In 2003–2005, democratic revolutions overthrew the Georgian, Ukrainian, and Kyrgyz post-Soviet authoritarian regimes. However, disillusioned citizens witness today their new leaders creating a Bonapartist regime, entering into open conflict with former revolutionary allies or being forced to accept cohabitation with leaders of the previous regime. This article argues that despite internationally acclaimed civic mobilisation, civil society's weakness seriously affected the three revolutionary processes. These were in fact initiated, led, controlled, and finally subordinated by former members of the authoritarian regimes' political elite. Finally, the supposedly democratic revolutions proved to be little more than a limited rotation of ruling elites within undemocratic political systems.

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