Patriots (Kyrgyz Republic)

Country: Kyrgyz Republic
Details of Formation: One source reports the group was set up by Terbeshaliev to protect his property during the chaos in the aftermath of the April tumult in 2010. Other sources simply mention that citizens joined together to protect their property.
Details of Termination: The group is still active in 2012, no information on activities in 2013 and 2014.
Purpose: The Patriots formed to protect property and maintain law and order after the chaos of the April 2010 riots that chased the incumbent government out of office. The government supported the group because it was successful in maintaining order, and more reliable than the ordinary security forces, due to its apolitical attitude.
Organisation: The group’s leader is Terbeshaliev, a local businessman who says to have set up the Patriots, and who became later a member of parliament of the ruling Social Democratic Party. The group organized very quickly, given its spontaneous emergence and characteristic as a movement of vigilante citizen patrols. There were plans that all volunteer militias that were set up to ensure security in Bishkek should be united into a republican-level union in September 2010. In 2011, leader of the Patriots and member of parliament Daniyar Terbishaliyev initiated a draft law on volunteer militiamen legalizing the status of militiamen giving them the same status as police officers including extra power.
Weapons and Training: In the beginning it can be supposed that members fought with their own weapons. Then they possessed hunting rifles and non-lethal weapons. At the end of 2011 the government was striving to allow the Patriots to have service guns. In 2012 it is mentioned that the Patriots were increasingly trained by the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Defence.
Size: The PGM emerged as a citizens’ initiative and quickly swelled in rank up to 800 on April 19 up to 7,000 in June 2010. Another report mentions 12,000 militiamen from ten units in June 2010, but it is not clear if all of these units were Patriots or if other groups are included in this count.
Reason for Membership: In the wake of the chaotic situation in April 2010, people joined the Patriots to defend their own property and possession, but then expanded their vision to provide public security to help their country as volunteers. The groups are funded by private actors, and it is reported they received payments for protecting polling stations, but it does not seem that this funding was a main reason for membership.
Treatment of Civilians: The Patriots were mobilized to establish order during ethnic clashes and distribute humanitarian aid to victims. One of its main goals was to protect citizens. It limited the escalation of violence and looting by contributing to establishing order in the chaotic aftermath of the April revolution.
Other Information: --
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.