an increase in the longstanding, rampant criminality in the conflict zones that is likely to further destabilize the entire Caucasus region and at worst provide terrorist groups with the nuclear material they have long craved.Sounds right to me. This has always been a refractory little corner of the world (but aren't they all?). The interesting thing is that the Moscow brass doesn't seem to care, or to notice that they may be in the same world.
While the Russian “peacekeepers” who entrenched themselves in the conflict zones in the 1990s (and who will now likely resume their posts anew) have proved ineffectual and uninterested in maintaining stability, they’ve been highly successful in protecting an array of sophisticated criminal networks stretching from Russia through Georgian territory. South Ossetia, in particular, is a nest of organized crime. It is a marketplace for a variety of contraband, from fuel to cigarettes, wheat flour, hard drugs, weapons, people and, recently, counterfeit United States $100 bills “minted” at a press inside the conflict zone.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Been Wondering About This...
Miochael Bronner is the first guy I've noticed who responds to something I've been wondering about re Georgia and Russia (link). He forecasts