Altai and Chechnya "Greenest Economies" in New Integrated Index

By Roland Oliphant
Moscow Times | 03 October 2012

The Altai republic and Chechnya have the cleanest economies in Russia, according to a new index released Tuesday.

Andiisky Ridge in Chechnya

The index, put together by WWF Russia and state-owned news agency RIA-Novosti with the support of the Russian Geographic Society, is one of the first attempts to combine environmental threat factors, economic indicators like GDP and industrial development indexes.

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Gen. Pavel Grachev, Fought Chechen Rebels, Dies at 64

September 23, 2012

MOSCOW (AP) — Gen. Pavel Grachev, a former Russian defense minister who led troops into Chechnya in the 1990s, died here on Sunday. He was 64.

He died in a hospital after being admitted on Sept. 12 in serious condition, the Russian government said. No cause of death was given.

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Only a no-fly zone brokered with Russia can bring peace to Syria

The UN must be reassured that, unlike with Libya, there will be no mission creep
By David Owen
Telegraph | 27 Sep 2012

In New York this week, addressing the UN General Assembly, David Cameron said of Syria: “The blood of these young children is a terrible stain on the reputation of the United Nations.” This is too glib. The reputation that is being damaged is not that of the UN, but of the five permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, the US, Britain and Russia. They are the core of the realpolitik that has meant that the UN did not go the way of the League of Nations, even during the strains of the Cold War. It is the responsibility of these nations to forge realistic compromises and take account of their differing interests.

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Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires

The Telegraph | 03 Oct 2012

Al-Qaeda has been blamed for a recent series of forest fires across Europe, as the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service claimed they were set by arsonists as part of the group’s low-cost attack strategy.

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