Russia: December 5, 2000


Russia launched an Israeli recon satellite into orbit. Georgia protested the new Russian requirement for visas to travel between Russia and Georgia. The via requirement was introduced today in order to exercise greater control over the border with Chechnya. Russia accuses Georgia of tolerating rebel bases with Georgia. An earlier agreement between Russia and Georgia had guaranteed free travel between the two nations. Meanwhile, Russia is faced with a health crises. The population has been shrinking since the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. Health care had been collapsing in the final years of the Soviet Union and the situation became worse in the 1990s. Alcoholism, accidents and communicable diseases (like Tuberculosis) are major causes of death. While the economy continues to improve, the government lacks the resources to rebuild the health system. 




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