Kirgisia does not belong to the group of small Soviet republics which, in response to the word perestroika, generated a powerful movement in favor of democracy and national emancipation. The decomposition process of the Soviet system in this republic came about very slowly as a consequence of the local nomenklatura's resistance, as well as the slim potential for alternative movements. The article presents the causes of Kirgisian political tardiness, as well as identifies the factors which overcame the stagnation of the communist era in that republic. An essential role in this process was played by the political repercussions of the ethnic conflict in the south of the country in June 1990. An analysis of the personnel and institutional changes in the final year of the USSR's existence constitutes a fundamental part of the article, in which the specifics of political development in Kirgisia are shown against the background of neighboring Asian republics. The final part of the dissertation deals with Kirgisia's place in the decentralization of the Soviet Union as well as the adaptation to unexpected independence.