Scores of people are dead and many others are injured as renewed violence threatens to spiral out of control in Kyrgyzstan's southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad.
The ongoing unrest is considered the worst in decades.
The interim government has given security forces shoot-to-kill powers against looters and those attacking symbols of authority.
The clashes between Kyrgz and Uzbeks are a grim reminder of ethnic divisions that have ravaged the region in the past.
But what is fueling the crisis this time? And will Russia step in to help the embattled provisional government in Bishkek?
Inside Story, with presenter Mike Hanna, discusses with guests Bakyt Beshimov, a leader of parliamentary fraction and deputy chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, Pavel Felgenhauer, an analyst and columnist for Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper, and Annette Bohr, an associate fellow of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Chatham House.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Monday, June 14, 2010.