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Weekly News #14

This week in Russia brought an assassination attempt, plus claims that Russia is on the brink of revolution. In the CIS, Putin met with Ukrainian President Yushchenko, while protests rocked Kyrgyzstan.  Further afield, Putin announced plans to visit Israel, and Russia got into a spat with China over wargames that China wants to use to simulate an invasion of Taiwan.  Oh yes, and a local council in Poland wound up Russia by naming a roundabout after formed Chechen President Dzokhar Dudayev.

Global

CIS

  • Protests in Kyrgyzstan continued to escalate this week, mostly in the south of the country.  The cities of Jalalabad and Osh seem to be under the control of the opposition and an attempt by the government to restore order in those cities resulted in the deaths of a number of police and protesters, and the defection (willingly or unwillingly, I’m not sure) of the local police to the opposition cause.  Signs are that protests are beginning to spread to the capital Bishkek – a small (around 200 people) protest in the capital today was broken up violently by police.  The same article goes on to note that a ‘hardliner’ has been appointed to head up Kyrgyzstan’s security forces.  Registan.net, as usual, has all the breaking news.
  • Estonia’s government was dissolved Monday after Prime Minister Juhan Parts resigned.  This is a relatively normal occurrence in Estonia which, despite having 11 governments in the 15 years since independence, has managed to not only remain stable but promote rapid economic growth and join the EU.
  • Vladimir Putin visited Kiev for the first time since the Orange Revolution for a cordial meeting with Viktor Yushchenko.  Not much of substance came out of the meeting, but it’s a start and a good chance for two leaders who will have to work closely together to begin to build their relationship.   
  • Ukraine has confirmed that 18 cruise missiles were exported illegally in 2001.  12 went to China, 6 to Iran.  The missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and their range of 1,864 miles would put Israel comfortably within striking distance of Iran.
  • Azerbaijan has pardoned 53 political prisoners.
  • Top political consultant Modest Kolerov has been appointed to head the presidential department for interregional and cultural ties with foreign countries.  Basically, his job is to prevent further democratic revolutions throughout the CIS.
  • Georgia has arrested four Russian peacekeepers who strayed out of Abkhazia.  The soldiers claim they were searching for a lost horse.

Domestic

And finally…

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