power,” said an expert on Kyrgyzstan’s political affairs, Sanabar Shermatova. “They are clearly cornered, and so they will attempt anything they can think of. This specific plan, of course, is somewhat raw, because it is only the taking of the White House, and that’s is not enough to rule the country.”

The Bakiyev family already has a few tricks up their sleeves.

We need to keep the situation destabilized. We need people to constantly wreak havoc in the country,” Maksim Bakiyev appears to be saying in the recording.