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Kremlin intensifies military build up in North Caucasus

posted by zaina19 on August, 2007 as ANALYSIS / OPINION

Kremlin intensifies military build up in North Caucasus
Publication time: 1 August 2007, 20:55
On July 30 the Kavkaz Center website posted a new statement from Doku Umarov, leader of the Chechen rebels and the North Caucasus insurgency. Umarov declared, "We [the Mujahideen] are ready for any kind of big event. Many ask when a large-scale attack will be. I can say that we are capable of conducting large-scale military operations, but in spite of military conditions we also take into account political conditions. We monitor processes in Russia, in the world, in the Caucasus, and in Chechnya. That is why we will act in such a way that will be beneficial for us and when we will decide that we need to act."

The rebel's threats left many observers incredulous, but not the Russian authorities, especially the military. In fact, Russian security officials are conducting various "anti-terrorist" drills in the North Caucasus almost non-stop and fresh units are being sent to the volatile region.

On July 30 Colonel ...
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Russia: Ghosts Of 1999 Haunt Presidential Succession

posted by zaina19 on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng  (Original Message)    Sent: 8/9/2007 4:23 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2007

Russia: Ghosts Of 1999 Haunt Presidential Succession

By Brian Whitmore

Russia – Politics – President Boris Yeltsin thanks Vladimir Putin, director of the Federal Security Service, for his services, Moscow, 22Feb1999
Boris Yeltsin thanks Vladimir Putin for his services
August 9, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- It was the summer of 1999, and Boris Yeltsin's boozy and tumultuous presidency was drawing to a close.

Prosecutors were investigating Yeltsin's cronies -- and even members of his immediate family -- for graft. Russia was reeling from an economic crisis. Voters were in an angry and surly mood.
And elections were looming.
Such was the atmosphere when Yeltsin went on television eight years ago this week, on the morning of August 9, 1999, to tell the country that he was firing his government -- for the third time in less than a year.
Yeltsin replaced his prime minister, Sergei Stepashin, with Federal Security Service (FSB) head Vladimir Putin. The president then shocked Russians -- and much of ...
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Russia: Bright Present, Dark Future?

posted by zaina19 on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

Russia: Bright Present, Dark Future?
Dieter Farwick - 8/11/2007
Summer time 2007 in Moscow and St.Peterburg is an exciting highlight for visitors.
Compared with a first visit in 2004 progress is visible in the streets.
Buildings have been refurbished, cars are bigger, more expansive and newer models, women are dressed beautifully and the number of obviously poor people in the streets have decreased. Luxury is not hidden but presented without second scruples. The wedding ceremonies are celebrated driving leased stretched limousines and drinking champagne in front of historic sides.
The fashion shops present clothing and accessories at prizes higher than the yearly salary of ordinary citizens.

One prize for progress are almost permanent traffic jams in spite of an efficient and cheap public transport system.

The beauty of the Kremlin in Moscow and of the Hermitage in St.Peterburg, numerous churches and palaces on the way from Moscow to St.Peterburg is breath-taking.

It’s an irony of history that Russia nowadays attracts millions of visitors – bringing hard currency - with its churches, monasteries, palaces ...
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Ivanov's Illusory Military Growth

posted by zaina19 on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng  (Original Message)    Sent: 8/11/2007 2:48 AM
Friday, August 10, 2007.
Ivanov's Illusory Military Growth
By Alexander Golts

For some time now, the Kremlin has been having some real difficulties dealing with how it presents certain information to the public. It is becoming trickier to find just the right words to describe meetings between President Vladimir Putin and the leading candidates to become the next president.

It has become quite awkward, for example, to present First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov when he speaks with Putin about relatively mundane affairs. The Kremlin finds it necessary to show Ivanov in a more important light -- one that is more fitting for a presidential candidate. Therefore, Ivanov has recently been presented on television assort of an adviserto Putin, offering the president a complex analysis of the national economy.

No one would think of questioning Ivanov's ability to play the serious role on television as an economic adviser and analyst, especially when he waxes eloquently about all of Russia's economic achievements. Listening ...
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New Tensions Arise Among Neighbors

posted by zaina19 on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng  (Original Message)    Sent: 8/11/2007 2:53 AM
Friday, August 10, 2007
New Tensions Arise Among Neighbors
The Washington Post

On Monday, a missile crashed into the ground near a village in Georgia. The weapon failed to detonate, but the event has nevertheless sparked new tensions between the small, democratic country and Russia, its former overlord to the north.

Details are still emerging, but the Georgian government says radar records prove that a Russian Su-24 jet entered Georgian airspace from the northeast, dropped the missile and then returned home. Georgian officials also claim that the recovered weapon was a Russian anti-radar missile designed for use with the Su-24, an aircraft not in Georgia's arsenal.

There is speculation that the target was a nearby Georgian radar installation. Moscow has insisted that the Georgians attacked themselves -- a Kremlin defense that has become unsettlingly familiar and no more convincing. A U.S. official familiar with the case says the Georgians' evidence is credible and that there is no evidence to support the Russians' ...
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