22 March 2011

Russia's President speaks out

It seems that the Libyan intervention has drawn a long-hidden conflict out into the open -- in Russia.

Dmitry Medvedev has been President of Russia since 2008, but it's always been unclear to what extent real power resided with him vs. with his autocratic predecessor, Vladimir Putin. A difference in foreign policy has emerged, with Medvedev favoring closer ties between Russia and the West, while Putin prefers confrontation.

Yesterday Putin was asked his opinion of the Libyan intervention, and he responded with all the negativity one might expect. Two hours later, Medvedev deemed Putin's comments "unacceptable", declaring further, "I do not consider this resolution to be wrong, and in fact I consider that it broadly reflects our view of what is happening in Libya, although not across the board. That is why we didn’t use our right of veto."

Putin subsequently denied any rift, but it seems clear that there's a stark difference of opinion.

Check out also the atmosphere within the Qaddhafi-ruled Libyan capital, Tripoli (don't miss the story of the woman waiting in line!), the experience of one of the American airmen whose F15 crashed in Libya, and the UN's new call for an investigation into the Syrian regime's crackdown on the ongoing protests of its people.

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