EDITORIAL: The Collapse of the Neo-Soviet Army

EDITORIAL

The Collapse of the Neo-Soviet Army

We cannot afford to create a fully professional army. If we save funds elsewhere, we will certainly go back to this idea, but well prepared.

– Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, October 2010

As shown in the chart at left, between 2006 and 2010 the number of young Russian men drafted into the army has nearly tripled, from just over 200,000 per year to nearly 600,000 per year.

There are two simple reasons for this shocking increase in conscription: First, the number of young men newly eligible to serve in the Russian army is plummeting along with the general population (from about 900,000 in 2004 to 500,000 in 2011); second, the horrors of dedovschina and other barbaric practices and hardships of the army have led many young men to reject the option of volunteering. The result is that nearly 100% of all newly-eligible Russians were drafted into the army in 2010.  If things go on as they are, even drafting every single eligible man won’t be enough to fill out Russia’s ranks — and the Russian army will start collapsing.

A recent story in the Wall Street Journal details the appalling extent to which Russia’s societal corruption has penetrated the military.  Russia attempts to bring in a better class of soldier by offering contract wages to volunteers, yet corrupt officers still end up stealing a huge portion of the monthly pay of each young recruit, and subject them to humiliating, backbreaking labor rather than real military preparation.  The result is that, to quote one former volunteer who thought it was better to enter a contract than to labor as a conscript:  “Now everybody knows you just put up with a year of hell, and then you’re free.” His mother offers:  “The army ran out of fools.”

As quoted at the top of this editorial, Russia’s own defense minister openly admits that the attempt to create a volunteer army in Russia has been a humiliating failure.  One might ask, of course, why such elaborate programs or conscription should be necessary if Russians love their country as much as their rulers claim.  But such a question is unnecessary because the answer is more than obvious:  The leaders are lying.  Nobody loves Russia enough to enter its military services, which are a black hole of violence, degradation and corruption.  “Fool” is the only word that can be used to describe a person who would subject himself to such abuse.

The response of the Russian Kremlin is predictable:

The 99th Artillery, for example, had 600 volunteers on three-year contracts, including Sergei Fetisov, and 300 draftees. Officers were under instruction to recruit as many new volunteers as possible.

Mr. Fetisov says they resorted to an unusual recruiting technique: Nearly every night at 11 that first winter, conscripts were mustered on the parade ground and made to stand in formation for hours, facing superiors who sometimes were drunk.

“Finally an officer would say, ‘Those willing to sign contracts, you’re dismissed. The rest of you, stay at attention,'” Mr. Fetisov recalls. “A personnel officer would tell stories about the great treatment contract soldiers get.”

In other words, brute force.  As in Soviet times, Russia’s apelike rulers cannot be made to understand that it is not possible to force a person to love or serve his country.  Attempting to do so only leads to failure and collapse. As it happened to the USSR, so it will happen to Russia.

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101 responses to “EDITORIAL: The Collapse of the Neo-Soviet Army

  1. Also a very large part of the conscripts is now from the North Caucasus (solidarily sticking together and despising their unorganised Slavic-Ubermensch overlords), and the results look like that:

    http://oldn.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/ethnic-tensions-flare-in-the-military/435394.html

    (Kavkazschina?)

    And what Igor Korotchenko didn’t tell, this is where the rebels learn to shoot, too. The rebel ranks are not very big (mostly because they can’t arm, supply and feed more men properly), so it’s not a popular uprising, but the insurgency continues to survive year after year, because they always have enough recruits to replenish their losses – and they are like folk heroes among the local young generation:

    http://www.watchdog.cz/?show=000000-000004-000002-000073&lang=1

    Also:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/politkovskaya-article-prompts-inquiry-into-chechen-brutality-421484.html

    Editors at the newspaper she worked for, Novaya Gazeta, said she was killed because of her investigative work in Chechnya. Sergei Sokolov, the deputy editor, has now disclosed that prosecutors have been working since the spring on a criminal investigation based on the contents of an article Politkovskaya wrote on 20 March. The article chronicled the beating of three Russian servicemen at the hands of their Chechen allies and was published alongside disturbing video footage shot on a mobile phone that appeared to back up Politkovskaya’s allegations.

    In the article, she raised the possibility that Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed Prime Minister, may have personally been involved in the beating, and possible murder, of the Russian servicemen.

    The incident in which the three Russian servicemen were beaten up and possibly killed by loyalist militia occurred in Grozny, the Chechen capital, in November 2005.

    The footage, which can still be viewed on Novaya Gazeta’s website, shows the bodies of the three men, possibly dead, prostrate on a Grozny street. The soldiers were the crew of a Russian armoured personnel carrier and had been involved in a traffic accident in which Chechen civilians may have suffered. The footage shows one of the three soldiers being severely beaten by a group of “Kadyrovtsy”, the name for members of Mr Kadyrov’s private army.

    The soldier is knocked to the ground with rifle butts and then beaten unconscious in a frenzy of fists and kicks. At the end of the ordeal a fighter kicks his head like a football; he is lifeless and is either unconscious or dead. The same article included other footage purporting to show the kidnapping of two civilians in Mr Kadyrov’s presence.

  2. Speaking of volunteering to serve in the Russian army; recently I keep hearing these stories about young people who get exempted from service on medical grounds after they tell the psychiatrist during the medical examination that they actually want to go into the army (the psychiatrist then decides they must be insane and sends them home)

    • As funny as that may be, the reason for the majority of eligible Russians now being conscripted isn’t because there’s a lack of volunteers but because after reforms; instead of having 1 soldier serve a two year term, 2 soldiers serve 12 month terms. That way both young men get military training in the event of a need for mobilization and they don’t have to serve as long as they would without the reform.
      Second of all, (since wanting a better paying and more consistent job than most you could find in Russia is ridiculous) in 2005 the percentage of contract soldiers in the army is around 30% and this statistic has, to have estimated; grown, to around 50-75%. Though there is no official statistic confirming this, consider the following; in 2007 the Russian military personnel numbered 1.2 million. In 2008, officially, there were 400,000 conscripts that entered the military. Put it this way, that would equate to conscripts making up only 30% of the military. So either the little graph in the article is painfully wrong or people must *gasp* – actually want to serve in the Russian military. Since after the reform about twice as many conscripts will be necessary ever year, because the ones from last year won’t be still around; that doesn’t change the actual amount of conscripts serving at any given time, it’s just that they’re NEW conscripts being conscripted. So the fact that the number of conscripts rose in 2008-2009 shouldn’t change the unofficial statistic; the majority of the Russian army have been professionals since around 2007. So much for the mental disease that is wanting to join the Russian army.
      In fact speaking of that disease, since 2010, a number of people from OUTSIDE Russia in the CIS are (allowed) joining the Russian army to win Russian citizenship. Talk about people hating service (and Russia for that matter).
      Lastly, there are around 60 full-readiness reserve units in Russia that can be called up at any time in the even of crisis. If the pool of eligible young men ever shrinks too much, already-trained reserves can be called upon to do their country’s bidding.

      • The today’s kontraktniki are in large part simply conscripts who are pressured to stay, not non-conscript volunteers.

        @In fact speaking of that disease, since 2010, a number of people from OUTSIDE Russia in the CIS are (allowed) joining the Russian army to win Russian citizenship. Talk about people hating service (and Russia for that matter).

        At the same time, thousands of recently fired Russian officers who served their country most of their lives are not able to find any job. But hey, I have no complaints, serves them well, the bloody idiots (literally). Hire instead some Uzbeks or whatever.

        Anyway,

        EUROPE NEWS
        APRIL 20, 2011
        THE NEW ARMS RACE

        Russia’s Fading Army Fights Losing Battle to Reform Itself

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703678404575636412726670020.html

        About those “professional soldiers”.

        • Officers are being fired from their posts as officers, but they can easily join the NCO’s or lieutenants which are in high demand, or even the rank-and-file army, they aren’t forbidden. Of course it means lower pay, but when you look at the Russian army and see that for ever 2.5 soldiers there’s an officer; one must recognize that there is a problem and that the military is in need of reform. The west is never hesitant to catch Russia on the back-ward aspects of its army, but when it comes to reforming these you laugh, pointing to some kind of humiliation that is allowing people who WANT to be Russian to become Russian through military service. I can understand when problems in Russia are pointed out, but when you laugh at Russians as some kind of inferior scum and point out their efforts to improve as completely wasteful and pointless; than you’re just in it to humiliate us, and your efforts are counter-productive. This is the precise reason liberal are so unpopular in Russia; they’re just like you.

          As for your article, I tried reading it; it won’t let me. I’m not going to waste my time registering on another russophobic blog. I can just about picture the gist of the article anyway; bad shit happens everywhere. The fact that something is being done and that progress is being carried through is a good sign, of course there will be instances of the usual, and of course they can’t be ignored. I already know that.

          The kontraktniki; well what do you expect? Do you want a professional soldier to be picked up out of the lettuce in this year’s harvest? In Russia, military training comes through conscription, for which everyone is responsible with the recent trends in demography and reform. A professional soldier (kontractik) expands this training after the term of his conscription is done and then enters regular service with the army, getting expanded pay, expanded training, placement in a better unit etc. Such is the way this works in all countries, except without conscription, soldiers volunteer and then have to start their training from scratch. By the way, in the event of a major war, this should be a huge problem, since most of the Russian male population already HAS had military training, they can be directly mobilized and given a month or so for back-into-shape training, updating. Meanwhile, even the largest western countries have a dozen million or so men with military training, and raising a real, professional soldier from scratch can’t be done both quickly and effectively.

          • It’s not “my article” nor “aother russophobic blog”, it’s the Wall Street Journal and it’s avaliable to read for free.

            Fragment from the article, directly contradicting your claim of the military being 60% “professional”:

            In Kaliningrad, a military prosecutor’s inquiry led to the annulment in 2006 of 83 contracts signed under pressure, according to that city’s chapter of the Soldiers’ Mothers Committee, an advocacy group. Elsewhere, commanders of soldiers who went AWOL kept them on the roster, pocketing their salaries, says Alexander Golts, a military specialist and deputy editor of Yezhedevny Zhurnal, an online Russian publication.

            In 2009, Mr. Fetisov was among 160 soldiers sent to form the all-volunteer artillery battalion of the new 6th Specialized Tank Brigade. There, he says, he injured his hand badly while cleaning the artillery barrel of a tank, and army doctors neglected it. When his three-year contract came up for renewal, Mr. Fetisov bailed out. At the time, he says, only 10 volunteers remained of the 160. The rest had been replaced by draftees.

            “The army ran out of fools,” his mother, Tatyana Fetisova, said recently as she listened to her son tell his story.

            And so it went at bases across Russia. The exodus left a handful of all-volunteer units, staffed by a few thousand contract soldiers, in an army made up overwhelmingly of conscripts, say defense officials and independent observers.

            “It’s no secret how the contract service was implemented,” Mr. Serdyukov, the defense minister, told news magazine Odnako. “Active duty soldiers were induced to sign contracts by all means. Their [low] monthly salary and standard barracks life made them quit the armed forces as early as possible. There was no systematic preparation of military specialists.”

            • (Or even 70% or whatever.)

            • Listen, Robert. This is no contradiction, the overall statistic remains, if 400,000 people are drafted then they make up only 33$ of the 1,200,000, that’s elementary school mathematics. I don’t read the Wall Street journal for obvious reasons, it’s a radical right wing- conservative paper. And when I said I couldn’t access it, I knew it was free, I just knew I’d also have to register, and I don’t feel like wasting al that time and having them know my email just to argue with you.
              Also, the thing in Kaliningrad is GOOD. Because the conscripts that were put in by force were allowed to leave, their contracts were ‘annuled.’ An army doesn’t need the kind of volunteers who are forced to stay or the means by which they are forced. The case of Kalliningrad is one of 83 contract soldiers and it can’t characterize an army with hundreds of thousands of them. Also, the likely reason this sort of thing happened in Kaliningrad was because of those officers that tried to force them into service, held up their salaries, and disregarded their injuries- not because the overall Russian army is exactly like this.
              And believe me, instances like these happen in all militaries, pehaps they’re a little more common in Russia than they are in the west, but measures are being taken against these. Thus the need for ‘reform.’ As far as I know, these reforms have progressed and are showing signs of success.

              • @ if 400,000 people are drafted then they make up only 33$ of the 1,200,000, that’s elementary school mathematics.

                “33$”, you say? Maybe you should count them in the rubles instead. Anyway, you obiously include the number of officers (“for ever 2.5 [sic] soldiers there’s an officer” – your own words), and then want to impress me with some false figures, okay. I’m not impressed.

                @I don’t read the Wall Street journal for obvious reasons, it’s a radical right wing- conservative paper.

                Totally bourgeois and reactionary, comrade, especially when they quote people like “Mr. Serdyukov”, a well-known known Western capitalist-imperialist russophobe traitor of Mother Russia, CheKA and the RKKA. OK. “I don’t feel like wasting al that time” in a further discussion with someone so blind and deaf for arguments, so good bye.

          • @By the way, in the event of a major war, this should be a huge problem, since most of the Russian male population already HAS had military training, they can be directly mobilized and given a month or so for back-into-shape training, updating.

            What “major war”? With China? You think this would impress them?

            Oh, and there would be no modern weapons for this “huge” army – not anymore.

            http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=7711&IBLOCK_ID=35

            It’s gone.

            • Robert, I would get on my knees and cry right now if that article wasn’t from 2005. Today serial production of Russian equipment is taking place: http://www.warfare.ru/?lang=&catid=244&linkid=1778 and mass production of objects such as S-400, Su-35, T-90 are to begin this year.
              By the way, the period of general revival, especially modernization of equipment for the Rusian military only began around 2006 with the rearmament project.

      • SovietJournalist – if you live in Russia I suspect you know full well that the only kind of training that the vast majority of Russian conscripts get in the Russian army is the training in how to be bullied and then bully others. It’s common knowledge that in many units the only occasion that Russian soldiers get to hold a real gun is when the take their military oath, the rest of the time is spent working as unskilled labor building the private houses for various generals or doing various chores around their military basis, ranging from sweeping the parade grounds to cooking their own food. In other words unless it’s an elite unit of paratroopers very little military training ever gets done.
        Naturally this lack of training is the reason why every time Russia has to fight a war, even a regional insurgency conflict like in Chechnya, the Russian army invariably starts the campaign by failing miserably, then after several months go by and half the personnel get killed or wounded, the soldiers that manage to survive by then pick up a few skills allowing them to fight more or less effectively and survive on the battlefield and it is only then that the Russian army finally begins to put up a fight. In other words the only kind of training that Russian conscripts ever get is battlefield training with live ammunition and real enemies whenever Russia goes to war, otherwise they only train in peeling potatoes and using the broom.

        • O rly?
          Nah, but in case you wanna see actual Russian training:

          Any expert on Russian military would have come across these and any Russian knows that the country isn’t the same it was in the 90s.
          I highly reccomend warfare.ru and the blog “Russian Military Reform”

          LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

          Just out of idle curiosity, have you ever by chance heard the term “Potemkin Village”? Did you read about the pathetic performance of the Russian “Army” during its attack on Georgia, when commanders were reduced to communicating on their personal cell phones? How, exactly, do you think the army preserves moral when it is infamous for torturing draftees and using them as slaves and even selling their organs for profit?

          • La Russophobe Responds:
            For some reason I can’t reply to your posts so I’ll reply to my own.

            To your idle curiosity, yes I’ve heard of the Potemkin Villages, but the analogy suffers from the fact that there is video footage of this training, involving thousands of soldiers doing all kinds of modern warfare stuff and at times outperforming their counter-parts in the west. To put the village analogy on here, it would have to be SGI; which it can’t be because of the nature of the video, it’s obviously fillmed. OR it would have to be actors, but if actors outperform the west’s war games, than I have to note that we don’t NEED any training for such an encounter, we’ll just strangle them with our bear arms. The training is real, based on video proof, texts by foreigners who did joint excersizes with the Rusian military (Such as the Americans and Indians in some I showed above) and looking at the modern emplacements of the Russian military. If you keep up to date with the news, all kinds of modern facilities and modern weapons are being implemented in the army and they’re shown in function; do you really think that your dismall idea of the Russian military could, in theory, handle all of this? Or that the Russian government would just waste its billions on new equipment and training just to see corrupt officers do nothing? No, that’s not the case, and that’s actually why Serdukov fires so many officers and why the reform is neccessary.
            As for the situation in Georgia; you couldn’t have hoped for anything better. The Russian airforce crushed that of Georgia and proceeded to bomb Georgian military emplacements and armor collumns. The Russian navy performed the ONLY naval manuever of the 21st century and decisively defeated the Georgian navy. Ships from Poti were hauled away to Russian datchas. Meanwhile on the ground, the Georgians had the advantage of artillery, (initially) numbers and they practically controlled the entirety of South Ossetia. The breakout from Roki Tunnel was supposed to have been an immensely difficult encounter due to the so called ‘American training’ of the Georgian army. Russia bypassed half of Georgia and saw their opponents fleeing at every turn! The Georgians retreated the full five days of the conflict, Russia captured or destroyed 100 Georgian tanks while suffering no armor losses. Russia lost 4 planes over Georgia while crushing the entire Georgian airforce, destroying 20 planes and rendering most of the Georgian airfields untennable. Even the few effective Georgian anti-Air installations were bombed and made tactically ineffective by mid-way through the war. That’s not to say that initially, the small Russian force of a few thousand men faced the 20,000 strong Georgian army. It was only by the time of full deployment in Ossetia and Abkasia did the Russian force ammount to 19,000 men, comprable to that of Georgia.
            That said, the few deficiencies in communications, logistics and nighttime warfare seem totally insignifigant. Of course Rusia is to be a little behind the west in finer fields, but so what? It didn’t matter in the war, 300 or so Russians were wounded and 62 were killed. Georgia suffered over 200 dead and over 2000 wounded or missing. With the latest reforms, the Russian military will fix these minor errors, since the new combat-equippment and training reforms are aiming chiefly to modernize the poor state of network-centric warfare in the Russian military. You’ll see. So far, the performance in Georgia wasn’t at all poor and is comprable if not superior to that of America in the Battle of Baghdad.

            • There were lots of photographs of Potemkin villages, weren’t there? Hollywood can make all kinds of things look real, just for show. It’s really not that hard.

              Isn’t it rather ridiculous for Russia to think that defeating a tiny country like Georgia proves it has a strong military? Are you at all remotely aware of how totally ridiculous you make Russians seem when you talk about “crushing” Georgia?

              Isn’t it even more ridiculous to think that an army with a crazy-high suicide rate full of brutalized draftees will fight seriously against a major power like the United States?

              What you don’t seem to realize is that idiots of the Soviet Union said they same thing about their army. Then the USSR collapsed into the dustbin of history. You have no basis for believing the same thing won’t happen to Russia.

              You also don’t seem to realize that MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI IS STILL IN POWER, LAUGHING AT RUSSIA, because Russia immediately ceased its wanton agression when challenged by NATO, knowing NATO can easily do to Russia just what Russia had been doing to Georgia, because Russia has no allies and wildly inferior technology. Russia’s attack only made Saakashvili stronger, as many heads of state from NATO rushed to his defense, and made Russia look like an aggressive imperialist state and a huge hypocrite, who calls for negotiation for other countries but uses military force itself.

              • Photographs and videos are radically different, if you haven’t noticed. It’s ‘not that hard’ if you only have to show a single picture and that’s the only means of recognition. IF YOU HAVE FOREIGN OFFICERS TALKING ABOUT THE EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE OF YOUR TROOPS, like in some of the videos, I’d mark them legitimate. If you don’t, well I guess we’ll call you super-skeptic, but this is just about as obvious as I can make it.

                While indeed defeating Georgia isn’t such an amazing feat, consider this: Georgia was armed and trained by the United States, it had NATO gear and NATO surveillance as well as radio-jamming support (which is probably the reason why Russian officers had to communicate by cell phone). Georgia also had a huge advantage over Russia due to geopolitics, initial position, strategic objective etc. So while a small nation like Georgia doesn’t seem much of a challenge, you’d only be half-right to say so conclusively. Now, if Georgia had no mountains surrounding it, no strategic passes, no already-deployed artillery and air forces than you WOULD be completely right. My point is that I’m not professing the conventional (non-nuclear) Russian military to be superior to the entirety of NATO, I’m only saying it’s not as bad as you’re saying and that it’s radically improving. You may have not noticed, but it’s obvious to soldiers and average Russians or any real expert that’s not on someone’s payroll.

                Is Mikheil Saakashvili laughing? He didn’t seem very humored when he ran like a coward from his car when he thought he saw Putin in the sky. Or when he was eating his tie in front of the international community.
                While who would win in a Russia-NATO war is debatable, it’s obvious that such a conflict would be extremely costly, bloody and not preferable by anyone. NATO had no intention to go to war with Russia and Russia had no reason to prefer war with NATO over settling with Georgia, which is why peace was made.
                Russia used military force in order to protect the South Ossetian population, most of whom had Russian passports, from cruel and pre-planned Georgian atrocities. See http://www.war080808.com, they make it so obvious you’d have to be a nazi to support Georgia.
                Also, Saakashvili in power? Yes, through violent suppression of opposition and mutiny, like you claim of Russia. Oh wait? When again was the Russian armed forces mutiny? No where, despite ‘awful’ conditions in the Russian military. Well if so, Georgia must be literally slaughtering it’s military for the sort of soldier-reception it’s been getting.

                • larussophobe

                  You didn’t even read this issue: It clearly shows freedom of Georgian Internet is MUCH higher than in Russia. All of Georgia’s other scores for freedom and democracy from international scholars are MUCH higher than Russia’s, we have documented them right here on this blog often. Russian power is not even enough to push out the ruler of a tiny country right nearby; America ousted the ruler of mighty Iraq, far across the sea. Russia has no such power.

                  Russia has no opposition parties and all news is fed to childish Russians by Kremlin-controlled TV. Russians, like you, know nothing about the real world, they live in a fantasy of lies just like the USSR. Russia will fail and collapse like the USSR, while idiotic Russians like you go on acting like the infamous “Emperor” with his “new clothes.”

                  • Georgia’s more democratic?
                    Gee I didn’t know such things happened in ‘democratic’ countries:

                    Does that seem democratic to you? Not to me! Perhaps the international claims of Georgian democracy are wrong? I mean, you have video footage RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, where the Georgians are cracking down on peaceful protests, just like the vile ‘Poot-poot regime.’ Is that democratic? If you think it is, I don’t think there’s much of a point to continueing our conversation.

                    Also, as I said to Robert, we don’t care about Saakashvili. Unlike America, while we could have easily steamrolled Tbilisi, we understand that we have no right to do so to a foreign government, thus; we signed the six-point-peace. We already achieved our objective; Russia showed the world we COULD do it, Russia liberated Abkhazia and Ossetia from the yoke of foreign imperialism and Russia expanded its military presence in the Caucasus to a point of supremacy without argument.

                    Oh and as for no oppositional groups in Russia; huh, what about KPRF? Lib-Dem? Yabloko, the famed liberals who are so unpopular they didn’t even get in the parliament? The Internet opposition bastion actually voted Navalny over Nemtsov and the actual future mayor to be the head of Moscow, back when Luzhkov was forced out. You don’t call that opposition do you? But at this point, NO ONE CARES. Everyone understands that to some degree, while it’s not the best in the world; Russian democracy exists. Freedom house can say whatever they want, there are 142 million Russians you can ask this about, which is by far better than any freedom house report. There are dozens of journalists from both the west and Russia who will tell you about it, but you REFUSE TO LISTEN.

                    • larussophobe

                      Doesn’t it concern you AT ALL that the source you are quoting IS THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT ITSELF???

                      Russia Today is OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE KREMLIN!! Who are you kidding???

                      Georgia’s Internet is DOCUMENTED to be FAR MORE FEE than Russia BY A NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY. Can you think at all?

                    • For some reason, once again I can’t reply to your post, so I’ll reply to my own.
                      Who’s the ‘neutral’ third party? American media? Freedom house? They’re not neutral, they’re bribed, this should be clear to ANYONE. As for ‘source’ RT isn’t the Russian government. Echo Moscow is funded by Gazprom, the biggest company in Russia, they still say some bad stuff about Russia, its government, its press, while they’re being funded by those very people they claim to be repressing Russia. Which is why I judge a source by its substance not its credentials. If you watched the video, you would see GEORGIANS talking about Georgia, not some kind of ‘democracy experts’ from the west. Watch the damned thing, and you’ll clearly see from the words of the Georgians themselves and the proof they provide that the so called ‘Georgian democracy’ doesn’t exist. Can YOU think at all? Are you willingly serving as a mouthpiece for Freedom house and not listening to a word from the Georgian opposition?
                      PROVE ME WRONG. Watch the actual video, and judge it by what the Georgians say. Which part of it is wrong? Which part can be contradicted by a real, provable source, not some statistic from freedom house?

                • @Russia used military force in order to protect the South Ossetian population, most of whom had Russian passports, from cruel and pre-planned Georgian atrocities. See http://www.war080808.com, they make it so obvious you’d have to be a nazi to support Georgia.

                  Cool story bro.

                  http://www.ceiig.ch/Report.html

                  • Yeah, the EU report confirms that the conflict was provoked by Georgian bombing of innocent civilians resulting in the destruction of 70% of Ossetian civil infrastructure. Russia only attacked to protect the Ossetian population, we had no need to oust Saakashvili back when he came to power and we still don’t need him 2008. But when he goes murdering civilians, what had to be done was done. I sincerely hope that you watch the documentary in the link that I provided.

                    • @Yeah, the EU report confirms

                      No. Take a day off, and read it.

                      Here’s a quick summary:

                      http://greatersurbiton.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/the-eu-and-the-georgian-war-saying-everyone-is-to-blame-isnt-good-enough/

                      If you don’t believe, go and read it yourself. (I did.) if you don’t have time for everything, you may just check the cited pages to verify it.

                      @I sincerely hope that you watch the documentary in the link that I provided.

                      That’s not “documentary”, it’s just some website that asked me to go to The Pirate Bay so I could see some ridiculous propaganda. Do you think such a thing would impress me any more than these videos of some very-special Russians punching bricks to the tune of German music?

                    • Robert, that’s not a summary, rather; it’s just a piece of crap that points out all the fault by Russia which is at some point referenced by the EU report and ignored all that by Georgia. It puts unneccesary emphasis on some items and puts words in the mouth of the EU report on others, basically; it manipulates the report into some kind of russophobic justification for Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia and general Saakashvili apologizing.

                      As for war080808, here’s a link: http://www.war080808.com/
                      Take a day off and watch it.

                    • @It puts unneccesary emphasis on some items and puts words in the mouth of the EU report on others, basically; it manipulates the report

                      OK, so as I said read it yourself.

                      @Take a day off and watch it.

                      But why should I watch someone’s stupid Internet video? And who made it, anyway?

                    • Robert, I read it and I told you my opinion on it. I read the EU report multiple times and frankly: I don’t feel like reading it again for the likes of you. It’s a bad summary, it only focuses on Russia and it gives unreal perceptions of the report. I’m not going to argue with you about it. Know why? Because when I present YOU with my source you ask me “why should I watch some dumb Internet video?” when I throughly read YOUR source. So please stop it with the bullshit and watch the damned thing.

                    • You didn’t read it. Or maybe you did, but just totally ignored its finidings. But whatever.

                      Anyway, please answer my question: “But why should I watch someone’s stupid Internet video? And who made it, anyway?”

                      Seriously, why won’t you tell me who did it, and who had commissioned it? Just some computer-savy kids at the Nashi, or rather professionals hired by the FSB/Defense Ministry/Foreign Ministry/whatever, or the semi-autonomous Kokoity gang? Because “Russia.Ru” says absolutely nothing to me, except of having some quite hilarious name .

                    • Robert, I don’t know, nor do I care who made it. I watched it because it promised video proof and it delivered on that promise. As I’ve already said; I don’t judge a source by its credentials, I judge it by its substance.

            • @The Georgians retreated the full five days of the conflict, Russia captured or destroyed 100 Georgian tanks while suffering no armor losses. Russia lost 4 planes over Georgia while crushing the entire Georgian airforce, destroying 20 planes and rendering most of the Georgian airfields untennable. Even the few effective Georgian anti-Air installations were bombed and made tactically ineffective by mid-way through the war. That’s not to say that initially, the small Russian force of a few thousand men faced the 20,000 strong Georgian army.

              This is what “SovietJournalist” actually believes.

              (Maybe.)

              • It’s the truth, read about it. The flaw with the amount of men serving inside Georgia; on the first day, there really was only a few thousand men. Toward the fourth day when all the Russian forces were deployed, the total numbered around 19,000.

                • I have no time to demolish all your claims (and you won’t listen anyway), so maybe just the latest ones:

                  “According to available sources, Georgian ground forces engaged in the 2008 August conflict consisted mainly of the following units: the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Infantry Brigades, 1st Artillery Brigade, 53rd Infantry Battalion, artillery and mechanized elements of the 1st Brigade, Separate Tank Battalion, Separate Infantry Battalion and Air Defence Battalion. In addition to the forces under the Defence Ministry, anti-riot and counter terrorism battalion-size units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (special police forces) also took part in the operations. The total strength was estimated at 10 000-11 000 personnel.80″

                  VS

                  “The overall number of Russian troops moved into Georgia in August 2008 amounted to 25 000 – 30 000 supported by more than 1 200 pieces of armour and heavy artillery. Also involved in the action were up to 200 aircraft and 40 helicopters.88 Several thousand armed Ossetians and volunteer militias from the North Caucasus supported the Russian forces on the eastern front as well as up to 10 000 Abkhaz troops and militia forces with armour and guns on the western front.89″

                  http://www.ceiig.ch/pdf/IIFFMCG_Volume_II.pdf

                  • Read the Moscow defense brief: http://www.webcitation.org/5fm4fGQ5j
                    Read from the paragraph that starts with “The attack on South Ossetia was not spontaneous” through a few other paragraphs, the last one I’m citing ends with “10,000 men and 120 tanks.” You’re free to read past that, if you want, but that’s where the section with the troop deployments ends.

                    • Why should I believe some “Moscow defense brief” website more than the IIFFMCG – CEIIG report?

                    • Hmmm??? Maybe because Moscow Defense Brief represents one of the countries that actually did the fighting?

                    • That’s right, because it’s not an impartial interational commission mandated “to investigate the origins and the course of the conflict in Georgia, including with regard to international law (including the Helsinki Final Act), humanitarian law and human rights, and the accusations made in that context (including allegations of war crimes)”, instead of some cheap propaganda to “represant one of the countries that actually did the fighting” (the invader side, to be exact).

                      Here’s a summary by the head of the commission:

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/01/opinion/01iht-edtagliavini.html

                      Like most catastrophic events, the war of August 2008 had several causes. The proximate cause was the shelling by Georgian forces of the capital of the secessionist province of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, on Aug. 7, 2008, which was followed by a disproportionate response of Russia. Another factor was the lack of progress, for more than 15 years, in the resolution of the two “frozen conflicts” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

                      As the special representative of the United Nations secretary general in Georgia from 2002 to 2006, I saw a narrow window of hope open and close in the first half of 2005, after which the differences between Russia and the West over Kosovo, and the deterioration of relations between Georgia and Russia, destroyed any prospect for a substantive negotiation.

                      Russia systematically gave passports to residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, asserting responsibility for Russians in what it called its “near abroad” without any consultation with Georgia, whose territorial integrity was thus increasingly challenged.

                      (…)

                      Good neighborly relations require first that the threat or use of force — let alone the commission of war crimes, as those that were committed during the war of 2008 — be totally banished, along with intimidation of small countries by big ones. It also requires that the difficult issues created by the breakup of the Soviet Union, many of which are still not fully resolved, be addressed through genuine engagement and in good faith.

                      Our report shows that the forces of unilateralism and violence are still very much a part of Europe’s political landscape. A stable European order has to be based on the rule of law and a genuine commitment to multilateralism.

                    • I already knew all that crap. As I said, I’ve read the report. Its one crucial mistake is that Russia didn’t ‘systematically give away’ passports, but Russia simply allowed anyone in the former Soviet Union to recieve a Russian passport. Why? Because in 1991, suddenly 25 million of our countrymen became foreigners, we wanted to give them the oppertunity to come back. The people of South Ossetia feared repression from their government and came over to Russia, hoping that the passports would protect them. Picture it this way:
                      If Canada was slaughtering people in Ontario, regardless of who has passports or not, would it be Canada (and NATO that protected it) that’s right because it’s handling an internal affair, or USA that intervenes despite public outrage? I think USA.

                      Also, this whole discussion is regardless, since I believe we were arguing about the number of troops for the sake of military analysis not ‘who did it first’ for some kind of moral justification. The latter is already spoken for in the EU report: Georgia struck first due to internal tensions and killed a whole bunch of Ossetian civilians, as well as 70% of their civil infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc. If you’d watched war080808, you’d have seen it all on video.

          • “Fearless Few” (hundred) fearlessly “combating terrorism” (2 people):

            What’s so special about them? They’re very special indeed, comrade.

            “Russian Spetsnaz Training” video is simply hilarious, especially the semi-suicide bomber Russian idiot literally blowing up the bus, while the wildly-firing guys on the BTR simulate slaughtering the still-surviving hostages. Of course followed by the usual cirucs show of retards showcasing their “tactical skills” of punching bricks and walking on each other, while uniformed fatmen with moustaches watch in awe. Priceless. Thank you for a good laugh!

            • That’s supposed to be a bus of hostiles, not hostages. Your humor at the matter shows your clear lack of knowledge on military priority. The Spetsnaz excels in using the human body as a weapon and not relying on infinite supplies and surgical air strikes to do their mission, that’s the point of the video. I showed others where they’re dumbly shooting pieces of cart-board for targets, but any military does that. Meanwhile, stopping a bus full of enemies, climbing up a building with bare arms, withstanding countless physical slaughters and being capable of defeating half-a-dozen enemies in hand to hand combat, are things most forces or even special forces don’t get around to. NONE can match Spetsnaz in their ability in these fields.

              • Ooh Propaganda Minister Dr. SovietJournalist.

                Are you into that science fiction stuff. In fact you excel in it.

                I’d love to see your beloved Spetsnaz in action against any of the English speaking countries “Special Air Services” like the English or the Australian, etc, have or better still the American ‘Special Forces’ or their ‘Seals’.

                Just bring a lot of body bags for your beloved “specialists”.

                And do tell since when did soldiers go into battle in buses. So you trying to justify the murder of innocent hostages as “hostiles” is pure communist fabrication – at which you excel. Keep up the B/S comrade, at least the feeble brained comrades will no doubt believe you.

                • Bohdan, didn’t I tell you to leave yourself out of this conversation? You’re completely incapable of reacting intelligently and presenting argument instead of petty humor and insults.

                  If you want to see what the West thinks of Spetsnaz, who’s special forces are supposedly superior, go on google or youtube and look up “Weaponology: Spetsnaz” it’s a documentary film by the military channel which shows top military scientists from the west reviewing the Spetsnaz and their clear supremacy over all other special forces in the world.

                  • Comrade Propaganda Minister SovietJournalist

                    What, read all that trashy propaganda in your communist lying news rags. Come on be real for just once in your life? Besides I’m not into science fiction, which is only as good as the writer’s imagination.

                  • Comrade Propaganda Minister SovietJournalist

                    Listen jerk! I live in a free world where freedom of expression is guaranteed, not in your make belief paradise , which in reality is a hell hole of blatant lies and which suppresses all unfavorable items of truth. Hence your feeble attempt to silence me fell on deaf ears. Got that point straight, comrade propaganda minister?

                    So if you don’t like the truth, which proves that the truth hurts, just vamoose to your beloved pravda.ru”.

                    I’ll spar my intelligence any day against you narrow, stupid pettiness and gross lying nature. Furthermore if you think that I am going to waste my time on your Putin era Russian propaganda rags – you have another to add to your countless list of mistakes, as you will get anything there BUT THE TRUTH. Give me the truth any day!!

                    Last but not least, I personally do not believe that you add anything of value to this wonderfully honest, interesting and magic blog that is LaRussophobe. And unlike you, I am not a paid stooge of the Putin mafia!!!

                    • Hahahahahahahahaha!
                      You make me die of laughter, Mr. Bohdan.
                      By the way, I’ve been talking to my one friend (I’m sure you know him), he wanted me to leave a message for you:

                      “Ah, Bohdan….always nice to hear from an expert. Were you the former Ukrainian Defense Minister, or something? Here’s an interesting snippet about an SAS Unit getting captured by its allies; the Libyan rebels.

                      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8364937/Captured-SAS-unit-Libyan-rebels-release-special-forces-team.html

                      You have to wonder about the quality of their fake passports if the deception was detected by guards at an agricultural compound. Awkward.”

                      That was actually in reply for when you said you’d like to see my beloved Spetsnaz up against some of the elite western Special Forces, such as the SAS or the SEALS. In case you can’t remember, you punctuates your rebuttal with the suggestion that I should “bring a lot of body-bags for my beloved “specialists””.

                  • @go on google or youtube and look up “Weaponology: Spetsnaz” it’s a documentary film

                    Wow, what a sensationalist crap. Excited narrator, “exciting” music. Are you a teenager? Stuff like that impresses you? Would you like to punch some bricks?

                    • Hey, it’s how the western press made it. Not my fault! While the program itself may have been pretty childish, some of the commentators that spoke had real, meaningful opinions. And they were pretty qualified; professors, military historians etc. All of them your own western guys so you can’t blame them for neo-soviet propagandism.

                    • Robert,

                      Propaganda Minister Dr SovietJournalist punches bricks all the time, trouble is it’s WITH HIS HEAD. Hence his so called rationale in all of his written articles, leave a lot to be desired.

                      His lying comment (as per usual), that “You make me die of laughter, Mr. Bohdan.” disappoints me in that it never actually achieved that result.

                      Ah well maybe my next one will. What’s that old saying, “if you don’t succeed at first, try, try and try again until you do!”

              • Really? OK, now tell me why did the first retard attempt a suicide bombing, after running up-close to “a bus of hostiles” (who were evidently all unarmed, as they failed to shoot him down)?

                Couldn’t he just punch this hostile bus full of enemies, as obviously he’s well trained in punching the hostile bricks like all the others? Certainly there would be less chance he would hurt himself, instead of getting all that shockwave and fying fragments while wearing no heavy armor.

                Also tell me what did he trade his grenade launcher for, so he had to use the hi-tech Russian wonder “grenade on a stick” – was it drugs, or just vodka?

                @The Spetsnaz excels in using the human body as a weapon

                Cool, meanwhile everyone in the world who is not retarded uses weapons as a weapon.

                @climbing up a building with bare arms,

                Cool, meanwhile everyone in the world who is not retarded uses tools for climbing.

                @withstanding countless physical slaughters and being capable of defeating half-a-dozen enemies in hand to hand combat

                I’v got some new for you. Hand-to-hand combat never happens in modern warfare anymore. Real war is not an action film. Even using a bayonet is now so rare and unusal it makes headlines, like that: http://www.hmforces.co.uk/news/articles/1212-i-was-out-of-ammo-so-i-killed-taliban-with-my-bayonet-afghan-bravery-award-for-heroic-scots-officer

                Close-quarters combat training that is actually useful looks like that (it’s not staged for a public show, there’s no music track, no firing machineguns volleys in the air, no punching flaming bricks placed on each other foreheads, so you probably won’t be impressed):

                The SEALs are also not wasting their time to train for the circus shows, or drilling for goose-stepping parades. But any Russian idiot trying to karate-punch them, or blow them up with his grenade-on-a-stick (Russia’s Wunderwaffe, to enter mass production in 2011), would be quickly double-shot in the chest, then once in the head.

                @NONE can match Spetsnaz in their ability in these fields.

                That’s possible, but mostly because nobody in, say, the US military allow to waste time, money and effort for such pointless and silly things.

                • This comment clearly shows your ignorance. Spetsnaz have weapons too, the idea is to be prepared for every situation. The warrior is a warrior in the heart, taking away his rifle, or taking away his special computer shouldn’t take the warrior out of him. That is the idea behind the war, and that is how the victors become victors. War is a test of human resolve foremost and weapons after that. So while the west may use a “weapon as a weapon” and ignore the human aspect: when the weapon is stolen and there is no man behind it, who is left to fight? Who? No one. The smashing wood all over those guys; it was a test of endurance. What if it had been an enemy striking at you, who would after striking with the wood, attack with his hands? Would an SAS or SEAL have withstood that strike and gone on to fight? Would he still pick up his gun after discovering a bullet in his stomach? No, he wouldn’t, and that’s what Spetsnaz prepares the soldier for. Of course they’re prepared to shoot as well. Of course they can fight conventionally. BUT EVERY SOLDIER gets that kind of training.
                  And also; I didn’t make the Spetsnaz video, I don’t like the music either, it’s stupid, it makes real training look phony. But not half as phony as Gunny from the military channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIZpCLvXsoM

                  • @ the idea is to be prepared for every situation.

                    And this situation is idiotic public spectacle shows and YouTube music videos made of them. Just like they’re well trained in goose-stepping, which will be just as helpful in real combat.

                    @The warrior is a warrior in the heart, taking away his rifle

                    Please tell me you’re joking. Because you must be joking.

                    @The smashing wood all over those guys; it was a test of endurance.

                    No, it’ a circus show.

                    @What if it had been an enemy striking at you, who would after striking with the wood, attack with his hands?

                    This never happens. Bayonet combat is really rare. Unarmed combat is nonexisting today.

                    @Would an SAS or SEAL have withstood that strike and gone on to fight?

                    No, because they would shoot the guy.

                    No, really. They would shoot him with their main weapon, or with their sidearm. And he would die.

                    @Would he still pick up his gun after discovering a bullet in his stomach? No, he wouldn’t, and that’s what Spetsnaz prepares the soldier for.

                    Haha. How? Do they get shot too, as part of their training, all in between punching bricks, somersaulting and firing in the air? Until they get this magical resistance to bullets, exclusive for them only?

                    I don’t care anout any “Gunny from the military channel”.

                    More SEALs, because of Bin Laden raid – endurance training looks like this (stuff that will actually come in handy):

                    Oh, and the “professional snipers” in one of your videos were just some designated sharpshooters with SVDs. But at least they were not punching bricks. For a while.

                    OK. The bottom line is the Russians (including you, if you are a Russian) appear to believing they exist in some sort of an alternative world of an action film reality, like in this Schwarzeneger film Last Action Hero, and their world basically looks like that:

                    But with more hostile bricks.

                    Oh, and do you know how to properly engage ” a bus of hostiles”, in case of being given (gasp) guns, and not grenades on sticks to blow it up, fora change? Well, I’m going to show you now! (Also notice the treatment given to the enemy wounded once the resistance stops)

                    • Robert

                      Thank for explaining all those matters, very interesting and certainly makes sense.

                      However I cannot understand why you are wasting your time on Propaganda Minister Dr Goebbels (alias sovietjournalist), who lives in his own little void world with no idea of reality and I suspect irreparable brain damage. As the rubbish he writes is so unbelievably ridiculous that only a feeble minded moron would accept it – I mean what else.

                      If B/S was a penny a tonne our good Dr sovietusjournalistus would be a millionaire. No bull!!

                    • The void of reality is only yours to keep. As shocking as you may find it, hand-to-hand combat DOES happen. Ask any soldier that’s participated in an urban house-to-house fight, watch any of your documentary films about Fallujah or Baghdad: there are constant instances where soldiers clash fist to fist. In a modern war that’s not fought on open plains or desert, rather, it’s fought in cities and towns, in modern war where advanced armies gain constant advantage over conventional armies, in a modern war where distance is an advantage and a guarantee of safety: a wise enemy will strike you where you think your safe. Up close and personal. Everyone thought WWI would be a war of pure artillery competition. They were wrong. Everyone thought WWII would be a war of strategic bombing. They were wrong. All thought the Korean war would be decided by nuclear weapons. They were wrong. All thought in Vietnam; American planes wouldn’t even need a gun, just missiles. That a small, assymetrical guerrilla force would be instantly outmatched by a modern, conventional army. Guess what: they were wrong. In Afghanistan, we thought we could do the same with revolutionary vigour, resolve and combat tactics. We were wrong, and we lost a world.
                      Your seals videos are child’s play compared to Spetsnaz. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr7soJ4UzHU

          • Dude, all those videos you provided are not actual Russian army training, they’re theatre; scripted and carefully staged sequences specifically designed to show the supposed Russian military prowess to foreign military attaches and Russian citizens. Your last video is in fact a Russia Today piece, which, as everybody knows, is a propaganda outlet for the Russian government.

            You know, this reminds me of how in the late 1930’s at the height of the purges, the Red Army staged a massive show-off military exercise in Belarus, which, among other things, included a spectacular parachute drop of thousands of paratroopers on the field right in front of the compound from which Stalin, his cronies and some foreign military observes observed the spectacle. It looked impressive, however, the more keen foreign military observers couldn’t help noticing that the paras landed in a huge area and it took them over an hour to find their units and fall into formation. Now a few years later the USSR attacked Finland and the start of that war, as we all know, was an epic fail for the USSR, huge losses with none of the original objectives achieved in the first few months. Sure enough, the Red Army eventually did prevail over Finland. But then after another year went by, Germany attacked the USSR and the Wermacht went through the numerically superior Red Army units like a hot knife through butter, decimating them left and right and taking thousands upon thousands prisoner.
            Why I’m telling you all this? There is a huge difference between appearances and the actual substance. Movies and theatre ain’t true. Televised staged military exercises ain’t training, they are shows. Why don’t you instead talk to real people that did military service in the army? The truth is that unless they served in the North Caucasus, many of them only fired their weapons once or twice at best during the entire 12 months, the rest of the time is spent washing the toilets with toothbrushes, redecorating the apartments of their officers and doing other things that have nothing to do with military training.
            You say that things have changed since the 1990’s and I tell you the only thing that’s changed is the media coverage. In the 1990’s Russia had some independent media outlets that actually dared to tell the truth about the real state of affairs in the country as whole and in the armed forces in particular; these days all the major media outlets in Russia are tightly controlled by the state so instead of telling people the truth, they’re telling them fairy tales about how the economy is growing, the living standards are improving and how the Russian army is the best army in the world, but adults don’t believe in fairy tales.

            • They’re not actual Russian army training? Oh well, than I suppose it was China that invaded Iraq in 2003, not USA. Oh and by the way, WWII- it never happened. WWI was actually war between India and Pakistan which resulted in annexation of the Kashmir region.
              I can play the skeptical game too, ya know? If all of this video feed is fabricated, how do we know ALL media isn’t? All media outlets have a bias, not just RT. CNN, FOX, they all do too, should they be regarded as complete lies? No, they should be considered as legitimate sources, even though we all know they’ve been pocketed for years.
              Also; you’re analogy to the Belarus exercise is a crappy one at best, since in Belarus the soldiers performed poorly but here the Russian soldier’s performance is praised by officers from the international community! Even American specialists! How can you get around that? Are they fake too? Are they little puppet dolls with mouth-pieces?

              • @Even American specialists!

                You might read this evaluation of Russian tactics and strategies (in all meanings of these words):

                http://ncinsurgency.com/about.html

                Seriously, you really should. Instead of getting all-excited by watching silly videos of half-naked people in bandanas and berets, walking on each other and attempting to perform various other questionable feats (while not goose-stepping with “stern patriotic faces”).

                • Scroll up back to my list of videos. The very first one has Indian officers speaking. One later has an American one from NORAD. I’ve read numerous other expertises and reports by American officers who’ve worked with the Russian military.
                  I’d be glad to read your book, since I’m always looking for perspective but I’m sure I already know what it’s gonna say. Know why? Because it’s obviously been commissioned, there’s obviously someone that wanted your officer to say exactly what he will say. I’ll read the book, promise, but having read the about, I can already see so much bias and incorrectness that it’s painful.
                  About the NC insurgency, acts of terrorism actually haven’t increased but they’ve decreased. It’s actual fighting of the terrorists by federal forces that’s increased; and so have their casualties. Just recently one of their main leaders and recruiters became of them in an air-strike.

              • Look, paying compliments is part of the diplomatic protocol, it’s like when a friend of yours who’s also the producer of a new show at the local theatre invites you to the matine, pays for your ticket and then asks you how you liked it, what are you gonna say? ‘Jeeem, It’s sheet’ or something to that effect? I doubt it. Especially if for whatever reasons it’s imperative that you stay on good terms of that producer.

                Same rules apply here, some foreign military attaches get invited to a show of a military exercise so naturally they praise the performance, even if it may not have been all that great and has nothing to do with how those same troops would have faired in a real battle.

                We know now that the way paratroopers were deployed during that famous exercise in Belarus in the 1930’s sucked, but what do you think the foreign military observers who were present there said to Stalin and his crew? Do you seriously believe they told them the parachute drop would have been an epic fail under real-life military conditions?

                And now you’re talking about official military representatives of foreign nations going on record to talk about a large scale performance that has just been put on for their sake.

                It wasn’t just the videos that were fabricated, it’s military exercises of this sort that are pure fabrications.

                Speaking of which, do you remember how a few years ago Putin and his entourage went to the Far East to watch a large scale military exercise prepared for them by the Far Eastern Military district. Soon after the exercise started, the media started reporting on what a brilliant success it was and how smoothly it was going, how all the troops were delivering top performance and so on and so forth. Unfortunately just as Putin and co were watching and praising the maneuvers of the Far Eastern military district, militants in Ingushetia launched an all-out attack against the local police and other law enforcement agencies all across the republic; people wearing military fatigues and brandishing AK rifles set up improvised checkpoints on the roads; they were stopping all passing vehicles and asking the drivers and passengers for ID’s, if the people in the vehicles produced police or law enforcement ID’s they were shot on the spot. Several police stations were attacked and overrun. Now how telling is is that just as Russian troops in the far east were routing make-believe terrorists in a mock confrontation put up for Putin, in the real world the Russian law enforcement agencies (and the army as there were units station in and near Ingushetia that were simply too slow to react to the events and by the time they arrived at the scene the militants had already blended back into the general public) were getting their a.s.s handed to them by a bunch of rural hicks that simply got fed up with the police?

                • @people wearing military fatigues and brandishing AK rifles set up improvised checkpoints on the roads; they were stopping all passing vehicles and asking the drivers and passengers for ID’s, if the people in the vehicles produced police or law enforcement ID’s they were shot on the spot.

                  Except of local conscripts and traffic policemen.

                  http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/63/204.html

                  But soon they began killing traffic cops too. Nowadays they don’t attack the local police at all (since last year), but the cops were already successfully terrorised (not to mention decimated):

                  http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Police-Targetted-by-Islamists-in-Ingushetia–115218059.html

                • Igor, no I don’t remember that. If you could please get my an article or two (preferably two, with dates, so I’ll know the two events were happening within proximity of each other) I’d be glad to comment.

                  Otherwise; it’s not a diplomatic trick. It was actually Russian air force that was invited to Alaska to work with the United States; therefore it would have been Russia that commented on American performance. It was a joint US-Canadian-Russian exercise, including five Russian planes. It’s quite simple; the Russian planes were given an assignment and they performed it perfectly. If you understand Russian military talk, you’ll hear the actual guys directing their planes and you’ll be able to see the speed and precision with your own eyes, shot from an American camera on an American plane. You refuse to acknowledge that the Russian military is competent, even when it’s compared to western standards and top military men from the west congratulate it on efficiency. You’re in UTTER DENIAL of reality. Why don’t you go and watch the actual video? You might actually learn something.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxZQKLMjTyo

  3. igorfazlyev

    What a brilliant joke! many thanks for the hearty laugh it gave me.

  4. Every time i see conscripts on the streets of Moscow, i suddenly develop a sense of sadness and utter pity for them. They look under-nourished and emaciated. Last week i noticed several guards on duty on Tverskaya in preparation for the 9th May. None held their heads proudly but looked lost and out of place compared to seeing the military during Will and Kate’s wedding in London.

    I just came across this website and love it. I’ve been in Moscow for five years and sigh on a daily basis at how this country squanders away its potential. I stay in the hope that one day this country will become great.

    • Expat, come back to your senses;

      The soldiers look lost and out of place? I didn’t seem to notice that below the stern patriotic faces… I mean, on this day (may 9) last year I actually got into an argument with a Russian volunteer (former conscript) over the military’s combat readiness and preparedness versus western standards. He seemed convinced everything was fine.

      LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

      As the graphic in the post indicates, there are virtually no volunteers making initial entry to the Russian Army now. Perhaps the “volunteer” was made to stand in the cold for hours (or days) before he “volunteered” (as described in the text) and/or perhaps he thought the KGB might be watching your conversation (they well might have been).

      • I apologize ahead of time but, at which point did the graphic actually indicate that there are “virtually no volunteers making initial entry to the Russian army now?”
        As for ‘initial entry’ I agree with you totally. Not a single volunteer in the Russian army volunteered before being conscripted. Know why? Soldiers are conscripted AS SOON AS they hit military age, therefore there is no time in between the conscript’s birthday and point at which he is eligible for draft. If there is a man who is interesting in joining the military, what reason is there to avoid or resist draft? There is none. Therefore all willing volunteers are included in the eligible soldiers (except those who avoid service) which get conscripted. Then the volunteers stay, the others leave. Some officers feel it their duty to force young men into service, as said in one of Robert’s posts, such officers are prosecuted and the forced volunteers freed.

        If the KGB (I’m presuming you’re actually aware of the fact they were disbanded and are trying to insult the FSB) were indeed listening to our conversation, there’s surely a CIA man listing through your and my talks right now. Ever heard of the patriot act?
        About real ‘freedom’ from special forces monitoring in Russia versus USA, I highly recommend this article by ‘the very bottom of the fetid russophile barrel, the silly maggot’ Mark Chapman of “The Kremlin Stooge”: http://marknesop.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/give-es-us-free/
        That just about covers it.

        • You are quite illiterate. The graph shows that NEARLY ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of soldiers entering the Russian army in 2010 were draftees. Volunteers have ALMOST TOTALLY DISAPPEARED because of dedovshchina abuses. What’s more, a higher and higher percentage of eligible young men are actually being drafted because of the lack of volunteers and the declining population. Soon, the army will run out of available draftees and its size will start rapidly diminishing, just like the general population. Did you know that Russia doesn’t rank in the top 130 nations of the world for life expectancy?

          Can you read at all?

          You like an idiot uknown blogger with no credentials, we like the Wall Street Journal, one of the world’s most well-respected publications. Others are free to take sides.

          • You don’t seem to understand your own graphic, Ms. Russophobe. Your graphic shows that most of the ELIGIBLE draftees are drafted, not that most of the Russian military is made up of them. In fact the Russian military has 1,200,000 men in it, your post ONLY shows draftees, which is why in 2006 it showed 250,000 drafted in the little bright red bar on the graph versus the light red bar which shows that 850,000 were eligible. Also, for the record; dedovchina is based on service record, those serving longest in the army abuse the new-comers and later the new-comers abuse the newer-comers. That’s how it works. That way the volunteers would actually be immune to dedovschina. Speaking of that- cases of it have been rapidly declining in the past few years. Unlike bullying and especially gag violence in say… the US army. I highly advise you watch Gangland’s episode on “Gangs in the Army.”

            As I explained before, if Russia runs out of eligible draftees it can mobilize its reserves, which include 60 full battle readiness units.

            Russia is not in the 130 top life expectancy thing because it uses old statistics which say Russia’s life expectancy is 67. It hasn’t been that for years, it’s over 69 now, if you’ve been reading up on rosstat. And I believe that WOULD place Russia in that list, if it used modern records instead of obsolete ones.

            ALSO- yes I can read. It seems that it’s YOU who can’t read because you show clear misunderstanding of your own petty graphic in your OWN post. Can you read?

            • larussophobe

              Do you think nobody notices that absolutely nothing you say is documented by reference to any source? Don’t you feel at all ashamed to rely on nothing but your own ridiculous unsubstantiated opinion? Do you think you are God, or something?

              THE GRAPHIC SHOWS THAT IN 2010 NEARLY 100% OF ALL NEWLY DRAFT ELIGIBLE MEN WERE DRAFTED.

              IT SHOWS THE NUMBER OF NEWLY DRAFT ELIGIBLE MEN FALLING DRAMATICALLY EVERY YEAR, AND THE THE NUMBER OF DRAFTEES RISING.

              IT SHOWS THAT SOON RUSSIA WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH NEWLY DRAFT ELIGIBLE MEN AVAILABLE TO SATISFY ITS NEEDS, AND THE NUMBER OF NEWLY ELIGIBLE SERVICEMEN WILL BEGIN TO FALL.

              These are facts you cannot and do not dispute. They show the active duty Russian force is perishing. It is underpaid, abused, and unwilling to serve. Such troops are inferior and nearly useless. If tested against a nation of similar size, Russia’s forces would be obliterated. If matched against China, Russia’s forces would stand no chance.

              In America, NOBODY serves in the armed forces who does not want to. In Russia, NOBODY serves who DOES want to, EVERYBODY serves against his will. That is the story of Russian “patriotism.”

              • Do I feel ashamed? No, I’ve presented MANY sources in our arguments over the past few days, just scroll up and you’ll see all the YT videos and links. Should you feel ashamed? Perhaps, if not presenting sources is what makes you shameful. You’ve presented me with not a single decisive statistics that shows almost 100% of the 1,200,000 men in the Russian army being conscripts. Yes, you’ve shown that out of the eligible, most are conscripted. So what? I never argued against that, I agree with you. Except that you’re trying to give it a negative spin which doesn’t belong there; What you wrote in bold is totally correct. Except prior to that, you tried to lie to me that the little graphic showed the percentage of conscripts versus all servicemen and not drafted out of eligible draftees. How do I know?
                You wrote the following:

                “The graph shows that NEARLY ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of soldiers entering the Russian army in 2010 were draftees.”

                YOU LIED. YOU DID NOT UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN POST. ADMIT IT!! Or otherwise, explain yourself. What’s going on Ms. “Best Russia blog on the Internet” ???

                • larussophobe

                  We never said all the solidiers IN the army now are draftees, we said all the soldiers ENTERING the army now are draftees. Naturally there are a few idiots who were foolish enough to volunteer when the Kremlin first started making its outrageously false promises, and some poor souls who were forced to “volunteer” using the brutal tactics SPECIFIED IN THIS ARTICLE. But as the article clearly states, that is all over now. From now on its draftees from a declining pool and that’s it.

                  • Yet the graph STILL DOES NOT SHOW THAT!!!
                    The graph shows how many OF THE ELIGIBLE DRAFTEES WERE ACTUALLY DRAFTED. Not the percentage of new-comers to the military that were draftees versus those that were volunteers. Not the number of draftees versus volunteers in the actual army, but it shows a completely different statistic.
                    I’ll repeat myself;
                    The light red bar represents the amount of eligible draftees.
                    The bright red bar represents the amount of conscripts entering the army that year.
                    There is NOTHING on the graph which represents the amount of volunteers entering the army, NOTHING in the graph to compare this number to that of the draftees entering annually. Yet you continuously use it to somehow prove that there are next to none! Ms. Russophobe, have you forgotten the elementary school skill of graphing??? Is this a good example for young bloggers who ever hope to amount to your stature?

                    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

                    You are a damned ignorant JACKASS.

                    The chart CLEARLY shows that the VIRTUALLY ALL ELIGIBLE MEN were drafted into the army in 2010. That means THERE WERE NO ELIGIBLE MEN LEFT OVER TO VOLUNTEER. And the chart shows that the total number of eligible men is FALLING every year, so that soon there will not be enough even if all of them are drafted.

                    Did your mother smoke crack when you were a fetus? Or was it just that she drank a whole bottle of vodka each day?

                    • It doesn’t work that way. Technically, you’re not eligible for draft if you’ve already volunteered. And the graph STILL says nothing about THAT!!!
                      Haha: You still can’t admit it can you? You’re still clinging on to the same pathetic hope that by some means it’s actually possible that there’s a loop in my argument; well no! I paid attention in second grade when they taught us how to read bar-graphs. Sucks for you! It’s YOU that started insulting me before considering the possibility that what you’re saying is as wrong as you thought I was.

                    • Manfred Steifschwanz

                      Hell, who needs maths when we have Ayn Rand and Kim Zigfeld? Come on, Soviet Journalist — stop being a boring male chauvinist pig, ha!

                    • Isn’t it just pathetic, Manfred?

                    • Manfred Steifschwanz

                      Ever heard of “the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie” ? Amazing!

        • Ooh SovietJournalist

          Are you good on the science fiction. Compared to the B/S that you vomit, Dr J Goebbels was just a mere babe in the woods, a real novice.

          The one thing that you omitted to say was that your beloved Russian pigs, both two and four legged type, can fly. Ah sorry, and you too!

          What next Propaganda Minister “SovietJournalist”???

  5. I’m sure that this will happen one day in the future. But first a honest and decent government will need to be elected, one which is prepared to, so to speak, grasp the bull by the horns and stop the rampant and evil corruption, stealing, bribery and murdering that is a trademark of current Russia.

    The will of the people must come first and not the selfish needs of a few oligarch’s that run the current Putin mafia.

  6. OK Mr. Soviet, I did read what they wrote in the intro in this silly link that you kep pushing so hard, and I see this:

    “This trip resulted in more than 100 footages about the destroyed capital of the South Ossetia, about the burnt villages”

    And this was just outrageous.

    If you’d read the report, you’d know how the villages were systemtically burnt by Ossetian”militias and gangs”, and tens of thousands people lost their homes this way. It’s specifically discussed in the chapters the chapter dealing with the ethnic cleansing (both during and after the conflict, described there as possibly fullfilling criteria for being a crime against humanity) and the refugee crisis.

    HRW summary: “During the August war, South Ossetian militias burned and looted most ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia, effectively preventing 20,000 residents displaced by the conflict from returning.”

    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/11/25/russia-protect-civilians-occupied-georgia

    Full (200 pages) HRW report:

    http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/01/22/flames-0

    Their own summary of the European report:

    The violations included indiscriminate attacks by the Georgian and Russian militaries and a widespread campaign of looting and burning of ethnic Georgian villages, along with ill-treatment, beating, hostage-taking, and arbitrary arrests by South Ossetian forces. The report also found that the Russian military failed to prevent or stop violations by the Ossetian militia.

    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/10/01/georgiarussia-year-later-justice-still-needed

    And this ugly and shameless attempt to somehow turn victims into perpetrators (Dr. Goebbels would be so proud, really) was then followed by some silly claim of “genocide of the Ossetians” and such. There is where I stopped reading.

    And you know what? For a moment I thought quite reasonable commentator, but then you went into full-on clown mode. First trying to impress me with videos of people punching bricks and/or goose-stepping, then some comments about how the Russian supermen don’t need any weapons and tools (“they need to just to strip half-naked and cue some techno music – these hostile bricks never stood a chance, and even if they got some bullets in their guts they would still maul to death a half dozen gun-toting western weaklings with just their bare hands and teeth!”), and now this – do you really think you might be taken seriously by anyone who is not ignorant?

    • Robert, imagine your happy place. Happy place, Robert! Imagine it! Done? Good, now that you’ve calmed down, we can talk.

      If you’d actually watched the documentary, you would see film of Georgian tanks slaughtering Ossetian civilians in their cars. You’d see it for yourself, which is why I recommend you watch the actual thing. Unlike the UN report, the documentary offers film proof of its words. Take the 45 minutes off and watch the damned thing, you won’t regret it, I promise. At least for perspective, watch it unless it kills you.
      The Ossetian militia’s and gangs had no one to kill. Especially not 20,000 Georgian residents of South Ossetia. If you google S Ossetia’s demography, you’d know; in the 2007 census there were only 17,000 Georgians in South Ossetia. If you watch the documentary you’d hear an old Ossetian woman talk about how the night before the attack, 90 buses worked for hours to evacuate the ethnic Georgian population. You’d also see the televised speech of Mikheil Saakashvili promising the Ossetians peace and candy two hours before his rockets reigned down on sleeping Tskhinvali.

      As for me, I never tried to impress you. The ‘rammshtein’ music and goosestepping was quite embarrassing for me as well, if I could take it out, I would but I can’t. I was only trying to show that training DOES happen in the Russian military, whereas some idiot named igor(#&^$dick or something like that was saying it’s just not real. Also; you shouldn’t downplay the importance of being prepared for a melee situation, believe me, it happens and it’s not as much a rarity as you think. As weapons become more electronics-based and EMP’s become more of a reality, you’ll see it’s even more so. But even it today’s enviroment; ask any soldier who’s fought an urban war, and he’ll tell you how close it was, he’ll tell you it wasn’t just rockets and computers, it was brutal, white’s-in-their-eyes fighting.
      war080808; Is one of the few sources which actually provides proof. While I understand some of the things they say are total nonesense, some of their points are serious, real and proven (by their documentary, if you watched it) which is why I give it a lot of respect.
      If you don’t take my arguments seriously, that’s probably why you’ll never understand them and will continue to argue some futile points, like your ‘weapon weapon’ and friends.

      • You seriously think some propaganda from “Russia.Ru” would impress me.

        • I don’t care what impresses you. If you want to bother learning something about the war, you’re free to do so.
          I personally get all the perspective I can, for the sake of that and if more is there, for that too.

          • How would I learn so ething from so obviously lying propaganda?

            You see, I don’t even care about “McCain made the Georgians eat the babies” or whatever, I enjoyed the crazy rants of Comical Ali and David Icke, so I guess I’d like it too.

            It’s the part of the “burnt villages” that outraged me. Because the villages were systematically burned by Ossetian bandits, on Kokoity’s orders (“flattened”, as he says), so the refugees would never return.

            “Human Rights Watch’s observations on the ground and from these interviews have led us to conclude that the South Ossetian forces sought to ethnically cleanse these villages: that is, the destruction of the homes in these villages was deliberate, systematic, and carried out on the basis of the ethnic and imputed political affiliations of the residents of these villages, with the express purpose of forcing those who remained to leave and ensuring that no former residents would return.

            International humanitarian law prohibits collective punishment,[358] acts of reprisal against civilians,[359] pillage,[360] and deliberate destruction of civilian property.[361] Violations of these prohibitions are grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, or war crimes.

            The interviews and ground observations by Human Rights Watch indicate that these villages were looted and burned by Ossetian militias and common criminals. With a few exceptions of looting and beatings of civilians, Russian forces did not participate directly in the destruction of villages and attacks on civilians but, aside from a brief period in mid-August, did not interfere to stop them (see Chapter 3.7, Russia’s Responsibility as Occupying Power).”

            http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79681/section/27

            So just knock it off.

            • Knock off what? I always admitted Russia’s fault in not stopping the Ossetian militias from doing their dirty work. It was an unfortunate thing, yes, but this is war, and that’s what happened. Russia didn’t even do it, yet you blame it on her, and also, this is somehow going to make her army look unprofessional. That’s what our discussion was about wasn’t it?
              Anyway, Russia turning a blind eye on the Ossetian bandits is one thing, deliberate shelling of civilian infrastructure is another. While Russia’s hands may not be entirely clean, compare it to the American occupation of Iraq (Remember Abu Ghrabi? Remember 300,000 civilians?) or Afghanistan, or once again, Georgia’s deliberate slaughter of Ossetians and what it did to Tskhinvali. You’ll see exactly what I mean. Whatever Russia might have done simply pales in comparison.
              Does war080808 admit it? No it does not.
              Did LR or CNN cover the brutal Georgian assault on South Ossetia, after Saakashvili promised Ossetia peace? No they did not, in fact, I don’t think the EU report even covered the fact that Saakashvili gave that speech on national TV before he went directly to his generals and commenced his assault.

              • @Anyway, Russia turning a blind eye on the Ossetian bandits is one thing,

                And then using footage of “burnt villages” in propaganda against Georgia is another.

                @deliberate shelling of civilian infrastructure is another

                You’ve “read the report”, right?

                If you search for “deliberate”, you’ll find this:

                Of very serious concern for the IIFFMCG are the numerous testimonies, some by South Ossetian combatants themselves, that they used houses and residential basements in Tskhinvali from which to fire at Georgian ground troops, putting at risk the lives of civilians who were sheltering in the basements of the same buildings. HRW also raised this issue.208 This is a clear violation of the obligation to avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. It probably did not constitute a violation of the prohibition against using human shields, however, as this rule requires the specific intent to prevent attacks by deliberately collocating military objectives and civilians.209

                And this (about the ethnic cleaning – deliberate destruction of Georgian villages actually contrasted with indesicriminate attacks by both sides):

                During the conflict and after the cease-fire, there was a campaign of deliberate violence against civilians: houses were torched and villages looted and pillaged. Most of these acts were carried out in South Ossetia and in the undisputed territory of Georgia, mainly in the areas adjacent to the administrative border with South Ossetia. These acts occurred even weeks after the cease-fire and the end of the hostilities. Such violations raise the critical question of the general lack of protection in areas under changing control, such as Georgian-administered villages in South Ossetia or the so-called “buffer zone”. As highlighted by interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch, most of the acts of violence against civilians, pillage and looting were committed by Ossetian forces.211 Information gathered from eyewitnesses also indicates the presence of Russian forces while these violations were taking place, and sometimes the participation of Russian forces in these acts. While most of the violations were committed against ethnic Georgians, ethnic Ossetians were also not immune from looters.212

                (…)

                According to Human Rights Watch: “during and in the immediate aftermath of the war, at least 14 people were deliberately killed by Ossetian militias in territory controlled by Russian forces. Human Rights Watch documented six deliberate killings in Georgian settlements controlled by Russian forces, and received credible allegations of another six cases. Human Rights Watch also heard allegations of two such killings in South Ossetia.”222 All these reports coming from different sources should be checked carefully as some may refer to the same cases. While the exact number of summary executions has not been established, and some facts remain uncertain, the Mission nevertheless believes that there is credible evidence of cases of summary executions carried out by South Ossetian forces.

                (…)

                When considering the destruction of civilian property in the context of the conflict in South Ossetia and its aftermath, a key distinction must be made between on the one hand destruction as a result of shelling, artillery strikes, aerial bombardment or tanks firing, which might constitute a violation of IHL but does not systematically do so, and destruction as a result of deliberate acts of torching and burning. As noted by the HRAM, some destruction resulted from the hostilities proper, whether during the offensive by Georgian forces against Tskhinvali and other villages in South Ossetia, or during Russian aerial bombardments and artillery shelling.268 Here it is necessary to refer to the section on indiscriminate attacks, above. This type of destruction is in no way less serious. But it must be stressed from the outset that the extensive damage caused through burning, with some villages almost completely burned down, raises grave concern as to the motives behind such acts. The practice of burning reached such a level and scale that it is possible to state that it characterised the violence of the conflict in South Ossetia. This large-scale campaign of burning targeted ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia and, to a lesser extent, the areas adjacent to the administrative border. 266 In this regard it is also paramount to stress that a number of testimonies seem to suggest a pattern of deliberate destruction and torching in the ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia that was different in scale and motives from what happened in the buffer zone.

                (…)

                After the cease-fire this campaign did not stop, but actually intensified. Regarding the extent of the damage caused, it is clear from both eyewitness reports and satellite images that many houses were burned in the last two weeks of August and in September.273
                This was also confirmed by IDPs interviewed by the IIFFMCG expert and other organisations. Furthermore, although to date unverifiable, one person interviewed by the Mission’s expert claimed that some burned houses were later destroyed to conceal the fact that they had been torched. This may be related to confirmed reports of burned houses having been “bulldozed” in September.274 The IIFFMCG also wishes to note that this campaign of burning houses in South Ossetia was accompanied by violent practices such as preventing people from extinguishing fires under threat of being killed275 or forcing people to watch their own house burning.276 The IIFFMCG concludes that – as also stated by the HRAM and by HRW – after the bombing, South Ossetians in uniform as well as Ossetian civilians who followed the Russian forces’ advance undertook a systematic campaign of arson against homes and other civilian buildings in villages populated predominantly by ethnic Georgians. Interviews by the IIFFMCG expert confirmed that with few exceptions Russian forces did not participate directly in the destruction of villages, aside from a brief period in mid-August, but nor did they intervene to stop it. With regard to the destruction of property in the buffer zone, it is first necessary to state that both types of destruction (as a result of hostilities, and from deliberate torching) were documented in this area. The IIFFMCG expert, travelling in June 2009 on the road from Karaleti to Koshka, saw several houses that had been destroyed by Russian aerial bombardment and artillery shelling. While these forms of destruction do not in themselves amount to a violation of IHL, some instances, discussed earlier, do constitute indiscriminate attacks. As for the burning of houses, the members of the OSCE HRAM counted approximately 140 recently burned homes during their travels in the “buffer zone,” none of which showed traces of combat activity.277

                (…)

                While it is not always possible to identify the exact reason for displacement in the context of armed conflict, it appears critical here to distinguish the general motive of fleeing the conflict zone to avoid the dangers of war from more specific actions deliberately carried out to force a displacement. In this regard, looting and the burning of houses and property were the reasons for the displacement of ethnic Georgians living in villages around Tskhinvali. This is particularly significant for people who had decided to stay in those villages despite the hostilities, but who were forced to leave. A villager from Kemerti had to leave after he saw his house being looted and then set on fire.345 The IIFFMCG expert also interviewed inhabitants from Achabeti and Eredvi who told similar stories and who left because their property was either looted or burned or both.346 According to the HRAM: “A man from Eredvi described to the HRAM how ‘Ossetians’ forced his wife’s elderly parents out of their house and then burned it down before their eyes. Several other displaced persons from the same village provided nearly identical accounts of their own experiences and of the near total destruction of the village. The perpetrators in Eredvi, according to all accounts, were Ossetians wearing white arm bands. Many witnesses described how the fires were often started by putting a flammable red substance on the beds and then setting it ablaze. (…) The HRAM visited Eredvi and confirmed extensive damage to the village.”347 Other testimonies from people who stayed in their villages, such as in Nuli or Kurta,348 seem to indicate a pattern of intimidation, beating, threats, looting and the destruction and burning of houses by Ossetian military or paramilitary forces, in order to force the remaining people to leave ethnic Georgian villages. The causes for displacement are more striking when we consider the period after 12 August when, as the EU-brokered peace deal was being discussed, hostilities virtually ceased. Of particular concern is what happened in the so called “buffer zone.” As outlined by the United Nations Inter-agency Humanitarian Assessment Mission to South Ossetia, “according to reports received from UN and NGO colleagues with access to the buffer zone outside the administrative boundaries of South Ossetia, a pattern of intimidation leading to displacement, and of destruction of properties, continues in certain targeted villages in that zone.”351 The Assessment Mission also referred to “reports from reliable humanitarian partners detailing continued cases of looting, intimidation, and forced displacement.”352 It must be underlined that despite the existence, in addition to this pattern, of other reasons for displacement, such as a warning to leave by the Georgian police or by the residents’ relatives or neighbours, we cannot dismiss the fact that there are numerous accounts of acts deliberately committed to force displacements.

                (…)

                When considering the extensive destruction and durning of houses carried out after the ceasefire
                of 12 August, and after most of the ethnic Georgians had left the villages, there are many indications that this destruction was committed deliberately in order to prevent IDPs from returning. In this regard, destruction as an obstacle to the right of return cannot be seen as a mere consequence of the hostilities. As Human Rights Watch have underlined, their researchers came to the conclusion that this destruction of ethnic Georgian villages around Tskhinvali – most of it after mid-August – was done “with the express purpose of forcing those who remained to leave and ensuring that no former residents would return.”394 In March 2009 the IIFFMCG was able to travel on the road between Tskhinvali and the village of Kurta where it witnessed extensive damage, with almost all the houses burned down or otherwise destroyed. Travelling along the same road in June, the IIFFMCG saw that all the ethnic Georgian villages were still completely empty.

                OK. Do you understand the nature of this conflic now?

                @Remember Abu Ghrabi?

                Keep trying to change the subject, maybe you’ll succeed.

                You’ve got an obsession with CNN, okay, but am I even quoting anything from CNN here? Hello?

    • Oh and by the way; you with all your Goebbels analogies just invoked Goodwin’s law . Technically, I win.

  7. Soviet Journalist !
    Soviet , undoubtedly , Journalist , absolutly not ; ” second of all ” ?
    Well , maybe in moscovia ….
    Great posts Robert and Bohdan , but wasted on the tupolobyj katsap .
    Maybe he could explain the invincibility of the ” mighty ” russian
    army in their ” conquest ” of Chechnya or Georgia . Or why , if ,
    everything is so great with filling the ranks of the ” great ” army ,
    why is it that they had to raise the age of the conscripts from 25 to 27
    because they could not meet quota . This doeas not seem to solve the problem , since they already are talking about age 30 ! On a ligthter
    note , the Spy and Dwarf tandem decided to spuce up their heroic
    army and flush with petro -dollars ( excuse me ; rubbles ) , ordered
    new uniforms , makes them look like a bunch of not so neat Las
    Vegas doormen , as a result , some 360 super tough ” iron men ”
    got pneumonia and had to go home to their ” mommies ” . Urrah !

  8. @The latter is already spoken for in the EU report: Georgia struck first due to internal tensions and killed a whole bunch of Ossetian civilians,

    How many is “a whole bunch”? Do you remember the original lie of “1,600”, or even “2100” “civilians” allegedly “killed” only in the first hours of the war?

    Let me quote the report:

    “As far as Russian and South Ossetian accusations of genocide are concerned, they became less frequent in later months as the alleged Georgian intent for genocide could not be proven. The number of casualties among the Ossetian civilian population turned out to be much lower than claimed at the beginning. Russian officials stated initially that about 2 000 civilians had been killed in South Ossetia by the Georgian forces, but later on the number of overall South Ossetian civilian losses of the August 2008 conflict was reduced to 162.”

    Of the entire conflict, that is including these killed from the Russian and rebel attacks and crossfire.

    At the same time, 228 Georgian civilians were killed. That is, not only just as many but actually more than 1/3 more.

    Georgian civilian losses were also larger than their military and police losses, as opposed to Ossetian (not to mention the Russian).

    @ as well as 70% of their civil infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc.

    A lie.

    You also have not a slightest idea what you’re talking about. A destruction of 85% looks like that:

    and this 85% here included not only weeks of organised and planned campaign of destruction after the end of the Polish uprising (and the German offensive was already literally devastating), but ALSO the Jewish district being already completely leveled in 1943 after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, AND even the damage from the siege in 1939. It’s 85% counted altogether.

    I hope this visual aid might help you understand how silly things you’re saying (actually believe in?).

    And now maybe you’d quit the retarded propaganda and try to get serious. Can you?

    • Listen, it was thought that a huge amount of civilians were dead. When there’s artillery intentionally bombing civilian infrastructure, it won’t change anything if 160 or 1600 people are killed in the process, if the latter hasn’t happened yet, give it time and it WILL. There is no justification for BOMBING CIVILIANS, no kind of internal conflict justifies bombing a country’s OWN CIVILIANS. America was outraged when Qaddhafi did it and when Saddam did it (with chemical weapons from the west) yet, when Georgia does it, you point me to some other figure.
      It is true that Ossetian militias were active and that not enough was done to protect Georgian civilians from them. However, the blame can’t be put directly on Russia. At least, not to the extent like it can for the opposite party, who I can’t repeat enough; bombed civilians for the sake of bombing civilians. And that’s after a promise of peace and friendship between Georgia and S Ossetia by Mikheil Saakashvili. Whatever involuntary manslaughter charges can be given to Russia PALE in comparison to Georgia’s premeditated murder.

      70% civilian infrastructure.
      Perhaps “destroyed” indeed was an overstatement. “Rendered inoperable” is a finer term. Of course Tskhinvali doesn’t compare to Warsaw, Warsaw saw 5 years of it, Tskhinvali saw five days. I’ll explain the difference between my two terms: “Destroyed” would be like Warsaw destroyed, there is literally nothing but walls left of the building. “Rendered inoperable” is when enough damage has been done to stop a building from doing its everyday work. For example; when heat, gas, water and electricity are deprived of a building. Meanwhile it’s windows are broken in and part of it is just gone. That would be totally inoperable? But it’s nothing compared to Warsaw where it would just be a pile of rubble: “destroyed.”

      • @Listen, it was thought that a huge amount of civilians were dead.

        Of course not, it was a calculated lie.

        Just like stories by Putin and Medvedev personally about the Georgians soldiers rounding up and burning people in churches, about “sawing them in half” (that’s a quote, there were many such horror fairy tales), and so on, during the “complete genocide” (a term coined up by Putin, I guess it supposed to mean 100% ethnic Ossetians in Georgia were dead).

        @When there’s artillery intentionally bombing civilian infrastructure,

        Not.

        @it won’t change anything if 160 or 1600 people are killed in the process,

        This “162” was the number of the dead from all causes, during the entire course of the conflict (including the Russian and rebel fire, of course).

        While “1600” (or even “2100”) was the lies about the initial Georgian offensive, in the very first hours. Kokoity provided, Putvedev parroted. (Kokoity also built a “musuem of genocide” later, for Russian money of course.)

        @There is no justification for BOMBING CIVILIANS, no kind of internal conflict justifies bombing a country’s OWN CIVILIANS.

        Chechnya?

        @It is true that Ossetian militias were active and that not enough was done to protect Georgian civilians from them.

        Nothing was done.

        @At least, not to the extent like it can for the opposite party, who I can’t repeat enough; bombed civilians for the sake of bombing civilians.

        Yes, the Russian party (demiliatarised city of Gori, after the ceasefire declaration AND withdrawal by the Georgian forces, with cluster weapons, killing and wounding even the neutral foreigners).

        @Whatever involuntary manslaughter

        Like the point-blank murders of POWs and civilians (shot and beaten to death by Ossetian bandits and also Russian servicemen).

        @ Of course Tskhinvali doesn’t compare to Warsaw

        How about we start comparing it to Grozny?

        @Tskhinvali saw five days

        Actually just 3 days, damage was small. Most of destruction in the area was by the massive campaign of looting & burning by the Ossetian bands in the villages around the town, which did not end with the official end of the conflict – the “burnt villages” in your stupid video.

        Even the HRW report on the conflict was titled “Up in Flames”, because of this.

        @But it’s nothing compared to Warsaw where it would just be a pile of rubble: “destroyed.”

        And still 15% was not destroyed (and not, the eastern-bank Warsaw was not included – if it was, the destruction would be much lower than 85%, still):

        It is estimated that during World War II, 85% of Warsaw’s left bank buildings were destroyed. 35% were destroyed in 1944 with dynamite, flamethrowers and bombs, building by building, in retaliatory actions by the German military for the failed Warsaw Uprising of 1944. When the uprising failed, all the civilian population was deported and a planned and systematic operation of destruction was carried out. Historical buildings, like the Royal Castle, were specifically targeted during this operation. Further 25% of the buildings were destroyed in the course of the fights during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 itself. A certain number was destroyed during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 and only the rest was destroyed during the war in September 1939 and the bombing campaign of that time.

        http://www.scrapbookpages.com/poland/Warsaw/Warsaw02.html

        • Now you’re simply denying the obvious.

          @Of course not, it was a calculated lie.
          No it wasn’t. There was good reason to think many civilians were dead, but there was an effective evacuation to North Ossetia for most civilians in the war zone, downplaying the casualties. Most of those killed were killed during the shelling, after the first few hours of the battle, most of S Ossetia was on the road. This was what so complicated Russian deployment from the Roki tunnel, but also the surrounding Georgian forces.

          @Not
          That actually did happen.

          @This “162″ was the number of the dead from all causes, during the entire course of the conflict (including the Russian and rebel fire, of course).
          Once again, most of the civilians began their evacuation to N Ossetia as soon as Russian forces were well deployed on the second day of the fighting. For the most part, those Ossetians killed were killed in the shelling.

          @Chechnya?
          Hey if you want to point to random acts of war crime by one or the other party, fine:
          First Abkhazia. First S Ossetia. Second Abkhazia. All Georgia. Afghanistan. Iraq. USA!
          No one’s hands are clean.

          @Like the point-blank murders of POWs and civilians (shot and beaten to death by Ossetian bandits and also Russian servicemen).
          Yeah, just like that. That which didn’t happen.

          @Actually just 3 days
          Nah, most of the destruction was done in the Georgian shelling and the battle against the Ossetian militias. If you’d watch the documentary, you’d see deliberate assaults on Ossetian civilians by Georgian tanks captured on cell phone cameras of Georgian soldiers, with them laughing joshingly in the background.

          @Grozny
          Grozny’s being rebuilt by the same force that bombed it. Grozny’s destruction came in the brutal gunfighting of the urban landscape for an entirety of four years; 1994-96 then 1999-2001 the most hard fought battles of the last 20 years. While bombing did happen, it was mostly on military targets that were clustered with civilians. I’m not trying to justify the crime, but it is worth noting that the Chechnyans ethnically cleansed 100,000 Russians of their own, slaughtered POWs in the thousands, Moscow apartment bombings. Ya know, REAL war crimes. S Ossetia is child’s play. It’s also worth noting that while it wasn’t Russia that bombed Tskhinvali, it’s for the most part through Russian investment that it’s being rebuilt. Georgia isn’t contributing, and Georgia hasn’t admitted its crimes while Russia has its own, in Chechnya.

          • @Yeah, just like that. That which didn’t happen.

            You claimed to read the report.

            Also,

            During and in the immediate aftermath of the war, at least 14 people were deliberately killed by Ossetian militias in territory controlled by Russian forces. Human Rights Watch documented six deliberate killings in undisputed Georgian territory controlled by Russian forces, and received credible allegations of another six cases. As described above, Human Rights Watch also heard allegations of two such killings in South Ossetia. In addition, Human Rights Watch documented the execution of one Georgian detainee and three Georgian prisoners of war by Ossetian forces, as described in Chapters 4.4 and 4.5. Extrajudicial killings constitute murder as prohibited under article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions, and “willful killings” of protected persons as prohibited under the four Geneva Conventions. Willful killings of protected persons constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and war crimes.[429]

            http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79681/section/28

            Described in detail in this and following chapters.

            @There was good reason to think many civilians were dead,

            Yes, propaganda.

            @Once again, most of the civilians began their evacuation to N Ossetia as soon as Russian forces were well deployed on the second day of the fighting. For the most part, those Ossetians killed were killed in the shelling.

            And many more Georgian civilians were killed in this war. (Despite their own evacuations.)

            @USA!

            American Civil War was rather long ago. No one alive remembers it.

            @Nah, most of the destruction was done in the Georgian shelling and the battle against the Ossetian militias.

            You mean, these “burnt villages”?

            @Grozny’s being rebuilt by the same force that bombed it.

            Are the thousands of dead civilians also being ressurrected?

            Or even found and identified:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/29/world/europe/29iht-journal.4.12440042.html

            (Natalia Estemirova was soon herself kidnapped and shot.)

            @Grozny’s destruction came in the brutal gunfighting

            Mostly shelling and bombing and demolishing, not “gunfighting”.

            @I’m not trying to justify the crime, but it is worth noting that the Chechnyans ethnically cleansed 100,000 Russians of their own,

            No.

            @slaughtered POWs in the thousands,

            No.

            @Moscow apartment bombings.

            Maybe.

            @Ya know, REAL war crimes. S Ossetia is child’s play.

            Compared even to Abkhazia, yes.

            @It’s also worth noting that while it wasn’t Russia that bombed Tskhinvali, it’s for the most part through Russian investment that it’s being rebuilt.

            What about Georgian villages?

      • @At least, not to the extent like it can for the opposite party, who I can’t repeat enough; bombed civilians for the sake of bombing civilians.

        Demilitarised (no soldiers) Gori was attacked with Russian cluster missiles after the Georgian and just before the Russian ceasefire, killing not only Georgian civilians, but also a Dutch one (several foreigners were also injured). While everyone in the world knew all soldiers have fled (even leaving dozens of tanks behind), because these journalists who became victims were reporting it.

        @(with chemical weapons from the west)

        Also east (and not just the Middle East, also – and chiefly – Singapore and India).

        @Whatever involuntary manslaughter charges can be given to Russia

        Not “involuntary manslaughter”, but deliberate acts of murder.

        For example:

        4.5 Execution, Torture, and Other Degrading Treatment of Georgian Prisoners of War by Ossetian Forces, at times with Russian Forces

        http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79681/section/30

        Sample:

        Although the Ossetian captors claimed that they had shot the tank gunner because he was trying to escape, both Zirakishvili and Kutashvili described the scene in the room as one in which some hasty preparation had apparently taken place. “Some kind of tarp or tent lay on the floor and, from the position of the body lying on the tarp, it seemed that he had been kneeling at the edge of the tarp when they shot him,” said Zirakishvili.[551] An Ossetian militia fighter, who was among the captors, confirmed that the tank gunner was singled out and taken away deliberately. “One [of the prisoners], a tank gunner, was taken away by some of our own [Ossetians] and Russians. I don’t know what happened to him but we had seven prisoners again,” he told Human Rights Watch.[552]

        The four POWs were then made to carry the body outside into a courtyard,[553] while the Ossetian captors threatened to kill them.[554] Kutashvili stated that Russian federal troops were also in this yard, and one Russian soldier with a gun, whom, based on his appearance, Kutashvili believed was ethnic Russian, approached him saying, “I’m going to kill you now.” However, another Russian federal soldier, whom Kutashvili described as “a large man with a full beard,” and whom he believes was possibly Chechen, intervened to stop the shooting, claiming that Kutashvili reminded him of his own son who also had been wounded in battle. The first soldier pushed the bearded soldier aside and again made as if to shoot Kutashvili. The bearded soldier punched the first soldier, and then protected Kutashvili from further threats or beatings that night.[555]

  9. @The void of reality is only yours to keep. As shocking as you may find it, hand-to-hand combat DOES happen. Ask any soldier that’s participated in an urban house-to-house fight, watch any of your documentary films about Fallujah or Baghdad: there are constant instances where soldiers clash fist to fist.

    Names, places, dates, please.

    Like I showed you the article this super-rare incident when bayonet was used in Afghanistan.

    There was also an incident when bayonets were used by Scottish soldiers to an allegedly “devastating effect” against the Mahdi Army fighters at the checkpoint “Danny Boy” in Basra in 2004. Well, the glorious “bayonet charge” later turned out to be possibly a massacre of civilians. Oops.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/britain-agrees-to-inquiry-into-alleged-massacre-of-20-iraqi-civilians-14387910.html

    http://iengage.org.uk/component/content/article/1099-uk-army-officer-keeps-job-and-rank-despite-unreliable-testimony

    Anyway, hand-to-hand never happens.

    @Your seals videos are child’s play compared to Spetsnaz. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr7soJ4UzHU

    Oh god, some idiots, again. Boxing matches? Really? What film do they think are they now now? Indiana Jones? I told you to stop.

    • Listen I can’t literally name every late hand to hand encounter, journalism doesn’t expand that deep. As I said, watch a documentary film about urban warfare and room clearing, such as in the battles of Fallujah. Stick to that one, google the name of the battle, pick yourself a book up and get reading. If you want, I can name you some specifically.

      • @Listen I can’t literally name every late hand to hand encounter,

        That’s cool, name just one. This won’t convince me, but it sure will be certainly an interesting trivia.

        So, tell me when the last time a combatant was defeated in a kickboxing match. Like in your last video with a bunch of fools (including one whale-size fatso, I swear he was larger even than late Troshev) that you thought would impress me somehow.

        And you know what? If these two so amazing kickboxers (I don’t know, maybe they’re are, if you say so), get them somewhere where they would actually use them skills, like the Russian national kickboxing team. You people are so damn illogical.

        @As I said, watch a documentary film about urban warfare and room clearing, such as in the battles of Fallujah.

        I did. I also read about a lot. You know?

        Oh, and it looks like that:

        No acrobatics and kickboxing, I’m sorry. (And no carefully scripted theatrics, and music track.)

        • The reason I can’t name it is because they’re not documented. Not every encounter with the enemy is caught on film and put online for me to google search and send to you. As amazing as it may sound; there isn’t a journalist waiting around ever corner to capture a story about an allied soldier getting stabbed in the back, or a squad getting assaulted by another knife-armed insurgent when in a house-fight. Especially when there’s another ten or so encounters going on all around (like in say, Fallujah).

          As for your video, it would be pretty funny if they actually caught a fist fight happening and they could plant a journalist on it- but not a rifle. Haha! Not all war is in media. Talk to the soldiers, read a book!

          • @The reason I can’t name it is because they’re not documented.

            Because they don’t exist. Yes, as simple as that.

            @Not every encounter with the enemy is caught on film and put online for me to google search and send to you.

            It would make headlines, like every time someone actually used bayonet to kill anyone in combat. And no, journalists don’t need to be around – they were not with this guy in Afghanistan, and of course not at this extremally controversial incident in Basra.

            • Btw “controversial incident in Basra”, it’s little known outside Britain but it actually could be a brutal massacre in revenge for the earlier murders:

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/06/background-danny-boy-battle-killings

              So it’s either “hey look, a bayonet charge in the XXIst century!” or actually “stab wounds” being inflicted in captivity. The inquiry still continues, but the fact of false testimony indicates the latter.

              Anyway, IF this was true (and there’s huge if there):

              “This incident marked the first time in 22 years that the British Army used bayonets in action. The previous incident occurred during the Falklands War in 1982.”

              http://matt.webville.ca/2009-Bayonets-in-Basra.pd

              And then remember bayonet is a traditional British weapon, and then try to understand hand-to-hand combat is really even more rare (practically non-existant). And so they waste lots of time and effort just for these idiotic shows to impress clueless people like you, while in real world they would get shot in the face for their trouble.

  10. @If you’d watched war080808, you’d have seen it all on video.

    What “it all”? I read they’re showing “burnt villages” – except these villages were ethnic-Georgian, burned by the Ossetian bands. This stuff is just like the national Socialists showing aftermath of the Kristallnacht to blame it on a Jewish riot. Like if the Maoists claimed the mountains of skulls in Cambodia was the work of Americans and Lon Nol, or the Vietnamese. It’s that shameless.

    So what else would they add, to make their lies more convincing? Footage from Grozny, maybe? Lots of ruins, certainly!

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