The global economic downturn has hit Russia hard, with unemployment up and skyscrapers on hold.
Illegal caviar traffic has dramatically reduced the sturgeon population of the Caspian Sea, and there's no end in sight.
Regional banks get anxious as the crisis threatens to rein in credit and change the lay of the land.
Army troops have intensified their offensive against Tamil separatists. But propaganda mars the details of a far-away war.
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