EDITORIAL: Russian Failure and Humiliation in Ossetia and Chechnya

EDITORIAL

Russian Failure in Ossetia and Chechnya

Two reports last week highlighted the increasing humiliation Russia is experiencing in the Caucasus region.

First, Russia was left fuming with egg on its face when the Council of Europe adopted a draft resolution condemning barbarous Russian atrocities in Chechnya, and did so in the presence of infamous Chechen freedom fighter Akhmed Zakayev.  Once again, Russians were forced to confront their government’s utter failure in foreign policy in Europe, and forced to face the shame of having their wanton criminal behavior in the Caucasus exposed before a slack-jawed world.

And then came the news that Ossetia has already been declared a failed state.

The Moscow Times reports:

Despite being recognized by Moscow as an independent state after the war, South Ossetia still has no autonomous means of survival. According to some observers, its population could now be as low as 20,000 after the Georgians who used to live in what was once an ethnically mixed area were forced to flee during and after the war.

A report published earlier this month by the International Crisis Group paints a gloomy picture of life in this tiny, isolated region. Post-war reconstruction efforts funded by the Kremlin have rehabilitated official buildings and schools, but most private homes that were damaged in the war have remained untouched amid claims that renovation funds have been embezzled by local officials. As a result, some South Ossetians are living in empty train cars.

Moreover, the agricultural sector is failing, and this fertile but backward region can’t fulfill its own demand. Industry is virtually nonexistent, and even the black economy has suffered since the war. Medical services and education remain poor. Anyone who questions the authorities risks being labeled a traitor.

In fact, the Russian army appears to be the only thing that is thriving in South Ossetia, the International Crisis Group report suggests, pointing to a potential future as bleak as the present: “Both local and Russian analysts agree that if the local economy does not develop, the region will in effect turn into a Russian garrison.”

A Russian garrison, not a free and independent, prosperous new state.

Has Russia spent the millions it needs to in order to repair it’s tiny little creation?  It has not. Russians never cared one whit for the people of Ossetia, they cared only about their seething hatred for the daring President of Georgia who dared to flout their authority and demand freedom for his people, freedom from the same Russian imperialism and aggression that now bedevils the people of Ossetia.

We pity them.

10 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russian Failure and Humiliation in Ossetia and Chechnya

  1. Moreover, the agricultural sector is failing, and this fertile but backward region can’t fulfill its own demand

    Yes, well that would be because the agriculture was done by the ethnic Georgians, who used to grow all the fruit, vegetables, cereals, and livestock that fed South Ossetia, so when the separatist militia and Russian troops killed or drove the Georgians from their homes, then burnt and destroyed all the villages, orchards, gardens, and killed all the livestock to (in Kokoity’s own words) “make it impossible for the Georgians to return”, well the Ossetians destroyed the only food source…

  2. @A Russian garrison, not a free and independent, prosperous new state.

    And just as it was intended.

  3. (RIAN)

    @According to the Russian delegation, Zakayev entered the building using a visitor’s pass with no photograph. The delegation said Zakayev entered the building using a fictitious name as his real name was not found anywhere in the computer system.

    And the name was Sam Fisher, the Splinter Cell.

    Zakayev’s PACE statement:

    I welcome the report from Dick Marty and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on the situation in the Northern Caucasus, and in particular in the Chechen Republic, where I have very clear views as one of the parties to the military-political conflict about the underlying causes of the unending state terror.

    I would state that no window dressing about the so-called “rejuvenated” Chechen Republic can serve as a compensation for 250 000 lives of our countrymen, sacrificed on the altar of freedom and independence of our motherland – or for the ongoing violence.
    Hence the quotation from the esteemed Rudolf Bindig about the “need to establish a war tribunal to provide a legal evaluation in the Chechen Republic over the entire period of hostilities.”

    Let me remind you that it is the absence of such a legal evaluation of the events that has created a de facto state of impunity with the Russian politicians and their military and has stimulated the escalation of state terror. Russia has also annexed parts of the territory of the Republic of Georgia and continues to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign neighbouring states with the view to restore its former influence there.

    The entire territory of the Northern Caucasus has turned into a theatre of war. Daily news bulletins from the region indeed resemble news from a theatre of operations, if one considers the deaths, injuries and scale of violence.

    The region has the highest unemployment rate in Eurasia and the economy is in shatters. The criminal clan system in the Northern Caucasus, established and cultivated by Russia does create a temporary illusion of stability. However, it is the total absence of prospects and opportunity for a good life that provokes young desperate people to search for solutions to this virtually hopeless situation.

    Under the guise of fighting terrorism Russia’s leadership has deprived the peoples of the autonomous republics their basic right – the right to free, democratic elections of their national leaders. The national autonomies are gradually losing their identity.

    We have been hearing the claims of Russian and European politicians that the unemployed from the Northern Caucasus can find a better life elsewhere in Russia. Yet such attempts for survival are doomed in the long run because the impunity practised by the Russian leaders in the past 10 years has resulted in the emergence of extremely violent racist and nationalistic groups.

    Based on this premise I urge the Council of Europe and all parties and countries who bear the brunt of the burden of receiving and housing refugees from the Chechen Republic and other parts of the region to develop an entirely new approach to finding a political settlement and a sustainable good future for the Northern Caucasus.

  4. Circassians seek restoration of their own republic, promise protests if Moscow ignores them

    Jun 8 — Paul Goble

    A Congress of the Circassian People of the Karachay-Cherkessia this weekend called on Moscow to restore the separate autonomous formation the Circassians had before 1957, and its leader said that the Circassians will “be forced to stage a protest” in Moscow “if the federal powers that be ignore the demand of the Congress.”

    Read more: http://www.kyivpost.com/news/opinion/op_ed/detail/68964/#ixzz0rs40NKfx

  5. Wonderful article on The Economist regarding Russia’s continued foreign policy failures.

    http://www.economist.com/node/16438707

  6. voce della ragione

    Russia should learn from America’s crusades how to turn previously anti-Western countries like Afghanistan and Iraq into eternal beacons of American-style democracy, of love and peace, of eternal love for America and of the good old Protestant Christian values.

  7. Meanwhile, the “Russia proper” Caucasus colonies continue to be as peaceful as ever. Yesterday:

    Two policemen killed in attack in Ingushetia
    http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100625/159580676.html

    “Russia’s North Caucasus region, which includes the volatile republics of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, sees frequent attacks by militants on police, federal troops and officials.”

    Police officer killed in Russia’s North Caucasus [Kabardino-Balkaria really]
    http://en.rian.ru/crime/20100625/159582303.html

    “Sporadic terrorist attacks, shootings and militant clashes are common in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus, where Russia has held two brutal wars against separatists in the republic of Chechnya.”

    “Sporadic” or “frequent”, RIAN has yet to estabilish a single propaganda line.

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