Since 1991, after the collapse of the USSR, a new page has been turned in the history of the Kyrgyz people. On 31 August Independence of Kyrgyzstan was declared and the period of reforms began. The former totalitarian and authoritarian regime of the CPSU was replaced by an authoritarian and democratic regime. The principles of democratic governance were introduced; instead of so-called public (state) property, various forms of ownership were introduced, with priority given to private property. The planned economy was replaced by a market economy; the formerly socially homogeneous society was highly differentiated. The communist ideology gave way to the bourgeois-liberal one; the collectivist consciousness was replaced by an individualist consciousness.
In social and political terms, the Republic acquired all the attributes of statehood and became an equal member of the world community. However, the breakdown of economic relations between the former USSR and the Soviet Union had a negative impact on the socio-economic situation of the Republic. The growing inflationary process led to the introduction of a national currency (KGS) in 1993, which enabled the Republic to pursue an independent financial and monetary policy. In the same year the first constitution of the sovereign Kyrgyzstan was adopted. However, shortcomings in market reforms led to a large deficit in the state budget and the republic became agro-industrial, with about half the population living below the poverty line.
The high level of corruption, the sharp differentiation of society, criminalisation and authoritarianism of the authorities have led Kyrgyzstan to overthrow the existing regime twice (24 March 2005 and 7 April 2010). Following the interim government, a parliamentary republic will be established in Kyrgyzstan and Jogorku Kenesh will be given broad powers.
The difficult social and economic situation forces Kyrgyzstan to pursue a multi-vector policy and to establish the necessary contacts to attract appropriate investment to the country. It will become a member of the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), UNESCO, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD), the Council for the Cooperation of Turkish-Speaking Countries (CCTS), is taking steps towards integration into the Customs Union, the Eurasian Economic Community, is forging links not only with neighbouring countries but also with abroad.
There have also been significant changes in the spiritual life of sovereign Kyrgyzstan as a result of the democratisation process. In this context, a number of laws have been adopted in the education sector to adapt it to market conditions. The negative consequences of the economic crisis have affected the activities of scientific institutions, but they, including the Academy of Sciences, are still trying to adapt to these difficult conditions and are concentrating on the priority areas of scientific development. For the spiritual revival of society, the careful management of cultural heritage, in particular the masterpiece of oral folk art – “Manas” period – is of great importance.
It should be noted, however, that the negative processes have mainly affected the cultural sector, which has practically survived thanks to the support of international organisations. Nevertheless, despite certain difficulties, the State has taken a number of measures to establish its legal framework.