''Nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed," said Darya Ibrayeva, a 35-year-old homemaker. She added that her husband, who gave up his job as a policeman a year ago for better-paid work selling clothing in Russia, still could not afford to return.
''The rich are still getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer," she said. ''I thought those who seized power would be different. But I've lost faith."
Marina Idakieva, 40, a hairdresser out walking her Pekingese, seemed more charitable. ''It takes time to make positive changes. I think things will really get better after the elections," she said, referring to the presidential contest scheduled for July 10.
Few people express doubt about who will win. The acting president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, is widely considered the favorite among otherwise obscure candidates. The former prime minister turned opposition figure was appointed to the temporary post by fellow protest leaders after Akayev resigned. Until recently, Bakiyev was expecting a stiff challenge from Felix Kulov, a magnetic former secret police official who was jailed by Akayev's government and was freed by protesters on the day they seized control of the presidential palace.
But in mid-May, Kulov agreed to withdraw from the race in exchange for Bakiyev's promise to appoint him prime minister.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.