Tag Archives: South Ossetia

Medvedev Orders End Of Military Campaign

Even as Russian military sources indicate its forces are in Georgia and are bombing “military bases” in that nation, President Medvedev ordered and end to the military campaign in Georgia and said the aggressors had been punished. There are now 9,000 Russian paratroopers in the breakaway province of Abkhazia and a senior Russian commander told the Moscow Times Russian forces would not move beyond Abkhazia or South Ossetia. Georgia claimed Russian troops had seized the military base in Senaki which was confirmed by an anonymous Russian government official who “confirmed the move into Senaki and said it was intended to prevent Georgian troops from concentrating.” Russian forces are clashing with elements of the Georgian army in the Kodor Gorge and have demanded their surrender but the Georgians continue fighting. In Moscow, President Medvedev claimed “we have completed a considerable part of the operation to force Georgian authorities toward peace in South Ossetia.”

Russia has refused to accept a cease fire agreement until Georgia withdraws all troops from the breakaway provinces. President Saakashvili agreed to a cease fire agreement drafted by foreign ministers of France, Finland and Georgia.

Prime Minister Putin took a harsh approach to the situation and blasted American policy under Ronald Reagan which supported Saddam Hussein’s attacks on Iran and the failure of the Bush administration in 1991 to halt Saddam’s destruction of Shiite villages. “If my memory serves m e right, it was Ronald Reagan who said in relation to one of Latin America’s dictators a while ago, ‘Somoza, of course, is a son of a bitch. But, he’s our son of a bitch. And we will be helping him, we’ll protect him.” The assumption of Putin’s remarks is that America supported Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia and the killing of its citizens, and that America is a hypocritical nation which thinks it is OK if one of its “bitches” is oppressive and is supporting what Russia believes is an unjustified attack on innocent people.

There is no doubt Georgia initiated the attacks on South Ossetia which provided Russia an opportunity to flex its military muscles. The militant attitude of the Bush administration has created another victim in the form of dead Georgians. It is now clear Russia will not allow any further Georgian attempt to reassert control over the breakaway provinces and has sent a warning to the West that Russia once again has a powerful military force.

Is It “Prime Minister” Putin Or “President” Putin?

As the war in Georgia and South Ossetia escalates with ever widening violence, it has become quite clear who is in charge of Russia and his name is not President Medvedev. Prime Minister Putin engaged in discussions with President Bush at the Olympic Games, then flew back to Russia to take charge of the invasion of Georgia and the fighting which has caused the death os thousands. For some reason, President Medvedev wasn’t even at the Olympic Games as were leaders of most nations of the world. Most probably the reason is he is not leader of the Russian government but takes a back seat to his mentor and supposed colleague, Vladmir Putin. Most pictures of Russian officials dealing with the Georgia crisis are dominated by the presence of Putin and Medvedev if shown, is usually hovering in the background.

Observers wonder if Putin and Medvedev are working in tandem or is it simply that Putin calls the shots and his obedient underling carries out orders? A recent poll revealed 36% of Russian people believe Putin is still in charge of the government while only 6% believe it is Medvedev. At some point President Medvedev has to begin functioning as a president or he will never be able to assert his power. Does he support Russian policy toward Georgia? Would he be in favor of an immediate cease fire? A leader who can not respond to these questions is simply a stooge dressed in the suit of a leader.

Turkey Caught In Middle Of Russian-Georgia Conflict

Turkish official expressed concern about the Russian-Georgia conflict which is creating tensions within its own country. Ethnic groups residing in Turkey which have connections to
Georgia or South Ossetia are placing pressure on the Turkish government to take its side in the dispute. On one hand, Russia is a major trading partner of Turkey, but, on the other hand, Turkey is a member of NATO which opposes the invasion. Experts in Turkey point out the current violence can be traced back to fragmentation which occurred when Kosovo broke away from Serbia which made the Russian government appear to be impotent in dealing with smaller areas that once had connections to the Soviet Union.

Turkey can not take sides without suffering economic punishment or creating internal tensions as ethnic groups in their own country seek to have Turkey take sides. The Turkish military has most probably given supplies to Georgia and rumors are circulating in Russia of potential further military support.

Georgia may well have had legitimate grievances against South Ossetia, but the decision to invade will eventually prove to have been a disastrous one. Georgia can not stand up against the might of Russia without the help of western nations. If such help is provided it will only result in creating a new Cold War.

Russian Media War Ignores Reality

The Russian media is playing a nationalistic role in describing the horror inflicted by Georgia on the people of South Ossetia, but ignores reporting Russian bombing of Georgian cities and civilians. William Dunbar, a correspondent in Georgia, says he has not been allowed on air to present the footage he has shot. “The real news, the real facts of this matter, didn’t conform to what they were trying to report and therefore, they wouldn’t let me report it.” Given the circumstances of censorship, Mr. Dunbar resigned. The TV channel, Russia Today, mentions Georgian media reports about Russian bombings, but adds it “could not substantiate the reports.”

Georgian President MIkheil Saakashvili claims hackers had crashed many Georgian government sites. On the other hand, Russian media and the Russian government insist the West has taken the side of Georgia in the conflict. Russia’s news program “Vesti” also complained about Western media coverage which they insist is biased in favor of Georgia.

There is little question Georgia initiated the current conflict by invading South Ossetia, but Russia had other options other than a military invasion. The road of peace may not come across as “macho” but it does save lives.

War In South Ossetia But Each Side Claims On Defense

There is a war being waged in South Ossetia between Russian and Georgian troops and each side claims the other is the aggressor. South Ossetia is a former region of Georgia that broke away and has been under protection of Russia but the Georgian government has refused to recognize their independence. Last week Georgian troops entered the breakaway region and were soon confronted by the full force of Russian troops. Russian jets have attacked Georgian cities and the Russian navy is now off the coast off Georgia. Tskhinvail, the capital of South Ossetia has most probably been demolished and hundreds of people re dead. Russian air strikes have also caused thousands of casualties.

The world is witnessing another outfall of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union forced many disparate ethnic groups to live in peace with one another, but one the forced union ended in divorce, these ethnic groups are attempting to resurrect their identities and past history.

Perhaps, it is time for NATO and the Russian government to deal with issues of uncertainty on the part of both entities. One step might be halting construction of missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Turkey Seeks Mediation Role In Georgia War

Turkey, which has close ties to both Georgia and Russia is seeking to play the role of mediator as war rages around the breakaway South Ossetia capital where supposedly there are hundreds of tanks and thousands of troops battling one another. Turkey is home to thousands of immigrants from areas like South Ossetia which have separated from Georgia, and the last thing the Turkish government needs is to get them involved in the conflict. In a sense, Turkey is caught in the middle since it seeks close relations with Russia but supports Georgia’s integration within the western world by joining NATO and the European Union. Georgia also daily supplies Turkey with oil.

There are reports hundreds of volunteers from Turkey are headed back to the scene of the fighting which places even greater need for the Turkish government to use its offices in a hope of restoring peace to the region. The government of Georgia undoubtedly is attempting to regain control of the small areas which have broken away in order to demonstrate to the European Union its nation is viable. Georgia feels a need to enter NATO in order to have support against Russian aid to these breakaway regions.

Turkey stands in the middle, greatly concerned about its relations with Russia but also in need for oil from Georgia.

War Breaks Out In South Ossetia As Russians Enter Area

The president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvill said his nation was in effect now engaged in a war with Russia after troops from that nation crossed over into Georgia. Russian jets carried out bombing raids in South Ossetia and in Georgia supposedly hitting Georgian troops. There are reports two Russian jets were shot down. Georgian sources say 30 people were killed by the Russian bombardment while a minister in the separatist administration of South Ossetia says their capital has virtually been destroyed and more than 1400 people died as result of Georgian attacks. Mr. Saakashvill claimed his nation had gained control of the entire area which broke away and is now confronting Russian forces.

President Medvedev has promised to defend Russian “compatriots” and told the world “we will not allow their deaths to go unpunished.” Of course, the people of South Ossetia are not Russian, but some observers believe the strong Russian reaction stemmed from anger against the desire of Georgia to join NATO. Medvedev is taking the approach that Georgia launched an attack and Russia is merely going to the defense of the South Ossetians.

There is no doubt Russian tanks are in the country and they are attacking the Georgian army. The Georgian attack came after Mr. Saakashvill had declared a unilateral cease fire, but when South Ossetia refused to also agree to end fighting, the president sent in Georgian troops.

Ironically, Russia has been the main opponent of Kosovo because it allegedly opposes separatist movements to create independent nations. But, for some strange reason, it is now supporting a separatist movement to create an independent nation.