EDITORIAL: Pathetic Military Failure for Putin’s Russia

EDITORIAL

Pathetic Military Failure for Putin’s Russia

Despite having had charge of Russia for more than a decade now, and despite the surging price of oil, the New York Times reports that the state of Vladimir Putin’s military-industrial complex is so pathetic that Russia has no other choice than to buy its arms abroad, even from NATO countries who are, according to Putin, Russia’s sworn enemies.

Doesn’t it occur to anyone in the Kremlin that buying weapons from your enemies isn’t such a good idea? What if they decide to stop selling you spare parts?

Apparently not.

Nor does it, apparently, occur to Russians to ask why, after ten years under Vladimir Putin, Russia has not moved into a position where it can manufacture such weapons itself.  Putin has devoted huge sums to Russia’s military industrial complex, yet Alexander Golts reports that Putin’s efforts to construct a volunteer army force have met with absolute failure and the same is true of Russia’s ability to manufacture needed weapons.

In other words, Russia has no army, and even if it did it has no weapons supply for them to use in battle. Instead, it relies on the very enemies those soldiers were trained to fight.

And the blame for all this humiliating failure rests squarely on the shoulders of the people of Russia, who have not only allowed Putin to retain unchecked power but who continue to reward him with landslide approval ratings in polls. Of course, this is in part because Putin, like his Soviet ancestors, has wiped out the ability of the people to learn what he is up to, but that atrocity too is owing to the shocking behavior of the Russian voters, who have allowed TV news and opposition parties to be systematically silenced.

This is the beginning of the end for neo-Soviet Russia.

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42 responses to “EDITORIAL: Pathetic Military Failure for Putin’s Russia

  1. Shale gas is the latest blow. The quantity of cheap natural gas available is enough to last until the next asteroid wipes us out.

    The gas bearing shale rock is often 4,000 feet thick and there are thousands of square miles of the stuff.

    • Voice of Reason

      Ron,

      Who told you that shale gas is “cheap”? It is more expensive to extract than the traditional gas.

  2. http://www.rosbalt.ru/2010/03/02/717199.html
    «Мистраль» — находка для коррупционеров
    Беседовал Дмитрий Пановкин, Дата: 2010-03-02

    Россия, Санкт-Петербург -Принципиальное решение о покупке Россией у Франции вертолетоносцев «Мистраль» уже принято. Президент РФ Дмитрий Медведев считает, что переговоры по приобретению этих кораблей завершатся с успехом. Между тем, не утихают споры о том, зачем России нужна эта техника. По мнению главного редактора журнала «Национальная оборона» Игоря Коротченко, проект «Мистраль» — это не столько «символ доверия» между двумя странами, сколько возможность для коррупционных схем.

    - Зачем «Мистраль» нужен России? Не правильнее ли эти деньги потратить на перевооружение армии, о котором так много говорится?

    - Мы, я имею в виду сообщество военных экспертов, тот же самый вопрос задаем министерству обороны, однако получить на него внятный ответ не можем. Нет четкого обоснования, в каких операциях российский военно-морской флот может использовать французские вертолетоносцы, для чего они вообще нам нужны.
    В военном ведомстве время от времени выдвигаются идеи строительства авианесущих кораблей. Возможно, учитывая то, что ситуация в оборонно-промышленном комплексе и в стране в целом не позволяет достаточно быстро реализовать эту идею, кто-то пытается компенсировать ее покупкой французского вертолетоносца. Однако нужно понимать, что вертолетоносец и авианосец – разные вещи……..
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYwWndJ7NAlXZGhuNWRiNnFfMjYyaG5yY2t3ZDk&hl=fr

    • “Mistral” – a godsend for corrupt

      Photo: Mistral

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      The fundamental decision to buy Russia from France Helicopter “Mistral” is already taken. President Dmitry Medvedev believes that negotiations on the acquisition of these ships will be completed successfully. Meanwhile, no debate is going on, why Russia needs this technology. According to the chief editor of “National Defense” Igor Korotchenko Project “Mistral” – is not so much a symbol of trust “between the two countries as an opportunity for corruption schemes.
      - Why “Mistral” Russia needs? Not correct if the money spent on rearmament of the army, about which so much has been said?
      - We, I mean the community of military experts, the same question asking the Ministry of Defense, but to receive a clear answer can not. There is no clear explanation as to what transactions Russia’s Navy could use French Helicopter, for what they do we need.
      The Defense Ministry from time to time put forward the idea of building aircraft carriers. Perhaps, given the fact that the situation in the military-industrial complex and the country as a whole does not allow fast enough to realize this idea, someone is trying to compensate for its purchase of French Helicopter. However, it should be understood that Helicopter and aircraft carrier – different things.
      French “Mistral” is designed for amphibious operations away from the metropolis. For France, this is clear: the country had overseas territories, plus to this – there are certain obligations to the regimes of a number of French-speaking states, for example, in Africa. To maintain stability in a region of France can use these ships to deliver expeditionary forces.
      And that’s where Russia is going to land landings? Are we going in such a way to maintain stability in Hokkaido, in the Crimea, in Norway or Sweden?
      Any military procurement must be justified primarily on the basis of the concept of using the armed forces. Russia conception – a purely defensive. Therefore, in terms of military strategy and operational utility, it is not visible, in which operations we will use the Helicopter type “Mistral”.
      As I said, no clear comments from the Ministry of Defense, General Staff, the Navy of Russia, we do not hear.
      Obviously, the deal someone lobbies. France – a country which is famous for using the schemes of corrupt arms sales abroad. There have been some very major scandals, in fact, world class scandal, which involved figures from the presidential administration, ministers, even the son of the former president.
      To believe in the disinterestedness lobbyists “Mistral” somehow does not want, especially against the backdrop of more and more corruption scandals in Russia, where even the generals involved in corruption schemes in the state defense order.
      I’d love to know the specific names of those who lobbied for “Mistral”. Next – operational testing of the special services, then another five or ten years – “operational support” for these individuals and their families for that, not increased it inexplicably they have wealth, if there are any foreign bank accounts or real estate.
      Finally, why Russia should support the French industry? We have the money, and that over two billion dollars, we can forward to the completion of ready-to 50-70% of ships and submarines, which are now, in the absence of funding, are on the stocks of military shipyards.
      Another question is why Russia has not announced an international tender, which would include not only the French? Ships of Class “Mistral” build back in Spain and the Netherlands. Incidentally, in the tender Australian Navy (and the Australians are very demanding customers), the French “Mistral” lost the competition to competitors. Why is Russia no contest to buy? Direct manifestation of the possible corruption of options!
      - It’s – financial and organizational issues. If we talk about the military-technical sphere, the “Mistral” – not only the Helicopter, but the ship management …
      - … Which is based on Western military standards. This communications equipment, which has a “vulture” (secrecy – Rosbalt). This communication security information, which also has a “neck” is defined algorithms for transmission of commands within the action of the ship’s groups and so on. Question: how “Mistral”, assuming that it is equipped with western electronics, will implement the interaction function or functions in the targeting of groups Russian ships?
      To ensure the integration of “Mistral” need to spend a lot of financial resources and manpower, since the transition to NATO standards, we will not, and, most importantly, none of these standards, we do not give, because everything is “grifovano. This same battle management system!
      Furthermore, how, and what equipment will be available at this Helicopter? If the domestic, it is necessary to adjust Russia’s combat helicopters under the characteristics of the “Mistral”. The simplest example: the system of internal elevators that cleaned equipment in the space below deck, not stick with the dimensions of Russia’s technology. As for this – to remake helicopters, or to buy the French? How much does it cost to purchase and especially the exploitation, given that in Russia, of course, there is no logistical structure to support this technology? Will need another huge financial investment in the establishment of repair and service facilities and coastal infrastructure.
      And if you suddenly encounter complications in the relations between the NATO-Russia and change the vector of policy? Russia will fall under the embargo on the supply of spare parts for maintenance. We can get into a situation of Iran, which at the last Shah Pahlavi, buying equipment from the United States, and when the political regime changed, the Americans set to zero all deliveries. As a result, the existing fleet of American technology was actually neboesposoben.
      - It is not necessary, perhaps, to exclude such factors as the existence of “tabs” in the hardware and software?
      - This is the most important. The level of electronic technology is now so high that on its own, we detect possible bookmarks can not. No number raying or testing. This means that, if suddenly it comes to conflict, instantly via satellite radiocode will enable these bookmarks, and technology will cease to work. And rely on the assurances of the French manufacturer and the French government the Russians would not be because France – a member of NATO, and within the alliance are quite different mechanisms of decision-making. What remains – to receive guarantees from NATO to the effect that this technique will be functional, including when a potential conflict with NATO?
      Recall, Saddam Hussein bought locators and short-range systems in the same in France. At the start of Operation Desert Storm “were transferred to a special code signals on this equipment, which in fact ceased to be operational.
      I believe that for the “Mistral” requires, above all, parliamentary hearings, with the relevant committees on defense and security, first in the State Duma, then in the Federation Council. It is necessary that the Defense Ministry and General Staff clearly identified as to which transactions will be used “Mistral”, will be resolved as the military-technical issues.
      - The newspaper El Pais reported that Moscow is considering and option to purchase the Spanish Helicopter. Perhaps, the negotiations with France, is a political decision that France gave Russia technology?
      - To build a ship’s hull – steel boxes, technology we do not need. As for “stuffing” – military electronic technology – we give them none. This is not the French know-how. The political decision about whether Russia the secret transfer of technology, must accept NATO. France is not free to choose options for equipping ships electronics. It will follow the recommendations, which will give the United States and NATO.
      - You can say that Russia was lured into a trap?
      - I would consider this as a lobbying individual military officials, including Russian, which is associated with purchasing “Mistral” some of his aspirations. What exactly – this should understand the special services. I personally selflessness of these people do not believe it.
      The system of state defense order is totally corrupt. On a personal assessment of the Minister of Defense and Chief of General Staff to 40-45% of funds do not reach the end consumers. There are many schemes in which “sawn” budgets. Note, since 1992, each new defense minister, coming to the office of his predecessor, in fact disavowed his activities. Who can guarantee that the Minister, who will take the place Serdyukov, not declare all previous decisions wrong?
      For example: a program for military equipment contractors failed. But it also left tens of billions of rubles! Who will answer for this? Who is responsible for purchasing “Mistral”, when they come to other leaders?
      Interviewed by Dmitry Panovkin

      http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http://www.rosbalt.ru/2010/03/02/717199.html&sl=ru&tl=en

  3. Could you please refrain from posting in foreign languages in the future? This is an English-language blog, and not everybody can read this

    • Well, the idea of posting to a Russia blog in Russian is preposterous.

      This clearly discriminates against experts on Russia like yourself, RV, who don’t know anything about the Russian language nor about Russia.

      • What are you suggesting? This this blog be in a language that half of the visitors here don’t know? This is not a Russian language blog run from Moscow, and one does not have to be an expert on Russia to be interested. I am not an expert and I never said I was. Are you now satisfied?

        By the way, a hen is the biggest expert on eggs, but one does not have to be a hen to know a rotten egg from a good one.

  4. I think it’s an exaggeration to say that Russia can’t produce its own weapons. For the last two years, the volume of Russia’s arms exports was second only to that of the United States. You have to admit that the second largest weapons exporter does know a thing or two about making sophisticated military hardware. Certainly, this success was not uniform across Russian military industries. For example, Russian military aerospace is doing relatively well. They export fighter jets by hundreds often winning contracts that could otherwise go to Boeing or Lockheed Martin. Russia was the first country after the USA to build a flying prototype of a fifth generation fighter jet. Russia exports T-90 tanks by thousands. (India license builds them for Russian parts). Russian helicopters are also doing well. At the same time Russian shipbuilding seems to be having major problems. In particular, Russian Navy seems to have major issues with building large surface ships. This is one of the reasons they’re looking into buying that French ship. The idea is to buy the license to build more ships of that class in Russia, and hopefully transfer some modern military ship technology.

    • Well, Russian aviation is in dire straits right now.

      They are having their aircraft returned by pretty much every country that uses them due to severe manufacturing and design flaws (particularly the much vaunted MiG-29).

      As for their tanks, cheap and nasty.

      • Yes, we all have heard the story of Algeria returning 15 Mig-29 to Russia. Last time I heard, a third party contractor supplied used/faulty parts and some people might go to jail for doing that. But I just don’t see how this supports your argument that “pretty much every country” returns their recently bought Mig-29. So far, we know of just one, Algeria, and it’s not clear what exactly went on there. They even refused a free replacement of the faulty aircraft/parts.

        Putin just came back from India, after signing agreements to sell billions worth of weapons, including a small Russian built aircraft carrier and 27 Mig-29K (naval version of more recent Mig-29 versions) aircraft for it. Indians had been operating another 60 or so Mig-29 for at least a decade. They wouldn’t be buying more if they weren’t satisfied.

  5. Thanks LRF, as always! I ADMIRE people who work on this blog! Guys, time will come and they will say… But it was all open in the wild! La Russophobe told you so, many many times!

    I just hope that we can avoid the large catastrophe with such dictator like Putin… and such “leader” like Obama… /:

    I’m pessimistic. Putin will be back in 2012… Oil prices will go high… probably the west will let Putana eat Georgia wholly and Ukraine too… and then the next phase will begin…

    • Dude, you have no idea how we all hope the third Bush would become the next president in the US and the weak so-called-”leader” Obama of those liberal idiots would never return.

      America was a prosperous and mighty country under Bush, and McCain could have raised the USA to even higher level. Sad, but those liberals won over the real US patriots. Now we have what we have, another liberal idiot in the White House.

      Damn this Obama!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2012#Speculated_Republican_Party_candidates

      No US citizen can have too much Bushes!

      Vote Jeb Bush, the current governor of Florida, and the real American patriot for US President in 2012!

  6. One reason that Moskali can’t build large ships is that they were built in Ukraine. It would take a long run up time, to design and build these in a frost free capable harbor, with skills that Moskali do not have. Time is running out.

    Rasha needs something quick, and since the Australians passed it up, it would be even cheaper. Cruise ship, commercial grade carrier good enough for a quick re-invasion. All it needs to do is float for one crossing, before it is lit up like bonfire from accidents and small “crew served” weapons. Poor fire control, and redundancy not necessary for Survivability. Rashans have a long tradition of no respect for human life. NATO whores like France and Germany will not get involved. Obama is president and they know better, than to count on USA. Many countries have paid the price of friendship with US, only to be abandoned in the end. So a Junk Float could get in relatively unopposed.

    Moscali have no choice without Ukraine, Rasha can never be a great power. Georgia completes the threat cutting off Europe’s Energy supplies even further. Turkey is not laughing.

    NATO will now be rendered as useless, other than chasing phantoms in Afghanistan. China will gobble it all up. Thank you EU.

  7. Again,LRP lies and talks nonsense.
    Stating that Russia can’t produce weaponry is outrageous and stupid,insulting for any half-intelligent being.
    We now have PAK-FA(no other country in the world has such an advanced plane,except USA),S-400 And S-300 missile systems(maybe the best in the world),T-90,various small arms…
    Russia was producing new weapons even under traitor Yeltsin…

    • D’oh! If you could produce weapons, you would not need to buy them from any foreign countries. Russia has no navy at all and can’t produce ships, so it has to buy them! Read first then speak, cretin!

      • Only about one country in the world is capable of producing the full spectrum of weapons: from small arms, tanks, to submarines, aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons, and that is the US of course. France and Russia are close to being self sufficient, but that’s pretty much it.

        All other countries end up buying at least one major kind of weapons elsewhere. UK, Germany, etc all buy gear from USA and other countries. Now Russia buys some of its ships from France. Big deal.

        LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

        Your “comment” violates our rules because it contains no source material to support your factual claims. If you don’t provide it, your comment will be deleted. If you continue to violate our rules, you will be banned.

        Your “comment” is also totally insane, and shows you didn’t read or think about our post. The USA is a NATO ally of Germany and UK, you idiot. NATO countries are the ENEMIES of Russia, THAT is the point of this post.

        • But Jacob, you insane Putinist fanatic, get out of the Internets for the righteous!!!

          Of course Russian arms industry has taken several great blows under your beloved Putin, and statistics clearly shows that:

          Country-year-exported (USD BN); 3 biggest players:

          US – 2000 – 7505
          US – 2008 – 7454

          Russia – 2000 – 4190
          Russia – 2008 – 4588

          Can’t you see that Putin virtually destroyed Russian arms industry during these 8 years, you retard???

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry#World.27s_largest_arms_exporters

          And, BTW how could he avoid that if he even doesn’t spend enough money to build a real army? Russian defense budget is pathetic 1/10 of that of the US.

          Now you see why our georgeous Russophobine is so mad with your stupidity???

          • Sorry abt this mistake, and don’t be afraid, numbers are in Ms, of course, thanks God.

          • Typo – 2 biggest players. LR, Andrew, Bobby, thanks in advance for not adding I can not count to three, let’s just imagine you have wrote it already and I have read it:D

  8. Don’t forget the Ekranoplan, T-34, human waves of inebriated, malnourished soldier/rapists, engineered famine etc…

    You should be so proud!

  9. About navy ships. There is nothing more difficult than producing ship engines that do not break down. Very hard. I have no doubt that Russian ships have to be towed back all the time.

    • Sure they do. Planes too don’t fly, BTW. Tanks are made of rubber, really. And those pathetic Kalashnikovs all made of cheap Chinese plastic, don’t you know?

  10. Francis Smyth-Beresford

    The Baltiysk shipyard in St Petersburg built the KIROV Class, at just under 25,000 deadweight tons. The Yantar yard in Kaliningrad can build up to 20,000 tons.

  11. Waste of time. Last summer I walked the Mothballed USS Wisconsin, the largest battle ship afloat. # Displacement – 45,000 tons
    # Displacement – 58,000 tons loaded, still not very useful, or even effective, but good for dropping lots of heavy artillery. Last time in Iraq it was just missed by a Silkworm missile, which could have taken it out. Enjoy it, at the world’s largest and frost free naval base in Norfolk VA. Still it is twice the tonnage of Kirov.

    This Kirov is not particularly impressive since it really has little function other than mascal bragadosio. It ended up as no particular threat other than to its owners.

    Kirov (renamed Admiral Ushakov in 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union) was laid down in June 1973 at Leningrad’s Baltiysky Naval Shipyard, launched on December 27, 1977 and commissioned on December 30, 1980. When she appeared for the first time in 1981, NATO observers called her BALCOM I (Baltic Combatant I).

    Kirov suffered a reactor accident in 1990 while serving in the Mediterranean Sea. Repairs were never carried out, due to lack of funds and the changing political situation in the Soviet Union. She may have been cannibalized as a spare parts cache for the other ships in her class.

    Frunze, the second vessel in the class, was commissioned in 1984. She was assigned to the Pacific Fleet. In 1992, she was renamed Admiral Lazarev. The ship became inactive in 1994 and was decommissioned four years later. The ship is currently held in reserve. On 19 September 2009, General Popovkin, Deputy MOD for Armaments, said that the MOD is looking into bringing Lazarev back into service.[2]

    Kalinin was the third ship to enter service, in 1988. She was also assigned to the Northern Fleet. Renamed Admiral Nakhimov, she was mothballed in 1999 and reactivated in 2005. She is in overhaul at Severodvinsk Shipyard.

    Construction of the fourth ship, Yuriy Andropov, encountered many delays; her construction was started in 1986 but was not commissioned until 1998. She was renamed Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great) in 1992.[3] The ship currently serves as the flagship of the Russian Northern Fleet.

    On March 23, 2004, the Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Vladimir Kuroedov said Petr Velikiy’s reactor was in an extremely bad condition and could explode “at any moment”. This statement was later withdrawn and may have been the result of internal politics within the Russian Navy, as Admiral Igor Kasatonov (the uncle of Petr Velikiy’s commanding officer, Vladimir Kasatonov) was testifying in the court hearings on the losses of K-159 and Kursk.[4]

    The ship was sent to port for a month, and the crew lost one-third of their pay. Examinations found no problems with the ship’s reactor.[citation needed]

    The fifth ship, originally to be named Fleet Admiral of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov, was never laid down and was cancelled in 1990.[3] Alternately reported to be known as Dzerzhinskiy, also ran into delays. Her name was changed to Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya (October Revolution),[5] and then Kuznetsov,[6] and later scrapped while incomplete. From Wiki.

  12. As all the puppet states where Bush installed pro Western leaders collapse it seems that your blog is “backing the wrong horse”, with the push for tough sanctions on Iran also ending in abject failure despite Clintons effort to rally support it’s looking increasingly likely Iran will join the SCO and it s all gone very quiet in Washington.
    The warming of relationships between Russia and Poland since the Smolensk disaster and the granting of another 25 yr lease for the Russian navy in the black sea port of Sevastopol both point to the increasingly obvios fact that America is finished along with its dollar hegemony.
    Obamas meeting with the Dalai Lama was an excruciatingly bad idea and the Chinese are very different to Americans in that they value their honour…something Americans could never understand.
    It’s game over boys..the American century was short lived.

    • “As all the puppet states where Bush installed pro Western leaders collapse ” – This idea is simply wrong. bush did not and could not “install” anything. The countries wanted a change and some have succeeded and some not. In both Ukraine and Georgia more democratic governments have come after the revolution. Why would US object that?? Would that not be STUPID?? Ukraine has failed to carry on the reforms… but has managed to achieve higher level of democracy than any other post Soviet country excluding Georgia. They held a free and open election… Something IMPOSSIBLE there in Russia or any other post Soviet state (except for Georgia and the Baltic states) Georgians are continuing their reforms even despite the fact that west is simply betraying them at every step… France Germany… even US. As for Obama, he has no idea how to deal with Russians… and this is not only a US problem… it’s a GREAT problem for the world and it will ONLY grow as will the oil prices. /:

      As for Kyrgyzstan, there where no democrats there, while they where declaring that they would carry on the reforms the fact is that one clan has changed with another in that country., The situation there is absolutely different from Ukraine or Georgia. If you want to compare it only means that your understanding is lacking…

      • Voice of Reason

        Georgia —- where opposition demonstrators have been beaten with clubs and where opposition TV stations (like ImediTV) have been pogrommed, ransacked, closed at gun point, and then re-opened under new, pro-Saakashvili management —- is more democratic than Ukraine, Baltic states and Moldova?! You are crazy.

        • Yes moron, in 2007, when the tv station in question was calling for the violent overthrow of the democratically elected government.

          However, look at the way the protests of 2009 were handled.

          No violence, except when the opposition activists tried to attack a police station to “liberate” a couple of their members who had been arrested for beating a female journalist.

          I know that vermin such as yourself condone violence against women (just look at the horrific domestic violence statistics of Russia), but if protesters are stupid enough to attack a police station, they get what they deserve.

          I guess you will now tell us that Greece is some sort of fascist state for using riot police against “peaceful protesters” in the last couple of days.

          I presume you will also immediately label Russia a fascist state for its repeated use of force against even the smallest protests (you know, those dangerous crowds of one or two people), then again wasn’t there also the use of police force against protesters in Moldova??

          Come on ReTaRd, you will have to try harder than that.

          Georgia’s extra-parliamentary opposition has launched its third attempt since mid-2007 at “regime change” -a post-modern version of the old-fashioned toppling of governments through other than electoral means (EDM, April 10 and the article above). This new campaign finds Georgia’s state institutions considerably better prepared to handle the challenge, compared with June and November 2007. The test, however, is far from over, and its outcome uncertain.

          Western partners seem to be raising the bar higher for the Georgian government than they would for other countries or even for themselves in situations of political and social protests disruptive to public order. By the same token the radical leaders are being held to lower standards of political behavior than could be accepted in any European country, given their inflammatory potential in a strategically vital country under Russian threat.

          The Georgian government is responding with a strategy of maximum transparency and maximum restraint on the level of police and law enforcement. On the political level, President Mikheil Saakashvili and the parliamentary majority are offering to negotiate with opposition leaders about specific adjustments to Georgia’s political system, albeit within the existing electoral cycle.

          Well ahead of the opposition’s current campaign, the Georgian government had solicited and received assistance from West European law-enforcement and internal security experts, particularly with regard to methods of crowd control. Several European Union member countries sent additional representatives to observe the series of demonstrations that began on April 9 and any interactions between police and demonstrators. European observers are sitting in the Georgian Internal Affairs Ministry’s Situation Room, by invitation for an in-depth view of ongoing developments and possibility to react in real time.

          Internal Affairs Minister Vano Merabishvili and his deputies, Ekaterine Zguladze and Shota Utiashvili, have briefed the mass media -and, through these, the opposition’s demonstrators- about the tactics of police and law enforcement. Police and internal security personnel are guarding the government buildings from inside their courtyards, with a second protective position inside the buildings themselves. Demonstrators are allowed to move about peacefully in central Tbilisi, meet anywhere “at one locations or ten locations,” and stay in the streets and squares as long as they choose; in sum, “unlimited freedom to demonstrate peacefully” (Rustavi-2 TV, Imedi TV, April 9 – 12).

          The radical leaders’ call for civil disobedience to be launched from April 13 onward could -if heeded by their followers- lead to illegal actions, however. In that case, as National Security Council Secretary Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili has noted, “civil disobedience is not to be confused with other forms of the freedom of assembly” (Rustavi-2 TV, April 12).

          The uniformed police and other state and municipal authorities are systematically avoiding direct overt contact with crowds of demonstrators. Rather than risk clashes, the uniformed authorities are essentially leaving the demonstrators to themselves. This self-restraint even applies to sanitation and the fire-fighting services. In one exceptional departure from this policy, a municipal sanitation crew responded to demonstrators’ request to clean up after them, only to be roughed up and forced to withdraw by young demonstrators. This episode has only reinforced the authorities’ non-contact policy. Meanwhile, demonstrators have ostentatiously dumped trash in front of City Hall and the presidential headquarters with impunity (Civil Georgia, April 12).

          Television channels, the ownership of which is in hands friendly to the authorities, are covering the events in gory detail, to a society almost certainly oversaturated with politics. The French Ambassador to Georgia, Eric Fournier, touring all the TV channels’ newsrooms during the day of the largest demonstration, concluded that all channels were showing “a full, objective picture, proving to us that Georgia is developing as a democratic country. This is very important for us Europeans” (Rustavi-2 TV, April 9). Apparently, from this perspective, Georgia has graduated to enjoying at least this European luxury if not other ones.

          http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=34854&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=315ea850b9

          • Voice of Reason

            Andrew,

            You forgot to boldface some text.

            And btw, my question was to AntiPUKin, not to you. Nor did YOU explain why Georgia —- where opposition demonstrators have been beaten with clubs by Saakashvili’s police in 2007 and where opposition TV stations (like ImediTV) have been pogrommed, ransacked, closed at gun point, and then re-opened under new, pro-Saakashvili management —- is more democratic than Ukraine, Baltic states and Moldova.

            However, you, Andrew, can tell me when and how exactly Rupert Murdoch’s and Badri Patarkatsishvili’s Imedi TV “was calling for the violent overthrow of the democratically elected government”.

            Also, exactly when, how recently and how did it happen that the formerly pro-oppostion Imedi came to be controlled by Sakashvili and his buddies?

            • This all doesn’t matter, because Georgia is a democratic and a friendly to the US state.

              Saakashvili is a great democrat and was educated in the US, plus his wife comes fropm a free NATO country, just like Yuschenko’s wife.

              We hope that free and democratic Georgia would reelect Saakashvili for the third term, and he would show them freaking Ajarians what it means to live in a free and undivided Geargia at last.

          • Voice of Reason

            Andrew // May 3, 2010 at 9:33 am
            However, look at the way the protests of 2009 were handled.

            OK:

            http://www.welt.de/international/article3929662/Police-beat-protesters-in-Georgian-capital.html

            15.06.09

            Tbilisi

            Police beat protesters in Georgian capital

            Tensions are running high in the former Soviet republic, after more than two months of opposition protests and roadblocks demanding Saakashvili quit over his record on democracy and last year’s disastrous war with Russia. In the latest flare-up masked police beat dozens of opposition protesters in the Georgian capital.

            Dozens of black-clad police officers armed with truncheons confronted a protest of about 50 people at Tbilisi’s main police station demanding the release of six opposition activists detained since Friday, a Reuters photographer said.

            He said several protesters and one photographer were severely beaten. Some protesters were detained, and police seized cameras from journalists.

            CRACKDOWN

            The Interior Ministry said in a statement that protesters were hampering traffic and resisted police efforts “to unblock the entrance to the police station and restore traffic movement.“

            The opposition accuse 41-year-old Saakashvili of monopolising power since the 2003 “Rose Revolution“ that propelled him to the presidency.

            He has faced renewed pressure since last August, when Russia crushed a Georgian assault on the breakaway pro-Russian region of South Ossetia.
            ————————-

        • Georgia is the USA of Caucasus, a shining example of what a true democracy can do with a country!

    • The West has no puppet states, you idiot!

      It has friends. Kosovo, Georgia, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan – they are all proud friends of the West, truly democratic and free countries.

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