The Chartist: superpower struggle
Kyrgyzstan occupies a unique position between the US and Russia.
Kyrgyzstan, once part of the Soviet Union, is the only country that is home to both US and Russian airbases, an arrangement that hasn't always been tension-free. As riots erupted last week, hundreds of thousands of people fled the country and the government turned to Russia for military aid.
Russia supplied a small number of troops -- but only to protect its own base. Meanwhile, the US supports Kyrgyzstan -- but through financial assistance rather than arms.
Graphic by Jez Burrows.