Uh-Oh: Russia inserts an Ossetia into Ukraine

Paul Goble reports:

The Transcarpathian Rusins (Ruthenians), who are estimated to number more than a million, are calling on Moscow to recognize the independence of Subcarpathian Rus because Kyiv has ignored their demands for autonomy within Ukraine, an appeal that could create yet another “unrecognized” republic in the former Soviet space.  That appeal, which was given prominence two days ago when Petr Getsko, the self-proclaimed prime minister of the self-proclaimed republic, gave an interview to the Russian government newspaper, Rossiiskaya gazeta, in fact has deeper roots.

On the one hand, there has been a resurgence of Ruthenian activism across eastern Europe, with most countries in the region providing some support to what is the fourth largest East Slavic group in the world. And on the other, Kyiv has infuriated many Rusins by refusing to acknowledge them as a separate nation, anger that Moscow has clearly sought to tap into.

The current Ruthenian campaign for greater rights began at the end of October when the Second European Congress of Ruthenians met in Mukachevo and formally demanded that Kyiv grant them the status of an autonomous republic before December 1. If that did not happen, the participants said, they would see national self-determination outside of Ukraine.

December 1 came and went, but on December 19, an international scientific practical conference on “Genocide and Cultural Ethnocide of the Rusins of Carpathian Rus”  (the end of the 19th Century to the Beginning of the 21st Century) assembled in Rostov-na-Donu and adopted a resolution on the Ruthenian cause. Among the resolution’s key points was an insistence that alongside the Armenians, the Ruthenians were the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century, one carried out by the Austro-Hungarians. Today, the resolution continued, Kyiv is extending this through “a policy of cultural ethnocide.”

In addition, the resolution insisted that the Ruthenians are recognized as a unique people in all countries of the region except Ukraine and that they enjoy the support of international organizations like the UN whose committee on the liquidation of racial discrimination in August 2006 criticized Kyiv for not supporting them. And the resolution specified that the status of the Transcarpathian Ruthenians has not yet been defined – Kyiv has not yet recognized the 1946 treaty which incorporated them into the Soviet Union – and that the Ukrainian government continues to ignore the December 1991 referendum in which Ruthenians voted for autonomy as well as for Ukrainian independence.

Eduard Popov, a Russian expert on Ukraine, subsequently argued that “Subcarpathian Rus has experience as an independent government and an autonomous republic” and thus has the historical basis for demanding recognition either from Kyiv or the international community. And because of both that history and the higher status Ruthenians have received elsewhere, Popov continued, the refusal of the Ukrainian government to recognize them as a separate nationality and to offer courses in their distinctive language are increasingly offensive – all the more so since the ethnonym “Rusin” is much older than the one for Ukrainian.

At least some observers in Moscow dismiss the current Ruthenian cause as nothing more than the babblings of a few underemployed academics and any Russian government interest in them as a foolish policy that will infuriate the Ukrainian government and do little or nothing to advance Moscow’s interest in the region. But however that may be, the Rusins of Ukraine are pressing ahead, and at least those who have taken part in these recent meetings believe that they have both a good case as a nationality whose interests have been ignored and a geographic advantage that makes them an even better candidate for Russian support than other “unrecognized” states have. “Prime Minister” Getsko told “Rossiiskaya gazeta” that “we have sought autonomy for a long time and have appealed to the authorities of the country almost every month during recent years. But nothing came of this, and now we will seek independence” and international recognition.

Moreover, he pointedly told the paper in the kind of language the Russian government and business elite are certain to understand, “the lion’s share” of Russian gas on its way to European markets flows through Subcarpathian Rus, “twice more than through the Baltic states and twice more than through other neighboring countries.”

57 responses to “Uh-Oh: Russia inserts an Ossetia into Ukraine

  1. Give the region back to Poland, to which it belonged some time ago.

  2. Actually, Ruthenia never belonged to Poland – it was an integral part of Hungary until the First World War and then handed to Czechoslovakia by the Treaty of Versailles as an autonomous territory. During the free-for-all on Czechoslovakia after the Munich Conference, it gained one day of independence immediately followed by Hungarian seizure. The Soviet Union formally annexed it in 1945 on the basis of its Ukrainian population, but also to ensure military access should either of its Hungarian or Czechoslovakian subjects attempt to remove themselves from Soviet domination.

    The territories annexed from Poland after World War II, Galicia and Volhynia, are actually the strongest bastions of Ukrainian nationalism in the country.

    This map shows the division:


    The region of Ruthenia (Zakarpathia) is the little slice on the Western border which voted about 55% for Yushchenko. Notice that although it is certainly not as enthusiastic for the Orange Party as most of the territories of Western Ukraine surrounding it, it also shows quite effectively that it isn’t the hotbed of anti-Ukrainian dissent that Rossiiskaya Gazyeta makes it out to be. The ex-Polish territories, by the way, are the ones that are voting above 80% Yushchenko.

  3. Ruthenia have a right of independence.


    So does Chechnya, right?

  4. As I know there’re no terrorists bases in Ruthenia like it was in Chechnya. Nobody cuts heads off, takes hostages, and turns Ruthenia into gangsters state like it was in Chechnya. And another little thing- only 5% of Ukrainians supporting yUSchenko (little bit more in the West and less in the rest of the Country) and 70% actively hate him. This is Ukrainian poll not Russian.


    But Putin has solved all those problems in Chechnya, hasn’t he? So now they can be free, can’t they?

    Were Georgians cutting off heads in Ossetia? Is that why Russia was entitled to invade?

    Do you think AT ALL before you publish your gibberish on this blog? CAN you think?

  5. Actually, while the recent polls show a general aversion to Yushchenko, Tymoshenko and Yanukovich do not fare that much better themselves – running about 25% approval ratings. If anything, what it really demonstrates is how much Ukrainians dislike their politicians in general. A natural reaction considering last summer’s budget fiasco followed by the Georgia crisis, the damaging feud between President and Prime Minister, and finally the complete meltdown of the economy.

    Ironically, what may save Yushchenko is Putin’s own miscalculations. The current Gazprom situation (although in this case, there are actually a good set of arguments for the Russian position) is working to drive a new current of anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine and more importantly, bringing Yushchenko and Tymoshenko back on the same side. But then again, Putin always had astoundingly bad judgment when it came to Ukraine – that is the major reason Yushchenko was elected President in the first place.

  6. I know that you are sure, that only la Russophobes can think, but my English gibberish is much better then your Ukrainian one. About what Georgia did in Tshinva, i.e. all the evidences they captured on video. There is a widely spread video in Russia and Ukraine, taken on a mobile phone by a Georgian soldier showing how Georgian tanks entered into Tshinval, how they shot civilian cars and buildings, while no one was shooting towards them. It was the morning of 09/08/08, and all the western media were silent. On the other hand they exploded with headlines such as “Russia attacks Georgia, 2000 people have been killed!” when Russians broke into Osetia. There exists a photo taken in Tshinval of two beheaded bodies in the car, but of course such evidence was not published in the West.
    Now, concerning yUSshenko, he had a very low rating today because he is the biggest corrupter of Ukraine. Timoshenko and Yanukovich have ratings much higher, but the irony of this situation is that if Putin would ballot for presidency in Ukraine he would have a rating of about 70%, and beat Timoshenko and Yanukovich. Ukrainians are certain that yUShenko acts against the best interests of Ukraine, in a way that he gains full support from America. Support not for the nation, but for his own agenda. The people of Ukraine are currently awaiting a leader, that equivalent to Putin, however for the moment he is yet to be found. Ukrainians suspects that the source of corruption in the country’s political system has solely come from yUShenko’s profound involvement with America. Even his wife is American and their kids are American citizens. This family controls billions of dollars.

  7. I have to respectfully disagree regarding your analysis of the beliefs of the average Ukrainian. Firstly, most Ukrainians who want a Putin-like leader find one in Yanukovich, which is why he won the Prime Minister’s seat after Yushchenko’s honeymoon with the electorate failed, and has a good chance of taking it again when the next parliamentary elections come around (although distrust of his Moscow ties will probably keep him from the Presidency.) If Putin were to run for the Ukrainian Presidency, he would be lucky to receive 10%, and most of that from Crimea and Donbass.

    Likewise, although belief in Yushchenko’s corruption is widespread, the memory of the Kuchma-kleptocracy, in which the state of the average Ukrainian was much much worse, still remains and will do so for quite some time – blame for that period of corruption is placed squarely in the hands of the Kremlin.

    Anti-Americanism in Ukraine is fairly weak although anti-Bush sentiment is stronger and Yushchenko’s push to get into NATO is very unpopular. What the average Ukrainian really wants, however, is not a close relationship with Russia, but membership in the EU. Too many Ukrainians, especially those West of the Dneiper, have seen what life in Europe is like while they were working there, and now they want it for themselves. Moscow simply can’t give that to Ukraine.

  8. LA RUSSOPHOBE – Don not take those zombies seriously. They are braind dead and have no way of seeing the reality forget “I am Russian”, and “Ukrainian” (I strongly doubt he is real Ukrainian)

    Zombies are zombies…

  9. What utter rooskie sovok rubbish from “Ukrainian.”

    Yushchenko was elected on an anti-corruption, anti-Kuchma platform.

    Roosha and rooskie sovoks, being pro-corruption, tried to propagandize this into Yushchenko somehow being a “CIA spy.”

    Yushchenko severely disappointed the electorate when, instead of acting on the platform he was elected on, he made a deal – with the Party of Regions, sacked Tymoshenko, and got Yekhanurov appointed as Prime Minister.

    Then the Party of Regions tried to screw everybody by buying up all the deputies in the Ukrainian Parliament.

    And here we have the desperate whine of the little rooskie sovok – “Yushchenko’s wife is American.”

    She is of Ukrainian descent, and she is now a Ukrainian citizen.

    “This family controls billions of dollars.”


    And Ukrainians are not waiting for Putin at all.

    Ukrainians like to breathe free air, and they don’t like to be beaten over the head, like Putin is doing in roosha.

    Little rooskie sovoks will throw whatever garbage they can dream up, and expect everyone to believe them.

    stupid little rooskie sovoks – they will never learn.

    Watch out for the CIA men in those bushes, “Ukrainian.”

    They’re everywhere!

  10. The Ukraine are trying to play both sides of the court. They want cheap gas and oil but want to side with the US. I do not see why us Europeans should have to pay double what they pay for gas.

  11. I agree with Ukrainian about political situation in this beautiful country. In addition, I repeat behind all Russian politicians (except Jirinovskij, who is just klown): we do not intend to take away independence of Ukrainian (or smb.’s ). However there are no absolutely independents state in our world (US,UK, EU, Russia, China end even North Korea – every country depends on others countries). So Ukraine depends on Russia (and otherwise Russia depends on Ukraine). All the more so we are neighbours, have relationship origin and integrated economic complex. Fantasies about Russian pathological imperial ambition are ancient myth. Unfortunately there are some people in EU and US who can not exist without this mith about bloody Russia.
    As regards of Chechnya – we support democracy and free expression of popular will, wich takes place in 2007. There was a referendum in Chechnya about independence or remaining as part of Russia.
    97% voted affirmatively for remaining as part of Russia. Many of Chechens are under Russian arms now. Many of it were awarded for bravery and service in Ossetia.

  12. More sovok rooskie rubbish, complete with rooskie accent yet.

    “we do not intend to take away independence of Ukrainian.”

    Ha, ha, ha!

    Dreams of ruling the world are exactly what is being pushed all over sovok roosha.

    That’s why Luzhkov and Zvirinovsky go to Ukraine to stir up trouble in Crimea.

    That’s why Gazprom, and little sovok rooskies, raised the price to Ukraine – they got pissed at the Orange Revolution.

    That’s why Belarus pays only $120 for its gas.

    That’s why roosha invaded Georgia.

    That’s why roosha just kicked out the OSCE monitors out of Ossetia.

    The list goes on.

    Stupid, delusional rooskies.

    They talk out of 50 sides of their mouth at the same time, virtually all of it contradictory rubbish.

    stoopid rooskie sovoks wouldn’t recognize the truth if it hit them over the head – they just lie all the time.

  13. I am Russian – if your country (and I take it that the “we” you speak of means Russia), support “democracy and free expression of popular will, why are “elections” in Russia” the undemocratic joke that they are? Why has the election of governors been suspended? Why are even the most civil and mild protests violently broken up by OMON and associated thugs? Why are journalists who report on the endemic corruption of Putin’s Russia so regularly killed? Why are writers like Elena Tregubova driven into exile in fear of their lives? And why are so many Russians – from recruits in the army to political activists – denied and refused the protection of the law as written in the Constitution? We could go on for hours here…

    The ‘popular will’ you boast of is unverifiable because your government is terrified of real Democracy and won’t hold genuine elections. Thus, Putin/Marionetka have no mandate. After all, as mentioned elsewhere, 98% of North Koreans still “support” the government there. Do you think that this expresses ‘popular will’ in North Korea?

    Russia will remain profoundly undemocratic – essentially as undemocratic as the USSR – until it allows a free press, free elections, equality before the law, and much, much more. Pretend elections don’t make you a Democracy any more than a pretend constitution does. Russia under Putin has far more in common politically with Turkmenistan, Zimbabwe and Syria than it does with Europe or the United States.

  14. Dear elmer.
    It is not lies. I do not know about you, where was you in 1991-92? I was then in Russia (as now), my parents defended democracy force. We believed in West, in Democraty. If you (our government) woud keep USSR or other sort of Imperia, we could do it. But we did not it. And I was not sorry about it. Also USSR was destroyed by RUSSIAN people firstly. But has remeined many open questions.
    1. We (citisens of URSS and Imperia of Russia) were living together more than 300 age.
    2. We have integrated economic and technological complex.
    3. Our existing, our history is incredible implicated other with other.
    It was impossible to decide all open questions at once without war. And we rested it “until best time” (Russian expressing). Most ofopen questions have been decided, or were decided alredy. MOST – because many terrible problem was decided (e.g. nuclear problem).
    Thus “the near abroad” – is not imperium term. This term touch countries, wich must decide many problems with Russia. And it is not imperial ambition, it is “vital nesessity”.
    But a number of problem were not be decided without blood. Direct responsibility about this resultat was borne local tyrants (Dudaev in Chechnja and Saakashvilli in Georgia). But most problem region is Ukraina. More 50% habitants of this country just feel itself Russian and dont like their country and dream to joint with Russia. Other way almost 50% habitants of Ukraina hate Russia and wish to attach to any hell. There are a clear broad wich divides this country between Russphil end Russophob regions. This situation very dangerous and can be bloody explosion in any minute. Russian politics arent encoureging Russphil politics, because Russia doesnt wish war. In any time Russian policy about Ukraina was (are) most cleverly and peacefully, then polcy US (EU, NATO) about ygoslavia end Irak.
    But very dumm politics (Yschenko and Timoshenko) wich headed Ukraine in result ballot rigging, by pressure of “Democracy government of West countries”, steamroller approach (which EU and US pressa named- oranjevaja revolutsia) makes situation wich can outbalance at any time.

  15. Look, “I am rooshan,” you are a very sadly confused little sovok.

    50% of Ukrainians LOVE roosha, and actually want to “join” roosha, and 50% HATE roosha, and “want to attack to any hell”?

    Who comes up with this kind of gibberish?

    And it’s the same old tripe, over and over and over again.

    You people just repeat stuff, just like the Nazis, and you don’t care whether it’s true or not.

    Ukraine voted OVERWHELMINGLY, over 90%, for independence in 1991. That meant independence from a maskva-controlled sovok union.

    Where do you come up with the idea of an “Orange Revolution steamroller”?

    There was a VOTE in 2004, and for the first time, Ukraine had free and fair elections – unlike what is happening in roosha even today.

    roosha doesn’t wish war? Oh, geez, have you not heard of GEORGIA?

    And the threats by Putin to point missiles at Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe?

    You don’t believe in democracy in roosha or anywhere else – if you did, you would not be talking about Saakashvili as a tyrant.

    “Near abroad is not imperium term”? Then why do Putin and roosha keep kvetching about it so much?

    In short, you are seriously delusional.

    But you did come up with the best description about roosha – it seems the vast majority of rooshan people, historically and today, allow themselves to attach to any hell – as long as it’s a hell.

    Quite the opposite is true in Ukraine today, where people want to breathe free air.

  16. I hardly know where to begin.

    Firstly, as a general rule, once you get above 95% in any referendum, you’re not looking at viable election results. You get those kinds of results when you do things like go to the voter’s house and MAKE her vote the way you want her to if she doesn’t show up at the polling place herself (this actually happened to my wife’s grandmother during the Soviet era in Ukraine.)

    As for the “myth” about expansive Russia, Putin himself was quoted as saying that the breakup of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century. If Gordon Brown had said that about the British Empire, or Nicolas Sarkozy about the French, their effigies would be burning worldwide. You list Zhirinovsky as an exception in his extremism, but it is precisely this neo-Imperialist vision that got him 25% of the vote in the mid-90s. (Well that and the fact that Yeltsin was ruining the country at the time…) And for that matter why is Panarin such a popular figure now, or why was Third Empire was such a big hit in Russian bookstores? Empire dies hard in any nation.

    Whether or not you wish to believe that Putin and/or the Russian people truly wish to rebuild Russia’s Tsarist borders, there is a definitive belief that Russia has some kind of special “rights” in the Near Abroad analogous to America’s Monroe Doctrine. (Oddly enough, when writing recently about his sympathetic take on Russian foreign policy, no less a figure than Mummar Qaddafi made exactly this point.) To understand why many Ukrainians, Georgians, Estonians, etc. might have a problem with this, why don’t you ask a Venezuelan what he thinks about the Monroe Doctrine?

    I do agree with Free World about the Gazprom issue. If Ukraine doesn’t want to be a Russian satrapy, it shouldn’t expect to pay satrapy prices. Why in my right mind would I sell you something for $200 if I can get it for $400 from someone else? The only argument against Russia in this case is that it was negotiating in bad faith to rescind the $250 offer when the Ukrainians indicated they were willing to go as high as $235. If that happened to me while I was haggling for a used car, I’d walk out of the dealership. Of course, being in the right doesn’t affect the fact that the crisis is hurting Putin’s position in Ukraine and will continue to do so until an agreement is reached. (People don’t like being cold, and they’re always more willing to blame a foreigner for their problems than themselves.)

    Which brings us back to the delicate relationship between Ukraine and Russia. In one respect, I am Russia is right – the two economies are still closely linked, although I must reiterate here that given the choice, most Ukrainians would rather be in the EU.

    As for the ties with history, however, the fact that Russia dominated Ukraine and the other nations of the near abroad make for less of a claim than you might think (see commentary on Brown/Sarkozy above.) Or for that matter, do you think that Austria has a claim on Lviv because it controlled it for 200 years? In fact, Russia’s history of colonial occupation generally works against Russian public opinion aims, much as Robert Mugabe gets away with what he does because the party doing the most complaining is the former hated masters the British.

    This is an example of a common error which historians call “Malorossicism.” In other words, your assumption is that there’s really no such thing as a Ukraine, only a “Little Russia” and they are in desperate need of guidance and leadership from their “Great Russian” neighbor. This kind of thinking is what lead Putin directly into the Orange Revolution. And let me be very clear here, the one foreigner who won the ’04 election in Ukraine was not Bush or even Soros, but Putin. As a general rule, the more Putin plays with local politics, the less Ukrainians like him, while the less he does, the more they’re willing to focus on their dislike of Yushchenko instead.

    I do agree that Ukraine does have a very strong Russified contingent, especially in the East and South, and that the situation is volatile. Where I do not agree, though, is that the Putin government is trying its hardest to keep things from coming to a boil. If Rudy Giuliani went to Guantanamo Bay and encouraged the Cuban people to rise up against Castro, do you think this would be acceptable? But this is exactly what Yuri Luzhkov, mayor of Moscow, did in Sevastopol.

  17. my god how I hate the term “the near abroad”

    It reminds me that there was a time when my people were slaves and Russians were masters. And I’m not speaking figuratively here. And no, i don’t want that back in any form or way, thank you very much. And I don’t care that “millions of Russians suffered the same” – that does NOT negate the harm done to my people, it only aggravates it.

    I would like to get along though but until Russia (and Russians who live in Russia) face the facts of contemporary geopolitics I really don’t think it’s possible.

  18. Dear elmer!

    You do not understand of many things unfortunately.

    “Ukraine voted OVERWHELMINGLY, over 90%, for independence in 1991. That meant independence from a maskva-controlled sovok union.”
    1. it is only “half-truth” because Ukraine voted OVERWHELMINGLY, over 75 %, for being as part of USSR in March of 1991. This vote had force of law, but later after “Belovejskije soglashenia” results of this vote “were forgotten” by some of Ukrainian politician or their US-EU patrons.

  19. It is funny that these Russian morons keep on going on about the “film of Georgian tanks shooting up Tshkinvali”, it is interesting that the average Russian is so stupid that they forgot to look at the bottom corner of the screen, where can be clearly seen the date 16 Aug 2008, about 5 days AFTER the Georgians were forced out.
    The reason these films were not picked up by western media is because THEY WERE FAKES MADE BY RUSSIAN TROOPS USING CAPTURED EQUIPMENT!!! In addition, Memorial & the Russian representatives of the Helsinki group & HRW have all stated that Ossetians who actually came face to face with Georgian troops found them to be properly behaved, unlike the Ossetian militia’s one might add, and also stated that there were NO REAL EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS of the “atrocities” that were being claimed by Russia. There were however plenty of eyewitness accounts of RUSSIAN, ABKHAZ, & OSSETIAN crimes against humanity.

  20. Mythology always had a strong position in government propaganda. Creation of myths is the occupation of the fairly educated community. But consumers of these myths are ordinary, middle class people, often with an average education level. Users James and Elmer don’t need for me to respond, their lexicon is an answer itself.
    Concerning the situation in Ukraine I can repeat that Ukraine is still awaiting for the leader who can consolidate their society. Yanukovich is not a candidate – he is a decent manager for Ukraine’s economy, however, he is not a charismatic leader like Putin. Timoshenko is a very striking figure, but a very poor economist. In 2004, during her 6 month period as prime minister, she managed to completely ruin Ukraine’s economy. yUSchenko is just simply nothing. In 4 years of his presidency, Ukraine experienced a full economic and political crisis, ultimately the complete disintegration of the nation. He became a president as a result of the “orange” overturn, the driving force being people’s hope to live like those in Western Europe. “Orangists” asserted that Kuchma was corrupt, but they turned out the same. Pyotr Ushenko(the older brother) controls NAFTOGAS—the gas company that controls all the gas pipelines in Ukraine. Selling weaponry is a family business too (maybe you heard something about “Faina”). There is a list of businesses controlled by yUShenko in the Ukrainian Internet. yUShenko held a press conference, and several internet sites launched polls on “what question would you ask yUShenko?”. The winning answer, amounting to 500,000 votes was “How much money do you, your ministers and MOP need to leave Ukraine, so that the country could finally develop?” The runner-up question gained 20,000 (details of that question is irrelevant). Concerning yUShenko’s wife – she is ETHNICALLY Western Ukrainan, however, she is American raised. Some time ago she even worked for the American government. Their children are going to English schools (they have no need to learn Ukrainian) and yUShenko’s closest friend and godfather of his son, (this is very important in a Ukrainian mentality) David Zhvania stated that he has seen yUShenko’s kids’ American passports. By the way he is now in a lot of trouble because of this.
    І ще, всіх православних Християн щиро вітаю з Різдвом Христовим!

  21. So, Anton, you and your fellow sovok rooskies just can’t stand it that Ukraine is independent, that Estonia, Latvia, Georgia, Bulgaria, etc., are independent.

    All of that beautiful, rooskie sovok wickedness – noone appreciates it.

    What are you trying to tell us, Anton? That Ukraine is not really independent? That there was no vote in Ukraine for independence?

    That when Ukraine voted for independence, overwhelmingly, that it wasn’t a real vote, because everyone “forgot” what they were doing, they voted in some sort of fog?

    Go ahead – keep going with the CIA myth. The Orange Revolution, and Ukraine’s vote for independence, were really just one big CIA plot, designed to ruin all that beautiful rooskie sovok wickedness that you and your buddies so love to wallow in.

    Tell us, Anton, what was the “true” vote for independence in Ukraine?

    Because it appears that noone “understands” – except you and your little rooskie sovok buddies.

  22. For Andrew.
    Yes of course you are “veritable russophobe” and you will always find some fact for acquittal murderers (of course on conditions that such murderers have got praud title of democraty leader wich was given by US-EU-NATO patrons).
    Oterwise I do not understand why Saakashwillis democratic patron Bush & Co cannot found chemical weapons (but US forces murdered thousends of Irak habitants). Also I do not understand whySaakashwillis democratic promouters could not found proofs of Albanian mass killing but permitted albanian part (Chashim Tachiu and other euro-murderers) to murder thousends of Serbians.
    Resume EU – NATO and US HAVE NOT GOT RIGHTS to accuse of Russia because all of it they made recently in more big scale.

  23. Ok Anton, I guess you will next try and tell us that the Georgians, Latvians, Estonians, & Lithuanians all “voted 75% to remain part of the USSR” too?
    Please stop being an idiot.

  24. For Andrew
    You can not accuse as because US-NATO-US made all of it recently in Irak and Serbija. At the same time I remind you that Russia arms overwhelmed Georgia troops end Russian soldier took control of Gory they were amazed by view of central square. There was a giant statue of Stalin in the midle of Gory and the colossal museum in honor of Stalin. It is truth Russia destroied all statues of Stalin while “Democratic Georgia” keep a “fond memories” about dictator.
    Imagine for you that in Munich or Vienna would stay monument in honor of Gitler .
    There are suitable Russian proverb “вначале у себя найди бревно в глазу, а потом ищи соринку у соседа” “At first find you beam in your own eye and then you can find mote in your neighbours eye.”
    You will always find acquittal for murderers (on the assumption of they got crown and democrathy title from US-EU-NATO arms ). So was being happened in Serbia, Irak, Croatia, Bosnia ext.

  25. Andrew
    “There were however plenty of eyewitness accounts of RUSSIAN, ABKHAZ, & OSSETIAN crimes against humanity”. Would you like remember about US-NATO-UK-EU “crimes against humanity”. There are many eyewitness in Serbia-Irak-Bosnia-Croatia ext.
    1. Does US force find chemical weapons ? – No but they murdered thousands people!
    2. Does US-NATO-EU force with Albanian and Croatian henchman find traces and proofs of massacres?-No but they murdered thousands people! (Tens of thousands Serbian who was disarmed by US-NATO-EU-UK became refugees! Hundreds of Serbian ortodox churchs, temples, сonvenes was utter destruction under US-NATO-EU-UK silent permitting, Euro murders Chatchim Tachy and Tudjman became Founding Fathers or national idols ).
    Unfortunately miserables Serbia and Irak had weak defense establishment and could not defense their Patronimycs.
    Otherwise Russia armed forces could do it. During 5 days Georgian Army wrecked. Hundreds tanks end others trophies was taken by Russian Army. 5000000000 $ military expenses of Georgia and her Promoters were misspended.
    You russophobe hate my Motherland because we are able to defence from yours “Democraty order”!
    And you still are surprised that Russian do not appreciate your “piratic democracy” and vote other way?

  26. Andrew
    Unfortunately miserables Serbia and Irak had weak defense establishment and could not defense their Patronimycs.
    Otherwise Russia armed forces could do it. During 5 days Georgian Army wrecked. Hundreds tanks end others trophies was taken by Russian Army. 5000000000 $ military expenses of Georgia and her Promoters were misspended. You russophobe hate my Motherland because we are able to defence from yours “Democraty order”!
    And you still are surprised that Russian do not appreciate your “piratic democracy” and vote other way?

  27. “I am Russian”, should probably read “I am Russian Baboon”.

    Your arguments lack any substance, and rather than countering our arguments with valid counter arguments, you decend further into irrelevant and factually incorrect drivel.

    Russian soldiers who went to Gori’s museum tended to be on a pilgrimage to Stalin’s birthplace. Georgian students are taught at school that Stalin was a mass murderer who betrayed the country to the Russians in the 1920’s. He is not a very popular figure in Georgia these days, as opposed to his adopted homeland of Russia. Russian soldiers were very upset to find that they were locked out of their heroes museum, and that he was not viewed with much approval locally. By the way, the statue was erected during the soviet union.

    Yes, during the aftermath of the Balkan wars there were thousands of mass graves uncovered which contained the victims of Serbian genocide, in Croatia, Bosina, and also in Kosovo.
    That is why there is a war crimes trial in the Hague. Unlike Russia, western countries tend to gather evidence before the trial, rather than the Russian habit of FABRICATING it during the trial.

    On Iraq, yes, the intelligence was wrong I agree.
    However the thousands of people murdered were murdered by Al-Qaida NOT by the US military. A bit like the overwhelming majority of people murdered in Chechnya, Abkhazia, & South Ossetia were murdered by Russians & their sockpuppet militia’s.

    Georgia’s military was crushed by overwhelming force. However 4000 Georgian troops were able to destroy the 8000 Russian trained separatists in Tskhinval in about 4 hours, and then held out against 45,000 Russian troops for 3 days, which is not too bad at 11-1 ratio. This DESPITE the fact that the US training only covered counter-insurgency warefare for the 2 Georgian brigades deployed in Iraq. As the Pentagon recently noted, the Georgian military was still mainly trained & equipped in a Soviet fashion, which makes their stand against Russian agression even more impressive.
    In addition the Russian military did not exactly cover itself in glory either. Poor tactics, poor execution, and insane (especially in Russia’s demographic state) reliance on human wave tactics left US observers laughing at the creaking Russian rust bucket war machine.

    Believe me, the USA will now work to fix the flaws in the Georgian military, however as usual, the Russian military will continue on dowen the same path of stupidity.

    By the way, most reasonable people hate your motherland because of its tyrannical history, the selfish and barbaric nature of its governing classes, and the mass murder and genocide it comitts against smaller neighboring states.

  28. Ok, so according to the Russia-trolls here, once there’s been an election, all subsequent elections are null and void. People have no right to change their minds…

    now WHERE have I heard that before? anyone?

  29. Dear er…
    “People have no right to change their minds…”- golden word. You are very truth yourself and I am sure that Ukrainian and so others will change their with the lapse of time. Russia failed many times, but subsequently was reinstated. I am sure Russia will be re-establish.

  30. For example: In 1991 most of Chechens were disputed in arms their independence from Russia.Thenadays they rose in arms against Kreml.
    Now Chechens voted (near 97%) for being as part of Russia!
    “People have right to change their minds…”

  31. Most Chechens, who battled against Russia in 1994 serve in Russian Arm now! Many of it taka part in 5 days War against Georgia. Some of they were awarded by Medvedev.

  32. Centrlal avenue of Groznyj bears the name of liberator Putin now!

  33. All right, I think I can respond coolly and evenly to some of these posts now. Well, relatively coolly and evenly. I apologize in advance to anyone I might offend here.

    First the nitpicking – “The mote in your eye” quote is not a Russian saying, it’s a Bible verse.

    Secondly, the whole arugment about the Gori statue is ridiculous. Russian soldiers were SHOCKED by a statue that had been standing there since the forties? Or that the Georgians would dare commemorate this butcher who the Russian people has so recently voted the third greatest figure in Russian history? (Also, could someone tell me why is it that when Stalin does something bad he’s a Georgian, but when he’s a great hero, he’s Russian?)

    Of course, the “sober lesson of history” is something of a cop out. The Georgians of Poti keep the statue up because, if I remember the quote from the fifties correctly, “He was a bastard, but he was our bastard.” The fact that the Russian Government is trying so desperately to whitewash Stalin’s record does not give the Georgian government carte blanche to do likewise.

    Which comes to my next little problem with your arguments – the “Bush did it” argument. Again, the most clear case of “Bush did it” comes from Putin himself when he was discussing stringing Saakashvili up by a particularly painful part of his anatomy. When Sarkozy objected to his proposal, Putin’s immediate response was “Bush did it.”

    Let me say that of all the teeth-grinding, headache-producing, head-on-the-table-banging moments I have received as a citizen under Bush’s leadership, the one consequence which irritates me the most is the cover he has given to every two-bit murderer and thug ever to grace the space after “Head of Government:” on their respective nations’ Wikipedia entries (and as much as I dislike Putin, he’s hardly the worst of the bunch.) At least I can vote Bush out. I can’t do anything about all the other guys that think what he did justifies their actions.

    It’s OK to have the FSB blow up an apartment building and use it to justify resumption of the brutal war in Chechnya because, hey, Bush did something like that in Iraq.

    It’s OK to attempt to murder presidential candidates in foreign countries that you don’t like because, hey, Bush did something like that in Venezuela.

    It’s OK to ignore actual the actual will of the electors in foreign nations because, hey, Bush did something like that in Palestine.

    It’s OK to reduce the civil liberties in your nation to the point where you can expect a capital trial without jury for mentioning over supper that maybe the current Prime Minister is a slightly less impressive leader than Peter the Great because, hey, Bush did something like that with the Patriot Act.

    There is nothing more dangerous to the human race today than the idea of moral equivalency.

    And just for a moment, can we drop the propaganda about how popular Putin is in Chechnya? We talked already about how you get 97% referendum votes: you get them at gunpoint. That’s also how you get streets named after yourself, etc. The current Russian model for governance in the Caucusus is pretty much equivalent to that employed by Brezhnev in Central Asia: find some guy who’ll keep the place quiet and don’t inquire too closely into what he’s actually doing there. As for the Chechnyan units serving in Georgia, I will only say that just as it is the Georgian irregulars who bear the majority of accusations of atrocities in the August war on their side, it is not the Russian Army units, but rather the imported Chechen ones, either local bands, or ethnically Russian militias normally based in Chechnya (such as the notorious “Vostok” unit) who have committed the lion’s share of atrocities on the Russian side.

    OK, off my soapbox and back to Ukraine. Ukrainian makes a lot of valid points, I must say. He’s dead on right when it comes to Tymoshenko and Yanukovich anyway. And that only makes me more apprehensive when he says that what Ukraine is looking for a strong leader.

    When I said that moral equivalency was the greatest danger to the human race, I forgot about populations desperate for a strong leader to save them.

    The Romans wanted a strong leader to save them from the posturing of the boni and they got Caesar.

    The French wanted a strong leader to save them from the Terror and the encirclement of the anti-Revolution powers and they got Napoleon.

    The Russians wanted a strong leader to save them from the horrors of World War I and the machinations of the Rasputin-domimated Tsarist court, and they got Lenin followed by Stalin.

    The Americans wanted a great leader to defend them after 9/11 and they got the new improved George W Bush. What a difference seven years makes.

    And when the Germans wanted a strong leader… well, let’s just say that the Russian people will forever deserve the world’s gratitude thanks for their effort and sacrifice in fixing that mistake.

    And after the disaster of the Yeltsin years, now we have Putin. And the Russian people love him. For ten years they have eaten dirt, and thanks to him, now they don’t. I truly understand. But I am also scared for the reasons listed above.

    And it is something I don’t want for Ukraine, I land which I truly love.

  34. For Andrew/
    However Russian Army during 5 days destroyed Georgian army wich is not weak. That was happend before approach march 45000 Russian contingent. It was happend by 3000 Russians special forces soldier which worked very professionally unlike Georgian troops who escaped in first day Russian iterference (with their US military instructors) . It is clear that pillage and murder of common people and fight against Russia forces is a very different things.
    “Poor tactics, poor execution, and insane (especially in Russia’s demographic state) reliance on human wave tactics left US observers laughing at the creaking Russian rust bucket war machine”.
    Georgia forces was bilded by US inspectors 5 years and during 2 day this Great forces escaped (I repeat – it had happend before approach march Russian forces). It was disgrace. What US experts and instructors can say about it? Can they confess that spend 5000000000 $ for Ossetian and Russian trophy (I advice for you exhibition of captured equipment in militaru museum in Moskow, a new exposition is very rich). No of course they can only tell lies.
    About Stalin. Memorial of dictator is only in “democratic Georgia” . This fact cannot hided by any fables about Russian soldier – St admirers.

  35. Andrew.
    “On Iraq, yes, the intelligence was wrong I agree.
    However the thousands of people murdered were murdered by NOT by the US military”. – What do you know about Al-Qaida? That structure was created by US for fight against USSR in Afghanistan and after that Al-Qaida for was supported by US for destruction Russian influance in the Near Abroad of Russia. But Russian forces in Tajikistan (Russian Near Abroad) defeated Al-Qaida in 1991-1996. After that Al-Qaida turn its weapon (i.e. US weapon) against US! Also Saddam was many years ago friend of US too.
    But why you repeat these performances again and again?!?
    Actually your support to Saak. – Yschenko & Co is found under the same number of yours idiotic-list. They don’t care a straw in respect of yours “democratic intimacy ” but yours $ end EVRO and weapons have very high cost for them! There are $ of US taxpayers !!! There are yours $!!! How much money lost US in the course of last Georgian War. There are a many zero after first number! Do you have so much money? So spend you it for good aims (e.g. to support hunger of the World)!
    If Saak. – Yschenko & Co safe his power today then some time later you will be fight against them as today against Al-Qaida! You cultivate yours enemies itself constantly!

  36. “I am Russian” has obviously been reading too many Russian propaganda mags.
    If the Georgians “escaped on the first day” they were in control of Tskhinvali (the 8th) how come they only finally managed to force the Georgians out of the town on the morning of the 11th after 3 days of extremely heavy fighting?
    The 1st wave of Russian troops that went into Georgia on the evening of the 7th consisted, by Russian accounts, of over 10000 men and 300 tanks, supported by several hundered APC’s, SP Artillery etc, not to mention the Russian air force. By the evening of the 8th the Russian military spokesman claimed 45000 troops of the 58th army were operating in Georgia. So your claims that the fighting was only done by 3000 Spetznast do not stack up.
    In addition, when the Russian military spokesman had to admit on the 10th, that the Georgian army was putting up much more effective resistance than expected, I guess you had the TV turned off?

    Unfortunately you are a poorly informed bigot, and seem to not have access to the statements made by your own military in regards to the numbers and types of troops deployed by Russia.

    In addition, the murdering of innocent civillians was carried out by Russian troops & Ossetian separatists, not by Georgians, as every human rights group has confirmed. Russia is responsible for a deliberately planned campaign of ethnic cleansing and murder.

    Actually there are many memorials to “The Great Russian leader Stalin” in Russia, Volgograd (Stalingrad) springs to mind.

    As for Al-Qaida, well Russia supports Islamic extremisim when it suits it. Just look at Hamas, Hizbollah etc. Russia is always finding ways to prop them and their Iranian masters up.

  37. 1. We told about Al-Qaida no Hamas, Hizbollah !2. “Actually there are many memorials to “The Great Russian leader Stalin” in Russia” – it is not true!!! There are no one memorial of Stalin in Russia ( at least official – opened memoreals in the central avenue or squer))!!!

  38. scott, we need more of your posts, terrific job.

  39. Andrew

    Chechens resistance in 1994 defended Grozny against Yeltsin troops (more than 70000 soldier) during whole 2 month (without tanks, planes ext.) because they defended homeland indeed (as Chechnya as Russia) against US protégé Yeltsin (not against Russia). Most of chechens soldier who shot to Russia tanks in 1994 serve in Russian military force as Russian solier and officiers now. Most of them took part in five – day war in Georgia and were awraded by pr. Medvedev! They are indeed patriots of their fatherlend (Russia and Chechnya).
    As opposed to Chechens Saakashvilly had a efficient army, more than 200 tanks, airforce, air defence force, excellent artillery , maritime forces (including frigate – gift US which is a flagship of Abkhazia maritime now) more then 30000 soldier ext. Saaka spend to his military force 5000000000 $ during 5 years (from budget of its poor coutry and mainly from budget of its rich protege -US). Georgian tankes and planes were modernized by US firms. There were a hundreds US instructors, who were training personnel of Georgian troops during 5 years.
    Also I confirm- to 8 august 2008 Saak had a beautiful army (no big but no small and capable to battle against up-to-date army). Saak have a lot of time to choose a date of attack Tschinvaly. Terrain were favourable for Saak (mountainous terrain and 150 km which Russian troops had to cross before than they would be reach to enemy). Add to it that Saak took military control over Tamarasheny settlement – key point over the way to the theatre of fighting.
    Every chechen combat could be only dream about this position in 1994 .
    8.08.08 Saak attacked S-Ossetia. 9.08.08 Georgian troops took control over part of Tschinvaly. Russian army involved only 9.08.08. And 09.09.08 vanguard of Russian special forces miraculously traversed Tamarasheny settlement approached the place of battle. 10. 08.08 Georgian troopes escaped (exactly so- escaped, no retreat). 09.08.08 Saak announced general mobilization. But “general mobilization” failed miserably. No one citizen man wished died for Saak!!! 12.08.08 Russian troops took control over two elite military bases of Georgian force -Gory and Zugdidy (all georgian soldier had escaped and throw all weapons) and third Poty (all georgian military maritime became Russian trophy). 13.08.08 the war was ended. Russian forces stopped in 15 km from Tbilisi and could be take control over Georgian Capital but Medvedev ordered to Russian forces to do not make it. Russian arms have attained their aim – protection of civilian population. Russian military trophy are giant.
    To tell the truth I was very suprised to these fact at that time. I woud be not surprised if it
    was happened durung 1-2 week, but no 1-2 day!!!
    Georgian soldiers escaped from “Russia agressor” more quickly than civil citizens!!! They throw their weapons also. Why that was happened? Many of people think that all of Georgians are cowards. BUT HISTORY SAY THAT IT IS NOT TRUE!
    Finally mainly cause of Russian quick win were Gergian people (military and citizen). 5 Days WAR SHOW THAT ABSOLUTELY MOST GEORGIANS PEOPLE DO NOT CARE A STRAW ABOUT “IDEAL OF ROSE REVOLUTION” AND THEY DO NOT DEFINE rUSSIA AND rUSSIAN AS ENEMY!!!

    doesn’t care a straw

  40. Thanks Penny –

    Let me try just one response here.

    Anton and Russian have been swearing up and down how horrible those Georgians have been for having and keeping that statue. If you read my post, I have agreed in fact that they are correct in that no civilized people should have any monument at all to that king of butchers, the only man to give Hitler a decent run for his money in the race for the world’s most evil man (well, Mao has a good stake to the claim as well.) Frankly, I cannot understand the interest of some people in sporting the serp and molot – symbol of the murder of millions and the oppression of billions. It should be a symbol of anathema just like the swastika.

    That being said, I have two simple questions. If Russians don’t like statues of Stalin, why didn’t the Russians Malenkov, Krushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, or Gorbachev do something about it? They all led the country before Georgia got his independence. Heck, they controlled a nuclear arsenal large enough to destroy the world several times over. Couldn’t they manage to knock over one statue in some third-rate town in the periphery of their own country? For a full two thirds of that statue’s history, it stood in the national territory of a government centered in Moscow, not Tblisi.

    The more serious question you have not answered however, is that if you recognize that Stalin was so horrible, WHY DID LITERALLY OVER HALF A MILLION RUSSIAN CITIZENS VOTE HIM THEIR MOST ADMIRED FIGURE IN RUSSIAN HISTORY?

    This is not a “fable about soldiers” this is the ascertained and highly popularized survey of over five million people. Stalin took third place, he only missed winning by about 6000 votes of 5 million, tallying over 500,000 votes. After the first round of voting, the organizers of the project had to change the rules so that he wouldn’t humilate them and the entire nation of Russia by taking first place.

    Think about it – 500,000 people in Russia think that Stalin was the greatest thing to happen to their country.

    Better than Peter, who made his country a great power
    Better than Katherine, who brought Russia into the lights of Europe
    Better than Alexander III, the Tsar Liberator
    Better than Lenin, whose mummified remains still grace Red Square
    Better than Pushkin, the greatest of Russian poets
    Better than Tolstoy, writer of perhaps the greatest novel of all time
    Better than Tchaikovsky, bard of the ages
    Better than Mendeleev, creator of one of, if not the, greatest tools in the history of chemistry
    Betterh than Kutuzov, who saved the world from Napoleon
    Better than Zhukov, who saved the world from Hitler (and don’t tell me it was Stalin who did that – Stalin just made the task harder and scarier for the other 50 million Soviet citizens who did)
    Better than Gagarin – the first man in space
    Better than Tereshkova – the first woman in space
    Better than Laika – the first DOG in space
    Even better than the guy who invented Tetris

    But frankly, you can list any Russian who has ever lived, including yourself, Mr. I Am Russian, and still be sure that you have written the name of a person who has done more good, or at least less damage, to the Russian nation and her people than Josep Vissarionovich Stalin nee Dzhugashvili.

    And still over 500,000 Russians thought it a good idea to declare him the greatest man in Russian history.

    Oh – and just so you don’t harbor any illusions about Russia’s standing with the Georgian people: You humiliated them; you killed their men, women, and children; you unleashed infamous and bloodthirsty militias on them; you looted their towns; you lied about their committing genocide; you spent seven months trying to instigate said genocide in order to accomplish this; you used cluster bombs against their civilian population; you have subjected their nation to partition; and you enjoyed every second of it.

    Do you truly and honestly believe that the Georgian people like Russia? They hate Putin. And they hate Russia with a passion.

    The opposition is strengthening NOT BECAUSE they believe Saakashvili was wrong in trying to do something, or even what he did, but because he wasn’t successful in teaching you “hated Russians” a lesson. They waited a month before acting just so everyone on the planet (except you, apparently) understood this clearly. On the close of the five day war, in stark contrast to your “analysis” of their supposed apathy, throngs of Georgians took the streets of Tblisi to support their president and demonstrate against what they perceived (emphasis on the “they perceived” part) as unmitigated and unwarranted Russian aggression. It will probably be half a century before any Georgian government installed by anything other than a million Russian bayonets will even consider saving a Putin crony from drowning, let alone treating him with civility.

  41. Hmmm, Georgia has a strong airforce??
    7 Su-25 & 4 Mi-24d/e hardly constitutes a strong airforce. However the Russians still did not manage to shoot any of them down (bombed some on the ground yes, shot down in action no), while the Georgians got 12 Russian aircraft including TU-22M, SU-24, Su-25, & Mil-24 using cold war era SA-11 systems from Ukraine and ZSU-23/4 SPAAA “Shilkas”
    In addition, the majority of the Georgian military was equipped with obsolete cold war material such as T-72, BMP-1983 (BMP-2), BTR-80, and the Kalashnikov. So much for modern equipped NATO style force.
    The majority of the Georgian defense budget of the last 5 years was actually spent on new bases & housing for service personnell & their families (contrasted with the appalling conditions that the Russian servicemen & their unfortunate families live in), the repair of delapadated support services & equipment, and only in the last year was money finally beginning to be spent on front line equipment.
    Far from facing a well equipped NATO style foe, the Red Army faced a much much smaller, and similarly equipped opponent.
    In addition, the 2 Chechen regiments that took part in the invasion were so badly mauled that they have been reduced to companies (about 75% losses) and absorbed into one of the regular infantry regiments of the 58th Army.

    Also, according to the Russian defense ministry, the Red Army performed so poorly in Georgia, that it requires a doubling of the defense budget to make up the equipment losses, and a good old purge of the officer corps to boot (see RFE article about proposed “reforms” to the Red Army for details). I particularly like the fact that the General in command of the 58th army drove right into an unsecured Georgian village where he was ambushed & killed along with his staff by members of the Georgian special forces. As I said, typical Russian incompetance.

    The Georgian decision to retreat was because they were determined not to sacrifice their young men in a battle against rediculously heavy odds. Sometimes it requires more bravery not to fight. Chechnya will take generations to recover from the genocide comitted by Russia. Georgia chose not to sacrifice its young men to no good end. As for leaving tanks behind as trophies, well you can build a new tank in a few months, it takes about 20 years to make a new crewman. Unfortunately Russians will never understand the high value placed on life by other nations.

    Great post from Scott.

    You are entirely correct about the Georgian attitude to Russia, I will add that many older Georgians still have some fond memories of Russian friends, but the people (especially those under 40) as a whole loath Russia with a truly white hot intensity.

    This is mainly due to Russian atrocities from the 1st Abkhazian war 1992-94, when the Georgian majority was raped, looted & murdered out of Abkhazia by Russian “volunteers”. Not to even begin to mention the horrors of Russia’s recent campaign in South Ossetia.

    It is interesting to note that up until 1803, when the west Georgians signed a “treaty of friendship” with Russia, Georgia had several centuries of war with the Turks & Persia. However after 9 years of Russian “Friendship”, by 1812 they rose up against the Russians and invited their ancient enemies the Turks back in!

    The treaty had guaranteed the following for Georgia in exchange for becoming a vassal of Russia:
    1. Guaranteed the continued rule of the ancient Georgian Royal families.
    – After 1 year the Georgian royal families of east & west Georgia were state hostages in Moscow (or dead) except for one who escaped into the Caucasus mountains, married a Chechen woman and fathered the great Shamyl who ran the Russians ragged until the late 1850’s
    2. Guaranteed the continued independance of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchy (also called the Catholicos of Georgia)
    – After 2 years the Georgian church was crushed by the Russian government. Many priests were “dissapeared” and churches came under Russian control. Many ancient (3rd & 4th century) religious artworks were destroyed by the Russians and replaced by Russian religious artifacts.
    3. The continuation of Georgian laws, including the protection of the rights of peseants (freemen, no serfs in Georgia) and of women’s rights (women in Georgia were inheritors, property owners and had equal rights with men).
    -Needless to say the Georgian law system was scrapped immediately. Peseants rights (and womens for that matter) were an direct threat to the slave economy of Russia. Formerly prosperous peseants were reduced to penury & slavery.
    4. The protection of the Georgian language and culture.
    – Needless to say once the Russians got their filthy mitts on Georgia they attempted to “Russianise” the native population by banning Georgian education (Georgia had a highly developed education system prior to the Russian takeover, with a high rate of literacy, higher than France, the USA, or England at the same time), and suppressing Georgian music & culture.

    Georgians will never again submit to the destruction of their culture by Russia. Period.

    During the mass protests (over 1,000,000 people took part) against Russia in Tbilisi during August I personally saw ethnic Ossetian & Russian citizens of Georgia burning thier Russian passports outside the Russian embassy in protest at the actions of the Russian government. It is a little known fact that there are more Ossetian ethnics living in Tbilisi than in all of South Ossetia, and they hate the Russians (and his sock puppet Kokoity) as much as any other Georgian citizen.
    It is not currently mentioned even in most western media that many of the “Georgian” citizens that were ethnically cleansed out of the Tshkinvali region were actually pro Georgian Ossetians.

    Stalin was a complex “beestie”. His father was Ossetian (Dzhugula is an Ossetian sirname which was “Georgianised” to Dzhugulashvili, as stated previously the shvili suffix is similar to the norse son suffix or Fitz, Mac, or Mc prefix) and his mother was Georgian. He, like Hitler, saw the road to power as being the politics & culture of a bigger neighbor. He was well known for humiliating his 1/2 Georgian 1/2 Russian first wife (who considered herself Georgian) for continuing to practice Georgian cultural traditions while resident in the Kremlin.

    I will however say that for sheer horror Mao beats all comers. Read Jung Chans book “Mao”

    Your comments about the opposition are quite correct from what I have observed, if the Russians think that any pro Russian government they install here will last more that 5 minutes without a sizeable garrison to protect it they can go whistle dixie.

  42. scott
    I quotes: “Better than Peter, who made his country a great power
    Better than Katherine, who brought Russia into the lights of Europe
    Better than Alexander III, the Tsar Liberator
    Better than Lenin, whose mummified remains still grace Red Square
    Better than Pushkin, the greatest of Russian poets
    Better than Tolstoy, writer of perhaps the greatest novel of all time
    Better than Tchaikovsky, bard of the ages
    Better than Mendeleev, creator of one of, if not the, greatest tools in the history of chemistry
    Betterh than Kutuzov, who saved the world from Napoleon
    Better than Zhukov, who saved the world from Hitler (and don’t tell me it was Stalin who did that – Stalin just made the task harder and scarier for the other 50 million Soviet citizens who did)
    Better than Gagarin – the first man in space
    Better than Tereshkova – the first woman in space”ю
    This list shows again and again that Rusia is a Great Civilisation!!! And I am glad that you understood this fact.

  43. Andrew
    Yes Stalin was a complex “beestie”. But only Georgia keeps “fond memories” of him in memorials!
    You say: “Think about it – 500,000 people in Russia think that Stalin was the greatest thing to happen to their country”. Only 500000. I remind you that Russians (citizens of Russia) more than 140000000 and there are tens of millions in the Near and Far abroad who refer itself as Russian! 500000 (even it is true number, also it is doubtful) it constitute only less then 0,4 %. There are approximate 1-2% mad people in my country.
    My question: are there mad people in your country or yours country was cleaned from such elements (as from (American) Indian)?

  44. For Andrew
    Of course Russian land forces are victim of several years’ underfunding I agree with you. Extremely rise of military budget (which begin 3 years ago) touched only rocket – nuclear forces and cosmic troops because we know that our principal enemy nor Georgia no Ukraina but firstly US. Capable of Russian forces was restricted. The Russian ( no Red) land forces are requires a doubling (perhaps tripling) of their budget. But action of Russian (in consideration of some disadvantage which were indeed) was heroic and competent. But I repeat Russia forces (either strong or weak) could not solve a problem (reach victory) within 2 days (max 5) without assistance most of Georgians (civil and military). Such help found expression
    mainly in mass-escape, throw all of US gifts weapon!
    About planes. A LA GUERRE COMME A LA GUERRE. How many only strategic bomber was lost by US in Jugoslavia. I remember it was more then one!

  45. Andrew
    – is a better weapon now. Georgians (as many other people) just trew M-16 if they have possibility possess the Kalashnikov! I know that from people who took part in this and other conflicts (Serbia, Afganistan, Irak ect.)!

  46. Andrew – thanks for the compliment. And also you certainly have an expansive knowledge on Georgian affairs. I will try and check out that book on Mao.

    I Am Russian – I am glad you recognize that my opposition to the current regime in Moscow is not based on any dislike of the Russian people, but rather my respect for them and my belief that they deserve better.

    I also support your contention that the Kalashnikov is one of the best regarded small-arms rifles in the world, although I do not know that being the producer of the armament of choice for Third-World dictators and inner city drug gangs is a distinction that any nation should wish for themselves.

    Where I do take exception with your argument is your mathematical analysis of the Stalin vote. The Name of Russia Project collected 5 million votes, which brings Stalin’s share of the total at 10%, not 0.4% as you assert. It is also of note that the difference that separates Stalin from the two men ahead of him (Alexander Nevsky and Stolypin) is only 1% of the total of each man’s vote, and 0.1% of the total votes tallied, which means that the difference between the three is statistically insignificant. In mathematical terms, Stalin may very well have been the winner.

    More to the point, if your 1-2% theory held true, that would mean that the vast majority of Stalin supporters would have to have taken part in the survey, and the vast majority of the other candidates’ proponents would have to have missed it. This is not a very likely scenario.

    Your contention that the Georgian retreat in the face of an overwhelming number of hostile forces is also dubious. It is analogous to saying that since they had left all their equipment behind, the majority of British servicemen at Dunkirk mush have been Nazi sympathizers.

    Another point at which I agree with you, however, is that many in the Russian Government and on the Russian street now see the US as enemy #1. There are a variety of factors that contribute to this. Part of it is old-school Cold War feelings which never really went away. Part of it is the perception that their nation had lost great power status because of the US (similar to the resentment of Germans after World War I.) A third is the general resentment that many feel at the current state of US supremacy (in other words – jealousy – and a jealousy that is certainly not limited to Russia.) And a fourth is anger at specific US policies especially those of the Bush administration – again a source of resentment well represented outside of Russia.

    The fifth though, is also key to consider. Autocratic governments, such as that currently consolidating its power in the Kremlin, manage much of the resentment against their regime by redirecting it against foreign enemies. The bigger the enemy, the more effective the diversion. I would be surprised if more invective had NOT been thrown America’s way.

    Of course, that being said, the current anti-Americanism in Russia may be a source of future regret in that it blinds your current leadership to two potential threats closer to home. You may very well miss us when we’re gone.

    The first upcoming problem is China. Should American hegemony fade in the coming years, it will in all likelihood be replaced with Chinese hegemony. The rate at which the Russian Far East is already Sinicizing is prodigious to say the least. It is also displacing Russian influence in Central Asia (albeit much more slowly.) Without an America to cooperate against, Russia now becomes the last remaining “Other” (and Chinese autocrats are in as much need of enemies as Russian ones are) – their presence being the last vestige of the evil Occidental colonial presence in Asia and the only remaining rival for naval dominance in the Pacific (what is Chinese for “Mare Nostrum” anyway?) And Russia is possessed of the one thing that the Chinese nation needs to stay ahead of its burgeoning populace – energy resources. There is very little other than Russia’s nuclear superiority that would prevent Beijing from simply taking what they want – and while China hardly has anything resembling nuclear parity with Russia, it certainly has enough in its arsenal to act as an effective deterrent. In short, America’s demise would result in the Chinese flag flying as far westward as Baikal – possibly even as far as the Urals.

    But if the cooperation with Chinese may turn out to be ill-advised, the current love affair with Iran is simply suicidal. It was not all that long ago that Russia was a willing partner in the War Against Terror – as long as Chechnya burned, Russia kept the anti-American rhetoric to a minimum, and correspondingly, Americans ignored whatever Russia did in Chechnya on the basis of the latter being just another group of militant Islamic radicals. For all your fulminating about US support of Georgia, you have to understand the program actually began as a way of helping them deal with Chechen terrorists holing up in the Pankisi Ridge, and as such, had the blessing of the Russian Government at its inception.

    Now the thing about Muslims is that they have long memories. Frankly, some of them probably are still nurturing resentments not only from Chechnya, but from Afghanistan, or Russian imperial expansionism and support of Pan-Slavic independence movements in the Ottoman Empire, or even as far back as when the first Princes of Moscow brought down the Muslim Empires of the various Tartar and Bulgar states in the 16th Century.

    Should Iran get the bomb, thanks in some part to Russian help, the first one will probably head to Tel-Aviv. The second will travel somewhere in America – New York or Washington most likely. The third may head to a crowned capital of Europe, or it may end up in Mumbai. But the fourth will most certainly find its way into the hands of a disgruntled Chechen, Ingushetian, or Daghestani, and from there into Moscow or Petersburg.

    Now THAT is creating your own enemies.

  47. Actually “I am baboon”, there is only one statue of Stalin in Georgia, and that is in Gori.
    If you bothered to notice, that Gori museum describes him as a meglomaniac monster. The statue is kept as a warning to future generations.

    As usual you are wrong.

    However I do agree with you regards the Kalashnikov, it is a good and time honoured design. Please note however that it was copied from the WW2 German assault rifle the MP44.

    Most of the M4 (Georgian regulars use the M4, not the M16) carbines captured by the Russians were mainly captured from the arsenal at Senaki.
    They had not been issued yet, as only the regulars had received them. The reserves were still equipped with kalashnikovs, which although a lot less accurate are still more than sufficient for 2nd line troops with minimal training.
    Personally I like the AK, it is a tough gun, simple to operate, though its accuracy does leave a little to be desired.

    I agree with Scott about the dubious nature of your comments regards the retreat of Georgian forces in the face of overwhelming odds.

    I guess all those millions of Russian soldiers who surrendered to the Germans at Smolensk, Borodino, Kharkhov, Kiev, Warsaw, and just about everywhere else in 1941 & 1942 were all Nazi sympathisers too?

  48. By the way Scott, a good post from you as always.

  49. Scott
    There are a big difference between Dunkerk and Georgian War. In the former English soldier saved oneself only and no their country which was defended by English channel! In the latter Russian force attacked Georgian and (according to Saakashvilly and some West-politicians) threatened to Georgian independence and civil citizens. There is difference.
    Georgian soldier escaped more quickly then civil citizens, gave without battle almost half of country and throw their capital without defence!
    This fact could be explained only two probable variants:
    1. All of Georgian troops are cravens;
    2. Absolutely most of Georgian troops and citizens do not believe Saakashvilly, do not define Russian soldier as enemy and spit upon “Ideal of Rose revolution”.
    I think that second estimate are true.
    About Stalin even 10 % of Russian (although I do not believe that number) are absolutely less of Russian people. Although there are Stalin-admirers in the world (espesially in Georgia)!.

  50. Andrew
    Quote: “The statue is kept as a warning to future generations”.
    If would this monument be location in the Russian city? What would you say than? “The statue is kept as a warning to future generations”?
    No you would be accuse of my Russia in Stalinism.
    There is a different in your evaluation (method of double standard)!

  51. Well “I am Russian ape”, the difference is that the Russian state prints official school history books that glorify Stalin and state that his great terror (which resulted in the death of millions) was done for the good of Russia, and that his instigation of the terror was the correct decision.

    No double standards, it it just the facts that there is a positive attitude to Stalin by the people and government of Russia, and a negative attitude to him in Georgia (where he is seen as a pro Russian traitor & oppressor).

    Time to dry the front of your pants again potty boy.

  52. Andrew
    My recent message about double standard reveals the truth! I hope that it is clear for any sensible person because encomium of Stalin either in monument or in books – is one and the same! But the formally fact (Georgian monument) really exist unlike the latter (Russian history books) – this is a lie of US propaganda machinery.
    Russian official school history books do not glorify Stalin! There are some Stalinists in our country (only some %), but they are old people, have not any political and other influence, and they do not support modern Russia and Putin. Stalinists are singular real opposition against Putin. So Putin has not any reason to support Stalinism in any way! Some mad people who have “a fond memory” about inveterate rogue (either Stalin or Hitler or Mao or Stepan Bandera or Pol-Pot ect.) are spreaded over all the Wolrd (include US EU UK).
    Otherway Stalinism is a subject to criticism in Russia now. But our history books consist information about feat of arms, heroic deed of all Sovietic people in a Stalin-government time. And those facts about Great feat of Sovietic people are prohibit in western country. Your propaganda machinery makes pathetic attempts to discredit such facts by the way of mix Stalin and feat of Sovietic people.

  53. Really “I am Baboon”, you must stop soiling yourself in public.
    The Textbook mentioned is real, it is the official secondary school history textbook and it does glorify Stalin and whitewash his crimes, and the crimes of Krushchev, Breshnev, Andropov et al.
    You and your denials are truly pathetic.

    Your attempts to weasle out of your government & society’s worship of a mass murderer are becoming increasingly rediculous.

    As for the heroic deeds, they were more than made up for by Russian crimes against humanity.
    Russia helped to create Nazi Germany in the late 30’s by assisting Hitler (Molotov-Ribbentropt pact etc), then when Russia was finally forced into the war it “liberated” eastern europe by installing a system of government and opression easily as bad as the Nazi horrors it replaced.
    This is why ALL former soviet states & eastern Europe hate Russia, and cannot stand its people.

  54. First with respect to Stalin – the facts on the ground do not square with your assertions. The poll clearly shows that 10% of Russians see Stalin, who is, you will remember, not even ethnically a Russian but rather a Georgian (which you would think would make him LESS popular than if he came from ANY other nation), and that this is not just “I have a favorable opinion of Stalin” but “Stalin was the GREATEST historical figure in Russian history.” When one considers that many of those voting for other figures may also have positive or at least neutral feelings about him, particularly the 350,000 that voted for Lenin, there simply has not been the kind of repudiation of Stalin that there has been of Hitler in Germany, for example.

    I also have to agree with Andrew that the current government is attempting to rewrite the history books with a more favorable image of Stalin – although I would not say “glorification”; I would rather say they are significantly downplaying his record as well as possibly overstating his positive influence and understating the negative in Soviet tactics and strategy in World War II. It is not a case of “Stalin was great”, but rather “Stalin was not so bad.” Particularly aggravating is the desperate attempt by a vast majority of Russians to absolve the Soviet Government of its responsibility for the Holodomor – to demonstrate how widespread this is, I simply point out that even Solzhenitsyn, who has an unmatched legacy of writing the truth about Soviet-Era crimes, fell victim to this fallacy just before his death.

    I have also been looking more closely into the close of the Georgian campaign, and there too, I have to find that for the most part I agree with Andrew as well. It seems clear that most of the retreat from well-stocked bases had to do with the fact that said bases were cut off from the main lines of supply, and that the armed personnel as a whole ended up in Tblisi. I certainly did not see reports, even on Russian sites, of mass exoduses into Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Turkey, or of mass surrenders to Russian forces, which would be expected if the mass of Georgian soldiers didn’t believe in their government. Civilians stayed while soldiers left because, surprise surprise, it was the best way to keep roving bands of Chechen and Ossetian militia from stealing your possessions – although it definitely wasn’t a surefire method. And again, it must be pointed out that those people who had most strongly spoken out against Saakashvili BEFORE the August War, even to the point of Saak declaring a state of emergency (and no, for all his good points he certainly is not the greatest defender of democracy who has ever lived) stood behind him in the immediate aftermath of the war – effectively declaring a one-month political truce until the Russian threat was effectively removed by European pressure. Or that you have cases like the one where one solitary Georgian missile boat charged what amounted to half of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

  55. Once again Sott, good post!

  56. Chechnya? Hehe. Forget about Chechnya, you have Kososvo now. Russia solved problems with Chechnya, so it’s interesting how Europe will solve the problems that will spread from Albanians in a few years. Kosove is the same weapon of uncle Sam against Europe. Only fat and lazy european mind can’t see that US don’t need strong “partners” like EU. So in times of troubles US will try to destroy all others points of power like EU, China, Big East and Russia. Economic collapse and civil chaos for EU, bombs for Iran, may be Indo-Pakistan conflict, China could only be tactically bombed, then the siege of Russia will follow, like it had already been. Anyway EU in the US to-do-list either. Only blind can’t see.

  57. I beg your pardon for interrupting, guys, but…
    Many of you speak about “american” and other “western””masters” that rule Ukraine.
    C’mon, have you ever been here?
    Visit Ukraine and look, how do we live here.
    and then go to america or Europe.
    Any similarities?
    So, the question is closed, I suppose?

    to Elmer
    As for me, it seems that we are going to annex to Roosia, unfortunatelly.
    The way the things going on here speaks for itself.
    It has to be two yeas or so.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s