Russia: Smackdown Over Iran


August 9, 2006: The military and police have been ordered to sharply reduce their forces in Chechnya over the next three years. Violence is way down, but the pro-Russian Chechens running Chechnya are corrupt and not much better than the separatist rebels they have defeated. But as long as the Chechens can keep their violence within Chechnya, the Russians apparently don't care.

August 8, 2006: Islamic terrorism has moved from Chechnya to adjacent areas. In Dagestan, for example, assassination attempts are being made against senior provincial officials. Some of these attacks are about criminal gangs trying to make a point, but some attacks are by Islamic terrorists.

August 3, 2006: The U.S. has put sanctions on two Russian arms firms, Rosoboron export and aircraft maker Sukhoi, for dealing with Iran. Russia has protested, but to no effect. The two countries have argued over the activities of these two companies for some time. The U.S. was opposed to Russian efforts to upgrade the Iranian air force.