(BUREAU FOR INTERNATIONAL REPORTING) Expanded reporting on US/Georgia relationship, Russia/Georgia war and disputed territory of Abkhazia.
(AL JAZEERA) People & Power - Rearming the Caucasus - Explosive rhetoric raises prospects of a new era of conflict in the region. Last year's war between Russia and Georgia raised the prospect of a new era of crisis and confrontation in the Caucasus. While those tensions have eased momentarily, across the region potentially dangerous problems continue to cause concern. For over 20 years Armenia and Azerbaijan have been quarreling over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.
(I. LANDA/MUSIC VIDEO) Propaganda song about Putin.
(AL JAZEERA) Giant ships rot like russet horses on barren land once submerged under the Aral sea. Sailors reminisce and rejoice the seas return.
(DEUTSCHE WELLE) In order to join the European Union, Lithuania agreed to close down its nuclear power plant, Ignalina. The Soviet-era technology is the same as that used at Chernobyl. Ignalina's first reactor block was shut down in 2004; the second is set to go offline next year. The problem is that it still provides two-thirds of the country's electricity, and now Lithuania says it wants to keep it running longer. A new, safer reactor could not be completed before 2015.
(DEUTSCHE WELLE) The war over the border between Russia and Georgia has revived bad memories in the Baltic States. 18 years ago, Moscow tried to prevent the independence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by force of arms. Now the Baltic countries feel threatened once more, fearing that Russia could move against them under the pretext of protecting Russian minorities. The situation is especially tense in Estonia.
(UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY) A film on the Karabakh conflict with Thomas de Waal, Institute of War and Peace Reporting. Part of the Contested Spaces Video Project, University of Sydney.
(AL JAZEERA) In this week's The Listening Post, Richard Gizbert puts Azerbaijan under the spotlight. Freedom of the press in the former Soviet republic has not moved on since pre-perestroika days. And with presidential elections on the horizon the government is cracking down further on journalists who refuse to tow the party line.
(AL JAZEERA) Azerbaijan has potentially lucrative oil reserves, but opposition politicians say widespread corruption has left revenues from the country's natural resources in the hands of a small number of government allies.