From the Overview: "The Kyrgyz Republic (commonly known as Kyrgyzstan) is a mountainous, landlocked country that borders China and maintains close ties with Russia. Formerly a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan became independent in 1991. As a parliamentary republic that holds contested elections, Kyrgyzstan has long been considered the most democratic country in Central Asia, with a vibrant civil society and a higher degree of press freedom than found elsewhere in the region. Corruption is pervasive, however, and political institutions remain weak. In recent years, international observers have voiced concerns about democratic backsliding in Kyrgyzstan. Some Members of Congress have also expressed concerns about government pressure on independent media outlets, including the congressionally-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty."
CRS In Focus, IF10304
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/