Russia will veto a Kosovo
independence vote in the UN, fearing that the dismemberment of Serbia will
encourage separatists in Russia and some of its neighbors (Georgia, Armenia and
Moldova). Russia also fears that an independent Kosovo will become a refuge for
Islamic terrorists, as it believes Bosnia has.
July 1, 2007: The government has passed laws
that make it more difficult for new political parties to be formed, and to
operate. In addition, existing parties are complaining of many hacker attacks
on their web sites and network access. This is seen as a government Cyber War
capability, which the government denies, but which keeps showing up when the
government needs it.
June 30, 2007: There are still terrorist
incidents in Chechnya, but they occur about once a week, about as frequently as
new arrests of terrorists are made. Most of the surviving Chechen terrorists
have moved to neighboring areas, or farther abroad. The Chechen government, now
run by Chechens, wants to end the amnesty program, because those who were
serious about using it have, and those who haven't just use the amnesty program
to catch a break between bouts of terrorist activity.
June 28, 2007: After several failures, there
was a successful test of the new ballistic missile, the Bulava. This is a naval
version of the Topol-M ICBM, which has finally entered mass production. Topol-M
uses solid fuel, and is similar to the American Minuteman.
June 26, 2007: Russia
does not believe Iran would be stupid enough to fire missiles at Europe.
Therefore, the Russians cannot believe the American anti-missile system being
installed in Eastern Europe can be anything but a sneaky way to begin
construction of a missile defense against Russian rockets. After all, Russia
knows it is hated and feared in Eastern Europe, which is why those nations
offered to host parts of the anti-missile system. Russians love a good
conspiracy, and this missile defense situation fits the bill.
June 24, 2007: Russia is
pouring billions of dollars into research, reviving the vast research
organization that existed throughout the Soviet period. Most of the Soviet
research institutes were inefficient, and only 3,500 of them, containing about
600,000 researchers, survive. But many of these are operations that adapted,
and found work in a market economy. Modeling their government research
efforts on programs used successfully in Western nations, Russia sees the
possibility of finally taking the lead in many key areas, like
nanotechnology. Any technology edge can be translated into a military
edge, because Russia has managed to keep key defense industries intact. New
weapons are being produced, and future ones developed.