Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 11:25 am
We retopped this post at 12:25 p.m. ET.
Responding to the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his army on alert in what seems to be a bid to influence events in Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. is "not looking for [a] confrontation" with Moscow.
And, in a reference to the Cold War days of the past when the rivalry between two superpowers would find its way into popular culture, Kerry tried to cool things down.
"This is not Rocky IV," he said, during an MSNBC interview.
Joshua Landis and Rebecca Cruise explain how Syria’s civil war is expanding into a region-wide conflict, and what affect two suicide bombings in Russia this week could have on the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Later, a conversation with longtime Afghanistan observer Andrew Wilder about this year’s scheduled U.S. combat troop withdrawal, and April elections to replace the term-limited Hamid Karzai.
The Russian city of Volgograd is still reeling from two suicide bombings this week at the main railway station and on a city trolleybus that killed dozens and wounded scores more.
No claim of responsibility has been made for either attack, but they come a few months after the leader of an Islamic insurgency in Russia's south called for attacks in the run-up to February's Winter Olympics in the resort city of Sochi.
Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 12:03 pm
The remaining members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot have been released from prison in Russia, a few months short of serving their full two-year sentences for "hooliganism" — a charge that the band's supporters say was just a trumped-up effort to quash free speech.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:12 am
President Obama has canceled a one-on-one September summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House says.
It's the most dramatic effect so far on U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of Russia's decision to grant "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden temporary asylum while he tries to get safe haven in some third country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to rebuff the United States when he said NSA leaker Edward Snowden was in Moscow but is a "free person" who is "entitled to buy a ticket and fly to wherever he wants."
Snowden, Putin said, is in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport and has neither crossed the Russian border nor "committed any crime" on Russian soil.
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."