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WORLD
January 26, 2011 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
At 15, Israil Mirzakhanov was at a crossroads: He could stay home in the Caucasus region, where several of his friends already had been taken from their homes and had turned up dead in the street. Or he could take his chances with the rampant discrimination in Moscow. Four years later, now a tall and fit-looking college student, he becomes something of a pariah when he steps out on the snowy streets of the capital. He tries not to look people in the eyes because he knows what he'll see. Fear.
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SPORTS
February 23, 2014 | By Philip Hersh
SOCHI, Russia - Thomas Bach, the German who now is International Olympic Committee president, was chairman of the IOC bid city evaluation commission two decades ago when Sochi first became interested in hosting the Winter Olympics. "I came here and saw an old Stalinist city where whenever you entered a room you were looking at the roof not to be hit by something falling down. It was terrible," Bach said a few hours before the 22nd Winter Olympics ended Sunday. "Twenty years later, this transformation is amazing.
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WORLD
June 14, 2008 | From Reuters
The volatile North Caucasus experienced one of its worst eruptions of violence in months with at least nine people killed in attacks across the region, officials said Friday. The Kremlin is struggling to contain a mix of Islamist insurgents, separatists and organized crime groups, though a separatist rebellion in one of the region's hotspots, Chechnya, has largely been quelled. The latest bloodshed included a blast in the Ingushetia region that killed four people and a rebel attack in Chechnya that killed at least three.
SPORTS
February 9, 2014 | By Stacy St. Clair
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - Maxim Lugovoi stands in the town square, dressed in a Lightning McQueen costume and holding a palette of colorful face paints. At 22, his job during these Olympics is to engage spectators, paint their home country's flag on their cheeks and make them feel welcome. "German? Austrian? Swiss?" he asks the rare passerby in English. "Come, come, come. I help you. I make you happy for this big day. " FRAMEWORK: View the best images from the Sochi Olympics Lugovoi pitches his face-painting services as if his very livelihood depends upon it - and in many ways it does.
NEWS
May 18, 1994 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A new peace effort by Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh stalled, with Azerbaijan holding back from signing a cease-fire agreement. In talks in Moscow on Monday, the two sides agreed on a truce and a withdrawal of forces to form an exclusion zone around Karabakh. But the Azerbaijani delegation returned home without signing the deal.
NEWS
November 13, 2000 | MERLE RUBIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Born in Israel, Washington-based journalist Yo'av Karny felt he had a special sympathy for small nations struggling to survive. This is what motivated him to visit the Caucasus, that fabled, mountainous region between the Black and Caspian seas containing some 30-odd "nations," or ethnic groups, whose roots stretch back across the centuries.
WORLD
August 30, 2006 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
The upper part of Georgia's Kodori Gorge is a 25-mile stretch of narrow river valley, with steep slopes rising to snowcapped peaks. It boasts a few scattered villages and a population of about 4,000. In winter, snow cuts off the road to the Georgian capital. So it might seem a strange place for the headquarters of a regional government.
NEWS
November 14, 2000 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The split-up of post-communist Yugoslavia in the 1990s was the subject of Robert D. Kaplan's last book of travel and political journalism, "Balkan Ghosts." The possible disintegration of a wider swath of the world in the early 21st century is the subject of "Eastward to Tartary." As in Bosnia and Kosovo, Kaplan warns, the West may have to deal with explosive conflicts in regions--such as the oil-rich Caspian Sea--about which it knows far too little.
WORLD
March 31, 2010 | By Megan K. Stack
Russia's strategy regarding its mostly Muslim southern republics has varied little over the last decade of turbulence: Answer force with force. Attacks on trains, apartment blocks and schools are met with crushing military campaigns, disappearances and death. But on Tuesday, the day after 39 people were killed in Moscow by female suicide bombers during the morning commute, the government's handling of the Caucasus region came under criticism, even from within. The idea of Russia suffering the wrath of people radicalized by violence in the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan is nothing new. But this week's attack seemed to pull it back from the margins of discourse.
WORLD
July 5, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Nine Chechen policemen sent to help crush an insurgency in the neighboring Russian republic of Ingushetia were gunned down, Interfax reported, intensifying the cycle of violence now unfolding in the region. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov ordered his troops across the border into Ingushetia to avenge a suicide bomb attack against a fellow Kremlin appointee in the region, Ingush leader Yunus Bek Yevkurov, who was critically injured. The militants ambushed a convoy of Kadyrov's troops, firing automatic weapons and grenade launchers in one of the deadliest attacks in the volatile North Caucasus region in recent years.
SPORTS
January 2, 2014 | By David Wharton
In a New Year's message, the president of the International Olympic Committee insisted the upcoming 2014 Sochi Games must not bow to "cowardly" terrorism. "This will be their time to shine," Thomas Bach said in a statement. "We must ensure that nothing interferes with them realizing their full potential on the world's biggest sporting stage. " Sochi is relatively close to the Caucasus region, a hotbed for terrorism. Last summer, Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov encouraged "maximum force" to prevent Russia from staging what he called the "satanic games held on the bones of our ancestors.
WORLD
December 30, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details
MOSCOW - At least 14 people were killed and 28 injured Monday in the second suspected suicide bombing in the southern Russian city of Volgograd in as many days, heightening concern about security at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Ten passengers were killed instantly when a bomb exploded Monday morning on a crowded trolley bus, and four more died on the way to and in hospitals, officials said. Russian law enforcement agencies said the explosion was a terrorist attack and that they suspected a connection with a suicide bombing less than 19 hours earlier at Volgograd's main railway station.
WORLD
December 30, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
With a little more than 400 miles between them, Volgograd is as far from the southern Russian resort of Sochi as Los Angeles is from Lake Tahoe. But for the purpose of sowing fear throughout Russia and among foreign athletes and spectators headed to the Olympic Games in the next few weeks, the suspected twin suicide bombings in the Volga River city were close enough to the sporting venue for the Islamic separatists presumed to be behind them....
WORLD
December 30, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- At least 14 people were killed and 28 injured Monday morning by a suspected suicide bomb attack on a crowded trolley bus in the Russian city of Volgograd -- the second such attack on mass transit in the city in as many days. Ten passengers were killed immediately from the blast and four more died on the way to and in hospitals, officials said. Russian law enforcement agencies said the explosion was a terrorist act and that they suspect a connection between Monday's attack and a suicide bombing on Sunday, less than 19 hours earlier, at the city's main railway station.
TRAVEL
December 6, 2013 | By Christopher Reynolds
SOCHI, Russia - The chance snow report. Ticket sales. Train times. Terrorist threats. Construction problems. Civil rights. In this Olympic winter, there's plenty to talk about here. But if your host is translator and guide Anna Trotsenko, those topics probably aren't where the conversation is going to begin. "We're not Istanbul," Trotsenko said earlier this year, leading me through the heart of the town of Sochi. "We are not St. Petersburg. We are not Moscow. ... We are just a small resort city that is not very old. ... A very special city.
WORLD
October 14, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - One day after rioting youth demanded the eviction of migrant workers from outside Russia, police swept through the vegetable market that was the target of the violence, detaining about 1,200 workers and traders, most of them from the northern Caucasus region, news agencies reported Monday. On Sunday, thousands of young people had taken to the streets in a southern Moscow suburb, overturning cars, breaking windows in street kiosks and attempting to break into the vegetable market run by migrants.
WORLD
March 7, 2010
The head of Russia's main security agency has confirmed that a prominent militant connected with last year's fatal bombing of a passenger train has been killed in Ingushetia. In footage shown on Russian television, Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov made the report to President Dmitry Medvedev. Bortnikov said Alexander Tikhomirov, a Caucasus rebel ideologue who went by the nom de guerre of Said Buryatsky, was among eight insurgents killed in a police operation this week in the hamlet of Ekazhevo.
SPORTS
October 2, 2013 | By David Wharton
PARK CITY, Utah -- Meeting with reporters here earlier this week, U.S. Olympic officials said they are keeping a careful eye on security at the upcoming 2014 Sochi Games. On Wednesday, Russian officials offered more details about what they will do to safeguard the competition, announcing a plan to limit public demonstrations and access to territories around the Black Sea resort. The restrictive measures are to begin in early January and continue through March, bookending the Games, which are to run Feb. 7-23.
NEWS
July 4, 2013 | By Rosemary McClure
The Caspian Sea city of Baku, Azerbaijan, will turn into an international hot spot for ponies and polo players this summer when the first Arena Polo World Cup gets underway. The event, scheduled for Sept. 6-8, will be at the newly constructed outdoor polo arena of the Elite Equestrian Center in Baku. Azerbaijan, the largest country in the Caucasus, sits at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe; Baku is the capital and largest city. The nation has a long polo history.
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