Itar-Tass reported May 10 that Russian border guards had killed three men trying to infiltrate into Tajikistan and have helped power rising concerns in Moscow about defending the external borders of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Rossiiskaya gazeta noted on May 6 than the Russian Federation now has more than 13,500 km of borders that do not have international status–including those with Commonwealth partners–and that such borders must be strengthened. The Director of the Federal Border Guards Service, General Andrei Nikolaev, told Komsomolskaya pravda May 4 that Moscow was particularly worried about Central Asia and Azerbaijan. Baku’s unwillingness to accept Russian border guards along its boundaries with Iran and Turkey would force Moscow to guard the Russian-Azerbaijani border instead, Nikolaev said.
Stalin Gets a Medal.