The Russo-Venezuelan Fistfight

A Canadian defense reporter has dug a a little bit of gossip about a fight between the bodyguards of Hugo Chavez and Dmitry Medvedev last year, which may have caused Caracas to cancel its deal to buy some Russian submarines.  (Hat tip to Joshua Keating at FP).

Didn’t these Russians know who they are messing with?  Even if Nikolai Valuev headed up Medvedev’s entourage, he’d be snuffed out after just one kidnapping from one of the Chavista militias like La Piedrita.

It apparently all went down during the big dog-and-pony show (Dec. 19,2008) when the Russians sent the Peter the Great warship into theCaribbean for exercises with the Venezuelans and Cubans.  When Chavezboarded the frigate for an inspection, his security detail attempted tofollow him but were stopped by the Russian bodyguards.  Moments later,the punches were flying.  The entire event of bringing the warship toVenezuela was believed to be a tit-for-tat for U.S. ships in the Black Sea off Georgia.  The move, however, did not have the desired impact onWashington, even though this less-than-harmonious incident was keephidden from the press up until now.  Don’t worry too much though -Venezuela still rounded out the year as Russia’s #1 weapons buyer, with a 900% increase in orders in the last five year period.

Unfortunately,the great Russo-Venezuelan fistfight was not caught on camera to myknowledge.  Instead, the best I can offer you is former President Bushthrowing down for a rumble in Santiago involving his own bodyguards: