This time last week Americans were just starting to learn about the troubled Russian region of Chechnya after authorities released the identities of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Rebecca Cruise discusses women in combat and the U.S. drone program with NPR's Rachel Martin. Before taking over the host's chair of Weekend Edition Sunday, she reported from both Iraq and Afghanistan, and served as the network's national security correspondent.
Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the West Thursday for refusing to declare Chechen militants terrorists and for offering them political and financial assistance in the past, in light of the revelation that Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had Chechen roots.
The U.S. has urged the Kremlin to seek a political settlement in Chechnya and provided humanitarian aid to the region during the two separatist wars that began in 1994.
"Violence and conflict has happened in Chechnya for centuries," University of Oklahoma College of International Studies Dean and KGOU’s World Views host Suzette Grillot says. "This goes back to the 16th Century when there's been war after war after war. So it's been a volatile region for some time."
Members of a combined Afghan and coalition security force collected a cache of weapons after clearing a known Haqqani network foreign fighter encampment site in Paktika province, Afghanistan - July 21, 2011.
The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty regulating the multi-billion dollar global arms trade Tuesday.
Iran, North Korea and Syria voted "no" on Tuesday, while Russia and China, both major arms exporters, abstained.
Suzette Grillot is the co-author of the 2009 book The International Arms Trade. She says Syria opposed the treaty because it does nothing to prevent weapons from flowing to non-state actors, like the Syrian opposition.
Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the financial crisis in Cyprus - March 28, 2013.
Banks in Cyprus are open for normal business for the second day, but with strict restrictions on how much money their clients can access, after being shut down for nearly two weeks to prevent people from draining their accounts as the country's politicians sought a way out of an acute financial crisis.
"They were weakened by the fact that they had too many investments in Greek companies," said Suzette Grillot. "So they've become another victim of the Greek financial crisis."