Russia Blog Weekly Roundup – 7 August 2010

This week’s big story in Russia has, of course, been the heat, and the forest fires.  There’s been lots and lots written about it, and I’m going to ignore it completely, because it’s raining here in England as I write this, and I’m grumpy about it.

(Other than to say that this is the link to where I found the Russian forest fires map you can see above.  Lots of great maps there.)

Instead, I’m going to focus on the “will he won’t he” shenanigans in Chechnya’s rebel leadership.  If you’ve been focusing on fires, you may have missed it, but the basic story as narrated by In Moscow’s Shadows is:

So, on 24 July Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov names Aslanbek Vadalov as his deputy and successor. On 1 August, he then announces that he is stepping down, a fact duly reported on rebel mouthpiece websites. And then a couple of days later they are posting his retraction, and his claim that the initial video message from him was “completely fabricated.” What on earth is going on?

What on earth, indeed.  The best place to get an overview is from Mark at In Moscow’s Shadows, the Russian security blog, which has great coverage and analysis:

Other interesting reads on the Chechen rebel  leadership sage are

Other great blog posts from the past seven days that I recommend reading are:

And, finally, Hot For Words explains how to fake a Russian accent, Pavel Chekov style.   Who knew it was called Scat Russian?  Everyone after me – Weekter, Weekter.

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