8, 2006: Russian president Vladimir Putin considers the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1991 as one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century.
His attitude is shared by many other Russians who came of age during the
twilight of the Soviet Union. These people are running the country now, and
they are not afraid to express nostalgia for the lost glories of the Soviet
era. But the kids who came of age after 1991, are less impressed with the
Soviet era, and not automatically ant-American. But for another generation, a
Cold War mentality will live on among the Russian ruling class.
recent survey found that 68 percent of Russians believed the breakup of the
Soviet Union was a mistake, and 51 percent would vote to restore the Soviet
Union. Similar surveys found that in some former parts of the Soviet Union,
lots of people were in favor of re-joining the Soviet Union (45 percent in
Ukraine, 36 percent in Belarus.)
7, 2006: Russia has destroyed 15 percent of its Cold War era chemical weapons
stockpile, and expects to destroy at least another 15 percent by next Spring.
This program was long delayed because of problems in constructing the equipment
needed to safely neutralize these weapons.
6, 2006: British police have concluded that former FSB officer Alexander
Litvinenko, who died in London last month of radiation poisoning, was murdered.
The investigation has spread to Moscow, but the Russian government will not
allow any suspects to be extradited to Britain. The Russian government is
saying the killing was probably a contract murder by some gang. The British
believe the Russian government was behind it.
1, 2006: Venezuela received its first two Su-30 jet fighters, and Indonesia is
negotiating the purchase of over a billion dollars worth of weapons. Russian
arms salesmen are getting very good at picking up customers who cannot, or will
not, buy from the United States.
30, 2006: In Chechnya there are believed to be only about 700 rebels left, and
the local Chechen earns the money it receives from Russia, by making sure these
Chechen rebels do not cause much trouble outside Chechnya.