A major militant attack on the Chechen parliament is raising doubts about Kremlin-backed Ramzan Kadyrov's boasts that he's pacified Chechnya.
Russia may back tougher, US-sponsored Iran sanctions, but it still expects to finish building the Bushehr nuclear power plant and selling Iran advanced weapons systems.
Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev appeared to confirm Thursday he had lost control of the country's armed forces as former ally Roza Otunbayeva took charge of a provisional Kyrgyz government.
Chechen warlord Doku Umarov claimed responsibility for the Moscow metro bombings that killed 39 people earlier this week and threatened more attacks. Is Umarov leading a Chechen version of Hamas?
An Islamist insurgency is now spreading beyond Chechyna to the entire patchwork of republics known as the north Caucasus.
Ties may be fraying: Russia announced another delay in Bushehr, the Iran nuclear plant it is building, and has refused to fulfill a contract to supply advanced missiles.
Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, the Kremlin-backed president of Ingushetia, is the fourth government official in the North Caucasus targeted this month.
US rebuilds ties with Central Asian nation to secure new military supply routes.
The war broadened Monday as Russian troops moved beyond rebel provinces into Georgia proper.
The new president, a savvy lawyer who likes Led Zeppelin, faces rising corruption and decaying national infrastructure.