We must Defend Georgia!

Defense policy analyst Zbigniew Mazurak, writing on the American Thinker (and quoting Kim Zigfeld!):

Unless European states and America suddenly adopt a hawkish foreign policy and strengthen their militaries, Europe will become a mere province of the Russian empire.

And, suprisingly, the fate of Europe will be decided not in Paris, Berlin, London, or Brussels, but in Georgia, a tiny, seemingly irrelevant country. The Caucasian republic hosts several strategic oil and gas pipelines. These pipes are the only fossil fuel corridors leading from Asia to Europe that are not controlled by the Russian Federation. Whoever controls Europe’s fossil fuel supply rules the European continent.

If the Russians seize those pipelines, their country will be a monopolist in Europe. The Old Continent will then have no choice other than to rely on Russia for the fossil fuel supply. This will mean that Russia will have a de facto veto right over the decisions of European governments. (Russia already has this power with regard to French and German governments; Germany obtains 40% of the natural gas it uses from Russia.)

European countries will thus cease being independent, and that will imply negative consequences not just for Europe, but also for the United States. Europe’s policies, leaders, militaries, and assets affect the US, directly or indirectly. If Europe becomes a mere protectorate of Russia, it will be even more anti-American and unwilling to cooperate with the US than it already is, and Russia will seize the large natural resources of Europe (such as those of Ukraine).

Allowing Russia to conquer Georgia unpunished will also inevitably lead to further Russian aggression around the world. When the North Vietnamese Army conquered Saigon in 1975, America did not experience an era of peace, but an era of war. After 1975, the Soviet Union and its client states invaded many countries (including Afghanistan) and killed millions of people.

According to Kim Zigfeld and Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, the Russian Armed Forces are currently deploying troops along the Russo-Georgian border. Russian leaders plan for this war to be different from the war of August 2008.

The first Georgian war just just a test of the West, a survey of how would the West react to a Russian invasion of Georgia. The results were positive for the Kremlin: Western leaders of the time (most of whom remain in office, and those who do not have been replaced by pacifists), and almost all members of Western liberal parties (including the US Democratic Party), have been proven to be cowardice appeasers.

When the Russians attacked Georgia, what was the free world’s leader doing? Appeasing Vladimir Putin in Beijing. The Russians have noticed that they could attack any country and not be subjected to any consequences.

The Kremlin wants the second war with Georgia to be one that will lead to the Russian seizure of Georgia and the toppling of President Saakashvili. If the West allows Russia to conquer Georgia and seize the pipelines located in that country, then Europe will be at the mercy of Moscow, and America would also be negatively affected by such an invasion, though not as badly as her overseas allies. And Russian troublemaking will increase, not decrease.

It is therefore imperative that Europe, the US, Canada, and NATO make immediate steps to protect Georgia — and themselves — from Russian aggressors. This must include, but not be limited to, accepting Georgia to NATO immediately.

Some people don’t believe that small countries can play important roles and dismiss Georgia as a little country. But Georgia, although small and weak, hosts strategically important pipelines. Just like the weak, tiny Panama, which hosts the Panama Canal. Small countries can be strategically important, and Georgia is


112 responses to “We must Defend Georgia!

  1. 3% of Europe’s oil imports come from Azerbaijan via Georgia.

    The race is on for Azerbaijani gas. Russia proposes to buy up all available volumes of Azerbaijani gas at attractive prices, A memorandum of understanding was signed on March 27, 2009, by the Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company with Gazprom. Turkey has been squeezing Azeri Gas for years and is holding up the pipeline to Europe to pressure its own interests. Russia is racing against the EU in Azerbaijan.


  2. Balkans and Caucasus — both former Ottoman provinces — are again available for manipulation.

    Should the Americans and Europeans put their weight behind NATO expansion, Georgia would be a logical candidate — meaning most of the heavy lifting in terms of Turkey projecting power eastward would already be done. But if the Americans and Europeans do not put their weight behind NATO expansion, Georgia would fall by the wayside and Turkey would have to do all the work of projecting power eastward — and facing the Russians — alone.

    the Russians decided to invade Georgia last August, knowing full well that neither the Americans nor the Europeans would have the will or capability to intervene on behalf of the small Caucasian state. NATO’s strongest response was a symbolic show of force that relied on Turkey, as the gatekeeper to the Black Sea, to allow a buildup of NATO vessels near the Georgian coast and threaten the underbelly of Russia’s former Soviet periphery.

    Turkey disapproved of the idea of Russian troops bearing down in the Caucasus near the Turkish border, and Ankara was also angered by having its energy revenues cut off during the war when the BTC pipeline was taken offline.

    if Europe doesn’t need Turkey as an EU member, then Turkey doesn’t need to sign off on any more energy diversification projects that transit Turkish territory. Ankara’s threats against Europe dovetailed nicely with Russia’s natural gas cutoff

    Do I believe that Netenyahu will attack Iran without US approval? YES!

    Do I believe that he will wait a couple of years to order this strike? NO!

    Do I believe that an Israeli strike will have severe “unintended” consequences on an already fragile world economy? Yes!

    Do I believe that this will effectively isolate Israel? Yes!

    Do I expect Russia to be aligned with Israel’s enemies? Yes.

    Azerbaijanis do not consider themselves simply Turkic, like the Central Asians, but actually Turkish. If there is a country in the former Soviet Union that would consider not only allying with but actually joining with another state to escape Russia’s orbit, it would be Azerbaijan with Turkey. Azerbaijan has its own significant energy supplies, but its real value is in serving as a willing springboard for Turkish influence into Central Asia.

    However, the core of Azerbaijan does not border Turkey. Instead, it is on the other side of Armenia, a country that thrashed Azerbaijan in a war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and still has deep historical bitterness against the Turks over claims of genocide. Armenia has sold itself to the Russians to keep its Turkish foes at bay.

    This means Turkish designs on Central Asia all boil down to the former Soviet state of Georgia. If Turkey can bring Georgia fully under its wing, Turkey can then set about to integrate with Azerbaijan and project influence into Central Asia.


  3. yes to nato ,i said when president sarkozy decided the reintegration of france into the alliance. he knows that medvedev is a dangerous fascist!
    now, russians become hysterical, because of nato’ s presence in georgia, they complain about “threat” against russia!
    but no one ever “threatens” such a mighty army : we are not crazy!
    however : russian ultranationalists must know that georgia has the right to join nato !!!
    the baltics countries belong to nato, why not georgia?
    i am aware, that it’s risky: not because of georgia, but because there is a fascist in the kremlin. in 1939, nothing could prevent the war , germany wanted to invade us all, and it happened. poland was the victim ,not the guillty!
    georgia needs protection ,and russia must change its outdated mentality!
    we live in a frightening world now

  4. All of the points in the post are correct. But I worry that Europe and North America realize that coming to the aid of Georgia will have every leftist, and others who don’t understand the situation, out in the streets screaming “no blood for natural gas”. European leaders may be hoping that they can bow and scrape a little to keep Putin happy while trying to discover more offshore fossil reserves and pumping money into that big solar/wind network across North Africa and Europe with large transmission likes across the Mediterranean sea floor. Whether that will work or not it is probably the plan. They are probably also hoping that Russia collapses so far that they would not be able to use the threat of turning off the gas or that out of the chaos a less exploitative Russian government would emerge. It is not a strategy I would feel comfortable with but I am not in charge of NATO or the EU.

  5. Is it a question of defending Georgia or providing them the best weapons available so they can defend themselves?

  6. Michel, good question, and about as good as it gets for little Georgia.

    Face it, the reality is that neither the US nor NATO are going to roll out troops to save them.

    If little Israel with the will and the best weapon systems can survive surrounded in a sea of perpetual bordering haters then Georgia can do it.

    Decaying nationalistic and now fascist, for lack of a better strategy, empires like Russia are the most dangerous and the most foolish at their terminal end.

  7. Alexander Golts writes in today’s The Moscow Times: “Head of the General Staff Nikolai Markarov did not mince words when he spoke at the Academy of Military Science on Dec. 16. ‘Our pilots’ preparedness level has dropped to dangerous levels,’ he said. ‘During the Georgian conflict, we could literally count on our fingers the number of pilots who were capable of carrying out military tasks under simple, straightforward conditions.'”

    In other words, imagine if Georgia had the latest generation of stinger missiles, they could easily have wiped out Russia’s best trained pilots. Throw in the latest and best anti-tank missiles and Georgia could defend itself with no NATO troops having to participate in the fighting.

    • Yes Michel, they would have.
      Even without the latest western weapons, Georgia managed to down several (maybe as many as 10) Russian aircraft, including 2 SU-24, several SU-25, and even a TU-22M strategic bomber.
      With good western equipment, such as shoulder launched SAM’s, and anti tank missiles, they would give the Russians a bloody nose.
      Especially if they played to the traditional Georgian strengths of partisan warfare.

      • Yes, but to shoot down strategic bombers something more than Stingers would be needed.

        As of troops, of course no one would risk a nuclear war. But the Russians would not risk it too, so all needed would be to deploy an armed peacekeeping force. (Hungarians called the west for help, the Czechs also, but they did when the Soviet invasions were already underway.)

        • True, they used the old SA-11 system.
          Funnily enough the Georgians have been trying to have a full scale UN peacekeeping force with armed components deployed to Abkhazia & South Ossetia for 15 years, but the Russians keep vetoing it at the UN

  8. Georgia might not even have to win militarily. If they were well equipped enough they might just have to hold on long enough for the conflict to magnify other problems in Russia (the economy, regional tensions etc.) and rip Russia apart. Or at least see it spiral into a chaos that made continuing the conflict with Georgia a low priority.

    • http://thecurrent.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/08/following-hezbollah-lessons-in.php

      “It would be sheer insanity for Georgia to wage a Hezbollah-style terror campaign against Russian civilians. But in a detailed scenario about the Chechen fight for independence, John Robb devised a potentially very effective strategy that draws on the guerrilla playbook. Just as Russia disrupted Georgia’s critical infrastructure in 2006, Georgia might consider identifying key economic chokepoints – ports, power plants, long-distance electrical transmission lines, and of course natural gas pipelines – and training unconventional military forces to deliver crippling blows. While Russia would be prepared for a few discrete acts of sabotage, they would have a hard time dealing with a rolling, unpredictable series of attacks targeting multiple locations. By disrupting Russia’s infrastructure, Georgia could inflict severe pain at relatively low cost. Moreover, Europe would be impacted as well – which would make the European public think twice about acquiescing to Russia’s thuggish tactics in its own backyard.

      To be sure, Russia might then decide to level Georgia – but they’d have to do so with their economy and ruins and their international reputation in tatters.”

  9. Gary Marshall

    I am hoping an attack on Georgia by Russia might bring in the Ukraine, Poland, and any other hostile former Soviet state to Georgia’s side.

    It would be very entertaining to see how quickly Russia capitulates.

    Gary Marshall

  10. I may go against consensus here, but I don’t believe that Russia will attack Georgia in 2009-2010 (my crystal ball doesn’t show any further :). I see three main reasons:

    1. It’s not just the pilots that are incapable of conducting military tasks (see Michel’s post above). The same, according to Head of the General Staffapplies to infantry and anti-aircraft troops as well. Russian government is scaling down the size of the military, and doing it in the way that cripples the morale of those who are dismissed and those who remain.

    2. Unlike Chechen wars, there isn’t business potential in Georgia proper. You can’t expect to (a) bomb a bridge; (b) allocate and appropriate $10m for its reconstruction; and (c) bomb it again thus pocketing $10m. So, there aren’t that many powerful champions of the war. Putin may hate Saakashvili’s guts, but without powerful economic interests behind the war it just won’t happen.

    3. In foreign affairs Russia acts as a street thug; not as a major crime family (unlike Iran or North Korea). Russian expression is something like “a hooligan in shared apartment”. They get engaged in small skirmishes – to piss off the neighbors, but not large enough to bring the cops in. Who wants to be like Lukashenko – no foreign travel, no beachfront property in Nice or Saint-Tropez, no skiing in French Alps. Invading Georgia would risk all that!

    • I agree, Felix. Russia will keep up the threat level but won’t risk going past that. I could be wrong.

      As cement brained as they are in the Kremlin it’s going to cost them too much, lost profits and more lost western capital, to pull off more direct military thuggery in Georgia.

    • You talk about Russian weakness, but whatever little Georgians had, it was severely crippled last year (in combat and in systematic destruction after the ceasefire). For example, the Georgian Navy was disbanded. There are also severe problems with morale, as demonstrated with the recent mutiny of entire tank battalion and alleged coup plot by former special forces commanders. They mau just follow with round 2 for a KO.

      For many Russian Army officers and men a “small victorious war” like Chechnya I and II is always a chance for personal gain – building a career (for example, several times more worthless Hero titles were given in Chechnya than in Afghanistan) and money (from simply higher pay, to the mentioned basic corruption, to looting and extorsion, to even from things such as selling weapons to the enemy). The Army as such only suffers further degradation, but they just don’t care. They are very ego-centric. They may go to loot Tbilisi simply as Saddam’s army went to pillage Kuwait, not caring for the consequences.

  11. Well, I think that Gary’s point was already proven when the Eastern Front of Europe from Sweden and Finland through the Baltics, Poland and Ukraine unanimously pulled all their weight behind Georgia. ‘course Finland has since softened as Finland does but I think that if it came to it, they’d give the Russians another Winter War.

    The problem is the soft underbelly of Europe – Germany, Italy and France…

  12. http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2009/05/05/65432.shtml

    please read this interview of a former “Yamadayevit” from the chechen bataillion “Vostok”. He is warning Georgia,that a new russian invasion will take place this summer. You can translate the text from russian into english with “www.babelfish.altavista.com”.

  13. let´s recall,that during the five-day war last august 90 “Yamadayevites” from the Bataillion Vostok were killed in heavy georgian artillery fire,according to reports from inside chechnya. on november 1 last year the last 300 members of Vostok were disarmed by their russian GRU-collegues and the unit was disbanded.Some of them joined the “Kadyrovites”,all others are now scattered around the globe. Their leader Sulim Yamadayev was killed in Dubai on march 28 by an assasination commando loyal to Kadyrov. The Yamadayev-clan is destroyed for all times now and got what he deserved after ten years of pro-russian treachery

  14. Felix, you do not consider Georgian pipelines as economically interesting? Except this point I absolutely agree with you. RF will of course try to destabilize Georgia, but not by large-scale military operation.

  15. Not that I think Georgia shouldn’t be defended, but Georgia should also not be the key to European energy safety. Even if Georgia would provide an alternative transit route for natural gas towards Europe (which isn’t the case at the moment), it wouldn’t make Europe safer or more independent of Russia. Russia still has the possibility to manipulate Central-European countries with natural gas resources. Whatever happens, Europe will never have the same influence there as Russia.

    The way to go is to diminish the dependency on Russian – and other – energy resources by all possible means: nuclear energy, renewable energy, more efficient use of energy, even coal and oil… If the whole of Europe would manage to cut energy dependency on Russia and Central-Asia by half, there wouldn’t be anything to manipulate anymore for Russia – a far better strategy than trying to hold on a few pipelines.

    The best way to defend Georgia by the way is not by simply arming Georgia, but by destabilising the Caucasus, in such a way that Russia wouldn’t have any possibility anymore to launch an attack on Georgia. So, not only arming Georgia would do the trick, but arming Chechen, Ingushetian, Dagestani etc rebels and stirring up trouble in the Caucasus is the strategy to follow.

  16. The chechen rebels will launch a major offensive very soon,my sources are trustful.The recent videos show you,that the mujahideen control the chechen mountains and are now ready to launch full-scale attacks on the chechen plain-cities.Kadyrov´s militias will largely join the rebels and the few russian bases will be overrun.Trust me,you will see it!!!

  17. Today the chechen rebels do not lack arms,they receive them from their secret allies among the “Kadyrovites”. It´s the same in Dagestan etc… there the local militias and even some russian troops sell their weapons for a bottle of Vodka.The Western world must heavily arm the georgian army,especially with artillery,tanks and anti-aircraft missiles

  18. http://hunafa.com/?p=1302

    watch this video,if you are hard.here you see,how the chechen rebels treat Kadyrov´s pro-russian traitors,killers and sadists!!!

  19. Учите английский. В жизни пригодится.
    Пишите как школьники, зато с каким понтом:)))

    Это отностися как к авторам так и к комментаторамю

    • Ach man, sodemieter toch op met je gelul. Je bent gewoon een halve analfabeet die zelf in geen enkele taal drie woorden kan schrijven zonder vier fouten te maken.

  20. Учите английский. В жизни пригодится.
    Пишите как школьники, зато с каким понтом:)))

    Это отностися как к авторам так и к комментаторам.

    • Do you have anything to say on the topic? So, if learning English is useful, when are you going to start?

  21. Funny, that even in 3 lines of pontification in his native language, aglyamoff makes one grammar error, and one syntax error. aglyamoff – can you find it yourself before LR removes your comments for being spam?


    This one we’ll leave, too good to delete. Spelled it two different ways! LOL!

    • LOL! Yes, aglyamoff should be returning to elementary school to improve his Russian, and then put some real effort into learning English or any other foreign language. Maybe then he will actually have something to say and will be able to say it coherently.

      • Чем тебе не нравится мой русский? И, собственно, какая связь между наличием “something to say” и знанием того или иного языка?

        • А что? Если Вы будете ценить как другие люди пишут на английском, тогда у нас есть тоже есть права ценить как Вы пишите на русском.

          • Извините неправильно написал, должен быть так:. А что? Если Вы будете ценить как другие люди пишут на английском, у нас тоже есть права ценить как Вы пишите на русском.

            • Это был образец чистого русского языка? И ты ещё будешь отправлять меня в школу?

              I want to say that any incomprehensible personages concentrated here. They know Russian and speak English bad. Who are they(you)? I think, they(you) are nationalists from neighbor countries. They (you) pose as an Europeans. It’s ridiculous.

              • Русский не мой родной язык, но в отличая от Вас я могу грамотно написать на своем родном языке . А Вы вообще не сможете даже одно предложения написать на английском. Вы типичный русский шовинист!

                • Вообще говоря, русский мне тоже не родной.
                  И русский шовинист это не про меня.

                  Логика, конечно, у тебя забавная. В чём, позволь спросить, связь между шовинизмом и знанием английского или, выше ты тут писал, между наличием “something to say” и знанием того или иного языка?

                  И что значит не смогу написать ни одного предложения? Да как-то, уже смог.

                  • Куда то он(о) делся. Закончу мысль.

                    И вот такие дебилоиды будут считать себя лучше меня и учить жизни?
                    In Nuclear Armaments we trust.

                    • Ну это не не по моей вине что ваши мама и папа не учили Вас жить :)

                  • Да Вы не смогли написать предложения на английском чтобы критиковать ЛР и сказать что она так плохо пишет на английском. Это смешно!

                    А, да, я считаю что Вы шовинист. Кто ещё критиковал другого человеке за языка что он сам не владеет!

                    • Вы так милы в своём гневе:))) И всё-таки я не шовинист. Это абсурд. Ирония по поводу английского авторов Larussoturisto основана на сравнении местных текстов с текстами в английской, к примеру прессе, и сравнение это явно не в пользу данного сайта.

  22. Well it all seems sto be under contol now.
    TV here is saying 3 arrests, one chap on the run, and the soldiers in question confined to barracks until it is determined how deep the rot goes.

    What does concern me is that it was timed to coincide with the opposition blocking the 3 main roads out of Tbilisi. I suspect the (Russian sponsored) opposition was trying to create a violent incident as per Felgenhauers warnings.

    Luckily the Government and Military Police had been watching these traitors for about 2 months and acted before the protesters could block the road.

    I was in Tavisuplebamovidani (Freedom Square) where they have those rediculous “prison cells” the other day. All the locals are fed up with the opposition, and they can only muster about 2000 people on any given day.

    So the question is, will they give up and go home, or will they get desperate to do something for their Russian masters?

  23. i am not interested in your opinion,Felix. I know,whom i trust and whom not. If you were able to read you would see,that this interview was not from Kavkazcenter,but from a pro-georgian abkhazian website. Kavkazcenter only quoted the interview. This former “Yamadayevit” is a trustful source. Today after his disbandment he has no reason to lie. Furthermore all experts worldwide are sure,that from may-august this year the russians will invade Georgia again. Today´s failed pro-russian army riot in Georgia is a clear proof,that this invasion can start every day now. The russians even ignore the Nato-exercises!


  24. Georgians made mistake by allowing Russia butcher down Chechen resistance on the other side of the Caucasus ridge.

    Now, after finishing off cut off nationalists there the same group of forces, known as 58th army turned South. For us, other former Soviet republics it would be good idea not to repeat this mistake by keeping Georgia up as much as we can. For nobody knows where Russians would next after finishing Georgia with some of their tactics like today’s failed coup.

  25. Estland,the chechen resistance is not butchered.That the russians,or today the Kadyrovites,control the chechen cities and most villages,means nothing.That´s normal in a guerilla war

  26. sascha,

    First, you don’t have to be rude – you are not interested in my opinion; you don’t have to. Everybody here is entitled to their own opinion whether anybody else is interested in it or not. I am interested in everybody’s opinion, as long as it’s clearly stated. It’s really unfortunate that Russophile opinions here usually lack such clarity and basic logic. Oh, well.

    Second, I can read. The original site doesn’t call Gelaev “one member of criminal gang” – kavkazcenter does. I am not questioning Gelaev’s right to have the opinion that he has – so it doesn’t matter to me who publishes it. I just have a different opinion; and I explained my reasons to have my opinion.

    Both opinions (Gelaev’s and mine) are predictions. I may be wrong (you don’t seem to allow that Gelaev is wrong) – that’s why I suggest to come back by the end of summer and compare the opinions with reality.

    Basic logic IMHO. If it needs more explanation, it’s a real bummer!

    • Actually I meant Hamzat Gelayev – the former commander of Chechen Spetznaz.

      In the early 2000s was based in Georgia, was first used (against Abkhazia in Kodori offensive) and then expelled by Shevardnadze (who called for the Americans, so they left before the US forces arrived) and in 2003 killed in Dagestan.

    • Oh, I checked and this former Vostok fighter is Gelayev too.

      So anyway in my “Estland obviously meant Gelayev who threw his lot with Shevardnadze and ended badly.” comment I mean Ruslan/Hamzat.

      The Yamadayevs chose Putin and ended no better (btw, Isa continues to insist Sulim is alive in hospital and getting ever better – I don’t know what’s going on, maybe poor chap lost his mind).

  27. you are a typical naive western guy with anti-chechen feelings.This is a basic reason why the russians were allowed to commit genocide in Chechnya and to kill 320.000 chechen civilians. Furthermore you are naive if you don´t believe into a russian invasion of Georgia soon. You will see,that it will happen from may-august. It nearly happened yesterday or today.


    He is the statement of georgian national hero Saakashvili concerning yesterday´s events

  28. you are a typical naive western guy

    Wow! I guess, there is a first time for everything! And I thought I was overly cynical. Thank you sascha, I greatly appreciate your comment

  29. The problem with syaing Russia won’t invade Georgia because its not in their interests, is that it assumes that:

    1. The Russians view their national interest the same way we do, ie improve the economy, propogate rule of law, etc, etc, etc,.

    2. That the current Russian government is actually run by rational people.

    The reality is that the current Russian government (and a very large section of the population I might add), do not see their national interests as being what we would want int the same circumstances.

    To the Russian government and most of its people, the collapse of their empire was extremely traumatic, and its restitution a vital part of the “national interest”.

    Another thing is that culturaly, Russia is not interested in being liked, it wants to be feared.

    What better way to make Russia seem great (at least in the eyes of Russians) than to invade, smash, and retake Georgia (former No.1 holiday destination for Russian tourists), and strike fear into the hearts of the other former soviet republics?

    After all, as the EU/NATO/US showed last year, they are not really going to use force to defend a pro western democracy from Russian agression, and the Russians believe that their gas supplies to the EU will in the end be considered more important than the crushing of democracy “in a far away country”.

    BTW Sascha, Felix is on your side, brothers in the struggle against Russian agression should not fight amongst themselves.


    • True, what is rational for the ruling elite may be irrational for the country. I would add that starting a war is very often a convenient way of deflecting public anger from the elite in power to an external enemy. War can be a way to retain power, even if it means that the country will suffer.

  30. i don´t hve anything against Felix,but back in 1999 i was one of the few people here in Germany,who warned because if Russia,i was one of the few who stood up against the genocide in Chechnya. Yes,the western world is weak and coward today,it´s ashaming.Do you know,that all Europeans originate fro the Caucasus? They are our brothers,the chechens for example are one of the oldest white european people. But this is just an example,because these wars against russia have nothing to do with religion,skin-colour etc… these are wars of freedom. I hope,that the georgian army will succeed in defending their country,especially Tbilissi. After yesterday´s events i expect the russian invasion in the coming days or weeks. Maybe the NATO-exercises can lead to a postponement to june,but in june it will happen definitely

  31. by the way,brothers! Last year the intelligence wing of the chechen rebels predicted,that the russians will invade Georgia in august.


    The chief of the chechen intelligence,Movladi Udugov,several weeks ago stated,that according to their sources the russians will strike this year in may-august.They had no sure data,but it will happen between may-august. I trust them.And they are not the only ones

    • Being in Georgia myself, I am most inclined to agree with you.
      The signs are looking ominous.
      Russian troop buildup in the occupied regions, shutdown of triple pay in Chechnya for the Russian army so they are itching for a new conflict zone so they can get the bonus payments, the Russians wanting to restore their empire, and the usual western “head in the sand” approach to coming wars.

      All in all not a pretty picture.

      • Agree with Andrew,
        It’s better to be safe than sorry. No one really expected an invasion last year either. They might be looking at the possibility, if they wipe out democracy in Georgia, then it will quickly fall apart in the Ukraine, they can kill 2 birds with one stone. I wouldn’t put anything past these KGB thugs.

  32. Are you actually in Georgia? Do you see any fortifications from the georgian side? The former Vostok-member Gelayev told the georgians to “transform the country into one large fortress”. He knows why!!!

    • Yes, I am in Tbilisi.
      They have been building prepared positions all over the place according to friends of mine, but I have not recently had a chance to get out of the city and have a look.
      They seem to be fortifying old buildings on the high ground around the city from what I have seen.

      • Ну вот. Что собственно и требовалось доказать. А понтов то…

  33. Andrew,

    The problem with saying Russia won’t invade Georgia because its not in their interests, is that it assumes that:

    1. The Russians view their national interest the same way we do, ie improve the economy, propogate rule of law, etc, etc, etc,.

    2. That the current Russian government is actually run by rational people.

    No, I don’t assume it at all. What I assume is that
    1. Russian decision-makers view their national interests as maximizing personal financial inflows; that is, would I benefit or lose financially from certain decision.
    2. (somewhat related to 1) The current Russian government is run by people who, to the best of their ability, are interested in preserving their personal capital, and minimizing the risk to it. Preserving the country house in Kurshavel and shopping opportunities in London is more important reasons to not start a war with Georgia than any desire to improve the economy, propagate the rule of law, etc.


    Leave us not forget the people of Russia, about whom it is never safe to assert rationality. After all, if they were rational would they have chosen (a) a proud KGB spy (b) annointed by a man (Yeltsin) they they supposed hatedly to lead them? We think not. It’s perhaps the single most compelling evidence of national irrationality in the history of man, and Friday’s editorial offers further proof of their national psychosis.

    • I don’t really think there was much money for Putin personally and his closest circle from the last year’s pillage raid into Georgia.

      I think rather quite opposite, and they embarked for it anyway.

  34. i would prefer saying: the west doesn’ t help israel in its heroic fight to survive, and i sincerely regret it. we must protect israel, not let it surrounded by enemies.
    we must try to protect georgia, so that its people live in peace, not surrounded by russian enemies, and not prisoner behind a new iron curtain!
    but how can we end this nightmare?
    i really don’t know , what is the solution?
    reality is dark: medvedev ‘s fascist army is stronger than us all, but morality and right need his defeat!
    i worry for georgia, i really fear that russia ‘s obsesssion is to invade this country once again.
    but western public opinion is so insensitive!
    anyway, we don’t even have the choice : if russia would aggress lituania or another baltic state, nato would be forced to defend them…
    i hope a peaceful solution for georgia, but i will never trust the russians.

  35. Georgia is not surrounded by enemies. NATO member Turkey can help, but risks a Rasha Trade Blockade which did happen in August. Turkey has the time that Moscovie does not, and plans to export a moderate caliphate to Rashan Caucasus and Stans, it will hurt rasha. Azerbaijan is the goal for now. Armenia is with Rasha and in the way. Israel is supported by US beyond proportion, and to the detriment of itself and moderate muslims in the region that diminishes their influence. If peace can be worked out with Israel’s neighbors a lot of needless war can be stopped in the Stans. America cannot pull the blitzkrieg in Afghanistan. Europe will not go for it, and Iran is the only way in logistically. Rasha has an obstruction based policy to American interests in the region. For example, Belarus fronts Russian Iskander-M and S30 surface missile to Iran, Syria. Syrian president choses an all-Arab channel over US-Turkish peace diplomacy with Israel. Just a week after Turkish and Syrian land forces held their first ever joint maneuvers. But things can change in a hurry. Georgia is Key to Europe’s participation in all this. That is why Rasha will go for it.


  36. Tower Bolshevik

    “Allowing Russia to conquer Georgia unpunished will also inevitably lead to further Russian aggression around the world.”

    They’re not strong enough for that. Besides, with the West losing Iraq and Afghanistan hardly leaves them in a position to go around looking for trouble.

    “When the North Vietnamese Army conquered Saigon in 1975, America did not experience an era of peace, but an era of war.”

    America has started every war it’s been involved in. The heroic peasant and worker men, women, and children of the NVA and Viet Cong lierated themselves from enslavement, and humiliated the worlds most arrogant country.

    “After 1975, the Soviet Union and its client states invaded many countries (including Afghanistan) and killed millions of people.”

    Which countries? Now you’re delusional. In Afghanistan the Russians built schools, apartments, and roads in addition to fighting the CIA’s butchers. Afghans now say that unlike the Americans, the Russians actually gave and had something progressive to offer. As for killing civilians, a few days ago U.S led forced killed over a hundred civilians in Afghanistan sparking protests shouting “death to America”. In the mean time this rotten war which the U.S and their western turds has been claiming for the last 8 years that they’re winning continue to face their former lackeys who are now stronger than when they were in power.

    Under such circumstances, those idiotic western governments can’t afford more enemies. Especially not from rival business partners like Russia. You know, from all comments on this threat yearning for war with Russia, I can’t help but wonder how many of you rich conservative brats would volunteer to go to the front line if such a war began. I think you’d all run and hide behind your parents’ money and let the the poor kids be the cannon fodder. Or do a Ted Nugent. Very typical of conservatives.

    • US led forces killed over 100 civilians? What is your source?

    • Btw TB,

      Your understanding of history seems a little flawed.

      The US did not start WW1 or WW2, in both cases that was Russia & Germany, the first by declaring war on each other, the second by jointly invading Poland in 1939.

      The Russians started the Korean war (it was planned and run from Moscow).

      Grenada (a very small war) was started by Communist aligned rebels launching a coup and taking US students hostage.

      Afghanistan was started by Russia invading the place for no particularly good reason than to show how tough they were (had the opposite effect).

      As for this spectacular piece of BS “In Afghanistan the Russians built schools, apartments, and roads”


      “Koktysh said that the war turned out to be destructive for both Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. Half of Afghanistan’s agriculture sector was wiped out and 70 percent of its paved roads destroyed. Some 5,000 of the country’s 15,000 villages were destroyed or economically ruined due to damage to roads and wells. Moscow finally withdrew its troops in February 1989, only to see the Soviet Union itself collapse a few years later.”

      The Russians only built in Kabul, in the countryside they laid waste to entire provinces, carpet bombing, dropping persistent chemical agents that sort of thing.

      “For 35-year-old Abdul Bashir, the physical scars he bears serve as a daily reminder of the morning his childhood home outside the Afghan capital was bombed.

      What was to be a day of celebration resulted in the loss of family members and some 70 fellow residents of the village of Ali Mardan, near Kabul.

      “I was nine years old. It was early in the morning during my sister’s wedding when four helicopters or jets bombed my home,” Bashir says. “You can see I lost one of my eyes, and teeth. My brother was wounded. My sister, father, and my aunt were martyred in this incident. This happened 26 years ago, and I can never forget this painful incident.”

      It has been two decades since the failure of the Soviet Union’s 10-year campaign in Afghanistan was made official. February 15 marks 20 years since the last soldier crossed the so-called Friendship Bridge to Soviet Uzbekistan.

      With the presence of a new invading force that is increasingly perceived as one of occupation, sentiments like Bashir’s are once again echoing in villages across the Afghan countryside.

      Perceived Differences

      Some 2,000 Afghans have died or sustained serious injuries in U.S. and NATO air strikes in the past year. Recent polls suggest that support for Western forces among the Afghan people has reached an all-time low of 37 percent.

      The memories of Soviet occupation remain fresh in the minds of Afghans old enough to have lived through it. But while there are similarities, stark differences separate the Soviet and U.S. military campaigns in Afghanistan.

      Ali Ahmad Jalali — a former Afghan military colonel who went on to become a top military planner in the anti-Soviet resistance in Afghanistan and served as interior minister during the U.S.-led campaign from 2003 to 2005 — tells RFE/RL that the two military efforts can both be considered primarily “counterinsurgency” campaigns. But he says a key difference lies in the “purpose, policies, strategies, and the level of forces used.”

      Today a distinguished professor at the Near East South Asia Center of Washington’s National Defense University, Jalali maintains that the Soviet effort was aimed at “controlling” the Afghans, while Western military efforts are centered on winning “hearts and minds.”

      “During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, there was already a resistance fighting an unpopular regime that was supported by the Soviet Union — so therefore the Soviet forces entered Afghanistan to prop up an unpopular [communist] regime,” Jalali says. “On the contrary, in 2001, international forces entered Afghanistan to remove an unpopular [Taliban] regime.”

      He adds another important distinction: “During the Soviet invasion, millions of Afghans were forced to leave the country and become refugees in neighboring countries. After the U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan, millions of [refugees] came back.”

      ‘Lighter Footprint’

      Pakistani author and regional expert Ahmed Rashid was there in late December 1979 when Red Army tanks first rolled into the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

      Rashid, who has met recently with U.S. officials mapping out a possible new Afghan strategy, was one of a small number of international correspondents who managed to cover the ensuing war from both sides: He established friendships both with Afghan communist officials and the mujahedin guerrillas fighting them from bases in neighboring Pakistan.

      “The Soviet [campaign] was an invasion; it was an occupation. It was an attempt to install an alien ideology on the country with very little support inside the country for that ideology — in other words, communism,” Rashid says. “Today what we are seeing [after the U.S.-led campaign began in October 2001] is something quite different; it’s a light footprint, at least until the Taliban reasserted themselves in 2006. The failure today has not been about ideology or repression, it has been the failure to rebuild the country.”

      Alarmed by the bitter internal rivalries among communist factions, the Red Army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979, in an internationally derided effort to prop up an unpopular regime.

      Over the next 10 years, Soviet forces fought a variety of conservative Islamist groups bankrolled by the West, Arab countries, and Pakistan.

      Although the Afghan mujahedin hardly inflicted a major military defeat on the heavily armed Soviet Army or its Afghan communist allies, their simple hit-and-run tactics — strengthened in later years by access to sophisticated U.S. weapons — contributed to the Soviet withdrawal. After the Geneva Accords provided them with a face-saving exit strategy, the Soviet retreat began on May 15, 1988 and was completed on February 15, 1989.

      Invaders Vs. Liberators?

      One million Afghans died and more than 1 million others were injured in the course of the war, whose end signaled the onset of the disintegration of the Soviet Union itself.

      But while Washington welcomed the Soviet withdrawal as an ideological victory, the United States and its allies lost interest in Afghanistan and did little to help rebuild the war-ravaged country.

      The resulting power vacuum helped usher in civil war and the rise of rapacious warlords, bringing further misery to the Afghan people. The warlords were in turn unseated by the Taliban, who emerged in mid-1990s as ragtag group of former mujahedin fighters and madrasah students but — under the leadership of Mullah Mohammad Omar — developed a puritanical Islamist political agenda and controlled much of Afghanistan within three years.

      The Taliban regime had deep links to official establishments in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, who along with the United Arab Emirates were the only states to recognize that government’s legitimacy. In 1996, after Taliban fighters captured the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, they began to forge close ties with Osama bin Laden, who quickly became even more than an honored guest. The Taliban “emirate” housed and trained militants from around the world, and by 2001 was deeply enmeshed in bin Ladin’s global jihadist network. Al-Qaeda is thought to have orchestrated the September 11, 2001, attacks from its bases in Afghanistan.

      The 9/11 attacks once again focused Washington’s attention on Afghanistan, resulting in the U.S.-led invasion just a month later when its forces began bombing the Taliban on October 7.

      More Than Conflict

      Unlike the Soviet invasion, many Afghans eager to see the demise of the hard-line Taliban regime welcomed the U.S. troops as liberators.

      But seven years later, with promises of security, good governance, and basic services still unmet, former mujahedin and communist leaders alike agree that the enemy cannot be defeated by military means alone.

      Those skeptics include Burhanuddin Rabbani, who led one of the seven major anti-Soviet Afghan mujahedin factions in the 1980s and was a major political leader of the anti-Taliban groups allied under the United Front (aka Northern Alliance) banner in the 1990s. Once a Kabul university theology professor and a former civil-war-era president, Rabanni expresses reservations at the Obama administration’s focus on a troop surge to quell unrest in Afghanistan.

      “I tell you this for sure, that if NATO and America put all their attention on fighting, and investing only in the military — there have already been some mistakes during military operations and the mistakes are continually being repeated — indeed this is a mistake that the Soviets made in the past,” Rabbani says.

      Former communist Interior Minister Sayed Mohammad Gulabzoi, a onetime Rabbani enemy, is now his ally in the Afghan parliament. He wants U.S. and NATO forces to focus on proving to the Afghan people that they are there to help.

      “NATO and the Americans must change their tactics operationally and militarily if they want to win this war. They need to change their behavior towards the people,” Gulabzoi says. “It would be better if they developed the Afghan army and the Afghan police. There is no need for the increase in NATO troops, British troops, and American troops. We should improve our own army and police so we can stand on our own feet.”

      Democratic Hopes

      Journalist Rashid is optimistic that ahead of a NATO summit scheduled for early April, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama will have a new Pakistan-Afghanistan policy in place. He says that along with additional troops, the administration’s new strategy is likely to focus on reconstruction and “remaking the Afghan army and the police.”

      Rashid says such a strategy could boost Afghan hopes for a democratic future and stave off any perception that the United States is just another occupying power.

      He says “most people in the Muslim world aspire to some kind of democratic governance” but see too few examples because “there are too many autocrats and dictators in the Muslim world.”

      “I think Afghanistan is just the same. Yes, it may not be exactly a Western-style democracy, but they do want to the opportunity to chose their own leaders,” Rashid says. “Right now there is a lot of disillusionment with President [Hamid] Karzai. If he does decide to stand in the elections, he may well lose; and I think that will be a new benchmark for Afghanistan — a peaceful transfer of power, a new leadership with which the people and the international community can engage.”

      In Washington, Jalali says he thinks the challenge in Afghanistan is to build a state that can protect its citizens and deliver services. But he thinks making that possible will require more resources and course correction on the part of the U.S. led coalition.

      “Afghanistan’s problems is not short-term, it’s long-term,” Jalali says. “It is expensive; it’s not cheap. It is regional; it’s not local. It needs coordinated effort, not a fragmented effort by 41 countries.”

      The new U.S. administration has dispatched a special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke, to the region on a fact-finding mission that has already taken him to Islamabad and Kabul, where he met with political leaders and President Hamid Karzai, and will conclude in India.”


      Seems the Afghans can tell the difference quite well enough.

    • You write: “As for killing civilians, a few days ago U.S led forced killed over a hundred civilians in Afghanistan sparking protests shouting ‘death to America’.”

      The New Zealand Herald (your source) writes: “Bombing runs called in by United States forces killed dozens of civilians taking shelter from fighting between Taleban militants and Afghan and international troops, Afghan officials said.”

      The Associated Press writes (your second source): “Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai thanked Clinton for ‘showing concern and regret’ and added that “we hope we can work together to completely reduce civilian casualties in the struggle against terrorism.'”

      You make it seem as if United States forces set out and purposefully killed over 100 civilians, yet the very sources you cite state that the civilians were killed in the crossfire and if you watch the videos on the New Zealand Herald, you will discover that the bombing was requested by by Afghani forces fighting the Taleban.

      Also, not one of your sources mentions protests in Afghanistan with people screaming “Death to America.”

      Simply put, you distorts a few facts to construct a completely misleading statement.

      May I suggest that you actually pay attention to what you read and read what is actually there as opposed to reading what you want to read?

  37. Lets see.
    Korean War (Started by Russia).
    Czecheslovakia, Hungary, invasions of Poland 1939, Finland, Russian “advisors” causing Yom Kippur 1973, Angola, Eritrian war, Ethiopian revolution which resulted in mass murder & famine (brought about by Russian “advisors”)
    By the way, its funny hoe the Vietnamese communist government is trying so hard to be friends with the US, rather than with the Russians or Chinese these days.

    Eddie Amin (good mate of Moscow) eating his rivals in Africa, Russian advisors causing civil war in Congo.

    Russian sponsored communist insurgencies (and the usual murders of schoolteachers, mayors, anyone with an education) in Columbia, Brasil, and pretty much all of central & south America.

    Heroic NVA & VC?
    Ever heard of the Boat people from Vietnam, the nearly 50% of the population that fled communist enslavement to Thailand, Phillipines, Australia, New Zealand etc?

  38. Tower Bolshevik

    For Andrew:

    More of your senseless squabble. I think you mean Idi Amin, not “Eddie”. Pathetic. Actually, he was more of a good mate to the West. Ever see him with the Israelis and his frequent connections with Henry Kissinger. Especially all of the “communists” that perished by his thugs. Famine brought by Russia in Ethiopia? You’re nuts.

    Secondly, don’t talk to me about Brasil. People my family knew disappeared by the U.S sponsored dictatorship of Gen. Branco. You know his a idea of fair and democratic elections was a soldier armed with an M-16 peaking over your shoulder making sure you voted for the dictatorship, a vote against meant that you were a communist, then the human rights police would make you disappear.

    As for Angola, that was good of them. Particularly, since the Russians and Cubans defended Angola’s blacks from your fanatical South African white supremacist buddies.

    Yes, I’ve heard of the boat people. Considering Vietnam was had more bombs dropped on it than the whole of WWII by the Americans and 5 of their turds, not to mention the French, I hardly think it would be possible to stabilize the economy in the immediate aftermath. I’ve visited Vietnam, the majority of the people enjoy “communist enslavement” which has allowed them to build industry, provide jobs, health care, education, housing to their people. Not to mention that millions died so they’d not be enslaved by the Americans, French, Australians, through their hated lapdogs.

    • “I think you mean Idi Amin, not “Eddie”. Pathetic. Actually, he was more of a good mate to the West. Ever see him with the Israelis”

      Yeah, like when the Israelis killed more than 40 of his soldiers and all the Palestinian hijackers for the price of only one Israeli (albeit the commander) and 3 hostages.

      Stopped reading after this, obviously a troll.

  39. As someone who took part in the Anti-aparthied movement, and has quite a few friends (and one inlaw) from Angola I can tell you that the Russians and Cubans were not at all popular.

    As for Eddie (which was how he was referred to in media at the time, anglicisation and all that).

    Not really very pro Israeli, Entebbe and all that.

    I know plenty of Vietnamese who reside in NZ, and they are not particularly keen to go back to the “workers paradise” of Vietnam.

    Vietnam BTW, is now no more communist than China, and the “benefits of communism” you are seeing are more a result of western (including US) investgment than anything else.
    Prior to the early 90’s there was little to no industry in vietnam.

    Famine in Ethiopia:

    “By 1976 insurgencies existed in all of the country’s fourteen administrative regions.[citation needed] The Red Terror (1977-1978) marked the beginning of a steady deterioration in the economic state of the nation, coupled with extractive policies targeting rural areas. The reforms of 1975 were revoked and the Agricultural Marketing Corporation (AMC) was tasked with extracting food from rural peasantry at low rates to placate the urban populations. The very low fixed price of grain served as a disincentive to production, and some peasants had to buy grain on the open market in order to meet their AMC quota. Citizens in Wollo, which continued to be stricken with drought, were required to provide a “famine relief tax” to the AMC until 1984. The Derg further used the system of travel permits to restrict peasants from engaging in non-agricultural activities, such as petty trading and migrant labor, a major form of income supplementation. However, the collapse of state-run commercial farms, a large employer of seasonal laborers, resulted in an estimated 500,000 farmers in northern Ethiopia losing a component of their income. Grain wholesaling was declared illegal in much of the country, resulting in the number of grain dealers falling from between 20,000 to 30,000 to 4,942 in the decade after the revolution.[5]

    The nature of the RRC changed as the government became increasingly authoritarian. Immediately after its creation its experienced core of technocrats produced highly regarded analyses of Ethiopian famine and ably carried out famine relief efforts. However, by the 1980s the Derg had compromised its mission. The RRC began with the innocuous scheme of creating village workforces from the unemployed in state farms and government agricultural schemes but, as the counter-insurgency intensified, the RRC was given responsibility for a program of forced resettlement and villagization. As the go-between for international aid organizations and foreign donor governments, the RRC redirected food to government militias, in particular in Eritrea and Tigray. It also encouraged international agencies to set up relief programs in regions with surplus grain production, which allowed the AMC to collect the excess food. Finally, the RRC carried out a disinformation campaign during the 1980s famine, in which it portrayed the famine as being solely the result of drought and overpopulation and tried to deny the existence of the armed conflict that was occurring precisely in the famine-affected regions. The RRC also claimed that the aid being given by it and its international agency partners were reaching all of the famine victims”

    A bit like the Ukrainian famine of the 30’s

    A bit more on the Russian inspired “Red Terror” in Ethiopia


    The famine was a DIRECT result of the Russian advisors demands for collectivisation and the repressive and genocidal communist policies with which they assisted Mengitsu Mariam.

    “As it had in the past, in the mid-1980s the international community responded generously to Ethiopia’s tragedy once the dimensions of the crisis became understood, although the FAO had been warning of food security problems for several years before the famine hit. Bilateral, multilateral, and private donations of food and other relief supplies poured into the country by late 1984. In 1987 another drought threatened 5 million people in Eritrea and Tigray. This time, however, the international community was better prepared to get food to the affected areas in time to prevent starvation and massive population movements. According to Library of Congress studies, “many supporters of the Ethiopian regime opposed its policy of withholding food shipments to rebel areas. The combined effects of famine and internal war had by then put the nation’s economy into a state of collapse.”[9] Also according to Human Rights Watch’s reports and research, Mengistu government’s counter-insurgency strategy caused the famine to strike one year earlier than would otherwise have been the case, and forced people to migrate to relief shelters and refugee camps. The economic war against the peasants caused the famine to spread to other areas of the country. If the famine had struck only in 1984/5, and only affected the “core” areas of Tigray and north Wollo (3.1 million affected people), and caused only one quarter of the number to migrate to camps, the death toll would have been 175,000 (on the optimistic assumptions) and 273,000 (on the pessimistic assumptions). Thus between 225,000 and 317,000 deaths—rather more than half of those caused by the famine—can be blamed on the government’s human rights violations”


  40. Russians and Cubans defended Angola’s blacks from your fanatical South African white supremacist buddies.

    Here is the leader of white supremacists – Jonas Savimbi…

    And equally delusional comments about NVA freedom fighters. It’s not even the ideology that’s out of this world – it’s the ability to create your own fact to support the twisted ideology.

    But, fortunately, the West generally sees Tower Bolsheviks (Cynthia McKinney, George Galloway) for what they are – insane; not as somebody that you would want to be seen together. In Russia they are often in charge of territories, ministries, and military formations. That’s much more troubling.

  41. why are you talking with human russian filth like Tower Bolshevik? He is scum,filth,garbage!!! I usually ignore human russian scum. His bloody end will come soon,the bloody end for the Moscow-Horde will come soon

    • Good (though worrying) article thanks Sascha.
      The intersting thing is that the opposition had intended to block the 3 main highways from Tbilisi the same day as the attempted coup/mutiny.
      I suspect they wanted to cause a situation where the government would be forced to use riot police to clear the road.
      Lucky for us the government was able to nip the mutiny in the bud before the “russian puppets” of the opposition were able to block the roads.
      The Russians are just itching for an excuse.
      Please send stingers and plans for IED’s to the following address….

  42. Statement by Senator McCain
    08.05.09 11:47

    U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today made the following statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate regarding the Situation in the Republic of Georgia:

    `It has been just eight months since the world’s attention was riveted by Russia’s invasion of neighboring Georgia. In the midst of the fighting, the United States, the European Union, and the international community decried the violence and called on Russia to withdraw its troops from sovereign Georgian soil. There was talk of sanctions against Moscow, the Bush Administration withdrew its submission to Congress of a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia, and NATO suspended meetings of the NATO-Russia Council.

    The outrage quickly subsided, however, and it seems that the events of last August have been all but forgotten in some quarters. A casual observer might guess that things have returned to normal in this part of the world, that the war in Georgia was a brief and tragic circumstance that has since been reversed.

    But in fact this is not the case. While the stories have faded from the headlines, Russia remains in violation of the terms of the ceasefire to which it agreed last year, and Russian troops continue to be stationed on sovereign Georgian territory. I’d like to spend a few moments addressing this issue, Mr. President. It bears remembering.

    Last August, following months of escalating tension in the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia, the Russian military sent tanks and troops across the internationally recognized border into South Ossetia. It did not stop there, and Moscow also sent troops into Abkhazia, another breakaway province, dispatched its Black Sea Fleet to take up positions along the Georgian coastline, barred access to the port at Poti, and commenced bombing raids deep into Georgian territory. Despite an appeal from Georgian officials on August 10, noting the Georgian withdrawal from nearly all of South Ossetia and requesting a ceasefire, the Russian attacks continued.

    Two days later, the Russian president met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and ultimately agreed to a six point ceasefire requiring, among other things, that all parties to the conflict cease hostilities and pull back their troops to the positions they had occupied before the conflict began. Despite this agreement, the Russian military continued its operations throughout Georgia, targeting the country’s military infrastructure and reportedly engaging in widespread looting.

    A follow-on ceasefire agreement signed on September 8 by French President Sarkozy and Russian President Medvedev required that all Russian forces would withdraw from areas adjoining South Ossetia and Abkhazia by October 10, but it took just one day for Moscow to announce that, while it would withdraw its troops to the two provinces, it intended to station thousands of Russian soldiers there, in violation of its commitment to return those numbers to pre-conflict levels. Russia also recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the only country in the world to do so other than Nicaragua. The leaders of both provinces have suggested publicly that they may seek eventual unification with Russia.

    Despite the initial international reaction to these moves, the will to impose consequences on Russia for its aggression quickly faded. To cite one example, the European Parliament agreed on September 3 to postpone its talks with Russia on a new partnership agreement until Russian troops had withdrawn from Georgia. Just two months later, the European Union decided to restart those talks. The UN Security Council attempted to move forward a resolution embracing the terms of the ceasefire, but Russia blocked action. The NATO allies suspended meetings of the NATO-Russia Council, then decided in March to resume them.

    Yet today, Russia remains in violation of its obligations of the ceasefire agreement. Thousands of Russian troops remain in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, greatly in excess of the pre-conflict levels. Rather than abide by the ceasefire’s requirement to engage in international talks on the future of the two provinces, Russia has recognized their independence, signed friendship agreements with them that effectively render them Russian dependencies, and taken over their border controls.

    All of this suggests tangible results to Russia’s desire to maintain a sphere of influence in neighboring countries, dominate their politics, and circumscribe their freedom of action in international affairs. Just last week, President Medvedev denounced NATO exercises currently taking place in Georgia, describing them as “provocative.” These “provocative” exercises do not involve heavy equipment or arms and focus on disaster response, search and rescue, and the like. Russia was even invited to participate in the exercises – an invitation Moscow declined.

    We must not revert to an era in which the countries on Russia’s periphery were not permitted to make their own decisions, control their own political futures, and decide their own alliances. Whether in Kyrgyzstan, where Moscow seems to have exerted pressure for the eviction of U.S. forces from the Manas base, to Estonia, which suffered a serious cyberattack some time ago, to Georgia and elsewhere, Russia continues its attempts to reestablish a sphere of influence. Yet such moves are in direct contravention to the free and open, rules-based international system that the United States and its partners have spent so many decades to uphold.

    So let us not forget what has happened in Georgia, and what is happening there today. I would urge the Europeans, including the French President who brokered the ceasefire, to help hold the Russians to its terms. And in the United States, where there remain areas of potential cooperation with Moscow – from nuclear issues to ending the Iranian nuclear program – let us not sacrifice the full independence and sovereignty of countries we have been proud to call friends.`


  43. John McCain is a great man,it´s very sad,that he wasn´t elected as new US-president. Obama is a weak and coward guy,a mouthpiece.He will treat the satanic Moscow-horde with weakness and shyness.I don´t think,that Obama is a capable and strong leader of the “Free World”,who is able to safe countries like Georgia from the bloody reptile called “Russia”

  44. Andrew,i also do not wish a new russian invasion,but let´s be realistic,it will happen. It can happen already tomorrow despite the NATO-exercises,it can also happen on August 31! But it will happen between now and the end of August. Unfortunately this is the truth and therefore the Georgians should transform their country into a huge fortress. Maybe the are already doing it without much mentioning in the public.

    • it will happen between now and the end of August. Unfortunately this is the truth

      not to burst your bubble, but for now it’s only your opinion. You may be right, you may be wrong… If Russia invades tomorrow, it will become truth; if they don’t – on September 1 it will become falsehood. Until then it’s just an opinion.

  45. Article is a full ravings. What is to talk about?

  46. I agree with you, Sasha: john mc cain is a great man! last year, he said :we are all georgians!
    but schroder coldly answered: “i am not”!
    (maybe schroder hes forgotten the time when kennedy said “ich bin ein berliner”!).
    unfortunately, there are russophiles in western governments, as:hillary clinton, steinmeyer, and kouchner… but angela merkel and sarkozy are not russophiles. they only have no solution for georgia now, with obama and his new-carterism in white house for four or eight years.
    I have never praised a french president before, because mitterrand and chirac never deserved it for peacemakers: they were not (mitterrand coldly let the croats die in vukovar,instead of negotiating peace for them; and chirac made two wars against serbia, for the muslims!!!).
    sarkozy was very sensitive to the tragedy in georgia. but he only tried to save georgia. he did not succeed, but at least he tried.
    now, maybe nato must stay in georgia after june?
    otherwise, I’m frightened for the people there.
    what will happen if they have no more nato-protection? they will be desperate!
    and those russian fascists are capable of the worst war crimes, they have proved it last year!
    may 8, 2009… a bitter victory!
    mc cain is right : we must not forget georgia!…

    • Вот ещё один забавный персонаж. Судя по стилистике поста английский ему не родной. И русский, наверняка, знает. Чьих будешь, холоп?

  47. agglyamoff…
    what is this? I really don’t understand russian language! you are raving!

    we don’t hate germany anymore, but I believe that I will hate russia forever!

    I must say : George W Bush was the greatest president of america! history will remind him, and we must all be grateful; medvedved took advantage of election campaign in the u.s.a last year to launch his devilish aggression against georgia.

    tower bolshevik!!!
    I don’t care afghanistan, and europe must support america …unconditionally in the wars against islamic fascists!
    you’d better tell your russian leaders that they are hateful, for what they have done in georgia !

  48. “really don’t understand russian”
    From where did you know that I sad that you know Russian?

    May be you are a Pole?

    “europe must”
    Europe forgot to ask you.

  49. most of people in the world can read english, not russian ! sorry for your ultranationalistic russian feelings !
    I am not a Pole; and if I was? it is shameful?!!!
    you are xenophobe!
    oh! you’d better tell your hateful medvedev to leave his army from georgian occupied territories, and let the georgians choose their allies. I have read with great interest john mc cain’s call for georgia!
    I am french, and I wish for georgia a peaceful, european future.
    there are still in western europe too many false “pacifists”, who demonstrate against nato,in favour of terrorists and enemies of america! and these traitors don’t even blame russia for the aggression in august 2008!

    now, I think it would be too dangerous for the georgians if they try to recover themselves their sovereignity on occupied territories .their heroism can not alone defeat the russian army.
    that’s why I think that our duty is to search for a peaceful solution to obtain the same results, but without unfortunate georgian victims.
    with a moral pressure from nato’s presence there…as long as it will be necessary.

  50. aglyamoff!
    I’m not a teenager!!! I am 44 years old!!
    and how many russian aggressions since 1965?
    1968: tchekoslovakia! 1979 :afghanistan (already forgotten!) 1981: poland .
    1991: lituania . 1992-93 georgia (already…)
    2008: georgia !!! but i don’t forget: 1956,hungary!
    the russian “peacekeeping” force, it was in fact, an occupation force. I despise the so-called united nations,this useless “machin”(gadget).
    I only believe in euro-western values and their best supporter america.
    john mc cain has nothing to do with the invasion of georgia! he is sincerely against it!
    I do not “decide” that you are xenophobe, but I suppose you hate poland? and georgia
    always the same false argument : russia had to “save” its citizens, threatened by georgia in south ossetia and abkhazia!!
    russia has annexed these georgian provinces.

    • You are so expressive, and I decided that you may be teenager. Sorry if I was mistaken.

      This arguments are directed against information war. I think there is one role of Russia in this conflict between Georgia and S. Osetia: peacemaking function in compliance with mandate of UNO.

      You may don’t perceive UNO seriously, but it don’t abolish international status of this organization. UNO forgot to ask you.

      There isn’t any annexing by Russia something. Russia accepted independence this countries.

      Why do you think that I have to hate somebody?
      I don’t hate anybody only on basic of his ethnicity. I don’t hate anybody generally. This is not clever stereotypic thinking.

      My question about ethnicity concerned with my opinion that here there are many nationalists from neighbor countries, wich pose themselves as “western people”. And I have nothing to talk with them.

      • Algymuff, Russian “piecekeepers” operated under a CIS mandate.
        They had no UN mandate at all.
        The only UN mandated force in Georgia is UNOMIG.
        Russia has constantly vetoed the deployment of a proper UN peacekeeping force to the conflict zones in Georgia.

  51. agly

  52. aglyamoff,
    you consider me as “teenager” just because my point of view is contrary to yours!
    after all, russia’s neighbours have the right to prefer being western
    I have heard too much medvedev’s propaganda about “independence” of southern ossetia-abkhazia! i called it”independence”-annexion!
    I won”t change my mind concerning the united nations; but last september george w bush made a speech there, to condemn russia’s aggression against georgia. it was very important!

  53. “But Russia also takes a share of the blame because it was trying to inflame Saakashvili’s itch, Erosi Kitsmarishvili says.”

  54. It are particulars. The inflaming of Saakashvili is his problem. The essential is that Georgia was agressor.

  55. But Algymuff, did you not say the OSCE investigation has not yet finished?

    Even Der Speigel admits there were multiple attacks on Georgian police and civillians PRIOR to the Georgian retaliation against the separatists.

    Or are you Russian vermin the only ones entitled to react to attacks on your people?

  56. aglyamoff!
    no, unfortunately, the russians and their collaborators who subscribe to your extremist poi: ts of view are not teenagers: they are adults and they vote for a man like medvedev!
    but you treated me as teenager because it’s your totalitarian way of thinking.: i am pro-georgian, pro-american…unbearable! i must be politically immature!!!
    i don’t allow you to insult me
    the russian fascists accuse president saakashvili of being insane because he is a respectful man.
    der spiegel is a newspaper which enjoys demagogy, they often invented lies about tudjman during the bosnian muslims exactions against croatian people in 1993-94…
    they reiterate against saakashvili.
    maybe they prefer strength rather than justice
    medvedev threatens russia’s “enemies”, who exist in his imagination.

    • I think you are really politically immature. But not this attracted my attention. You are very emotional.

      In my link der Spiegel used only facts, wich are confirmed by another link.

      Hm, I see if newspaper wrote some other than mainstream, it automatically became demagogical. I begin to think der Spiegel is a good newspaper.

  57. aglyamoff,
    to be politically immature= to be against russian invaders in georgia.
    so, i am !!!
    der spiegel lost its credibility when it accused tudjman…as the croats in bosnia were victims of ethnic cleansing by the muslims.
    and now it supports medvedev’s revisionnism about the recent war in georgia.
    the russian president made a paranoiac speesh on may 9…for the victory.
    but what victory?

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