An angry Moscow has vowed to repatriate Russian arms merchant Viktor Bout, whom a US court convicted of conspiring to kill American citizens.
The crushing of an apparently legitimate election victory in South Ossetia, a key client state of Moscow, could bring a fresh wave of unwanted attention to Russia's own problematic democracy.
The Kremlin opposed NATO's air war and called for negotiations between the rebels and Qaddafi. But its concern about keeping billion-dollar contracts with Libya seems to have caused the switch.
Unkrainian President Viktor Yanukovych appears to have miscalculated the political consequences of bringing a corruption case against his rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.