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Southern Kyrgyz crisis: narcissism of small distinctions and protective mechanisms of a social system




In article sociohistorical and psychological prerequisites of the conflict in the south of Kyrgyz Republic in July, 2010 which is considered as result of exhaustion of the former protective mechanisms providing stability of a social system are analyzed.

Whether Socrates, our wise man will notice that I joke and contradict myself, or I will manage to spend also him, and other listeners?

Grinds from "Apologies by Socrates"

If Russians, Uzbeks or Turks tell that they - on an equal basis with Kyrgyz or above them, - the state will collapse also lt;...> Our party has no nationalist sentiments.

Kamchibek Tashiyev, party leader Ata-Zhurt

In the Kyrgyz Republic (KR) quite often it is necessary to hear that the country is sick and needs the emergency help. In translation into a vernacular of the psychologist it means risk of destabilization of a system (equivalent of a mental disorder) and tension of the protective mechanisms necessary for survival. In uslo-

Historical psychology and sociology of history 1/2011 5-18

viya of their overstrain (neurotic frustration) or insufficiency (schizophrenia) the system can exhaust the values and die.

My position reflects splitting, characteristic of residents of Kyrgyzstan, that is shown even in the formal and role relations. For example, a certain role in creation of the American university in Central Asia (AUCA) where I work, was played by service which the government of the first president of the republic rendered to the United States - it was unambiguously indicated the creator of AUCA of K. Sharshekeev (2010). At the same time, being an associate professor of the Slavic university in the same city, I cannot but realize that the wellbeing of this educational institution is connected with the future of the Russian air base billeted near Bishkek.

Splitting and destabilization political, geographical, cultural, educational, national, lichnostnoy1 and other spheres are similarity internally unstable whole. Such situation gracefully keeps within a framework of fractal geometry of B. Mandelbrot (Mandelbrot 1977)2, but at the same time is perfect "it is not esthetic" on the consequences, one of which is slaughter in the south of Kyrgyz Republic in June, 2010.

Osh before April events: tension of protective mechanisms

"The Uzbek question" was a problem from the moment of formation of the Soviet republics in Turkestan when economic distinctions turned in territorialnye3, having divided "" and "others" in socialist borders. Historically developed negligence of nomad tribes to settled is reflected in the word "sart". The famous researcher of the Central Asian ethnic groups S.N. Abashin (2007) notes that prior to the first population census of the Soviet Union of 1926 the term was used for oboznache-

1 The idea of "national character" including "national tolerance", especially loudly began to sound in the local press after the events in Osh (see, for example: Kayypov 2010).
2 A fractal is called a difficult spatial object between which parts there is a similarity. The fractal geometry shows one of the fundamental principles of activity of natural objects: a small amount of parameters, interaction between which is defined by rather simple mathematical equations, is the cornerstone of existence of extremely complex systems.
3 Data are obtained from S.N. Abashin's manuscript "Uzbeks". Are brought with the consent of the author.

a niya cultural (but not language) the devil and a way of life of all settled population of the Fergana Valley, it is obligatory in opposition to nomads and semi-nomads - "elata", and designated first of all consciousness which quite could coexist with other types of self-consciousnesses. So, the Kyrgyz semi-nomad who had a kitchen garden or a garden, knew some craft, already partly was a grade.

Now the word "sart" sounds offensively and is said accompanied by paraverbal and nonverbal signs, characteristic of offensive language. Transformation of the social term in stigmatizing and the subsequent disappearance of the whole nationality from an official population census of 1926 are of undoubted interest to historians and linguists (Abashin 2007).

For lifetime of the Soviet Union tension between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the south of the country periodically developed into the local and carefully hidden skirmishes. Just before collapse of the USSR the short-sighted policy of local authorities played a match role for cruel slaughter at the beginning of June, 1990 in redistribution of already populated lands goda6. Twenty years of the followed then externally peaceful co-existence can seem rather long remission though in the relations between ethnic groups the psychological phenomenon which Z. Freud once designated as narcissism of small distinctions was distinctly fixed. "Once, - Freud wrote (1990: 109), - my attention was drawn by a phenomenon of hostility and mutual sneers just between the close communities living in the neighbourhood and in general, for example, Spaniards and Portuguese, northern and southern Germans, British and Scots, etc. I named this phenomenon "narcissism of small distinctions" which, however, clears up very little. It represents the convenient and rather harmless satisfaction of aggression promoting solidarity between associates. The Jewish people disseminated everywhere rendered thereby worthy service of recognition to the culture of those people among which it lodged; unfortunately, all sredneve-

4 Sara-it - a yellow dog.
5 The conflict of 1968 was successfully forgotten that was promoted much by more large-scale events of the same politically hyperactive year.
6 From the text of a public lecture of A. Asankanov, the reference is given with the permission of the author.

kovy beating of Jews was not enough for making these times more peace and safe for Christians".

The narcissism supported and continues to maintain national unity, despite tribal opposition in the Kyrgyz political elite. According to the Kyrgyz historian professor A. Makeev (2008), continuous rivalry between the leading clans for the power in the country is a reality which it is necessary to recognize and to reckon seriously with it; moreover, formation of public authorities of management happens under the influence of tribal svyazey7. In other words, presence of the "brotherly" people including Uzbek, in the Kyrgyz territory prevents civil strifes between representatives of northern and southern clans and promotes a national unification.

Results of the numerous conversations and focus groups which are carried out in the Osh and Zhalalabadsky regions established several shown reasons of the southern conflict. As one of them call distinctions of values and a way of life of Uzbeks and Kyrgyz. So, Uzbeks "richer, than Kyrgyz as in the injust way occupied the best lands", their life "is hidden from public eyes", they "cunning and false". Kyrgyz, according to Uzbeks, "wild, mountain" (this definition is generally used in relation to residents of Alay), "aggressive", "short-sighted", "lazy" and "dirty". The first accuse the second that they are not let to the power, the second accuse the first that those cunning and deception profit on trustful representatives of the title nation.

Speculation on "patriotism" in Kyrgyzstan since the beginning of 2010 gained just frightening nature, and the number of publications in inverse proportion to their quality. It is interesting that open anti-Uzbek statements appeared till April, 2010. So, article under the symptomatic name "It Is Vigilant to Live" which author absolutely openly urges "to be at war for the great Kyrgyz earth was published in the official newspaper Asman CO at the beginning of March, 2010 in Kyrgyz", adding that actually it "against war", but, "having supported the Kyrgyz who fights with the representative Wad Dra -

7 The text of the public lecture given in the spring of 2008 provided with the permission of the author.

gy nationality (irrespective of the causes of a fight. - E.M.)", it is possible "to make the contribution to development of the Kyrgyz statehood". At the end of rather chaotic narration the author apologizes "for honest and emotional words" and in absolutely already easily recognizable traditions asks "to consider him the patriot". Unfortunately, it is not the only example of a performance of aggressive ethnonationalism behind a mask of patriotism. The aggressive ethnonationalism which, according to D.S. Likhachev, "ruins own culture and dries up it", can act nevertheless as the powerful integration mechanism, uniting "" as opposed to "strangers". The patriotism as "the personal and public culture of spirit" assumes first of all ability to the transtsendentsii, "when the person and all people kind of rise over themselves and put... superpersonal purposes" (Likhachev 2006: 61).

the Main lines of ethnonational-isms are well studied by

>: initial perception of statehood as "national"; the description of the nation in the ethnic terms connected with the Soviet Marxist tradition and "the theory of ethnic group"; special attention to problems of national language; interest in historical roots and ancient history (Smith 1998; Roy 2000). The Kyrgyz nationalism, having common features of the Central Asian ethnonational-isms, differs in unique qualities which are inseparably linked with the idea of national character which main lines are generalized by the term "kyrgyzchylyk" ("kyrgyzstvo"). The carrier of lines of national character and a prototype of the true Kyrgyz is Manas - the great commander under supervision of whom separate tribes reunited on the home ground. Manas Velikodushny besides universal physical qualities of the hero (fast growing, inhuman force and endurance, high growth, a lion's forehead, courageous appearance) has a number of very recognizable characteristics. He is quick-tempered, but is easily appeased, ready to fight, quickly makes decisions, is impulsive, not always submits to them to the created laws, is easy on rise, is hospitable and hospitable irrespective of existence on that means, is devoted to family and parents, is intolerant and tough to those whom considers traitors, is kind and generous in relation to friends. Manas possesses ambitions of the conqueror who decided to go to China, likes to show the force, is trustful and easily gives in on manipulation of the wife - the clear head Kanykey, the native of Bukhara.

Besides, the term "kyrgyzchylyk" is understood as set of unusual abilities (that, in my opinion, sometimes masks early manifestations of mental disorders), accurate following to rituals and strict cast in Kyrgyz patriarchal semye8. The combination of trustfulness and eagerness to fight, impulsiveness and sensitivity creates explosive mix to which it is possible to set fire one spark and to lift on war even the threat ghost from the potential opponent.

Despite obvious interethnic contradictions, between the Uzbek business and the Kyrgyz board there was a profitable symbiosis destroyed by the April revolution of 2010. According to one of members of the National Commission on investigation of the causes of conflict in the south of the country A. Asankanov (2010), about 90% of seats in the tax inspection, self-government institutions, prosecutor's office and security agencies of the southern regions Kyrgyz borrowed while 90% of restaurant and pleasure business belonged to Uzbeks. Similar distribution of places and the approved sums of financial support of official "roofs" allowed to exist comfortably both the first, and the second, supporting at the same time negative attitude to each other. After the April revolution in the absence of real local authorities the criminal applicants for the share in the Uzbek business who are pressed down before by security agencies were naturally shown. The borders verified for years were broken, and large Uzbek businessmen (as instigators of the conflicts any school student of Kyrgyz Republic can call their names now, the benefit these names repeatedly appeared in the Kyrgyz media) appeared before real threat of loss of "an injust way of the saved-up means".

The first collision between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz happened on April 29, 2010 goda9 on the Uzbek border when each car with the Uzbek goods was laid additional under tribute in 25 thousand som (about 540 US dollars). A local fight do not turn -

8 The hierarchy of positions is bared at distribution of bones and meat of the prepared ram in time toya - a family celebration. Each family member and the guest receives a bone according to the situation. If the bone intended Kelin - the daughter-in-law ("a bone of the servant"), is (hypothetically as it is difficult to present that it can occur) is given to the guest, then the guest will fairly take offense.
9 From the public lecture of the academician A. Asankanov read at the American university in Central Asia on October 27, 2010. It is quoted with the permission of the author.

las in mass slaughter as, perhaps, the main operating forces then were not prepared for it.

Thus, after April, 2010 the old opposition of Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the southern regions of the country was repeatedly strengthened by political and economic confusion. Former communications between the Kyrgyz board and the Uzbek business were broken, crime was connected to repartition of property, influential people realized need to create the legal Uzbek "roofs" including wide representation of Uzbeks in local authorities and militia. Destruction of already unstable system led to distinct polarization of society - to the phenomenon which, according to P.A. Sorokin (1997: 214), is expressed in association of destructive forces at the beginning of crisis that corresponds to "negative moral polarization". This time when ruling elite and structures subject to it show "gargantyuansky nonsense, roughness and sadistic destructiveness" (In the same place: 215).

Violence not only interethnic

According to official statistics, during the Osh slaughter of 2010 893 persons died (Solovyov 2010). According to informal - more than two thousand, and assessment of a ratio of the died Kyrgyz and Uzbeks depends on nationality of the respondent. Houses of Kyrgyz and Russians generally survived, the Uzbek dwellings burned out the whole streets (makhallyama). Residents of the Osh and Zha-lalabadsky regions (as, however, and all inhabitants of KR) do not doubt that action was carefully planned and in it were cast in advance. A lot of things remain not clear, in particular reasonings on "the third forces" were not confirmed by the facts yet; the tyrants and murderers detained by the Osh prosecutor's office were generally locals though the version about mercenaries still is attractive and, for obvious reasons, is actively supported in the mixed Kyrgyz-Uzbek areas Osha10.

Kyrgyz are sure that the conflict was provoked by Uzbeks, and explain all subsequent actions Kyrgyz old

10 In the republican press there were assumptions of possible participation of the Tajik mercenaries that with anger was rejected by official Dushanbe with the requirement to apologize. The last publications on this subject see:

ny in terms of "excess of limits of necessary defense". Victims of violence Uzbeks do not support the version of "retaliation" and call the southern events genocide. The eternal question of the one who is guilty has concrete polar answers that promotes reconciliation a little.

From the point of view of ordinary residents of Osh and Zhalalabada, slaughter was wanton, mutual and terrible. Within the first two weeks after the beginning of the conflict, gunshot wounds, further and till present - numerous knife were causes of death. Psychologists know well that human memory - the tool in investigation extremely unreliable, constructive function of memory creates the version of last events, preferable to the personality, sometimes far from what occurred in reality (Oysh 1987). Nevertheless I will give several fragments from the interviews which are written down during focus groups here.

B.A., law enforcement officer, Osh: "The first corpses came only with gunshot wounds to the head and heart. People were killed on streets, it was possible to come to a balcony and to get under a stray bullet. So two little girls died. Wounds were identical both at Uzbeks, and at Kyrgyz".

F., inhabitant Zhalalabada, teacher: "The first day in Zhala-labade on streets killed mainly children regardless of nationality. Parents of the shot children considered that the opposite side is guilty".

K.T., law enforcement officer, Osh: "Facing murder in two weeks after the beginning of the conflict, we could assume who is a murderer. If the corpse was with knife wound in a throat (as at a ram), looked for the Kyrgyz if the body with the numerous knife wounds which are cut off by auricles and genitals arrived, looked for the Uzbek".

Lake, psychiatrist expert: "One of murderers of the colonel Adylbek Sultanov and it voditelya11 - absolutely young guy, with signs

11 "... On June 13 when in the south of the republic disorders stormed. In the village of Nariman of Cara-Suysky district of the Osh region the locals took several hostages. The chief of the Cara-Suysky District Department of Internal Affairs colonel Adylbek Sultanov (Kyrgyz) arrived to Nariman to try to convince villagers to release captives. The colonel was carried by the militiaman-driver, the foreman Ulan Shamurzayev (Kyrgyz). Peace talks did not turn out. Hardly militiamen got out of the car, narimanovets snatched on them and cruelly beat. Then

a mental retardation, threw stones in the cut-off head. Says that killed because all killed".

After cancellation of a curfew in the south of the republic that was to equally official statement for the termination of disorders very few people doubted that crisis gained long character. Unresolved problems, in particular lack of the concrete answer to an eternal question of "the first shot", political and economic instability in the state, loud-voiced meetings of last elections dissatisfied with results, attempt of the next repartition of the power will be the factors maintaining tension in the region so far. I will continue quotes from conversations with direct witnesses of events.

L., psychiatrist, Osh: "At the end of October (in three months after the Osh events) I hospitalized the 16-year-old Uzbek girl after parasuicide attempt. Two unknown shaved it all head and body hair, including eyebrows, cruelly beat, raped and stopped dying. After an extract from a surgical hospital department the girl tried to hang herself".

To., the psychiatrist, Osh: "Recently parents of the boy of 15 years, the Kyrgyz who was considered the missing person addressed me. He was a hostage, it was held on bread and water, extorted money from parents. Frankly speaking, I do not know why it was released, in these cases usually kill" (speaks quietly, as about something everyday).

Expression "the situation stabilized" for Osh means first of all the termination of mass riots and extreme slaughter, but not the termination of interethnic violence in the form of guerrilla war which is waged by both parties. I can be objected that people daily vanish in any city and acts of villainy by mainly jobless young people are made. Are made, but are not supported by the strong idea to sweep also a revenge, declared by both parties. Division on "we -

several fighters in masks approached the car. 22-year-old Oshanin Azizullo Tashirov (Uzbek) directed them as then it became clear. They seized Sultanov and Shamurzayev and took away in different directions. The colonel Sultanov was beaten to death near the car. And it is very cruel - the sticks stuck by nails. His charred body was found then in a trunk of the burned-down police car - there it was pushed by murderers and burned together with the car. The foreman Shamurzayev of the murderer was brought for couple of kilometers from Nariman, to the small river. And there, still to live, cut off the head" (Pesina 2010).

Kyrgyz" and "we are Uzbeks", certainly, will rally both those, and others in groups, promoting maintenance at best of mutual hostility, and in the worst - mutual hatred. A voice of the famous singer of Uzbekistan Yulduz Usmanova singing: "If the Uzbek begins to revenge - you will not become", sounds in mobile phones of youth, supporting aggression at Kyrgyz and justifying aggression of Uzbeks.

Rendering specialized help in Osh and Zhalalabada

The tragedy in the south of the country bared a number of serious problems in the sphere of mental health which were not so obvious in peace time. It became clear what in the country is not present purposeful to - and postdegree training of specialists for work in crisis situations of scale of social disasters. As the logical investigation there are no local structures which are responsible for the organization urgent to a psychologo mental health services in the conditions of emergency situations. We had no experience in conditions when the nationality of the psychiatrist could be decisive factor, complicating contact with injured civilians.

Besides the listed and many other problems in the course of rendering the specialized help one more came to light: communication between local psychiatrists and psychologists, on the one hand, and specialists of the international organizations - with another, left and leaves much to be desired. Duplication of efforts, including repetition of inefficient trainings was one of the least sad consequences of lack of the adjusted communication; the most sad - depreciation of each other that finally led to formation of negative attitude of affected population to the helping experts. One of our Osh colleagues psychiatrists gave, in my opinion, capacious definition of efforts of the numerous non-governmental international organizations, having designated their activity as "the industry of rendering psychological assistance".

The term "industry" is used as a synonym something rather profitable and, alas, conveyor here. "The psychological industry" in the south of KR was as it is represented, a consequence of underestimation of an ethnocultural component. Sometimes it was difficult to our foreign colleagues to understand and accept that the absence eye

of contact not always is sign of impoliteness, and more likely on the contrary - during communication with the person of advanced age in the Kyrgyz and Uzbek cultures it is recommended to look down. Ta-buirovannost expressions of feelings it is unusual for the normal American, but repeated visit of the house where recently buried close is not manifestation of a mental disorder, and, is an abuse of hospitality, the evidence of cultural illiteracy of the psychologist, but not the victims who at some point simply refused to open hospitably the doors in any way. Sometimes the best intentions lead to gross violation of personal borders that in turn causes secondary traumatization. The most dangerous, in my opinion, is ease with what our foreign colleagues take out the conclusions about "psychological illiteracy" of the population. These conclusions often are based on lack of motivation at notorious "psychologically illiterate local community" to ask for the help experts in the field of mental health. It should be noted that between the probability of the request for the help and weight of the frustration connected with a post-traumatic stress there is the return correlation - the it is heavier than experience, the request for the help to the psychiatrist or the psychotherapist is less probable (see, for example: Tarabrina 2001).

Resources for the subsequent reconciliation: psychiatrists during the Osh events

The optimist Pitirim Sorokin was convinced: all history of human race "demonstrates that she is somehow capable to overcome many accidents throughout the long historical existence... In cooperation with all creative factors, forces of positive polarization have to make everything to prevent the mourning finish" (Sorokin 1997: 231). In our case "forces of positive polarization" can be shown on the example of a single hospital - the Osh Regional Center of Mental Health (ORCMH). Thanks to the arrangement (it is rather far from the downtown and, therefore, from places of firefights) the center of mental health was turned from June 10 to June 20, 2010 into field hospital where wounded before evacuation in the surgical center accommodated.

Stabilization of a condition of persons with mental disorders in wartime was noted by many researchers. One of our colleagues told: "During the southern war at the patients with continuously current schizophrenia who were at that time in OOTsPZ the obvious improvement of a state was noted. They became voluntary hospital attendants, fed wounded and even helped to bake bread for those who were left without food and homeless" (the oral message). The list of patients as, however, and physicians of OOTsPZ, was and so far remains international: there Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Russians worked and work. During "excess of necessary defense" the psychiatric hospital because of the international contingent turned into not the safest place. On June 13, 2010 about three dozen armed men in masks stopped at gate of OOTsPZ and demanded "to bring all representatives of ethnic minority". In case of refusal of personnel of OOTsPZ to fulfill the requirement people in masks threatened to set fire to the center together with all who there were at this time. A.O., the director of the center, left "to talk to them" (A.O. words). The unarmed doctor managed to persuade to leave the armed and resolutely adjusted men hospital alone.

It is not the only example of courage and international behavior of people in Osh and Zhalalabada. During slaughter the Kyrgyz neighbors hid at themselves Uzbeks, risking own life, Uzbeks talked to the youth, protecting Kyrgyz neighbors, Russians provided the apartments for the Uzbek children. Such stories a set, and they, in our opinion, can have considerable potential in the subsequent reconciliation of the parties and continuation of positive polarization of society after crisis.

One more powerful resource for stabilization of a mental condition of the South of the country are multinational psychotherapeutic groups on the structure. Experience of carrying out similar groups exists, and results encourage; in any case, they are real, and on this property - "reality" - differ from newborn parliament which, as well as all newborns while it is capable only of satisfaction of basic requirements and that with assistance, without understanding so far that it does (parliament). One is clear: the "social law of fluctuation of totalitarianism and freedom" formulated at the time by Sorokin (1997: 124),

again shows validity on the example of our republic: ".vsyaky time when in a certain society there is a considerable crisis in a form of war or threat of war, big hunger, a big economic depression or devastating epidemic, an earthquake or flood, anarchy, disorders and revolution or in the form of any other large critical situation, then scales and severity of a government regulation steadily increase, and the economy of society, a political regime, a way of life and ideologies experience totalitarian transformation; and the crisis is stronger, the this transformation is more considerable" (Sorokin 1997: 124). The parliament which is given rise in the internal conflict designed to symbolize the post-revolutionary freedom which is not able to hide the growing need for a strong hand and the tough governor capable to stop final destruction of the state building which is promptly losing bricks.

In the next months the armored personnel carriers gradually disappeared from streets of Osh. Calls for calm and about in the country against the background of the parliamentary fight shown on national channel on April 2, 2011 become a sign of our time.


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Robert Perry
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