The United States is assisting Russia to cut the outside aid to Chechen militants, Alexander Vershbow, the US Ambassador to Russia, was quoted as saying. "We are doing our best to prevent the outside aid to Chechen rebels," the Ambassador stated. In particular, the United States is assisting Russia in issues concerning foreign mercenaries, primarily, Jordanian terrorist Khattab. The Ambassador also stated that the United States appreciated the recent Moscow meeting between Viktor Kazantsev, the Plenipotentiary Presidential Envoy to the Southern Federal District, and Akhmed Zakayev. In addition, Vershbow said that last week, US President George W. Bush confirmed that the United States believed that such contacts were vitally important for the achievement of a political solution to the Chechen problem.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land