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Moscow's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in August 2008 was an important political step towards a brand new status of the Russian Federation in post-Soviet societies. Over the past two years this step has been thoroughly analyzed by various think tanks dealing with the future of the Caucasus. So, what do we have in South Ossetia?

Former Pakistani General and intelligence chief who unexpectedly found himself popular among Western journalist freely airs the the ideas Americans only dare to discuss privately. Better late than never, the star of the 74-year old former ISI Director Hamid Gul who fought together with the US against the Soviet army in Afghanistan but turned into a vehement critic of his old patrons finally started to shine brightly.

Months before the official visit of President Dmitry Medvedev to Armenia scheduled for August 19-21, experts in both countries focused on bilateral relations between Moscow and Yerevan, a thing which proves the following: like the whole post-Soviet territory, the Caucasus remains a place where Russia, the West (U.S. and the EU), Turkey, Iran and some other countries are playing a complicated geopolitical game. All moves in this game (like information leaks, either confirmed or denied reports about arms supplies, as well as different hints, very often quite provocative ones) may have hidden and explicit motives.

There is no question where the US forces withdrawn from Iraq will go – Afghanistan is known to be the next destination. In the process, Washington manages to demonstrate commitment to peace. The US President is convinced that the US mission in Iraq can be “safely” finished by the end of August and the US pull out – by the end of the year, says White House Press Secretary R. Gibbs.

The International Association of Ossetian Communities held rallies in several European cities on the eve of the anniversary of Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia. In Brussels, Strasbourg, Berlin, and Ankara, protesters demanded the recognition of South Ossetia's independence, official condemnations of the Georgian policy, and the release of Ossetian prisoners. Representatives of the Ossetian communities in Europe, the administration of South Ossetia, and several European public organizations must be credited with serious efforts to convince Europe not to view the situation exclusively through the prism of Georgia's arguments.

The truth is that the UN peacekeepers deployed at the Holan Heights are basically safeguarding the interests of Israel. Separating the aggressor and the victims of aggression is hardy the right way to bring the conflict to its final point. Reassuring UN reports notwithstanding, it will still be the point of boiling.

The abnormally hot weather in the central regions of Russia has already caused serious economic damage. It has destroyed crops on roughly 20% of the country's agricultural land lots, the result being that the food prices are clearly set to climb next fall. On top of that, fires are raging over peat lands around Moscow. These days, the majority of forecasts concerning the climate are alarming: droughts, hurricanes, and floods are going to be increasingly frequent and severe. Director of the climate and energy program of the Wildlife Fund A. Kokorin says that the current trend is not a random phenomenon and should not be expected to subside.

Summer is not only the best season to have a vacation but also time to think over some political events and revise, if necessary, existing political strategies. India is not an exception.
Major issues on the agenda are as follows: what links are there between Delhi's focus on polycentric world order and almost hidden but consistent steps aimed at changing India's position in global politics?

The provocation at the Armenian-Azerbaijani Line of Contact in Karabakh, in the proximity of the village of Chaylu, on the night of June 19 had repercussions worldwide. The attempt of an Azerbaijani reconnaissance group to cross the line left 4 Armenian conscripts dead and 4 – injured. Reportedly, some of the attackers were also killed.
Azerbaijani President I. Aliyev left for Baku unexpectedly after the June 17 talks with his Russian and Armenian counterparts in St. Petersburg, and the very next day the northern part of Karabakh`s Martakert region came under the Azerbaijani attack followed by 24 hours of continuous fire.

The Russian Foreign Ministry`s website released an official statement following the UN decision to toughen sanctions against Iran. Moscow sees "a package of additional measures to press Iran" adopted by Washington and Brussels as "violation of principles of cooperation between the six nations involved in the talks on Iran`s nuclear program and within the UN Security Council". Russia strongly opposes any attempt to hold dominant power in the Security Council.