Russian “president” Vladimir Putin was interviewed by CNN last Thursday, speaking to correspondent Matthew Chance. To put it mildly, Putin doesn’t come off too well in the interview, and Russia’s propaganda machine immediately cranked up to full-bore lunacy in an attempt to smear CNN.
With a straight face, Putin denied to Chance that he gave the orders to attack Georgia, something even the ignorant people of Russia know is a lie. Putin’s statement is not even consistent with his own remarks to Chance, which profess deep knowledge of the fine details of the crisis even though, when it began, he was in Beijing. It’s obvious that Putin could not have that knowledge unless he was calling the shots, but like a child Putin wants to try to have his cake and eat it too.
During the interview itself, Putin stated: “If you think that this is unimportant, you may cut it from the program. Don’t hesitate, I wouldn’t mind.” Yet, after the interview the Kremlin’s minions, as indicated in the link above, immediately accused CNN of censoring the interview and showing only the worst bits.
In terrifying fashion, Putin stated:
I would like to recall that all these state entities, each in its own time, voluntarily integrated into the Russian Empire. Back in the mid-18th century, in 1745-1747, Ossetia was the first to become part of the Russian Empire. At that time, it was a united entity; North and South Ossetia were one state. In 1801, if my memory serves me, Georgia itself, which was under some pressure from the Ottoman Empire, voluntarily became part of the Russian Empire.
The “president of Russia” stated, in other words, that he has the right to annex not just Ossetia but the whole of Georgia.
In a demented and shamelessly dishonest manner, Putin begins his “chronology” of the events in Georgia after the persistent shelling of Georgian positions by the Ossetian rebels, starting with the Georgian attack on Ossetia that came in response to that shelling.
Putin accuses the U.S. of failing to restrain Georgia, yet he condemns the U.S. for having influence in Georgia and he denies any Russian failure to restrain the Ossetians.
Chance directly asks Putin “what evidence” he has to support his claim, condemned by even the most ardent Russophiles, that U.S. spies were assisting the Georgian military campaign on the ground. Here is Putin’s entire answer, which Chance then calls “farfetched” (and that’s putting it mildly, because Putin does not name one shred of evidence, instead he only uses what he apparently considers logic and admits it is just a “hypothesis”):
I have said to you that if the presence of U.S. citizens in the zone of hostilities is confirmed, it would mean only one thing: that they could be there only at the direct instruction of their leaders. And if that is so, it means that in the combat zone there are U.S. citizens who are fulfilling their duties there. They can only do that under orders from their superiors, not on their own initiative. Ordinary specialists, even if they train military personnel, must do it in training centers or on training grounds rather than in a combat zone. I repeat: This requires further confirmation. I am quoting to you the reports of our military. Of course, I will seek further evidence from them. Why are you surprised at my hypothesis, after all? There are problems in the Middle East; reconciliation there is elusive. In Afghanistan, things are not getting any better; what is more, the Taliban have launched a fall offensive, and dozens of NATO servicemen are being killed. In Iraq, after the euphoria of the first victories, there are problems everywhere, and the number of those killed has reached 4,000. There are problems in the economy, as we know only too well. There are financial problems, the mortgage crisis. Even we are concerned about it, and we want it to end soon, but it is there. A little victorious war is needed. And if it doesn’t work, then one can lay the blame on us, use us to create an enemy image, and against the backdrop of this kind of jingoism once again rally the country around certain political forces. I am surprised that you are surprised at what I’m saying. It’s as clear as day.
These statements are so fully neo-Soviet, so ignorant and so paranoid, that even a passionate Russophile must be terrified by them. They imply that Russia is being governed by a madman. And remember: This is not the first time Putin has made these statments, he’s already heard worldwide repudiation of them. Yet, he’s stubbornly repeating them, just as the Politburo always did.
I have said to you that if the presence of U.S. citizens in the zone of hostilities is confirmed, it would mean only one thing: that they could be there only at the direct instruction of their leaders. And if that is so, it means that in the combat zone there are U.S. citizens who are fulfilling their duties there. They can only do that under orders from their superiors, not on their own initiative.
Putin has not heard of human shields. There were apparently many American citizens camping out in front of Iraqi sites before hostilities started in Desert Storm. Or where they there on orders from their supreme commander?
This is getting spooky. I am starting to think that the KGB is a cult.
There is something profoundly wrong with citing the 18th and 19th century as a basis for current activities. It’s kind of like explaining to a black guy that yes, it is absolutely correct that he is a fieldslave, just as all black guys in the 18th and beginning of 19th century… Or like Italy declaring Roman Empire again and claiming power ofer most of Europe… or for Germany (or France, for that matter) deciding to recreate Charlemagne’s kingdom… but wait, that has already been tried, if I remember correctly, it led to WWII…
Exactly, er! His statements hit me like a ton of bricks.
But there’s more to it, I think. He views today’s Russia as the successor to the Russian empire in order to invoke some legitimacy to invading Georgia (“they invited roosha to protect Georgia”).
That, of course, ignores the little adventure with fascism, er, the rooshan brand of communism, but it means that the rooshan brand of communism, dominated by maskva, was simply a continuation of empire.
In a twisted rooshan mind like Putin’s, it all makes sense.
Can’t you see it? Today, roosha is “saving” Georgia, just as it did in tsarist times.
I wonder when Putin will officially change his title to tsar?
“..if the presence of U.S. citizens in the zone of hostilities is confirmed”
I know for a fact there were American citizens in the “..zone of hostilities”. They are called tourists. My doctor was one of them and he and hundreds of other tourists were evacuated through Armenia.
“…I will seek further evidence from them. Why are you surprised at my hypothesis..”
When the de facto president of Russia goes on CNN I, for one, would like to hear factual information with hard core supporting evidence. As for hypothesis – I have those coming out my ears and can fabricate a few good ones myself.
What I do not understand is this. Russia has been telling everyone that they do not care about NATO or EU or WTO or any cooperation on any level. Why, then, is Putin running around the world giving interviews everywhere. What does he care what the Western populace think of Russia? His actions speak louder than words.
er… – I completely agree.
As for that US citizen. LOL That US guy had his passport stolen in the Moscow airport. Russian general was waving it in front of the journalists. So well… you know Russian media. “OMG Thiz are be not Georianz, we be fighting a NATO”
Russians really thought some time that they really were fighting NATO instead of a Georgian military, because of the outfits and much better training, sure training is not that can defeat Russia alone so Georgia lost.
As for that American passport that man was in China now and he was so surprised to see a Russian general angrily waiving his passport to prove that … again “It was all US’s fault”
Putin watching all that marazm on Russian TV got his head even more coocoo than usual.
A web site set up hating Russia. lol. This will be fun.
What people here don’t realise is Russians have full access to CNN and the BBC World News service. The CNN interview was the best thing Putin could have done. Russians saw the edited CNN version and the full version on their own channels. I was in Russia at the time and it only stengthened Putins already rock solid reputation even further.
I think the neo cons are a little jealous because their drunkard President is unpopular and Putin was the most popular leader in his own country than any other when he left the presidents office.
LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:
First, a linguistic lesson. “Russophobe” doesn’t only mean hate Russia, it also means fear Russia. Fear the way people feared Russian soliders in the Katyn forest. Furthermore, we have defined the term prominently on our blog. Please at least have the courtesy to read it before you speak.
Second, “full access”? You must be joking! How many Russians can afford satellite TV? What percentage of the population has it? MINISCULE. People with an average wage of $4/hour can’t really afford such luxuries, nor the cost of studying English so as to understand them. When was the last time Russian TV crticized Putin?
Third, Stalin also had “rock solid” popularity. So did Hitler. What’s your point?
1. Putin wasn’t using historical background as a “basis for current activities”. He was using it as precisely that — historical background, so some of you would have at least slightest idea of how we got to this unsightly situation. The same way later in the interview (that is, if you watched whole 30-min version of it) he points to the events of early nineties and Georgia’s first incursions in the breakaway, that resulted in bloodshed then, and of the peace accords that was reached then.
By the way, speaking of the latter, while it was violation of accords for Ossetians to use 122mm artillery in the days prior to opening of hostilities, and possibly legitimate casus belli for Georgians, so was using aerial spy drones by Georgians on several occasions before, innit?
2. @Eddie: we’re not talking zone of hostilities, as in American tourist sightseeing Tbilisi, but combat zone, where bullets fly and shells explode. By the way, Chance asked about the rumours, that Russians actually captured U. S. military advisers or some sort of mercenaries (as there were several reports), but Putin explicitly stated that those rumours weren’t true.
As for “running around and giving out interviews” to Western press, as far as I read it was his first major interview to a member of Western mass-media in quite a few years. It was Saakashvili, who almost wouldn’t get off of CNN in the first days of conflict.
That’s a stupid statement. Even if he did call the shots (which he very well could’ve) for all the legal purposes all the orders would be given and documented as been given by the President.
Putin might be crazy, but he isn’t stupid.
Heh, in 2004 I was at a Georgian military airfield in which a Russian envoy was also visiting. They were collaborating together to find OBL in Pankisi. Anyway, I had my camera so naturally the Russians instantly started calling me a “spioni” to the Georgian officers. One of these officers told me to put the camera up until they left. I did, and I never really thought about the modern day ramifications this would have. It’s a scary thought to think that I may be a file in some KGB office somewhere.
errrr FSB office that is…
LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:
If you will read our comment policy, you will see that we do not tolerate the allegation of unsourced facts. If you cannot support your claims with links to source material, they will not be published.
As for your hysterical abuse and ridiculously arrogant attempts to allege our intentions, equally unsourced, they betray a callow intellect and a childishly ignorant partisanship. Unsuprisingly, they will not soil our comment section.
Putin is dictator!
see more about Putins Fascism:
Both Georgia and Russia remain firm on their positions about the
resolution by the Council of Europe`s Parliamentary Assembly.
Georgian delegation demands fulfillment of the Council of Europe`s
October 2 resolution, which obliges Russia to return its forces to the
positions of August 6 2008 and denounce the recognition of Georgia`s
breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In addition, the document recognizes ethnic cleansing of Georgians
on its territory. The PACE document also urges Russia to allow European
Monitors conduct monitoring in the occupied regions.
The head of the Russian delegation in the PACE says the EU
made basic mistake from the very first days of the war calling it the
war between Georgia and Russia.
`The diagnosis was wrong from the very beginning, because it was the
war not between Georgia and Russia but between Georgia and South
Ossetia. In addition, the treatment appointed by the Europe was also
wrong. It was a principle mistake, from which ordinary people are now
suffering,` Konstantin Kosachov, Russian MP has said.
The chairman of the Council of Europe`s Parliamentary Assembly,
Lluís Maria de Puig says there are several issues on which the sides
fail to agree and which leads everyone into the deadlock.
`There are two major issues around which the sides fail to agree –
the responsibility on the beginning of war and the second – recognition
of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Discussion of these issues leads us into
a deadlock. However, we should say that none of the organization member
states except Russia has recognized independence of these regions,`
Lluís Maria de Puig has said.
All this Republics have their own presidents, own national flag, own parliaments, hymn and all other things that an independent state needs. These republics are not Russian linguistically, they have their own culture, traditions and religion.
Full independence for Russian colonies:
The Adygea Republic
The Tatarstan Republic
The Chechnya Republic
The Dagestan Republic
The North Ossetia
The Bashkortostan Republic
The Karelia Republic
The Altai Republic
The Buryatia Republic
The Chuvash Rebublic
The Ingushetia Republic
The Kalmykia Republic
The Karachayevo-Circassian Republic
The Khakasia Republic
The Komi Republic
The Mari Republic
The Mordovian Republic
The Sakha Republic (Yakutia)
The Tyva Republic
The Udmurtia Republic
THEY DREAM ABOUT IT EVERY DAY.
It is only Putin’s bloody regime, that does not tolerate freedom
of speech, makes them afraid to speak about this.
These republics are in fact independent, they are not
Russians and never want to be. Chechnya for example has
already issued a declaration of independence, that is one
step away recognition. How cynical can you be to demand
independence for regions in Georgia and not to allow this
for republics in Russia.
To Artur & Tatar
Well said both of you.
Russia is a nation of hypocrites, they only demand the independance of Abkhazia & South Ossetia (Both of which are historically part of Georgia) in order to weaken the pro western fledgling democracy of Georgia, and to punish its people for daring to be free.
May all those states listed by Tatar gain their freedom from Russian opression. If Obama truly cares about democracy and freedom, lets hope he supports all those who oppose Russian opression
In addition, when Ossetia (north) became part of Russia in 1745, it was only the area NORTH of the Caucasus mountains, as the area SOUTH of the Caucasus mountains was A: majority ETHNIC GEORGIAN, & B: Called Samurchubalo, and part of the kingdom of East Georgia (Ameretia or the kingdom of Khakheti).
What really happened during the Russian annexation of Georgia was this:
In the early 18th century, Kartli saw a partial recovery under Vakhtang VI, who instituted a new law code and tried to improve the economy. His reign saw the establishment of the first Georgian-language printing press in 1709.
Erekle II, king of Kartli-Kakheti from 1762 to 1798, turned towards Russia for protection against Ottoman and Persian attacks. The Russian empress Catherine the Great was keen to have the Georgians as allies in her wars against the Turks, but sent only meagre forces to help them. In 1769-1772, a handful of Russian troops of General Totleben battled against Turkish invaders in Imereti and Kartl-Kakheti. In 1783 Erekle signed the Treaty of Georgievsk with Russia, according to which Kartli-Kakheti was to receive Russian protection. But when another Russo-Turkish War broke out in 1787, the Russians withdrew their troops from the region for use elsewhere, leaving Erekle’s kingdom unprotected. In 1795, the Persian shah, Agha Mohammed Khan, invaded the country and burnt the capital, Tbilisi, to the ground.
Solomon I, King of ImeretiaIn spite of Russia’s failure to honour the terms of the Treaty of Georgievsk, Georgian rulers felt they had nobody else to turn to. After Erekle’s death, a civil war broke out over the succession to the throne of Kartli-Kakheti and one of the rival candidates called on Russia to intervene and decide matters. On January 8, 1801 Tsar Paul I of Russia signed a decree on the incorporation of Georgia (Kartli-Kakheti) within the Russian Empire which was confirmed by Tsar Alexander I on September 12, 1801. The Georgian envoy in Saint Petersburg, Garsevan Chavchavadze, reacted with a note of protest that was presented to the Russian vice-chancellor Alexander Kurakin. In May 1801 Russian General Carl Heinrich Knorring dethroned the Georgian heir to the throne David Batonishvili and deployed a government headed by General Ivan Petrovich Lasarev.
A part of the Georgian nobility didn’t accept the decree until April 1802 when General Knorring compassed the nobility in Tbilisi’s Sioni Cathedral and forced them to take an oath on the imperial crown of Russia. Those who disagreed were arrested temporarily.
In the summer of 1805 Russian troops on the river Askerani and near Zagam defeated the Persian army, saving Tbilisi from its attack. In 1810, the kingdom of Imereti (Western Georgia) was annexed by the Russian Empire after the suppression of King Solomon II’s resistance. From 1803 to 1878, as a result of numerous Russian wars against Turkey and Persia, several formerly Georgian territories were annexed to the Russian Empire. These areas (Batumi, Artvin, Akhaltsikhe, Poti, and Abkhazia) now represent the majority of the territory of the present state of Georgia. Georgia was reunified for the first time in centuries but had lost its independence.
As can be seen, the Georgian agreement was for Russian protection, and they were pretty unhappy with being annexed. In fact by 1812 the western Georgians were so unhappy with Russian rule that they launched an uprising and appealed for Turkish (their enemies for over 800 years) aid to rid them of the Russians.
When looking at RUSSIAN maps of Georgia from the 19th century, and maps of the Georgian kingdom & kingdoms after fragmentation of the state, there is NO “South Ossetia” until it was created by the Soviet Union in the 1920’s as a punishment for Georgia supporting the Mensheviks during the revolution: