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AUGUST 2009 The Guns of August: Non-Event With Consequences

posted by circassiankama on August, 2009 as ANALYSIS / OPINION

World News
The guns of August: non-event with consequences
Written by Ivan Krastev   
GeorgiaThe political fallout of the Russia-Georgia war of August 2008 affects far more than the main combatants: it has had a profound impact on the post-Soviet space, the United States, the European Union, even China and Turkey. Ivan Krastev draws up a balance-sheet of a toxic conflict, and looks ahead.

It took less than a hundred days for the Russia-Georgia war of 8-12 August 2008 to be eclipsed as a history-shaping event. The guns of August were silenced by the thunders on Wall Street. A war that seemed momentous at the time became subject to instant amnesia: a non-event. But it was a non-event with consequences.

A year on, a measure of these consequences seems appropriate. The post-war balance-sheets of the leading ...

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NATO's new strategic concept and prospects for relations with Russia

posted by circassiankama on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

NATO's new strategic concept and prospects for relations with Russia Print
July 31, 2009

On August 1, 2009, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the new NATO secretary general, will take office, succeeding Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. How will NATO policy change, and what role does the organization see for itself in the future? These questions were discussed at a conference in Brussels on July 7, attended both by the outgoing secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and the newly designated NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen. 

The conference’s stated purpose was to officially launch the development of a new Strategic Concept and to begin a relevant dialogue between NATO and a wide range of experts, as well as the broader public. The new Concept is to replace the current Strategic Concept, which was approved in 1999. 

Conference participants examined how the Alliance relates to the rest of the world, ...

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Russian Armed Forces Develop an "Information Pipeline"

posted by circassiankama on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

Russian Armed Forces Develop an "Information Pipeline"

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 146
July 30, 2009 11:56 AM Age: 3 days
Category: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Home Page, Military/Security, Foreign Policy, The Caucasus, Georgia, Russia

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev inspects weapons during his visit in 7-th Airborne Assault Division at Rayevsky firing range in Novorossiysk on July 14, 2009.

From June 29 to July 6, the Russian military staged massive Kavkaz 2009 exercises involving air force, army and naval units. During Kavkaz-2009, forces were deployed on Georgia's borders and in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The official aim of Kavkaz 2009 was to prepare to counter terrorism, but this was clearly not the main objective. Unprecedented in Russian military tradition, its top military commander, the Chief of the General Staff and First Deputy Defense Minister General of the Army Nikolai Makarov was directly in command of Kavkaz 2009 - officially a routine regional exercise aimed at countering ...

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WSW: Violence Increases In Russia’s Caucasus Republics

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

Violence increases in Russia’s Caucasus republics

By Niall Green 
31 July 2009

Earlier this year, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev proclaimed an end to the long-running “counterterrorism” operation in the North Caucasus. Speaking in April, Medvedev announced that Kremlin military planners would initiate the withdrawal of thousands of troops from the area. However, a recent spike in violence between Russian security forces and local militants indicates that Moscow has no plans to loosen its military grip in the region.

Moscow has maintained a large military presence in the troubled territory since separatist forces in the Russian republic of Chechnya declared independence in 1994. The Kremlin had hoped to draw down its operations in the region, which are a major drain on resources at a time of mounting economic crisis in Russia.

A suicide bomber killed six people and himself at a concert hall in the Chechen capital, Grozny, on Sunday. A further ten people were wounded. The number of violent clashes in Chechnya and other parts of Russia’s North Caucasus region ...

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RIA Novosti: Russia And The Black August Syndrome

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

Russia and the Black August syndrome


MOSCOW, July 31 (Marc Bennetts for RIA Novosti) - April is the cruellest month according to T.S. Eliot, but for modern Russia it is undoubtedly August, a time of catastrophe, crisis and political upheaval.

For almost two decades, Russians have learned to expect the worst from the eighth month of the year, with 1991 seeing a coup and 2008 war in the Caucasus.

The litany of August chaos and woe reads like this:

August 19, 1991 - Communist hardliners disgruntled at Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms launch an unsuccessful coup attempt that leads to the break-up of the Soviet Union.

August 14, 1992 - The Georgian-Abkhazian war begins, with the conflict involving large numbers of Russian citizens.

Early August 1994 - The notorious MMM pyramid scheme collapses, leaving millions of Russians without their life-savings, a sum believed to be up to $1.5 billion.

August 24, 1995 - The Russian interbank credit system breaks down, leading to the ruin of 28 Russian banks.

August 29, 1996 - A ...

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