former Soviet state

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Police Fire on Protesters in Kyrgyzstan

Anti-government rallies sweep country; 17 dead

(Newser) - Police fired into a swarm of thousands of protesters storming the main government building in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek today, killing at least 17 and wounding at least 180. Police first used tear gas and stun grenades to try to disperse the crowd, but turned to live rounds when... More »

Georgia Sees Russian Hand in Mutiny, Coup Attempt

Tbilisi says Russia-backed revolt was set to topple government

(Newser) - A revolt has broken out at an army base near the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, which the government is calling a Russian-backed military coup, the Guardian reports. The Georgian defense minister says the soldiers were being confined in their barracks, and at least one person has been arrested. The Georgians... More »

For Sale: Soviet Sub, Very Rusty

Cold War relic once used in Harrison Ford film is too costly to restore, RI museum says

(Newser) - The former Soviet submarine used in Harrison Ford’s film K-19: The Widowmaker may be sunk for good. The cruise-missile sub, which served as a floating museum in a Rhode Island river until it foundered in a 2007 storm, will be sold for scrap if no one buys it by... More »

Russia's Saber-Rattling Puts NATO Into Rethink Mode

Bolstering neighbors' defenses one option as alliance tries to analyze threat level

(Newser) - The invasion of Georgia has NATO trying to figure out exactly how strong Russia’s rejuvenated military is, and what the alliance should do about it, Gordon Lubold writes in the Christian Science Monitor. It’s clear the military has rebounded from its 1990s malaise, but it doesn’t look... More »

Invasion Shows Putin's Clout

Ex-president retains control

(Newser) - Russia’s military campaign in Georgia is a clear signal that Vladimir Putin is neither gone nor forgotten, reports the Wall Street Journal . Domination of the Caucasus region has long been a central tenet of Putin’s foreign policy, and the PM was especially visible this week, supporting the invasion... More »

Georgia's Outgunned Leader Keeps the Faith

'We cannot compete' with Russia, but don't forget: 'Finland fought this kind of war in 1939'

(Newser) - After 5 years of risky political brinksmanship with Russia, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili now finds himself in the fight of his life, the Wall Street Journal reports. The pro-Western leader says he has no regrets about his tactics, which seem finally to have set off long-simmering tensions between his state... More »

Russia-Georgia Conflict Was Waiting to Happen

Taunting a bullying bear lands Caucus state in trouble

(Newser) - Russia’s invasion of Georgia should surprise no one: In hindsight, it's even "absurdly over-determined,” James Traub writes in the New York Times. Russia has an  economic interest in Georgian instability and a deep Cold War mindset that could not accept Georgia’s pro-Western path. For its part,... More »

Post-Soviet States May Be Hot Zone in New Cold War

As NATO creeps eastward, imperial ambition ties Russia to breakaway regions

(Newser) - Unsettled ex-Soviet republics could become the scenes of proxy battles in a new cold war, the Christian Science Monitor reports, with the breakaway Georgia region of Abkhazia a case in point. The US and NATO are backing Georgia, with Russia supporting the separatists. "Tensions are growing very fast, and... More »

Ex-Soviet Monkeys Survive 15-Year Limbo

Breakaway republic can barely support survivors from better times

(Newser) - Traumatized monkeys once the subjects of Soviet experiments are odd remnants of a more prosperous time in Abkhazia, an area of Georgia that calls itself independent, the Los Angeles Times reports. The area was crippled in its effort to break away from Georgia, but the 286 primates living in a... More »

Bush Backs Ukraine's NATO Bid

President's support sure to irk Russia

(Newser) - President Bush today declared his unequivocal support for the entry of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, a position sure to anger Russia, Reuters notes. “Your nation has made a bold decision, and the United States strongly supports your request,” Bush said, flanked by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. But... More »

Heads Roll After Roach's TV Guest Spot

Turkmen president gives state-run station's newscast thumbs down

(Newser) - An ongoing overhaul of Turkmenistan state TV is apparently so interesting that even members of the animal kingdom want a front-row seat. Unfortunately for the staff of the nightly news, a cockroach recently strolled across the studio table while cameras were rolling, leading the country's president to fire dozens of... More »

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