Russia expressed worry on Tuesday over the possibility of war with Iran as French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner pressed for tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasised Russia's "concern" over "multiple reports that military action against Iran is being seriously considered.
Global media chiefs launched a scathing attack on Monday on Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the Kremlin's tight grip on media flew in the face of Russia's professed attachment to democracy and voicing deep scepticism of any ''real willingness'' to allow a free press.
They advance slowly and carefully, hugging close to the wall of a souvenir store, communicating with hand signals in a town shrouded in heavy morning fog. Without warning, the tense quiet is shattered as the special forces unit, backed by an armoured vehicle nearby, opens fire on the store with grenades and automatic weapons.
Malik has the nonchalant manner of any 14-year-old when he says ''I don't know'' or snaps at his little sister, Fatima. But his green eyes are ''those of a 40-year-old man'', his mother says, even a year after he survived the Beslan school hostage massacre. Sitting on a bench outside his family's home, Malik Kolchakeyev already knows what questions are coming.
Hundreds of relatives of the Russian school hostages were on Thursday gathered outside the school in the town of Beslan. The armed captors who stormed the school on Wednesday released 26 women and children on Thursday, but hundreds of others are still being held. And anger is mounting among the relatives.