EDITORIAL: Long Knives in Sukhumi


Long Knives in Sukhumi

Blogging on Live Journal (backed up on Google), Twitter and Facebook, a Georgian lecturer on economics at Sukhumi State University named “Giorgi” last week faced a massive campaign of cyberwar from Russia (read his posts in translation here and here).  Thanks to the free advertising from his beloved Russians, which got him written about in such places as the Times of London and interviewed by The Guardian, by the time the dust settled and he was fully back online (though the LJ blog still seems to be under assault), laughing at the Russian cowards who attacked him, the professor (who blogs as “cyxymu,” which looks like the Russian script for Sukhumi) now has well over 2,000 followers on Twitter and is ten thousand times more well read than before the crazed Russophile set tried to silence him. By the weekend, there were nearly 1,000 articles in the mainstream Western press blaming Russia and praising the Georgian’s courage.

Nice job, Russians! Maybe you’d like to do the same favor for La Russophobe?

At the time of the attack, the professor had been running through a chronolgy of the events that led to last year’s war with Russia, showing how the war was a naked act of Russian aggression.  Since the Russian nationalists couldn’t handle the facts he was meticulously laying out, their only response was brute physical force — the same tactic they’ve used so many times before, up to including murder (everyone from Galina Starovoitova to Natalia Estemirova).

The attack was not limited to trying to crash cyxymu’s websites; the hackers also sent out thousands of e-mails in cyxymu’s name, attempting to smear his reputation in the blogosphere.  You may well ask what about this blogger made the Russian thugs so furious, and the answer his simple. He wasn’t simply a patriotic Georgian, he was an Abkhazian, indicating dissent with that annexed territory, where folks are far less supportive of the Russian invasion than in Ossetia and far more interested in true independence.

These are the acts of a criminal nation, a nation which cannot engage in verbal discussion or argument because it has no fact to rely on and no credible intelligence to back them up.  Such a nation is a direct threat to the entire civilized world.  Streetwise Professor put it succinctly

It’s bad enough when the thuggishness that pervades Russian politics and civil life, such as it is, stays in Russia.  That’s their sty, and to listen to the self-styled Russophiles that comment here, and elsewhere on the internet, they like it that way.  So be it.  But when it spills over to disrupt the lives of millions of others lucky enough to live elsewhere, it’s not just their business anymore.

What more evidence does the world need before it can conclude that it is faced with a barbaric neo-Soviet state just as hellbent on the destruction of freedom and democracy as the USSR ever was, and far more deeply in the hands of the malignant KGB?

The 34-year-old blogger himself is equally succinct, telling The Guardian:  “Maybe it was carried out by ordinary hackers but I’m certain the order came from the Russian government.  An attack on such a scale that affected three worldwide services with numerous servers could only be organised by someone with huge resources.”

Indeed, the Russian nationalists are right to be worried about the issue of Abkhazia.  Georgia forces did attack Ossetia, albeit to silence Ossetian guns that were mercilessly pounding Georgian territory. But Georgians never lifted a finger to move against Abkhazia.  Russia’s action to annex that territory was only justified by preemptive concern about future Georgian moves, which is totally unacceptable to anyone.  Hence, Russians are furiously attempting to sweep Abkhazia under the carpet, and are increasingly worried by open statements from the region indicating it has no desire to live permanently within the Russian fold.

And it’s one more example of the total failure of diplomacy on the part of the Obama administration. So much for the famous reset!  Russia has pressed a very different “reset” button, one that resets Internet access back to the stone age and recreates the USSR.

6 responses to “EDITORIAL: Long Knives in Sukhumi

  1. The Russian FSB is also engaged in prosecuting the so-called Russian “compatriots” who reside in the countries other than the Russian Federation, in particular for voicing views oppoite to what is spread by the Russian propaganda networks like RTR or Russia Today.
    The cases of the kind are frequently reported in the Volga Region, e.g. in the cities of Nizhny Novgorod and Saratov. Those blogging in the FSB-controlled LJ blog service are acussed by the Russian authorities of allegedly inciting “extremism” in terms of the Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code.
    Please help us save Russia from the abyss it faces!

  2. Looks like we are all vulnerable to the these attacks. Since it is possible that even the “script kiddies” can do it, when organized properly. It does not take the talent of a “creator”. All it takes is cookbook typing, and enough Moskowski Goons.

    One day these bastards will make it so that the whole domain of .RU will be disconnected from the internet. RaSSiya can fester with its own Sino Mongol Turko Hunic Nazis. Rasha will get its own medicine.

    This denial of service attack caused a blackout of Twitter for about two hours on Thursday.

    Facebook had previously confirmed to BBC News that the attacks were directed at an individual who had “a presence on a number of sites, rather than the sites themselves”.

    He told the BBC that he still did not have access to his blog or profile pages on any of the services. However, he said, he had set up a new blog.

    The blogger said he first noticed that things were not right when he realised his Live Journal page was not working.

    “After, I entered Facebook to say Live Journal was not working and Facebook was down,” he told BBC News.

    “So I entered Twitter to say that Live Journal and Facebook were not working, and Twitter was down.

    “And so I understood that it was under attack. It is not possible that these three services were all down at one time.”

    He told the BBC that he still did not have access to his blog or profile pages on any of the services. However, he said, he had set up a new blog to continue his writings.

    The pro-Georgian blogger, known as Cyxymu, said he had been targeted for “telling the truth about the Russian-Georgian war” in his writings.


  3. As cyxymu couldn’t have been the only Georgian blogger being monitored by the FSB and their little Nashi minions I wonder if it was that his content hit a raw nerve or that he had so many public forums going on that triggered them to act.

    George, dead right, the Kremlin would love to take the .ru domain out of the global internet community. They were thinking of switching to Cyrillic to effect just that in January:

    Davies says the key downside would be how much the Russians stand to lose out on the global operability of the web unless bridges are built with the Ascii-dominated global internet. “Russians estimate that 90% of the communication will be within Russia and just 10% will go outside,” says Kleinwachter. But it’s that 10% which would feel the real difference.

    Kleinwachter says the speculation is that people will need a password authorised by government agencies to use the global internet. The Kremlin therefore would be able to control what communication the individual is having with the rest of the world. The government says that would help it monitor cybercrime.


    The world is passing these people by. Losing another generation to isolation and ignorance, I don’t care if oil revenues rebound for them, is going to extract a very heavy toll. Given that only 20-30% of Russians are on the internet anyways, again when you are captive slaves to ignorance, the Kremlin can pretty much do what it wants.

    By the way, being a rather incurious culture in some poll awhile back it was something like 30% of Russians had no interest in getting on the internet.

    Russia would be another failed African state if their commodities weren’t geographically between China and the EU.
    Failed states can have nuclear arms as Pakistan and NK demonstrate.

    The Russians both inside and outside of the Kremlin are working hard in reverting back to the USSR low standard of living and stagnation and blissful isolation and ignorance.

  4. Its Sokhumi not Sukhumi :) Originated from the medieval Georgian city name of Tskhumi and later twitched around by Turks who called it “Sukhum-Kale” (sand city).

  5. We;; said Luis, as usual.
    Like I said before, next time you are in tbilisi, drinks are on me.

  6. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
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