November 8, 2007:
Russian troops have left Georgia, the south Caucasus nation that used to be
part of the Soviet Union (and was the homeland of dictator Joseph Stalin).
Georgia is itself a conglomeration of several ethnic groups, and has proved
unstable. But most Georgians wanted the Russian troops, kept there, by treaty,
to man old Soviet bases, out.
November 7, 2007: The Russian parliament has approved the suspension of
the 1990 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty. This treaty was a
Cold War effort, hammered out after years of negotiations in the 1980s, that
limited the size and composition of Russian armed forces in western Russia (and
thus able to threaten Western Europe.) The Treaty became moot about a year
after it was signed, and is a largely useless relic of the Cold War. But
now Russia is threatening to build up combat forces on its Western borders, in
response to a government approved conspiracy theory that NATO is planning to eventually
invade Russia. Senior Russian officials
openly talk about this, and many Russians believe it as well.
November 6, 2007: Dead
bodies are beginning to show up, as the result of a battle between corrupt
officials in the FSB (the former KGB secret police, which now combine the
powers of the FBI and CIA) and the Federal Drug Control Service, which is
actually a large organization dedicated to cutting organized crime down to a
November 5, 2007: Russia
and China signed a series of economic agreements, which improve links between
the economies of the two nations.
November 4, 2007: The bodies of nine hunters were found in the
northern Caucasus (Kabardino-Balkaria). The hunting party is believed to
stumbled on the hiding place for a band of Islamic terrorists believed
operating in the area.
November 3, 2007: When the
Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many aspects of it continued. Take the annual
November parade celebrating the communist revolution of 1917. That parade
continued for three years after 1991. But the government got a lot of criticism
for that, even though the communists still had many fans in the new Russia. So
the government turned the November 4th holiday into one celebrating Russian
nationalism, and now call it "National Unity Day". That turned out to
be a mistake, as that celebration attracted a lot of violent nationalists and
pro-fascist groups (including racist and neo-Nazi groups). Now there's pressure
to dump the November holiday completely, even if some extremist groups will
continue trying to celebrate it. These
nationalist groups have been connected to several recent terrorist attacks
(like bombings on trains last Summer), which were initially attributed to
Islamic terrorists. But currently, the nationalist thugs are more numerous, and
vicious, than many of the Islamic ones.
November 2, 2007: Police in the Dagestan (in the Caucasus)
discovered a cache of bomb making materials in a village. Islamic terrorists
have joined forces with some criminal gangs in the area, and are cooperating in
criminal and terrorist activities.