A New IRI Poll in Kyrgyzstan Highlights Concerns Over COVID and Border Violence

Like many people in countries all around the world, citizens in Kyrgyzstan are worried about COVID-19 and the Delta variant, but they are, overall, fairly optimistic that things are getting better. Other issues of concern in the country range from the cost of living to relations with Tajikistan, according to a new International Republican Institute (IRI) national survey conducted in July 2021 

The poll examined the public’s mood on the direction of the country. It shows that people are optimistic, despite the challenges of the last several months. The proportion of citizens who believe the country is going in the right direction remains high, though it has fallen to 62 percent (from 70 percent in February/March of 2021). Most people are more concerned about the cost of living (65 percent).  International relations are also a concern for some in Kyrgyzstan. The July poll shows 17 percent of the population is worried about conflict, potentially a result of the May 2021 border conflict with Tajikistan.  

In late April 2021, the worst violence in decades broke out at a disputed section of the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The disagreement was reported to be over Tajikistan’s installation of surveillance cameras at the water-intake station of a reservoir. More than 50 Tajik and Kyrgyz citizens were killed, over 200 injured, and tens of thousands of people displaced. Unsurprisingly, after this, more than three-quarters, or 77 percent, of respondents believe relations with Tajikistan are somewhat or very bad, and 75 percent are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the government’s policy towards Tajikistan. 

COVID-19 continues to worry Kyrgyz citizens, with 54 percent of those polled saying it is a “very serious” concern. This is the highest level of concern in more than a year, reflecting the current wave of cases fueled by the Delta variant.  

С результатами исследования на русском языке можно ознакомиться по данной ссылке.  

Read the Russian version of the poll at this link.   

Сурамжылоонун жыйынтыктарын кыргызча бул шилтемеден окусаңыз болот.  

Read the Kyrgyz version of the poll at this link.  


The survey was conducted on behalf of IRI’s Center for Insights in Survey Research by SIAR Research and Consulting between July 6 and July 16, 2021. Data was collected through computer-assisted telephone interviews. The sample consists of 1,211 residents of Kyrgyzstan aged 18+, and the data was weighted for age and gender. The margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2.8 points at the 95 percent confidence level, and the response rate was 40 percent. This survey was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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