Putin: What is wrong with Russia

Anders Aslund, writing in the Moscow Times:

Some advice to a young Russian woman: “It is better to marry a top state official than an oligarch. The money is the same, but job security is so much greater.”

All surveys show that Russia’s pervasive corruption is increasingly concentrated to the top. What is the cost of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin? The stock market discount of Russia in relation to Brazil is 45 percent, almost $1 trillion. The Russia risk equals the cost of Putin. It reflects Yukos and other confiscations, as well as Putin’s interference in private business. For example, two years ago, Mechel’s stock price fell by half in the days after Putin’s reckless attack on its main owner.

Few people are as costly to their nation as Putin, but amazingly many think that he will return as president in 2012. His two self-declared claims to fame — high economic growth and stability — are both flawed. Putin was not the cause of the country’s average annual economic growth of 7 percent from 1999 to 2007. He simply benefited from President Boris Yeltsin’s market reforms — which came to fruition only when Putin came to power — and, of course, high oil prices. You could split the illusionary “Putin economic miracle” in two — half the growth came from the Yeltsin reforms and half from oil.

Putin arrived at a table that was already decked out with an abundance of food. Impressively, Russia’s privatized oil companies raised oil production by 50 percent from 1999 to 2004 through modernization. In 2004, however, stagnation set in after Putin led a campaign to confiscate Yukos. State corporations have taken over NTV, United Machine-Building Company, VSMPO-Avisma, Sibneft, Guta Bank and others. Half of Russia’s economy is now in state hands, but all efficiency gains have come from private enterprises. This is a big reason why the country’s economy contracted more than any other Group of 20 economy in 2009.

Rampant corruption and inefficient state corporations suffocates Russia’s growth potential. Without reforms, a broad consensus foresees a moderate growth of about 3.5 percent a year in the medium term, deriving from improved human capital and international integration.

The purported stability is also a myth. The gruesome second war in Chechnya, which Putin started, has not led to any abating of terrorist acts, while Dagestan and Ingushetia have been destabilized. Repression and censorship do not equal stability.

No, Putin’s greatest legacy is corruption and the absence of accountability. Prominent observers such as Stanislav Belkovsky, Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov have detailed how Putin has appropriated $40 billion to $50 billion of state property to his own benefit, which would render him the greatest thief in world history. Since Putin has never refuted these accusations in any detail, they must be taken seriously. None of his close associates accused of multibillion-dollar malfeasance has been prosecuted or even sacked.

Russia will not move forward unless its leaders start fighting corruption. But this will never happen under Putin’s rule because he stands out as the country’s greatest promoter and beneficiary of corruption. This explains why for years he has done nothing to battle corruption. The rise of authoritarian rule has not promoted reforms or modernization, but it defends top officials against prosecution for embezzlement.

One vivid example of the cynicism of Putin’s regime involved Kaliningrad Governor Georgy Boos. He had provoked thousands of residents to demonstrate in the streets after he introduced a transportation tax while escaping that tax on his new private jet by registering it in the Cayman Islands. But Boos’ ultimate demise offers some hope.

Russia is not doomed to be extremely corrupt or abnormally authoritarian. Nor is it condemned to a low growth rate. The obvious alternative is modernization, about which President Dmitry Medvedev speaks incessantly. He has analyzed the nation’s problems and formulated the right principles for their solution, but little has been done because Putin clearly remains the country’s CEO.

In his programmatic speech in Krasnoyarsk in February 2008, Medvedev formulated his election program consisting of four i’s: institutions, infrastructure, innovation and investment. But there has been very little progress so far in any of the i’s.

The second Yukos trial makes a mockery of Russia’s legal institutions. The two relevant ministers at the time, German Gref and Viktor Khristenko, have both testified in court that former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky could not possibly have stolen 350 million tons of oil from Yukos. Any normal court would have dismissed the case after that evidence. Until this bad joke ends, it is difficult to take Russia’s courts seriously.

The sad truth is that Russia cannot build much infrastructure until the government manages to control corruption in public procurement. For large public infrastructure projects, kickbacks of 50 percent appear standard and cases of 90 percent are cited. This is one reason the total length of paved roads has not been expanded since 1997. A regime that cannot build roads cannot have a great future.

Russia has the human and financial capital as well as technology for a modern innovation economy, but it lacks the necessary freedom of enterprise and communication. One prominent Russian business leader said, “Excellent human capital does not help if human conditions are not created so that it stays in the country.”

Russia’s savings ratio is reassuring, but investment lags because private property rights are too circumscribed. The World Bank places Russia in 120th spot for the best places to do business out of 183 countries, and in 182nd place for dealing with construction permits, showing how bad its investment climate is. Even so, no significant deregulation has been attempted after 2002.

Let us add a fifth i: internationalization, where the contrast between Medvedev and Putin is the greatest. Medvedev has staunchly promoted Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization, which Putin persistently sabotages, but Russia cannot modernize without international integration.

In all these regards, Putin represents what is wrong with Russia. He does not solve problems but causes more of them. In effect, he acts more like the chairman of Gazprom than as the country’s chief executive. Characteristically, Gazprom is one of Russia’s most discounted companies. Putin’s only claim to fame seems to be Rambo-like stints, but who would like to have Rambo as president? The ultimate cost of Putin is the country’s relative backwardness. Russia can do better.

208 responses to “Putin: What is wrong with Russia

  1. @while Dagestan and Ingushetia have been destabilized

    Often forgotten Kabardino-Balkaria too, also spilling into North Ossetia (1,000 or so deaths altogether in K-B and NO since 1999).

    For a comparison, the whole Northern Irish “Troubles” conflict claimed over 3500 lives in 30 years, including outside Northern Ireland (such as in London). I guess it was “stable” all along, according to the Russian standards.

    Meanwhile, heavy stabilization in Dagestan continues daily. I wonder if anyone is even still counting the killings and “disappearances”. Itar-Tass sez (for whatever this is worth):

    MOSCOW, September 30 (Itar-Tass) — Sixteen policemen were injured as a result of a blast in Dagestan’s city of Kaspiisk, ITAR-TASS learnt at the Investigation Committee at the Russian Prosecutor’s Office (SKP).

    http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15543636&PageNum=0

    MOSCOW, September 29 (Itar-Tass) – A total of 14 militants were destroyed on Wednesday in two special operations conducted in Dagestan, the information centre of the National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC) told Itar-Tass.

    http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15541026&PageNum=0

    MOSCOW, September 28 (Itar-Tass) — Four police officers, including the chief of the extremism control department, died in a shooting incident in Dagestan on Tuesday, spokesman of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office Investigation Committee Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.

    http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15538336&PageNum=0

    • And speaking of K-B, today’s daily dose of stability:

      http://en.rian.ru/crime/20100930/160772169.html

      • Robert, I am honestly trying to understand the rationale for your posts, or re-postings of news articles about the Caucasus. Anyone who remotely interested in Russia knows that something blows up there on a daily basis, that irregulas fighting for a slew of causes slaughter officials and civilians, that armed forces slaughter irregulars and civilians, that authorities are corrupt etc. Any Russian news site, like RIAN, has a section on the region, in most cases in English. There are separatist web sites. Why you think its your dutiy or that its necessary to re-post long, long articles about this in comments here? I am sure you will have the material to post daily for the next decade. But why do you do this? Why do you think its necesary or appropriate? You appear to have enough material for your own blog. Why don’t you start one?

        • @Anyone who remotely interested in Russia knows

          No, K-B is usually gets ignored, just like in this article. It’s like it doesn’t exist, it existed for a while last summer when they blew up this power plant and Dima M. got a hissy fit as millions of dollars went in the air, now it’s back in the memory hole. And I’ve seen even plenty of Russians for whom the Kabardino-Balkar fighters are “Chechen.” Like here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX7Yv2XTBSA (including the retarded commentators).

          As of writing. Sometimes I think I should start editing Wikipedia. The content there is often just laughable for a variety of reasons.

          It’s also interesting how I just noticed the updated RIAN’s mantra is now: “Terrorist attacks and shootouts with police are common in Russia’s troubled North Caucasus republics, especially in Dagestan and neighboring Chechnya and Ingushetia.” Wow.

          But then I go and read some “independent experts” and I see this: “Dagestan has become the preferred hideout for Islamic fighters fleeing the more controlled Chechnya. ”
          http://www.asianews.it/news-en/The-slaughterhouse-of-Dagestan-is-not-Chechnya-19561.html

          Also wow. Chechens are not “fleeing” anywhere (even Umarov, who is their own Luzhkov and does some http://www.rferl.org/content/Umarov_Dismisses_Renegade_Commanders/2163192.html really silly stuff instead of sucking it up like a man and relocating somewhere where he has more fans), Dagestanis don’t go at all to Chechnya to “flee” back for many years now. Also, “hideout” for a battleground.

          And then the “expert” guy goes like that:

          “Neither is ethnic diversity a factor that may explain instability in Dagestan: in the ’90s represented a threat to the unity of the republic, with periods of violence and terrorism. But it was the same government that prevented the country’s transformation into a second Chechnya.”

          Not noticing RIAN just already classified it as “a second Chechnya”.

          • Robert, then edit Wikipedia, start your own blog as I said. Writing these long messages in comments is really disruptive. In a blog, you could organize this material better and communicate the message more clearly. Meanwhile, most people just scroll down these messages without reading them. Note very few of your posts are discussed. Do you reall expect readers here to read a 5-screener when they, say want to comment on police brutality or family violence, and come across a post … “an meanwhile in Grozny 10 years ago”…

            • More like “meanwhile in Grozny yesterday”.

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10579376

              There’s “police brutality”, there’s (alleged) “family violence” ( http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?story_id=28409&action_id=2 ) and there’s random anti-women violence too (including also by the militia).

              • Well, this is a much better format compared to the 5-pager. People can understand what is about from your comment, and those who are interested could use the links (I did not). Still this post’s relevance here is questionable, with the “meanwhile” being the only link to the subject matter of the article. If you want to reprint everything the St. Pete Times and BBC publish on the topic, wouldn’t it be conventient to at least organize the info, to make it more readable and accessible? Also, to write your editorials on the topic. Otherwise, what’s your added value? This is all in the press and what is achieved by putting the material here.

                • …it would also be helpful to know your position about this. Otherwise, its not clear whether you are just gloating about people’s misery, sympathize with them or propose some specific solutions. In the past, your “recommendations” were limited to putting Putin and Kadyrov on trial, which — I think is not going to happen, whether its right or wrong.

                  • Step 1: Abandoning the double standards towards Russia.

                    When this strange gay-ne0-nazi-lite fascist creature Haider somehow became the leader of Austria he was instantly ostracized, even as the poor little creep never had anyone tortured or murdered (that’s unlike his full-blown-Nazi dad).

                    So, no friendship (especially no personal friendship) with criminals. That’s for starters.

                • @and those who are interested could use the links (I did not).

                  Superb. The public opinion of the Russian top “official” (and “Hero of Russia”) about “family violence” in Russia:

                  GROZNY — The bull-necked president of Chechnya emerged from afternoon prayers at the mosque and with chilling composure explained why seven young women who had been shot in the head deserved to die. Ramzan Kadyrov said the women, whose bodies were found dumped by the roadside, had “loose morals” and were rightfully shot by male relatives in honor killings. “If a woman runs around and if a man runs around with her, both of them are killed,” Kadyrov told journalists in Grozny.

        • Listen AT, why don’t you you explain your rationale in defending a regime like Putins?

          Of course given that you support dictatorship, ethnic cleansing, mass murder and genocide, as evidenced in your slew of asinine posts…..

          • read about putin years in wikipedia.

            then read about saakashvili, and what did he do to georgia.

            then ask yourself what were your reasons to protect saakashvili.

          • Well, Andrew, you are missing my point again and again and again. Please find one single post where I defended the Putin regime. I don’t disagree with the regime’s foreign policy, as its mostly pragmatic and would be pretty much the same under any regime. I explain why most Russians are content with it: because their standards of living have been improving noticeably. No its not propaganda, no they are not brainwashed. Most of them just wake up better off than when they went to bed every day for the last 10 years. I also argue with gross overstatements, like 14,000 of women are killed in Russia annually. In exposing a legitimate problem — family violence for ecample — using incorrect statistics and wrong facts is the worst you can do to earn credibiliy. Finally, I object against racism, like “Russians are inferior”, just because I am not a racist. Well there are mainly these 4 messages in all my posts. Where did you see me defending the regime?

            • Well AT, you were quite happy to defend Russian backed genocide against Georgians in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

              • Any Russian regime, even the most democratically elected one would probably help Abhazians and South Ossetians keep their independence when they were attacked by Georgia. If the democratic Vedmedev and Shmutin were running Russia instead of the authoritarian Medvedev and Putin, the result would have been the same.

                • @Any Russian regime, even the most democratically elected one would probably help Abhazians and South Ossetians keep their independence when they were attacked by Georgia.

                  Any German regime, even the most democratically elected one would probably help the French State, the Italian Social Republic, and the Independent State of Croatia, keep their independence when they were attacked by the Allied Nations.

                  • Reductio ad Hitlerum is the argument you use when you have no other ones. Not only Hitler, US created and destroyed countries and regimes when it suited its commercial and political interests. Otherwise, the Panamanians would still be Colombians now. This is a much better analogy.

                    • So, suddenly the Independent State of Croatia was not independent at all?

                      US forces went to Panama to trash “Major Generalissimo” Noriega and his “dignity battalions” not prop them up against the Colombians or whatever. You would better try with the liberation of Kuwait, except Kuwait was a real country and it was UN operation.

                      Poor Noriega, everyone wants to jail him.

                    • Robert, the removal of Noriega was not the first time the US went to that place. The country of Panama, in fact, was not in a completely different manner than South Ossetia and Abkhazia were.

                  • Bobby, who started the first war in S.Ossetia? Who fired first? Who started the second war in S.Ossetia? Who fired first? Who started the 1992 war in Abkhazia? Who fired first?

                    Gamsakhurdia. Saakashvili. Shevardnadze.

                    See, it’s rather about the Georgian empirial ambitions here…

              • In general, Andrew, your problem is not with the “bloody Putin’s regime”. I feel you would be quite satisfied if Stalin or Mugabe was running Russia now, if only he helped Georgia retain South Ossetia and Abkhazia. If you try understand why Russia reacted as it did and sided with parties it sided with, you should not necessarily focus on the nature of the Russian regime, democratic or otherwise. Try to understand why South Ossetians and Abkhazians don’t want to live in one state with Georgia. Why are they ready to die for independence and to kill for it? Why would they make a deal with anyone who can help them make their countries independent? Why were they successfull, by using force, alliances… all means available… in gaining independence? Why could they secure the Russian support and Georgia could not? This could explain why the Abkhazians and South Ossetians are enjoying their hard-won independence, while Georgians whine like sore losers.

                • @if Stalin or Mugabe was running Russia now

                  Or Genghis Khan or Satan or Cobra Commander.

                  Now, why are you defending Putin, so much?

                  • Defending Putin — not at all. Andrew whould have praised Putin, Mugabe, Genghis Khan, Satan or Cobra Commander as a Russian leader if Russia unconditionally supported Georgia rather than Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

                    • No, I would not have AT.

                      You are stretching there, though you are a monotonous liar, so we should not be at all surprised.

                      I am anti Russia for many reasons (BTW, I am not Georgian), all of them based on the actions of the Russian state against many peoples.

                      Russian actions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are simply a continuation of Russian barbarism.

                      I do not care if Russia supports Georgia or not, but I do expect Russia to keep it’s nose out of Georgian affairs, not to arm separatists on Georgian territory, not to initiate unwarranted economic blockades, not to plan and lead campaigns of ethnic cleansing and mass murder of civilians, that sort of thing.

                      If you can’t understand this you are even more stupid than you originally appear.

                      And in addition, the Russian government was extremely upset with places like Georgia, the Baltics, and others for causing the collapse of the Russian empire. A big reason for Russian support to the separatists was a feeling of revenge.

                • @enjoying their hard-won independence

                  lol

                  • At least they are not rushing back to become part of Georgia again. I guess whatever they do and whatever the degree of their independence is, they are enjoying it more than the status quo ante bellum.

                    • @At least they are not rushing back to become part of Georgia again.

                      Who’s “they”? I think majority of population (inlcuding the forcibly displaced persons) would disagree with you.

                      (“Would you want to get your home back? Y/N”)

                    • “Them” are Abkhazians who by all means available have established a home country for themselves, so that they can say Czym ta ziemia? Ma ojczyzna. Czym zdobyta?… The internally displaced persons whould be given the right to return, but after the independence of Abkhazia has been secured.

                    • @The internally displaced persons whould be given the right to return, but after the independence of Abkhazia has been secured.

                      Show me this is international law (international because Russia and Georgia being sides in this).

                      On topic and recently:

                      http://iwpr.net/report-news/georgia-hails-un-refugee-vote

                      Georgia has hailed a United Nations vote, backing the right of refugees to return to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as a diplomatic victory, but people displaced from the two regions say they are more concerned about living standards where they are now.

                      Despite strong opposition from Russia, which recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states in 2008, the UN General Assembly passed the resolution by 50 votes to 17 on September 7, with a further 86 abstaining.

                  • Bobby, the state of Georgia attacked them and lost. Every Abkhazian (and every Georgian, actually) knows that.

                    • dymasza wrote;
                      Bobby, the state of Georgia attacked them and lost. Every Abkhazian (and every Georgian, actually) knows that.

                      comment;
                      russia was totally humiliated, by little Georgia – we all saw in the West those dirty, hungry, russian soldiers stealing toilet sets, and black-and-white TV sets from the Georgian villagers…what a class!!!

                    • Who needs a victory with such humiliation…

                    • Toilets again… aaausa, you’re plumber?

  2. Czym ta ziemia? Ma ojczyzna. Czym zdobyta?… what’s the next line, Robert?

  3. @The internally displaced persons whould be given the right to return, but after the independence of Abkhazia has been secured.

    Too bad the world (United Nations) just officially disagreed with your very strange opinion.

    http://iwpr.net/report-news/georgia-hails-un-refugee-vote

    • Too bad. I don’t find my position stange though. Its pragmatic.

      • “Progmatic” would be if the Russian soldiers let the people of Abkhazia and “South Ossetia” go back to their homes, then pack up and GTFO while the UN peacekepers defend them and oversee the people voting on their future while the UNHCR help them rebuild their houses, then the whole crisis would be over and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people (majority of the population) would be no longer destroyed.

        • Wishful thinking is not pragmatism. I am sure Abhazians will see it as a threat to their independence and would not let this happen.

          • “Threatening”? Once the puppet masters go home (this including the majority of “South Ossetian government”, imported from North Ossetia and elsewhere in Russia), and the neutral peacekeepers move in, the majority of the people will be no longer threatened in their own homes by the extremist elements in the ethnic minority and will be able to vote in the referendum on the independence. If the people will want to be independent, they will get it alright (a real one, not a puppet show). And the conflict will be peacefully resolved once and for all.

            • Well few states gained independence at a referendum. Independence is something nations usually take, not something that is routinely given. Abkhazians wanted a home country. They got it, without any referendum. They are siding with Russia, as Russia is giving them the best deal. If the EU or the UN cannot or are not willing to give Abkhazia a better deal, any pontification that they are a puppet state of Russia is futile.

              • Your view totally ignores the fact that anything that can threaten Abkhazian hard-won independence is a deal breaker for the Abkhazians, and whether it is right or wrong, such options are not going to be considered. Thus, further options are (i) coersion (more war, violence and suffering); (ii) do nothing (refugees remain displaced) and (iii) remove the deal breaker.

                • @Abkhazian hard-won independence is a deal breaker for the Abkhazians

                  So they will easily all vote for (real) independence, them Abkhazians.

                  Where’s a problem?

                  • They perceive it as a threat. This is the problem.

                    • You say Abkhazians perceive returning home and voting on their future “as a threat”? Well, I don’t think so.

                    • Well, they will remain isolated until such time as they allow the refugees back, and hold a real referendum.

                      “Nice” to see you are still justifying ethnic cleansing AT.

                    • Andrew, when did isolation work? Sanctions and isolation never work, only engagement and negotiations are effective. Georgia has been trying to make isolation work for the last 20 years. Do you really think that doing more of the same for the next 20 years would make the refugees better off?

                    • No Georgians don’t isolate neither SO or Abkhazia, they come there with their artillery to engage in heavy negotiations from time to time.

                      Sh*t their pants each time, of course.

                    • Isolation worked very well with South Africa and its apartheid government, which was a minority led fascist system.

                      Very much like Abkhazia today.

                    • South African regime collapsed because it was not supported by about 90% of the country’s population. If 90% of people now living in Abkhazia do not support the government, isolation might indeed work. But why hasn’t it been working for the last 20 years then?

              • @Well few states gained independence at a referendum. Independence is something nations usually take, not something that is routinely given.

                Most recently? All of the internationally recognised ones. Kosovo and East Timor in the votes organized by the international community, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, voted on their own initiative. And for many of the ex-USSR the independence was simply “given” indeed.

                There will be one is in South Sudan this year.

                @Abkhazians wanted a home country. They got it, without any referendum.

                And so the ethnic Abkhaz have no real country, while most of Abkhazians (people of Abkhazia) lost their homes literally. And you think/pretend it’s all okay and “pragmatic”.

                • It looks like for the Abkhazians living in Abkhazia going back to Georgia or allowing any Georgian sympathizers to come back and participate in a referendum is not acceptable. Moreover, they have got their independence already, without a referendum. You can reason, but this does not appear to work. You can appeal to the UN — not working either. Meanwhile there are refugees suffering. What are the solutions. One will be to launch a military campaign against the Abkhazians, but they will fight. One solution will be to impose sanctions — we know how well these work. The third will be to give to the Abkhazians who live in Abkhazia assurances of independence on condition of facilitating the return of Georgian refugees. What sounds the most reasonable?

                • Well, when I said about “sore losers’ whining”, that’s exaclty what I meant. In any case, until you can offer what all the parties in charge will accept, the situation will remained deadlocked, and the time is not on Georgia’s side and not on the refugees’ side in this case.

                • Robert, you know your history, so I attrubute your implications that independence of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, East Timor and South Sudan did not involve any violence in countries to which these new states used to belong to your passion in defending your cause, whatever it is. I am not even going to call you a liar or an idiot. The dissolutions of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia were peaceful indeed, but unfortunately these were historical exceptions.

                  • Actually Montenegro was completely peaceful, just like Slovakia: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5043462.stm

                    Even during the Kosovo conflict Montenegro was practically not bombed (with the exception of several federal warships), because the republic de-facto proclaimed neutrality. And despite the federal forces’ provocations, too: http://articles.latimes.com/1999/apr/08/news/mn-25441

                    • No Robert. Montenegro would be like Slovakia if there was no violence whatsoever in Yugoslavia during its dissolution.

                    • There was no independence-related violence in Montenegro. They JNA attacked Dubrovnik (in Croatia) from there, but it was a reverse of secessionism. Macedonia also were let go.

                    • Robert, I do not disagree with you. There was no violence within Montenegro or Slovenia, but both became independent as a result of violence in Yugoslavia in the first place. Montenegro and Slovenia used to be within Yugoslavia, ne c’est pas?

        • I wonder why it differs so much from what you say about Russians in Latvia…

      • It would appear to me that, under this principle, the displaced people would have the right to return “home” in the near future, as all the parties would have incentives to make this happen. Under the UN vote, however, the return of the people does not appear to be something realistic.

        • Russia opposing the entire world in long oppressing of the majority of population of some regions in another country = “pragmatism”. Good one.

          • Robert, I know its me who has nothing to do with intelligence, but to make it clear to you — AT is not Russia. We are having a private discussion and share our personal positions. See it as AT vs. the entire world — I can afford this.

            • or do you think our ruminations here will have any significance beyond (hopefully mutual) intellectual satisfaction… there is a commenter — Ron, I think who seriously thinks this blog has shaken the position of the Putin regime…

            • I don’t know nor care who/what you really are. Is this meaning Anti-Tank, or Aphex Twin, or maybe rather “AntiTerror” Kadyrov’s LiveJournal blog ghostwriter. The point is the whole world voted 3 times in a row (2008, 2009, 2010) against the “pragmatic” Russian policy of racial discrimination in Georgia.

              • No, AT is just me. I would love to be Kadyrov’s ghostwriter or someone’s stooge and get some money for writing what I write for free, however… As far as your “point” is concerned — well, good for the world or for the UN bureaucrats. Did the refugees return? So it looks like these votes are not working. In my mind, you cannot get in situation resolved unless you provide clear incentives to those who in charge. If Abkhazia got international recognition on the condition of the refugee return, this might have worked better. This what made me conclude that the return of the refugees should be tied to the recognition of independence. Do you have other arguments against this other than the UN does not think so?

                • The apartheid style Russian sponsored and extremely racist administration of Abkhazia has already repeatedly stated it will never allow the return of refugees to Abkhazia as it will “upset the current demographics”, ie the majority of the population will be pro-Georgian. Of course given that the “current demographics” is based on ethnic cleansing and mass murder, well it is an amazing piece of hypocrisy, though one I am not at all surprised to find you supporting AT.

                  The “President” of Abkhazia has already stated that even if Georgia recognises their independence there will be no return of refugees, and that “they must be integrated into Georgia”, which is in violation of repeated UN resolutions on the right of return of refugees to their homes.

                  • Well, he might change this point of view if the return was a condition of broad international recognition. Europe and NATO could do a lot to help an independent Abkhazia become more tolerant and democratic. If Europe considered sponsoring Abkhazia as much as it sponsors Georgia, you would not be complaining about a Russia-sponsored regime either. At least this opting would provide far better incentives than the current policy of isolation, which did not work during the last 20 years, is not working and will probably has the same chances to work during the next 20 years.

                    • @Europe and NATO could do a lot to help an independent Abkhazia become more tolerant and democratic.

                      Russia would not let the “independent” Abkhazia become more independent, as long as they’re there and as long as there’s no regime change in Moscow.

                      What do you want us to believe to except? That Bagapsh really wants only his “independence” to be recognised by everyone, and actually not the Russian-enforced power and Russian money as a local boss, and that Russia wants Abkhazia to be truly independent and not a colony and a military outpost + creeping annexation? Really?

                      @If Europe considered sponsoring Abkhazia as much as it sponsors Georgia, you would not be complaining about a Russia-sponsored regime either.

                      Somehow I don’t think anyone would come and bribe Bagapsh. His creepy ghost town land is not strategically important enough for this, he’s not an asset in “fighting terrorism” too like the various third world countries in Africa and Asia that just happen to be infested by all the Al-Qaeda in Somewhere organizations.

                      Also, if there the refugees returned and voted, they would simply vote him out of power. Yes, he could strike some kind of deal (like Pinochet or what they did in South Africa), but he would not keep power anyway, and this is why he’ll never agree as long as he’s being propped up by the giant neighbouring country.

                    • You missed the bit where he said “never under any circumstances”.

                      Abkhazia is run by a racist clique, with links to the FSB.

                      Of course it is all too obvious from your posts that you are the all too typical Russian racist.

                      The Republic of Spies
                      Abkhazia, one of the breakaway provinces over which Russia and Georgia fought in 2008, has been colonized by Russia’s state security services. And the locals are hardly thrilled.

                      http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/18/how-russia-s-fsb-colonized-abkhazia.html

                    • Well, what Russia would or would not do is speculation. Also, what the Abkhazian current president said is not cast in stone. Yes, even the most reasonable policy can fail. This is why one a reasonable and pragmatic approach is always based on building trust, moving forward cautiously, creating incentives and disincentives for the other party, negotiating. You have no idea what will work out and what won’t until you try.

                    • Well AT, the Georgians have already offered full autonomy under a federal system, to amend the constitution to create the position of Vice-President that will go only to an elected Abkhaz official from Abkhazia, who will have full veto over any law that will effect Abkhazia. In addition, the Georgian government proposed that the political situation be monitored by the UN, and that Abkhazian rights under the federal system be guaranteed by international guarantors.

                      Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

                    • Well, Andrew, evidently the Abkhazians are so much fed up living with the Georgians in one country that a federation is not an option. Would Georgians accept a full autonomy in a federation with Russia?

                    • Ay, come on, AT, nobody proposes Georgia to form any “federations” with Russia.

                      Who would need to bail out such debts?

                      Who would need to incorporate a 3,5M population incapable of building any working economy during the last 20 years?

                      Let them incorporate in EU, if they need a bailout. Moreover, they feel like it (I mean Georgians, not Europeans do).

        • Also, just wait for the judgement in the International Court of Justice – coming soon:

          http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=1&case=140

          Probably won’t be “pragmatic” too.

            • Not “maybe”. Already they issued this:

              Both Parties, within South Ossetia and Abkhazia and adjacent areas in Georgia, shall

              (1) refrain from any act of racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons or institutions;

              (2) abstain from sponsoring, defending or supporting racial discrimination by any persons or organizations,

              (3) do all in their power, whenever and wherever possible, to ensure, without distinction as to national or ethnic origin,

              (i) security of persons;

              (ii) the right of persons to freedom of movement and residence within the border of the State;

              (iii) the protection of the property of displaced persons and of refugees;

              (4) do all in their power to ensure that public authorities and public institutions under their control or influence do not engage in acts of racial discrimnation against persons, groups of persons or institutions;

              http://internationallawobserver.eu/2008/10/16/provisional-measures-indicated-in-georgia-v-russia/

              • Robert, it looks like you have no doubts this will all be implemented.

                • And by the way, I subscribe to all the decisions, except for I don’t know how “State” is defined. Obviously, Abkhazians do not consider themselves as Georgia, so they cannot provide for the free movement of people in Georgia, if State = Georgia.

                • No, I have no doubts this all has been NOT implemented, and so Russia will lost the case also for totally ignoring the Court’s Provisional Measures issued in 2008.

                  @Obviously, Abkhazians do not consider themselves as Georgia, so they cannot provide for the free movement of people in Georgia, if State = Georgia.

                  Obviously, the UN considers Abkhazia a part of Georgia. As always. (Including the last month’s resolution, voted 50-17 against the huge “powerful” Russia.)

                  • Obviously, Abkhazia chooses to ignore the UN view. And Russia too. So what do you do next? As for Russia’s losing the case… so, will it be jailed? fined? executed? International arbitration is only valid to the extent parties agree go be bound by its decisions.

            • And then there’s also this:

              http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=21198

              Also coming soon.

              • BTW, was looking for the case, and found another one. Georgians against Georgia.

                The first deputy director of Georgian Constitutional Security attacks a man in cafe, and day later this man is found dead, with 12 wounds, in a nearby forest.

                A Western-like democracy? You bet!

                http: // cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=867149&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber&table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA398649

                “the first deputy director of Constitutional Security”
                “he had abducted Sandro and L.B. and beaten them, assisted by three other Ministry officials”
                “death by intentional wounding”
                “Sandro’s mother applied on a number of occasions” etc.

                In the end, Saakashvili decided his men showed their best, and they were – for a second – released for parole.

                Just a simple boy, “intentionally wounded” 12 times to death in some god-forsaken forest near Tbilisi? This what happens when you say a word against a Saakashvili’s official in democratic Georgia? And the murderers are paroled?

                Cool. A country worth fighting for.

                • I see I wrote a “Western-like democracy” instead of “Western-style”, but in the case of Georgia, the former fits much better.

          • In my experience with ICJ decisions (yes, I have some experience being involved in situations where those were relevant) ICJ will distribute blame among all the parties and make some general statements essentially letting those who are involved directly figure them out among themselves.

  4. Well AT, one problem for your (all too idiotic and racist) point of view is that prior to the Russian sponsored ethnic cleansing the separatist portion of the population of the Georgian province of Abkhazia was only 17% of the population, while Georgians were 47%.

    That is why only Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Nauru recognise the independence of Abkhazi, and everybody else in the world condemns them.

    I know that you are a typical Russian racist, but surely even someone as amoral as yourself could understand the rest of the worlds disgust at the genocidal intent of the separatist and Russian administrations.

    • Why is my point of view racist? Racism implies inferiority of some ethnic groups vis-a-vis others. I have never advocated racism. Racism is not only immoral but also destructive. Abkhazians and Georgians are totally equal, but Abkhazians do not want to live in one country with Georgians. They want a country to call their homeland as much as Georgians do. They are prepared to die and to kill for this. They fought for their country. They have won a country for themselves. They are resolute to keep it. You can try to force them to surrender, but the resulting resistance will cause violence, which will make both Abkhazians and the displaced Georgians much worse than they are. It pains me to see people’s suffering, and I really believe I am proposing an option under which there will be less suffering. What is racist or inhumane about it? Your alternative of confrontation and isolation appears to be far racist to me. After all, neither Georgians nor Abkhazians have an intrinsic claim for that land. Every modern nation occupies the land it got from other nations.

      • Let’s say we two are neighbours.

        Me and you are totally equal, but I do not want to live in one country with you, because you’re not from my ethnic group. There’s too many of you, more than us. I am prepared to die and to kill (you) for this. Get out, or else. Do not come back.

        What is racist or inhumane about it?

        @Every modern nation occupies the land it got from other nations.

        That’s funny, because Chechens don’t. They lived in their own land since the man kind first appeared there. Never going anywhere, with exception of 1944-57 they spent in Kazakhstan for some reason. But I guess it’s because they’re not “modern nation”.

        Also, apparently it’s now “Russian land” (said http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/530877.stm “Serge, Canada” in 1999), so I guess they should go back to their Kazakhstan.

        • Robert, but that’s how all countries were created, including mine, yours, Andrew’s, La Russophobe’s, LES’, RIGAMAX’ Maybe only the Chechens are THE exception, and the first man to live in Chechnya was a proud Vainakh. I am sure you have an article from Goble’s to confirm this, complete with a picture of the first Vainakh coming to the empty Chechnya land.

          • Not “first man”, if by “first man” you think baout some proto-human cavemen 125,000 years ago.

            Just a few centuries ago there were no Russians in the Caucasus at all. Some “Russian land”. There is actually a real Russian land (vast, resources-rich, depopulating), why won’t you leave Caucasus to Caucasians?

            Btw, there are tens of thousands of ethnic Russians living in Georgia. Even Putin’s very mother lives in one village.

            Although the Constitution of Georgia designates Georgian as the official language, government officials will accept from citizens official applications written or spoken in languages other than Georgian (United Nations 28 Mar. 2000). The Russian language is designated as a national minority language in Georgia (Novoye Vremya 22 Feb. 2000). The government also supports the operation of Russian-language schools, Russian-language theatres, Russian and Russian-Georgian cultural centers, and the collection of minority language literature in its libraries (United Nations 28 Mar. 2000).
            http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,USCIS,,GEO,4562d8cf2,3ae6a6a14,0.html

            They too were bombed. But there was no ethnic violence against them. People boycotted the Russian food restaurants and such, but actually non-Russians came to the Russian churches to pray together.

            That is, unless… this is true (dramatic music): http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/19892.asp

            • So a few centuries of living on the land justifies possession of the land? The “I was here first argument”? It is always used and it never works. The possession of land by a certain nation does not depend on how long this nation considered the land “really its own”, but rather on the nation’s ability to prevent other nations from taking it. Whatever tribes populated Chechnya before the Chechens learned this the hard way, and so did those nations from whom these tribes had taken it. The Chechens and Russians have been trying to figue out who can call that area “really its own” for 160 years now. Also, Kosovo is a perfect example. Something that was “a really Serbian land” will never be Serbian again, so the Serbs are better off just moving on. The same applies to the Chechens, the Georgians, the Russians, the Maoris, the unnamed Slavic tribes absorbed into Poland, the Picts, the Romans and pretty much anyone else.

              • @Whatever tribes populated Chechnya before the Chechens learned this the hard way,

                Russian soldiers “learned this the hard way” too. Plenty of them even deserted and joined the “whatever tribes”. You know? Chose freedom, literally, Russian conscription now is bad but in the Tsarist times it was 25 years of slavery (later on “just” 20, survival pretty unlikely).

                @and so did those nations from whom these tribes had taken it.

                Yeah? Tell me, what nations?

                Why is this not the Russian land? Because the Russians just don’t want to live there, or return there, or be buried there if the died elsewhere. They only occupy it, literally. The only Russian civilians are people who are too old or poor to move elsewhere, or in mixed marriages. “Russian”?

                Algeria was much more French, as the Pieds-Noirs were in great part literally fanatical about this.

            • @why won’t you leave Caucasus to Caucasians? –wrong question. Why should it, unless it is made do it?

              • @–wrong question. Why should it, unless it is made do it?

                -wrong question. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

                • Brilliant as usual! Add another reducio ad Hitlerum and …”meanwhile 10 years ago in Grozny” to it. Through in some UN court to complete any lack of ideas, arguments or a realistic approach…

            • Just a few centuries ago there were no Georgian on Caucasus. As to Russians, they are there since the 12 century, and they’ll stay there, be sure about it. Much sooner may Poland lose Pomerania.

              • Dtard,

                The Georgians have lived in the Caucasus for several thousand years, as evidenced by Hittite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine historians.

                The Russians only entered the Caucasus in the 18th century.

                You really are an uneducated Russian fool. Try reading.

                http://www.conflicts.rem33.com/images/Georgia/geor_geschichte.htm

                • @You really are an uneducated Russian fool. Try reading.

                  Sure thing, cherished one, I just can’t read, that’s why I don’t even try:))))

                  @”The Georgians have lived in the Caucasus for several thousand years, as evidenced by Hittite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine historians.”

                  Name ONE “Hittite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine historian” using the word “GEORGIA”, this wonderland where these “Georgians” lived:)))

                  As to the more modern times, could you be so kind and show me ONE REAL map from the XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII centuries with such a country as GEORGIA, PLEASE?:)))))))

                  But I’ll tell you, as it seems you read Saakashvili’s propaganda all too well, boy.

                  And here the history lesson starts:

                  In 10th century Tbilisi was a capital of TBILISI EMIRATE.
                  In 15th century Tbilisi was a border town in ARMENIA.
                  In 16th century Tbilisi was a border town in PERSIA.
                  In 17th century Tbilisi was a border town in PERSIA.

                  Ever asked yourself who exactly was called “Georgian” back then? I mean, like Georgian, from Georgia?

                  I’ll tell you. Nobody was.

                  Back to XVIII century. Tbilisi is – not at all surprisingly – border town in PERSIA.

                  XIX century: SURPRISE! Tbilisi is a capital of GEORGIAN guberniya in Russian empire.

                  It was only in XIX century, Georgia being the constituent part of the Russian empire, when “Georgia”/ “Sakartvelo” started to mean something more than contemprary “Eastern” Georgia.

                  That’s where the word “Georgia” and “Georgian” come into being! Hurray! Now we find “Georgians” on Caucasus finally!

                  Not some Sakartvelo (land of Khartvels), not some Samegrelo (land of Mengrelians), not Svaneti (land of Svans) but GEORGIA, land of – surprise – Khartvels.

                  Because even now, it’s a “land of Georgians” only for the outer use, and still “land of Khartvels” – for every Khartvel living there.

                  • No answer, Andrew?

                    How comes in all your Georgian wisdom, you’ve got nothing to answer to an “uneducated Russian fool’s” questions?

                    • Now subhuman, I notice you never provide links to your ridiculous drivel.

                      As previously stated, the Georgian people have used several names for their country

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Georgia_(country)

                    • More unsubstantiated rubbish from our resident sub-simian Dtard

                      A bit more education for you.

                      Autonym

                      The native Georgian name for the country is Sakartvelo (საქართველო). The word consists of two parts. Its root, kartvel-i (sing., ქართველ-ი), originally referred to an inhabitant of the core central Georgian region of Kartli — Iberia of the Classical and Byzantine sources. By the early 9th century, the meaning of “Kartli” was expanded to other areas of medieval Georgia held together by religion, culture, and language. The Georgian circumfix sa-X-o is a standard geographic construction designating “the area where X dwell”, where X is an ethnonym.[1]
                      The earliest reference to “Sakartvelo” occurs in the c. 800 Georgian chronicle by Pseudo-Juansher. Within the next 200 years, this designation was reconfigured so that it came to signify the all-Georgian realm which came into existence with the political unification of Kartli/Iberia and Apkhazeti/Abasgia under Bagrat III in 1008. However, it was not until the early 13th century that the term fully entered regular official usage.[1]
                      The memory and dream of a united Georgia — Sakartvelo — persisted even after the political catastrophe of the 15th century when the Georgian kingdom fell apart to form three separate kingdoms: Kartli, Kakheti, and Imereti, and five principalities: Samtskhe, Mingrelia, Guria, Svaneti, and Abkhazia. Thus, the later kings of Kartli did not relinquish the titles of the all-Georgian monarchs whose legitimate successors they claimed to be. The idea of all-Georgian unity also dominated history-writing of the early 18th-century Georgian scholar and a member of the royal family, Prince Vakhushti, whose “Description of the Kingdom of Georgia” (agtsera sameposa sakartvelosa) had a noticeable influence on the latter-day conception of Sakartvelo. Although Georgia was politically divided among competing kingdoms and principalities during Vakhushti’s lifetime, the scholar viewed the past and present of these breakaway polities as parts of the history of a single nation.[1] After the reunification of the kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti in 1762, the term Sakartvelo became an official synonym to this eastern Georgian state, but again covered all of Georgia, now under the Russian rule, in the 19th century. On May 26, 1918, the country was reincarnated as საქართველოს დემოკრატიული რესპუბლიკა sakartvelos demokratiuli respublika – the Democratic Republic of Georgia. It became საქართველოს საბჭოთა სოციალისტური რესპუბლიკა sakartvelos sabchota socialisturi respublika – the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic – on February 25, 1921, and საქართველოს რესპუბლიკა sakartvelos respublika – the Republic of Georgia – on November 14, 1990. According to the 1995 constitution, the nation’s official name is Sakartvelo, with “Georgia” as its English equivalent.[2]
                      [edit]Exonym

                      The European “Georgia” probably stems from the Persian-Arabic designation of the Georgians – gurğ, ğurğ – which reached the Western European crusaders and pilgrims in the Holy Land who rendered the name as Georgia (also Jorgania, Giorginia, etc.) and explained its origin by the popularity of St. George among the Georgians. This explanation is offered, among others, by Jacques de Vitry and Franz Ferdinand von Troilo.[3] Another theory, popularized by the likes as Jean Chardin, semantically linked “Georgia” to Greek and Latin roots, respectively, γεωργός (“tiller of the land”) and georgicus (“agricultural”). The supporters of this explanation sometimes referred to the Classical authors such as Pliny and Pomponius Mela. The “Georgi” mentioned by these authors (Pliny, IV.26, VI.14; Mela, De Sita Orb. i.2, &50; ii.1, & 44, 102.) were merely agricultural tribes, so named to distinguish them from their unsettled and pastoral neighbors on the other side of the river Panticapea (in Taurica).[4]
                      In the 19th century, scholars first put the popular European etymologies in question. Marie-Félicité Brosset favored the derivation of the name Georgia from that of the river Mtkvari via Kuros-Cyrus-Kura-Djurzan.[5] In fact, “Georgia” seems to have been borrowed in the 11th or 12th centuries from the Syriac gurz-ān/gurz-iyān and Arabic ĵurĵan/ĵurzan, derived from the New Persian gurğ/gurğān, itself stemming from the Ancient Iranian and Middle Persian vrkān/waručān of unclear origin, but resembling the eastern trans-Caspian toponym Gorgan, which comes from the Middle Persian varkâna, “land of the wolves”. This might have been of the same etymology as the Armenian Virk’ (Վիրք) and a source of the Greco-Roman rendition Iberi (Ἴβηρες), the ethnonym already known to them as a designation of the Iberian peoples of the Iberian Peninsula.[6][7]
                      The Russian exonym Gruziya (Грузия [‘gruzʲɪjə]) is also of Perso-Arabic origin. It first occurs in the travel records of Ignatiy Smolnyanin as gurzi (гурзи) (1389) and Afanasy Nikitin as gurzynskaya zemlya (Гурзыньская земля, “Gurzin land”) (1466-72)

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_of_Georgia

              • dymasza wrote;

                Just a few centuries ago there were no Georgian on Caucasus. As to Russians, they are there since the 12 century, and they’ll stay there, be sure about it. Much sooner may Poland lose Pomerania.

                comments;
                dymasza; now you are mixing the russian contaminated samogon with afghan heroine….the staple diet of all russians….

                Officially Georgia was a Christian Kingdom since 800 with the Bagration royal house – from 800 to 2010 is impressive long history – Russia, on the contrary, in 12th century, was under TOTAL MONGOL domination, while the Georgian kingdom was living through its renaissance. As for Poland’s losing Pomerinia – what about Russia losing chinese Siberia, Finish Karelia, German Kaliningrad whoops Konigsburg, Japanese Norhethern Territory, muslim Tatarstan, the list is truly endless. THE RUSSIA’S SLOW COLLAPSE IS HAPPENING IN FRONT OF OUR EYES – LET’S ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF RUSSIA’S HUMILIATION!!!!

                • >> 1708 muscovy changes their name to the russian empire.

                  PS How can rus-sins have existed in the 12th century when Russia did not exist yet?

                • I wrote: Just a few centuries ago there were no Georgian on Caucasus

                  aaausa wrote: Officially Georgia was a Christian Kingdom since 800 with the Bagration royal house – from 800 to 2010 is impressive long history

                  I say: give me ONE map of the country named GEORGIA in 800. In 1000. In 1550 (a few centuries ago). In 1700.

                  Aaausa, please take a good advice.

                  You just better stay out of every post that does not DIRECTLY concern plumbing.

                  • Wrong as usual dtard.

                    The Georgian kingdoms were called by their historical names of Cholchis/Imereti and Iberia on many old maps, here are a few examples:

                    http://www.philographikon.com/mapscaucasia.html

                    Russia was not called Russia until around the 18th century, prior to that it was Muscovy, in fact the Napoleonic Grand Armee invaded “Muscovy” as opposed to Russia, but the fact of the matter is that Georgians have lived in the Caucasus for several thousand years.

                    • Andrew, I think you’re misreading.

                      I never asked you to provide maps of KOLKHIS and IBERIA, only maps of GEORGIA, from AD 800.

                      I have never asked for Latin authors claiming Iberians live in Iberia, I have asked for ONE source from Ancietn Rome that said GEORGIANS live in GEORGIA (where you claim they lived in Roman times).

                      We were talking of GEORGIANS, not IBERIANS and KOLHIANS in the first post, remember?

                      So where are the GEORGIANS that lived in Caucasus in AD 800?

                      Just to make you understand how wrong you are calling “Kolkhis” and “Iberia” “Georgia” (which one of them is “Georgia”, BTW? Both? Like, they are actually, one state?), let me point to you, that FRANCE, AS A STATE, was created in X-XVth centuries. So I’m really interested in seeing GEORGIA existing in AD800, with those “GEORGIANS” inhabiting it, as you and your fellow historians aaausa and les all claim.

                    • As to “Russia”, nobody said anything about Russian “citizens” in this thread.

                      In XII century, ethnic Russians, all speaking one and the same Russian language, appeared on Caucasus.

                      So I’m waiting for this map of Georgia in AD 800, along with the quotes from Roman authors on “Georgians”.

                  • Aaausa, professor, we’re still waiting for the map of a Georgia country in 800AD.

            • Bobby, what exactly does the Georgian government supports? The number of Russians living in Georgia shrunk 6fold since 1990. Jews – 11-fold.

              Compare it with since 1990, number of ethnic Mengrels and Khartvels in Russia grown steadily.

              What’s that diversity in Georgia? What minorities schools? They have thrown out 60-70% of minorities, and that was not just Georgian chauvinists, of which there are decisive majority, who did that, that was government of independent Georgia who did it.

              Who’s mad enough to believe these words about government supporting minorities in Georgia?

        • After all if you do not want to live with me in one country, and I am in charge of this country, then its probably me who does something wrong. If Abkhazians were perfeclty happy in Georgia, they would not die and kill for independence.

        • I also want to live in a world with no conflicts whatsoever. But there is no such world. Conflicts happen, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not. Key is to prevent a conflict by all means before it starts; to end it if it has started and to overcome its consequences as fast as possible when its over.

        • You cannot turn time back. You cannot make Abkhazians be excited to be part of Georgia. You can fight another war and spill more blood in the name of those refugees probably making even more people miserable in the process. You can stalemate the situation using sanctions and isolation and let those refugees wait for another 20 years. Or you can try to make a deal where all the involved parties would get most of what they want. For the Abkhazians, its their independence. For the refugees, its their return back “home”.

        • According to Wiki, the oldest settlement found in Chechnya goes back to 125,000 BC — so according to you Robert, Chechens must be the world’s oldest nation. Before there were Pharaos in Egypt and a Republic in Rome, the Chechens already run their great civilization.

          • 125,000 it wasn’t even really humans in our meaning of this world. And I thought we’re talking about “nations”. In the meaning of ethnic groups (here: Vainakh peoples).

            Egypt has a very long history, but the people now are ethnically very different and speaking an all different language. The “Marsh Arabs” also changed a lot, like did Assyrians.

            Georgians also live in Georgia for thousands of years (unlike the Ossetians), but there was Georgian territorial expansionism in the past, most notably Queen Tamara’s empire.

            • So what?? Years, centuries or millenniums — why should it matter. They were not the first ones living on that land, why should they live there forever? The only reason they live there is that they can do it.

              • @They were not the first ones living on that land

                Oh yeah? So, who were first? Tell me.

                Come on.

                And they never moved out of there. Unlike, say, the Ossetians, who run because of Mongols across the mountains and into Georgia for the first time. You know, they successfully resisted the MONGOLS. Unlike the Russians, who just surrendered then were raped (quite literally).

                It was THEIR land, ALWAYS. That is, until 1944, when SOMETHING happened. 120,000 NKVD cosplaying as Red Army on R&R happened, just as the able-bodied were conscripted and couldn’t defend the children (who then mostly proceeded to die out of cold and hunger). And then they burned their libraries, destroyed their cemetaries, and erased them from the Soviet encyclopedias and history books, very Owellian-way, so it was to be Russian land and they supposedly never ever existed.

                Do you get it now?

                • @Georgians also live in Georgia for thousands of years

                  Maybe you would then be able to send me a map of a country of Georgia in AD800?

                • It was THEIR land, ALWAYS — no it was not. The planet Earth was inhabited long before the first Chechen appeared. The Chechen took this land from people who lived on it, most probably not in a different manner than this land was taken from them in 1944. They just could keep this land for a long time. That’s it.

                  • They’re not claiming “The planet Earth”.

                    Now, you seem to be convinced they were not the first nation there and they “most probably” took it from someone. OK. Tell me who were first, before them, these “people who lived on it”. I already asked you, but I didn’t get the answer. I’m listening.

                    • Robert, I am not a historian and I am not goint to do any research on this. Common sense, however, suggests that Vainakhs were not the first nation to live on this land, as there we no uninhabited areas in the Caucases for the last 125,000 years.

                    • “Common sense”, if you had, should have tell you 2 things:

                      -A claim of one discovery does not mean “there we no uninhabited areas in the Caucases for the last 125,000 years”.

                      -125,000 years ago there were no nations anywhere.

                      And maybe even more importantly:

                      -In the meanwhile (that is between 125,000 and today) the great most of all Homo Sapiens on Earth died off due to catastrophic climate change (the Ice Age). Which means anyone was there, they too died. People died there, and people died in today’s Moscow, and almost all the other people died too, everywhere. According to the current research, only one small group survived in Africa, and the mankind began re-populating the southern parts of Europe only about 35-45,000 years ago, in Asia already some 60,000 years ago. (And no, there were still no nations anywhere. And racially/ethnically people everywhere only began differing from each other 40,000 years ago.)

                      Unfortunately, you lack common sense – but just as you told us, you have “nothing to do with intelligence”, so it’s not surprising.

                      But if you want, you may keep saying retarded things. It’s actually quite entertaining.

                      As for the Chechens, their traditional belief was they are actually the original humans. Their own name for themselves is “Noah’s people” – Noxchicho. Such claim is not unusual, but it’s a nice trivia.

                    • Also it this actually should be really Homo, and not Homo Sapiens. But hey, you don’t even know what I’m talking about anyway.

                    • Noah’s people – Noxchicho: I did’t know you were into folk etymology, Robert. In any case you are missing the point. The “I was here first” argument does not apply anyone on this planet. There is no reason why it should apply in Chechnya.

                    • Actually folklore is quite a fascinating thing. Their national symbol of wolf is pre-Judeo-Christian-Islamic, linked to over 2,000 years-old belief they were nursed by a she-wolf (not unlike the Romans). A wolf would be also the last creature to die when the end times come.

                      And yes, according to all research they didn’t come from anywhere, but their nation (ethnicity, language) has came into existance right there in the mountains, thousands of years ago.

                      Unlike the Ossetians in Georgia, for example. Not to mention the Russians colonialists in Caucasus and elsewhere. Most of the world de-colonized since WWII (even despite all the “Algeria is France” and such), Russia will catch-up too eventually.

                    • @they didn’t come from anywhere — brilliant: Chechnya as the cradle of the humanity. They evolved from apes right there, on the spot. Sure.

                      @Most of the world de-colonized since WWII — yep. Chechnya was de-colonized earlier.

                      @Russia will catch-up too eventually — as I always said, if Russia cannot give these people the best deal, they will look for a better deal. This applies to any country and any time.

                    • @humanity. They evolved from apes

                      I see you rally “learned” all you know about the human evolution in a Russian school. Go on and keep displaying your idiocy.

                      @Chechnya was de-colonized earlier.

                      Not really, the Mountainous Republic fell to the Red Army before it could happen. And then the next wave of colonization was… total. “Final Solution”-like. It however failed. And then it failed even more. And so now there are very few ethnic Russians in Chechnya and the Russian laws are not obeyed even by the Kremlin-sponsored “officials”.

                      About the Russian historical failure in Chechnya:

                      For a representative of a resistance forced into hiding, Zakayev is optimistic about the state of Chechnya today. He sees merit in the ‘decolonisation’ brought about by the war; “now that the Russian colonisers have left, and the only fact on the ground is not colonisation but a military occupation”. He finds merit, too, in the newly announced presidency of Russia’s choice of Chechen leader – Ramzan Kadyrov, the brutal head of a band of armed men known as the Kadyrovites, 30-year-old son of an earlier pro-Moscow president assassinated in 2004, and object of many torture allegations by human rights groups. For all Kadyrov’s shortcomings, Zakayev says, the strongman’s toughness frightens even his protectors in Moscow, and “that makes him just what we need right now”. Kadyrov has stopped Moscow’s worst abuses of the past: the army ‘filtration camps’ into which young Chechen men disappeared; the random purges. And he has organised a Chechen militia made up of thousands of amnestied former separatists, armed and funded by Moscow – thereby reversing a centuries-long Russian policy of disarming the warrior Chechens.

                      http://www.theliberal.co.uk/issue_10/politics/zakayev_bennett_10.html

                • @It was THEIR land, ALWAYS.

                  Look for Tbilisi emirate, genius.

                  Look for Christianity in Chechnya.

        • By he way, I have never said I approved of war between the Abkhazians and the Georgians. I don’t approve of wars in general. A military conflict in my view is the most disgusting thing and it is contrary to everything I treasure. I, however, think its inhumane to start another war to reverse the results of the previous war. Or to stalemate a situation, which has already been in an impasse for 20 years.

          • @I, however, think its inhumane to start another war to reverse the results of the previous war.

            I guess you now forget the second war in Abkhazia, to capture the territories still controlled by the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, was actually started by the Abkhaz and Russian forces. (Georgian military and civilians evacuated before the offensive, so it wasn’t bloody.)

      • Also, there are many thousands of ethnic Ossetians living in Tbilisi.

        Would it be also not “racist or inhumane” if they were starting to killing and/or expelling them tommorow?

        The article quite on subject: http://www.rferl.org/content/The_New_Fascism/1735743.html

        • Yes, it would be, so those in Georgia should do their best to ensure that Ossetians living in Tbilisi are not forced to use the extreme means. No one wants to die and to kill, unless one is desperate.

          • AT, you are a moron.

            I know a lot of Ossetians living in Tbilisi, and they are proud of their country, which is Georgia. They have Ossetian language schools (unheard of in South Or North Ossetia where the state language is Russian), they serve without prejudice in the police, military, work in hospitals, the government etc etc etc.
            The head of the administration of the (now destroyed by Russian racists such as yourself) Georgian government controlled villages in South Ossetia was Dimiry Sanakoyev, an Ossetian, and hero of the South Ossetian militia in the 1991-92 fighting in Tshkinvali who saw being part of Georgia the only hope of avoiding the Russification of his people.
            He was elected by Georgians who lived in South Ossetia, and supported by the Georgian government.

            In addition AT, the Abkhazians were 17% of the population, and the Georgians were 47%. If the Abkhaz want a homeland, well they can have the country north of Sokhumi, while the Georgians have Sokhumi, Gagra, Omcahmchire, Khodori, and Gali, which areas they comprised the overwhelming majority of the population prior to the Russian led ethnic cleansing of 1993-94.

            The Abkhaz get their independence, the Georgians get their homes back (except for those who lived north of Sokhumi in Gaudata and the like, but hey you can’t have everything)

            Both ethnic groups are native to the province, and have lived together in united kingdoms and principalities for over 2000 years.

            Both groups have rights, though you seem to think the Georgians have “less” rights than the Abkhaz.

            The ethnic discord and violence seen today is a result of Russian divide and rule tactics, and is nothing that cannot be overcome by confidence building, and the removal of a baleful Russian influence (one that is already starting to really irritate the Abkhaz).

            Being in Georgia, and dealing with the UNDP representative in the Caucasus on a regular basis, I can tell you now that to many Abkhaz, the Georgians are not looking so bad any more.

            • Well, living in Tbilisi:

              Abkhazians are proud of their coountry, which is Georgia,
              Mingrelians are proud of their coountry, which is Georgia,
              Ossetians are proud of their coountry, which is Georgia,
              Armeniand are proud of their coountry, which is Georgia,
              Azeris are proud of their coountry, which is Georgia,
              Khartvels are proud of their coountry, which is Georgia,
              Svans are proud of their coountry, which is Georgia.

              Still, when they have a slightest chance (and that means staying in refugees camps for many months in EU) – all named would flee as fast as they can to any other country – Russia, EU states, Ukraine – you name it.

              By 2004, Georgia had lost 1M+ of its’ citizens due to emigration, and that is really much for a country of 4-4,5M.

              In the next years they had one of the highest emigration* rates in the world, leaving far behind equatorial Africa.

              People are massively fleeding this kingdom of happiness and democracy.

              Abkhaz and Ossets have undertaken, er, an escape en masse, and succeeded.

              And still our Georgian friend says every of his neighbours is happy to live in Tbilisi and is proud of being Georgian, which, of course, is pleasant to hear.

              But, sunshine, there are only two possible options how that can be true:

              1) You’re either living in a nuttery, then your neighbour’ attitudes are easily explainable (and that is commendable for the Saakashvili regime, which provides mentally ill people with internet access to protect his interests and spread his propaganda abroad), or

              2) All the population of Tbilisi (but, hopefully, only your friends) are so brainwashed they can’t even see their fellow Georgians from all other regions are doing whatever they can to escape the happiness of living in Georgia.

              As to the sources, here are some of the many:

              http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=14458 – 1,1M Georgian citizens had left by the 2002, in 2007 the country by far surpasses the global average in terms of emigration, 70% of money Georgian citizens get from abroad they get from Russia,

              http://www.mongabay.com/reference/stats/rankings/2112.html – Georgian citizens flee: the Country’s migration rate # 159 in the world (the higher the number, the less people move out) between Albania (worse) and Saint Lucia (better).

              https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gg.html -4.26 migrants/1,000 population (2009 est.)

              * “Emigration”, as opposed to “IMmigration”, is people leaving the country.

            • Andrew, you are a moron (sounds more and more like a high school honestly). If the Abkhazians living in Tbilisi are perfectly happy, I am perfectly happy for them. Then the risk of a repeat of what happened in Abkhazia is low. This is exactly what I am talking about.

              • And on rights… isn’t it “fewer”, not “less” rights. I have never said any group has fewer rights. What made you conclude that?

            • Strange, but my post did not pass the moderation.

              Team, still trying to help the democracy prevail?

              Ok. Andrew, sweetheart, we see that all your neighbours from all nations are happy to live in Georgia and be Georgians:D

              But how can you explain 1,1 M oh-so-happy Georgians fled the country by 2003, and right now Georgia is one of the world leaders in terms of emigration?

              Aren’t they all so happy to live there, honey? Or are they just even more happy to live in any other country of the world?:)

          • Ah, so even the Ossetians (and Russians) in Tbilisi could also be “forced” to “cleanse” the Georgians? But, presumably, the Georgians would still NOT be entitled to the same with the Ossetians (and Russians), if THEY were “forced to use the extreme means”?

            Am I getting you right? Are you still claiming you’re “not racist” against the Georgians?

            Well, are you giving the same right to the North Ossetians to do whatever they want with the ethnic Russian population, in case they are “forced to use the extreme means”? And this including the Russians of Moscow?

            Or not to the North Ossetians, but say, the Chechens, or the indigenous nations of Dagestan?

            • What would the Georgians be not entitled to? The Georgians are entitled to exactly the same as the Russians and the Abkhazians and any other nation — nothing. A sense of entitlement is always wrong. Any ethnicity in any place can be forced to use extreme means. Chechnya and Dagestan are actually perfect examples of this.

          • Oh, and

            @No one wants to die and to kill, unless one is desperate.

            I guess you need to learn more about the world.

        • By the way Robert, are you intentionally using propaganda tools on me? I have never said I approved of war between the Abkhazians and the Georgians. I don’t approve wars in general. I, however, think its inhumane to start another war to reverse the results of the previous war. Or to stalemate a situation, which has already been in an impasse for 20 years.

    • You need to study international law and understand that the law of self-determination is not inferior to law of territorial integrity.

      In other words, you lack intelligence, and basic knowledge of every matter you discuss – as usual. I feel sorry for the UNDP person that has to communicate with you:)

  5. @Russia and Abkhazia … Look up the definition of “sovereign” sometime.

    Indeed :)

    The current notion of state sovereignty was laid down in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), which, in relation to states, codified the basic principles of territorial integrity, border inviolability, and supremacy of the state (rather than the Church).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignty (intro paragraph)

    But continue to be a rogue state, it’s so very “pragmatic”.

    Back to the subject, a nice article (post) for you:

    http://greatersurbiton.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/time-to-talk-about-caucasian-self-determination/

    There’s really little I’d add or substract from this.

    • Exactly: “A sovereign is a supreme lawmaking authority”. Russia is a supreme lawmaking authority, so is Abkhazia. Neither of them can be tried in any court, unless it submits to that court’s jurisdiction (i.e. acknowledges the court’s right to judge it and agrees to follow the court’s decision) voluntarily.

      • @Exactly: “A sovereign is a supreme lawmaking authority”. Russia is a supreme lawmaking authority, so is Abkhazia. Neither of them can be tried in any court, unless it submits to that court’s jurisdiction (i.e. acknowledges the court’s right to judge it and agrees to follow the court’s decision) voluntarily.

        Exactly: “A sovereign is a supreme lawmaking authority”. Germany is a supreme lawmaking authority, so is the NDH. Neither of them can be tried in any court, unless it submits to that court’s jurisdiction (i.e. acknowledges the court’s right to judge it and agrees to follow the court’s decision) voluntarily.

        I guess Milosevic was also surprised when he landed in The Hague, or General al-Bashir at http://www.icc-cpi.int/menus/icc/situations%20and%20cases/situations/situation%20icc%200205/related%20cases/icc02050109/icc02050109 this even as he’s still a “head of state”.

        • That’s regular justice. Then there’s also “revolutionary justice”, like this experienced by the Romanovs or this couple (of course also without submitting themselves voluntarily):

        • I cannot understand what you are trying to say. How is Milosevic relevant? You know as well as I do that only some leaders of nations are sovereigns. Queen Elizabeth is. Milosevic was not a sovereign. Also, we both know that there are many of sovereigns in the world, and each one of them is ” a supreme lawmaking authority” in itself. History shows that sometimes there is nothing to prevent one “supreme lawmaking authority” from bombing another “supreme lawmaking authority” into submission, deposing its head of state — sovereign or otherwise — and subject him to any sort of treatment whatsover. Also, subjects of any “supreme lawmaking authority”, when they are sufficently mad with their authority can bring the authority down. There’s nothing beyond the obvious in this.

          • Or do you imply that the Abkhazian “supreme lawmaking authority” should be brought down by another “supreme lawmaking authority”. This was attempted. We all know how this ended. Or do you predict a revolution in Abkhazia? Sometimes it looks like you post just to fill up space here.

            • Considering that the Abkazian government operates on the same principle as the white South African government of the apartheid era, yes it should be be brought down.

              Considering there was recently an attack on the deputy leader of Abkhazia by Abkhazians who are very unhappy with being sold down the river to Russia (think of all the Abkhaz border guards who lost their jobs, and now the Russian government is demanding the disbanding of the Abkhaz military, some independence eh?), it is quite possible.

              All the Georgians need to do is sit back and wait with their federation proposal (the one where the Vice President will be an Abkhaz, with full veto power over any laws or proposals relating to Abkhazia), while the Russians continue to do what they do best, ie try and eliminate minorities, and the Abkhaz will come running back.

              • Lies again? How comes nobody believes you without sources?

                • Lets see dtard

                  http://www.rferl.org/content/Abkhaz_Vice_President_Survives_Fourth_Assassination_Attempt/2165934.html

                  And on the subject of a vice presidential post for the Abkhaz, with veto powers over legislation see here:

                  Post of Vice-President

                  President Saakashvili said that the Abkhaz side should be represented in “all bodies of the Georgian central authorities.”

                  “We offer them the position of vice-president of Georgia and we offer them the right to veto all those decisions by the central authorities which concern or will concern their constitutional status, as well as all important preconditions related with the preservation and further development of their culture, language and ethnicity,” Saakashvili said. “They will have guaranteed representation in all bodies of the Georgian government. This is an unusual move. We are ready to discuss it in the nearest weeks as soon as the negotiations are launched and solve these constitutional issues together. I am sure that all representatives of the Georgian parliament, both of the sitting and the future ones, will join us in this drive.”

                  The Georgian constitution does not envisage a vice-presidential post.

                  Unspecified Security Guarantees

                  President Saakashvili said that Tbilisi was also ready to offer Sokhumi, as he put it, “many other security guarantees.” He gave no further details.

                  He, however, said: “Our law enforcement structures should merge gradually, without any haste. We should create a joint customs-border space and naturally we should provide full autonomy on the ground.”

                  Sokhumi has been insisting that Tbilisi sign a treaty on the non-use of force as a security guarantee. President Saakashvili, however, said on March 15 that Georgia would not do so.

                  ‘Unlimited Autonomy’

                  President Saakashvili said that Tbilisi’s proposal amounted to “unlimited autonomy” and added that the Georgian side had “never offered as much as we are doing now.”

                  “There are no issues, which we and the Abkhazians could not solve through negotiations, except for Georgia’s disintegration – I want to stress this,” he said. “All other issues – unlimited autonomy, wide federalism and very serious representation in the central governmental bodies of Georgia – will be guaranteed, with the participation and support of international guarantors.”

                  http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=17473

                  and here:

                  U.S. supports President Saakashvili’s peace proposals for Abkhazia
                  United States Mission to the OSCE
                  Statement on Developments in Georgia
                  As delivered by Ambassador Julie Finley
                  to the Permanent Council, Vienna
                  April 17, 2008

                  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

                  Georgian President Saakashvili recently elaborated peace proposals for Abkhazia. The United States strongly supports these proposals. They are a constructive and responsible attempt to offer maximal autonomy to Abkhazia within Georgia, including linguistic and cultural autonomy, veto power over legislation dealing directly with Abkhazia, and guaranteed senior positions in the central government, including a proposed Vice Presidency.

                  The Saakashvili plan offers a clear path to resolving the conflict and ensuring the legitimate interests of the Abkhaz while restoring Georgia’s territorial autonomy and allowing the safe and dignified return of over 200,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). It is regrettable that the Abkhaz have rejected the initiative out of hand, and refuse to negotiate with Georgia in general.

                  http://georgia.usembassy.gov/tr-04172008b.html

                  I mean we all know you are stupid Dmitry, but these proposals are well known to Caucasus experts, and the Abkhaz rejection of them was widely condemned by the international community.

                  Now the Abkhaz are getting screwed by Russia, and are somewhat regretting it.

                  • Andrew, you’re even more intelligent than I thought, if you think I would consider RFE/RL and civil.ge you quote as reliable sources on Abkhazia:D

              • I am sure he will repost an article from some shady newspaper….

            • I don’t predict anything. But I also don’t think many people actually predicted the revolution in Romania.

              Russificiation of Abkhazia is actually not very popular among the Abkhaz nationalists. I think you are aware how a number of Abkhaz even actually fought AGAINST Russia after they fought Georgia (when Basayev was their deputy defense ministers). For example, an Abkhaz war veteran was among the group that hijacked a Russian passanger ship in Turkey in 1996. Basayev himself had the Abkhaz battalion of his and an Abkhaz wife (the Russians killed her). And the Abkhaz diaspora around the world are not a huge fans of Russia, for Russia being the very reason they don’t live in their homeland.

              • Well, actually, in my view, Abkhazia does not intend to become and will resist as much as it can becoming totally dependent of Russia. The more reasons for the EU and NATO to push for Abkhazian independence with strings attached. This actually confirms the approach I mentioned is reasonable.

          • And your reducio ad Hitlerum is ridiculous. Russia is no Third Reich and Abkhazia is no NDH. This said, Third Reich and NDH were sovereign and “supreme lawmaking authorities”. Their racist and expansionist policies, however, made other sovereigns unite against them, defeat them militarily and dismantle them. If Russia and Abkhazia ever provoke a global military conflict they will definitely deserve the same fate (although, most likely, there will be one uninhabited planet more after such a conflict).

            • Russia already does have racist and expansionist policies you twit.

              After all, they want to control the governments of all former Soviet republics, they commit ethnic cleansing in Georgia and Moldovia, they supply terrorists with advanced weaponry, the list goes on.

              And don’t forget the Soviet Union made Nazi Germany look like amateurs in the killing civilians stakes…..

              • The only unfortunate supplying terrorists with advanced weaponry was when Georgian rag-tag “national guarg” militants got their hands on weapons of Soviet army stored in Georgia, right after the breakdown of the Soviet union.

                Had you get nothing then, there would not have been three wars (S.Ossetia, Abkhazia, S.Ossetia again).

                You have destroyed your statehood completely by yourself, as you always did. You have recieved a united, large, and strong a country from Russia.

                In 20 years you have succeeded in

                1) Destroying economics,
                2) Alienating two of the five major ethnic/ religious minorities, and offending others,
                3) Going really deep into debts, with debts denominated in the currency you can’t control.

                That was all your own fault.

                • Well Dtard, the Abkhaz were receiving weapons from the Russians prior to the war breaking out.

                  They used them to massacre Georgian students and lecturers at the Sokhumi university in 1989.

                  The Russian state deliberately encouraged separatism in all the former soviet republics as a means of control, and to undermine the newly independent countries.

                  A good description from 2005:

                  The Caucasus

                  The demise of the two federal communist states, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia was the major cause of the appearance of a new kind of state entities, unheard of since the end of feudalism in Europe. While the 15 Union Republics of the Soviet Union became independent from the old center (Moscow) as well as detached from each other, some ethnically different or mixed parts of the newly independent republics, deprived of federal protection, felt uncomfortable within the new framework and emerged as separate or detached entities. It should be remembered that this separatist movement predates the disintegration of the Soviet Union and is parallel to Gorbachev’s “perestroika.” In the Trans-Caucasus, the separatist forces within the republics began to act as soon as Moscow loosened its grip and the national republics began to assert themselves. The half- hearted and limited use of force by Moscow in order to prevent the disintegration of the Soviet Empire (in Baku, Tbilisi, Vilnius) succeeded not better than attempts by individual republics to stop separatism within their own borders. Georgia and Azerbaijan were most affected, with several “quasi-states” appearing within their borders : Nagorno-Karabagh in Azerbaijan, Abkhazia and Ossetia in Georgia. With the direct support of the Armenian republic and covert Russian assistance, the Armenian majority in the former Nagorno- Karabagh Autonomous Region, split from Azerbaijan, expelled the Azeri minority, occupied a substantial chunk of Azeri territory, and created a “state” of its own. The Abkhazian minority (less than 1/5th of the total population), with Russian assistance, split Abkhazia from Georgia, expelled the Georgian majority, and established its own “state”. South Ossetia declared itself ”sovereign republic”, while Adjaria and parts of Georgia proper became practically independent from Tbilisi. Political mistakes and chauvinist acts on the part of Azeri and Georgian Popular Front governments, who initially came to power, contributed to local separatism.

                  Moscow’s methods varied from region to region, but by their very conception and aim, contributed to the initial appearance and continued existence of quasi-states. Thus in regard to the three republics of the Trans-Caucasus, Moscow resorted to the old tsarist policy of stirring ancient ethnic quarrels and relaying on Armenia, historically distrustful of all its Turkic neighbors, as Russian linchpin. Moscow was fearful of strong nationalist feelings in the region, which led to the initial removal of Soviet-time apparatchiki from power. It was aware that Russian settlers were few in the area, financial means limited, western attraction potent, and open intervention politically impossible. It thus reverted to the ancient policy of divide ut impera in order to remain the indispensable arbiter between conflicting parties, as best method of keeping both sides dependent. In the early 1990s, Russia supported the irredentist movements among Georgia’s minorities (especially in Abkhazia and in Ossetia), as well as the Armenian separatist movement in Azerbaijan’s High Karabagh, a stand endorsed by the quasi- totality of the Russian public opinion. Same goes for Moscow’s policy of opposing inroads made by Western oil companies in the Caspian Sea basin as well as Turkish interests into the Trans-Caucasus ( while favoring Russo-Turkish commercial relations in general).

                  One may argue that Moscow’s policy in the area was not always consistent, and that some attempts were made to be more even-handed, but the goal remained clear : to prevent all the parties concerned from escaping Russia’s grip. During Yeltsin’s era Moscow had a hand in leadership changes in Georgia and Azerbaijan, changes which failed to bring the expected results because the new leaders (Aliev and Shevernadze) turned out to be quite independent-minded. However, the Transcaucasian republics were taught a lesson about the danger of ignoring Russian interests. With time, under the impact of events in Chechnya, Moscow became more cautious about stirring irredentist movements, but remained less than helpful in bringing peace to the area. Russia was moved to use force against Chechnya, a separatist autonomous republic within its own borders, out of fear of losing its grip on Northern Caucasus and its influence in the Trans- Caucasus. The first Russian intervention (1994-1996) did not succeed, and Chechnya remained de-facto independent for a few years (roughly between 1996 and 1999). Moscow, however, did not allow a Chechen (or any other) quasi-state to establish itself within the territory of the Russian Federation The federal forces re-conquered the republic by turning the area into a virtual no-man’s land and establishing a puppet “autonomous republic” administration.

                  Putin’s coming into power only strengthened Russian determination to support quasi-states within Georgia and Azerbaijan, while preventing similar entities from emerging within the Russian Federation. Despite post-September 11, 2001 cooperation with Washington, Moscow did not change its attitude on those matters in dealing with the new regimes in Baku (Aliev Jr.) and Tbilisi (Saarkashvili). The quasi-states of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabagh still benefit from Russian sponsorship and protection. Only the semi-detached entity of Adjaria, where Mafia-style separatism lost all attraction, had to be sacrificed.

                  http://www.peuplesmonde.com/spip.php?article318

                • And if the Georgians had got nothing then, there would have been 260,000 Georgian murdered by Russian armed separatists instead of 10,000 dead and 250,000 refugees.

                  Try again dtard.

                  • If nobody in Georgia (including, and most important, Georgian “national guargd” thugs) would have heavy arms, there would be no wars in Ossetia and no war in Abkhazia.

                    Because each of the wars was started by the Georgian army equipped with Soviet weaponry.

                    • Wrong as usual sub simian.

                      Ardzinba was creating Abkhaz army units prior to the war and arming them with equipment supplied by the Russians.

                      Prior to the outbreak of the war, the Abkhaz leadership arranged for the redeployment of a Russian airborne battalion from the Baltic States to Sukhumi.[29] According to the Russian historian Svetlana Mikhailovna Chervonnaya, a number of Russian security servicemen also arrived in Abkhazia as “tourists” during that summer: “The main load in the preparation of Abkhazian events was given to staff of the former KGB. Almost all of them got appointments in Abkhazia under cover of neutral establishments, which had nothing to do with their real activities. To distract attention, various ruses were resorted to, such as the private exchange of apartments, or the necessity of moving one’s place of work to Abkhazia due to a sudden deterioration of health.”[30]
                      According to another Russian expert, Evgeni Kozhokin, director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, prior to the outbreak of hostilities, Abkhaz guardsmen had been supplied with weaponry by Russia’s 643rd anti-aircraft missile regiment and a military unit stationed in Gudauta. Ardzinba had major supporters in Moscow as well, including Vice President Alexander Rutskoy and the Chechen speaker of the Russian parliament, Ruslan Khasbulatov

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Abkhazia_(1992%E2%80%931993)

                      The first outbreak of fighting in Abkhazia was actually an armed attack by separatists on the new TSU campus in Sokumi on July 16th to 17th 1989, which resulted in 18 deaths and at least 448 wounded, of whom, according to official accounts, 302 were Georgians.

                      Armed Abkhaz separatists attacked government buildings in Sokhumi in June 1992, killing many Georgians, and on July 23 Ardzinba declared independence, the Georgians did not move in until August 14th to restore constitutional order (such as it was at the time).

                      The separatists had already been armed by Russia prior to the war, and were set on armed rebellion into the bargain.

                      far from being peaceful, the Abkhaz had repeatedly committed acts of armed violence against the central government and against unarmed Georgian civilians.

                      I suggest you stop getting your history lessons from Russian sources Dtard, they are always full of BS.

                    • Ardzinba was creating Abkhaz army units prior to the war and arming them with equipment supplied by the Russians.

                      The separatists had already been armed by Russia prior to the war, and were set on armed rebellion into the bargain.

                      Lie. There were no Abkhaz army units prior to the war. And they started to gather home guard days before the outbreak of hostilities. There is also absolutely no evidence heavy weapons were transferred to Abkhaz by Soviet army – even at the height of hostilities. As to the “Kozhokin” the Georgian Wikipedia article quotes, Google gives 0 results for Кожокин+643+полк. Which means it’s just another fellow Georgian chauvinist lie, most likely. But feel free to search for the original document.

                      The first outbreak of fighting in Abkhazia was actually an armed attack by separatists on the new TSU campus in Sokumi on July 16th to 17th 1989, which resulted in 18 deaths and at least 448 wounded, of whom, according to official accounts, 302 were Georgians.

                      Lie. The first outbreak was when Georgians decided to abolish Soukhumi university in 1989, and turn it into a branch of Tbilisi university, governed from Tbilisi.

                      Again, you don’t know your own history.

                    • No Dtard, you are lying (as usual).

                      The Abkhaz National guard was formed in May, over 4 months before the war broke out.

                      Once again, tensions began to fuel in Abkhazia. The Abkhaz separatist politicians led by Ardzinba were determined to use the opportunity of the unrest in Georgia to reinforce their power in the region and not to allow either of the conflicting Georgian parties to gain a foothold in Abkhazia. In violation of the previous power-sharing agreement, the Abkhaz team gradually began to take control of all major posts in the autonomous structures. An internal division within the Georgian faction did not allow the Georgians to effectively counter these moves. By summer 1992, the split-up in the local authorities and public institutions of Abkhazia into ethnic Georgian and ethnic Abkhaz groups created a kind of dual authority in the autonomous republic. The predominantly ethnic Georgian members of the Supreme Council – the “Democratic Abkhazia” faction headed by Tamaz Nadareishvili – blamed Ardzinba and his team for raising ethnic tensions in the region and boycotted the Council’s sessions. In the aftermath, a number of Georgian laws were nullified in Abkhazia and a paramilitary force, the Abkhaz National Guard, was created and placed directly under the command of the Presidium of the Abkhazian Supreme Council. The ethnic Georgians responded to these measures by requesting from the central Georgian government to take additional measures for their defense. Soon a Georgian National Guard detachment under the command of Colonel Giorgi Karkarashvili entered Abkhazia and proceeded to the northern border with Russia, but the unprepared Abkhaz militias avoided offering any resistance and the Georgian force left the region. This demonstration of force proved to be ineffective, however. In a counter-move, on June 24, 1992, the Abkhaz National Guard, under orders from Ardzinba, stormed the Abkhazian Interior Ministry office, which was headed by ethnic Georgians, and took control of local police and security units. At the same time, the Abkhaz separatists secured the assistance from the Confederation in the case of an armed conflict, and intensified their contacts with the Russian military leaders and hardliner politicians. Prior to that, Ardzinba had arranged for the redeployment of a Russian Airborne battalion from the Baltic States to Sokhumi. According to the Russian historian Svetlana Chervonnaya, a number of Russian security servicemen arrived in Abkhazia as “tourists” during that summer. According to another Russian expert, Evgeni Kozhokin, director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, prior to the outbreak of hostilities, Abkhaz guardsmen had been supplied with weaponry by Russia’s 643rd anti-aircraft missile regiment and a military unit stationed in Gudauta, Abkhazia. Ardzinba had major supporters in Moscow as well, particularly among the hardliner right-wing circles, including Vice President Alexander Rutskoy and the Chechen speaker of the Russian State Duma, Ruslan Khasbulatov. It should also be noted, that just before the conflict, Georgia also received its limited share of the heritage of the former Soviet military under the Tashkent Agreement of May 15 1992.
                      At the same time, Ardzinba’s rhetoric mounted, as he claimed that Abkhazia would ready to fight Georgia. In the breach of the 1990 agreement, he initiated a practice of replacing ethnic Georgian officials with Abkhaz, frequently accompanied by violence and humiliation.
                      On July 23, 1992, the ethnic Abkhaz members of the Supreme Council – twenty eight of the sixty-five deputies – abrogated Abkhazia’s functioning constitution and restored the 1925 constitution of the Abkhazian SSR. Abkhazia proclaimed itself a sovereign state, the Republic of Abkhazia, and declared its intention to conduct its relations with Georgia on the parity basis. The Georgian government condemned the decision and Abkhazia’s Georgian population went on strike. The region was on the verge of the war.

                      Learn history Dtard.

                    • Oviously you are too stupid to use google Dmitry.

                      KOZHOKIN, Eugenie Mihailovich
                      Director of RISS

                      Born: April 9, 1954

                      1977 – graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, degree in History.
                      1980 – Master’s Degree from the History Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University.
                      1980-1990 – worked in different institutions of the Academy of Science of the USSR.
                      1990-1992 – member of the Supreme Soviet. Head of the International Relations Sub-committee, Committee for International Relations and Foreign Economic Policy of the Supreme Soviet.

                      June 1992- Oct. 1993 – Head of the Sub-committee for International Security and Surveillance, the Committee for Defense and Security of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation.

                      1993-1994 – Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Federation and Nationalities Affairs.
                      Since April 1994 – Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies.

                      http://www.russiaprofile.org/resources/whoiswho/alphabet/K/Kozhokin

                    • In addition D, the Georgians did not abolish Sokhumi University.

                      They simply transferred the Georgian faculty to TSU control, leaving both the Abkhazian and Russian faculties under Sokhumi university control.

                      This is not an act of war, it is not armed aggression.

                      However, the armed attack by separatists on unarmed Georgian students and lecturers is and armed attack, act of war, and a war crime all rolled into one.

                    • And as for your lie that no heavy weapons were transferred to the separatists by Russia, and that the Abkhaz national guard were formed “just a few days before the war”, more lies.

                      By summer 1992, the split-up in the local authorities and public institutions of Abkhazia into ethnic Georgian and ethnic Abkhaz groups created a kind of dual authority in the autonomous republic. The predominantly ethnic Georgian members of the Supreme Council – the “Democratic Abkhazia” faction headed by Tamaz Nadareishvili – blamed Ardzinba and his team for raising ethnic tensions in the region and boycotted the Council’s sessions. In the aftermath, a number of Georgian laws were nullified in Abkhazia and a paramilitary force, the Abkhaz National Guard, was created and placed directly under the command of the Presidium of the Abkhazian Supreme Council.

                      on June 24, 1992, the Abkhaz National Guard, under orders from Ardzinba, stormed the Abkhazian Interior Ministry office, which was headed by ethnic Georgians, and took control of local police and security units. At the same time, the Abkhaz separatists secured the assistance from the Confederation in the case of an armed conflict, and intensified their contacts with the Russian military leaders and hardliner politicians. Prior to that, Ardzinba had arranged for the redeployment of a Russian Airborne battalion from the Baltic States to Sokhumi. According to the Russian historian Svetlana Chervonnaya, a number of Russian security servicemen arrived in Abkhazia as “tourists” during that summer. According to another Russian expert, Evgeni Kozhokin, director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, prior to the outbreak of hostilities, Abkhaz guardsmen had been supplied with weaponry by Russia’s 643rd anti-aircraft missile regiment and a military unit stationed in Gudauta, Abkhazia. Ardzinba had major supporters in Moscow as well, particularly among the hardliner right-wing circles, including Vice President Alexander Rutskoy and the Chechen speaker of the Russian State Duma, Ruslan Khasbulatov.

                    • obviously you’re too intelligent to read properly, Andrew.

                      On Kozhikhin, I told you I was searching in Russian for words “Kozhokhin” “19” “regiment” and found no sources that included all three.

                      I.e. Google knows not of a source Georgian author of the WP cites.

                  • And I am not going to “try again” anything, because you have totally ignored every statement of my first post:

                    1) you have destroyed developed economics you recieved from the USSR in 1990, by 1996 you had economics three times less;
                    2) you have started three wars with your neighbours Abkhaz and Ossets, and lost all three, burying the idea of a “larger Georgia”,
                    3) you have took credits worth 20,000USD per citizen.

                    And, yes,
                    4) you have created a one-man, one-party system fully controlling your country.

                    All of this all is your own fault.

                • No Dtard, you are lying (as usual).

                  The Abkhaz National guard was formed in May, over 4 months before the war broke out.

                  Once again, tensions began to fuel in Abkhazia. The Abkhaz separatist politicians led by Ardzinba were determined to use the opportunity of the unrest in Georgia to reinforce their power in the region and not to allow either of the conflicting Georgian parties to gain a foothold in Abkhazia. In violation of the previous power-sharing agreement, the Abkhaz team gradually began to take control of all major posts in the autonomous structures. An internal division within the Georgian faction did not allow the Georgians to effectively counter these moves. By summer 1992, the split-up in the local authorities and public institutions of Abkhazia into ethnic Georgian and ethnic Abkhaz groups created a kind of dual authority in the autonomous republic. The predominantly ethnic Georgian members of the Supreme Council – the “Democratic Abkhazia” faction headed by Tamaz Nadareishvili – blamed Ardzinba and his team for raising ethnic tensions in the region and boycotted the Council’s sessions. In the aftermath, a number of Georgian laws were nullified in Abkhazia and a paramilitary force, the Abkhaz National Guard, was created and placed directly under the command of the Presidium of the Abkhazian Supreme Council. The ethnic Georgians responded to these measures by requesting from the central Georgian government to take additional measures for their defense. Soon a Georgian National Guard detachment under the command of Colonel Giorgi Karkarashvili entered Abkhazia and proceeded to the northern border with Russia, but the unprepared Abkhaz militias avoided offering any resistance and the Georgian force left the region. This demonstration of force proved to be ineffective, however. In a counter-move, on June 24, 1992, the Abkhaz National Guard, under orders from Ardzinba, stormed the Abkhazian Interior Ministry office, which was headed by ethnic Georgians, and took control of local police and security units. At the same time, the Abkhaz separatists secured the assistance from the Confederation in the case of an armed conflict, and intensified their contacts with the Russian military leaders and hardliner politicians. Prior to that, Ardzinba had arranged for the redeployment of a Russian Airborne battalion from the Baltic States to Sokhumi. According to the Russian historian Svetlana Chervonnaya, a number of Russian security servicemen arrived in Abkhazia as “tourists” during that summer. According to another Russian expert, Evgeni Kozhokin, director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, prior to the outbreak of hostilities, Abkhaz guardsmen had been supplied with weaponry by Russia’s 643rd anti-aircraft missile regiment and a military unit stationed in Gudauta, Abkhazia. Ardzinba had major supporters in Moscow as well, particularly among the hardliner right-wing circles, including Vice President Alexander Rutskoy and the Chechen speaker of the Russian State Duma, Ruslan Khasbulatov. It should also be noted, that just before the conflict, Georgia also received its limited share of the heritage of the former Soviet military under the Tashkent Agreement of May 15 1992.
                  At the same time, Ardzinba’s rhetoric mounted, as he claimed that Abkhazia would ready to fight Georgia. In the breach of the 1990 agreement, he initiated a practice of replacing ethnic Georgian officials with Abkhaz, frequently accompanied by violence and humiliation.
                  On July 23, 1992, the ethnic Abkhaz members of the Supreme Council – twenty eight of the sixty-five deputies – abrogated Abkhazia’s functioning constitution and restored the 1925 constitution of the Abkhazian SSR. Abkhazia proclaimed itself a sovereign state, the Republic of Abkhazia, and declared its intention to conduct its relations with Georgia on the parity basis. The Georgian government condemned the decision and Abkhazia’s Georgian population went on strike. The region was on the verge of the war.

                  In addition, the Georgian Supreme Soviet did not replace Sokumi University, they simply transferred the Georgian section of the university to TSU, leaving the Russian and Abkhazian sections under Sokumi University.

                  This is not an act of armed aggression.

                  The armed Abkhaz separatists killing and injuring unarmed students and is both an act of armed aggression and completely without justification.

                  Learn history Dtard.

                • And here is another Russian commentator listing weapons received by Ardzinba and the Abkhaz National Guard prior to the war (Some Russians are honest, just not scum like you Dtard)

                  [2] Not only Georgian sources testify to the fact that Russian military units, stationed in Abkhazia, were providing military support to the Ardzinba’s regime. As example, Mr. V. Simonov, the former military intelligence commander of the 19th separate anti-aircraft defense army that was positioned in trans-Caucasus, cites particular instances of such help. According to his data, by August 14, 1992, the Abkhazians had already received, without any fighting, the armaments of the 643rd anti-aircraft missile regiment (about one thousand submachine guns, 18 machine-guns, half a million of cartridges, etc.). Also, according to Simonov, even before the Georgian troops were brought into Abkhazia), Abkhazians received several armored vehicles, machine-guns, hundreds of grenades and around 50,000 cartridges from the armaments of the Battalion of the Airport-Technical Supply in Gudauta. According to the estimate of this author, altogether during the war, Abkhazian forces spent no less than 1,000 railway cars of military supplies, most of which were received from the Russian supplies. (Absolutely Secret, No. 8, 1994, p. 3.) According to the opinion of the Stockholm International Institute of Peace experts, “the technical supply support provided by the Russian armed forces was crucial for the success of the Abkhazian party.” (International Security and Disarmament, Annual Edition of CIPRI, 1994, p. 108.)

                  http://www.rand.org/pubs/conf_proceedings/CF129/CF-129.chapter5.html

                  • received, without any fighting, the armaments of the 643rd anti-aircraft missile regiment

                    Stolen/ bought/ robbed some firearms from some unfortunate regiment, in the turmoil began by Georgians on their own land, so what?

                    Georgians got their hands on howitzers and Grads, that was from quite another league, compared to some automatic rifles you speak about.

                    • Well dtard, the separatists got their hands on those too.

                      In addition, the separatists, as both documents state, were receiving weapons before any fighting broke out.

                      Including the Grads and heavy artillery used to shell Sokhumi during the siege.

                      Then there was the fact that the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and VVS (Frontal Aviation) operated in support of the Abkhaz separatists.

                      With regards to weapons used:

                      GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT FORCES

                      Georgian government forces inherited a certain amount of weaponry in the break-up of the former Soviet Union. To this were added, during the Abkhaz war, weapons, bases, transportation, and other material under bilateral agreements reached between Georgia and the Russian Federation in connection with Georgia’s independence and initial refusal (later reversed) to join the CIS. In addition, Georgian forces obtained supplies by raids on Russian military bases in Georgia, until Russian forces made clear that such raids would be met with force. These three categories account for the vast majority of armaments used by Georgian forces in the conflict.

                      Significant categories of weapons used by the Georgian forces have included Kalashnikov rifles of several varieties; rocket-propelled grenade launchers (RPG-7); light and heavy machine guns; many varieties of Soviet antipersonnel and antitank landmines; light mortars and artillery; heavy mortars and artillery, including self-propelled guns; Grad (multiple, rack-mounted) rockets on mobile launchers; various types of armored personnel carriers and tanks, including T-72s, heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles; helicopters armed with rockets and machine guns; and SU-25 fighter-bombers armed with bombs, rockets, missiles and cannons.205

                      ABKHAZ FORCES

                      Abkhaz forces used ground systems that were essentially the same as those of the Georgian forces listed above. The Abkhaz used heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles far more than the Georgian forces did, at least measured by effectiveness in shooting down aircraft, which included several civilian craft.

                      So far as Human Rights Watch has been able to determine, Abkhaz forces did not have their own aircraft or ships. Air attacks carried out against Georgian forces were, on the weight of the evidence and consistent with what other Western observersbelieve, carried out on their behalf by Russian forces.206 The clearest case of such attacks was that of the SU-27 shot down by Georgian forces in March 1993 and piloted, according the U.N. military observers, by a Russian major.207

                      Possible sources for Abkhaz weapons included raids on Russian facilities in Abkhazia, black market purchases from corrupt Russian sources, supplies and support authorized by local Caucasus commanders of the Russian forces, and supplies and support authorized by branches of the Russian army or government in Moscow. Human Rights Watch believes that the sources included raids on Russian facilities and black market purchases. At the same time, however, these sources would have fallen far short of the massive quantities of supplies consumed over the period of conflict between August 1992 and May 1994. Other cases of military supply where the weight of the evidence points to Russian military involvement, such as the shot-down SU-27 and air intervention on the side of the Abkhaz generally, do not allow Human Rights Watch to reach any conclusion as to whether these operations were arranged or approved from Moscow, or were instead the work of local Russian commanders.

                      The same holds true for the extensive logistical support given by Russian forces to certain Abkhaz operations, such as the sea attacks on Sukhumi during 1993. Human Rights Watch reaches no conclusion as to what parties might have approved these operations, whether in Moscow or locally, except that it believes the evidence suggests that Russian forces were involved at some level.

                      Evidence presented in this report has shown that on occasion, Russian forces have intervened directly in the Abkhaz conflict in ways

                      that were violative of the laws of war. The February 1993 air attack against civilian areas of Sukhumi was one such instance, one admitted to by the Russian ministry of defense.

                      Evidence in this report has also shown that the Russian government provided security assistance to the Georgian government in fulfillment of its bilateral agreements, although that aid went to forces that were engaged in serious human rights abuse. Human Rights Watch believes that treaty obligations notwithstanding, the Russian government was not obligated and ought not to have transferred security assistance to forces engaged at that very moment in serious human rights and humanitarian law abuse.

                      This report has further presented evidence that Russian forces provided weapons and security assistance to Abkhaz forces which themselves engaged in serious human rights and humanitarian law violations. Whereas the transfer of bases and supplies to the Georgians was fundamentally a continuation of policies and agreements separate from the Abkhaz conflict, Russian military aid to the Abkhaz was directly related to the conflict and intended to influence its course in favor of the Abkhaz.

                      http://www.hrw.org/reports/1995/Georgia2.htm#P325_69090

                    • Hmmm, so what about all the Grads and heavy artillery the separatists used to shell Sokhumi and Gagra?

                      The tiny enclave of Abkhazia, whose historical roots stretch back to more than a thousand years before Christ, has emerged as the keystone to Georgia’s future as an independent state. Under pressure from Moscow, the insurgents suspended their drive for autonomy and endorsed a cease-fire in July. But when Shevardnadze’s forces turned to the task of breaking a blockade imposed on the Georgian capital of Tbilisi by Gamsakhurdia’s rebels, the Abkhazians struck again. Two weeks ago, fighters launched a ferocious attack on Sukhumi. Within 48 hours, surprise had enabled them to seize the heights overlooking the city and pour artillery, mortars and missiles down on the civilian population.

                      http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,979327-1,00.html

                    • Ironically, the principal architects of Georgia’s predicament may be the same Russian military commanders who are supposed to be enforcing the U.N.-sanctioned cease-fire. At least that’s what Georgian officials and CIA sources charge. A minority of only 17% in their own homeland, the Abkhazians have turned to Russia for help. Georgians are convinced that vindictive Russian army officers, bent on taking revenge for the role Shevardnadze played in the collapse of the Soviet empire, are providing battlefield intelligence plus Russian Grad missiles and SU-25 fighters to the Abkhazians, who previously were armed with shotguns and hunting rifles. Outside observers suspect that assistance comes from free-lancing local commanders without the approval of political leaders in Moscow. But the distinction makes little difference to Georgian soldiers.
                      The principal targets of the shelling are civilians, many of whom had previously fled the city but returned during the cease-fire. Now they are frantically trying to escape again. Streets are clogged by women and children who walk the 15 miles to the airport with whatever possessions they can carry. They storm the planes that fly in at irregular intervals, laden with ammunition and volunteer reinforcements from Tbilisi.

                      http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,979327-2,00.html

                    • The assault on Sukhumi, which was launched on Sept. 16, lasted a little less than two weeks. The artillery shelling intended to soften up the defenses destroyed virtually all of the resort city, which once gleamed white amid the subtropical greenery. Undamaged houses can be found only on the outskirts. The downtown area was especially hard hit. Entire blocks were leveled by Grad rocket launchers. Four walls are all that remain of Government House, which used to be a respectable multistory building (so the victors were not able to raise their flag atop it like those who stormed the Reichstag). The remains of dozens of its defenders are probably buried under the collapsed concrete interior walls.

                      http://dlib.eastview.com/browse/doc/13579152

                    • @Then there was the fact that the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and VVS (Frontal Aviation) operated in support of the Abkhaz separatists.

                      You’re an idiot. They, the navy and the air forces, saved your presidents’ ass from Sukhumi (though every Georgian living under Saakashvili believes it was actually “Georgian” aircraft Abkhaz just decided to not take down).

                      They evacuated tens of thousands of Georgians, Russians, Armenians and Abkhaz from Abkhazia.

                      Evacuated to save from a war you started.

                    • Wrong as usual Dtard, it was Ukrainian ships and aircraft that evacuated Georgians from Sokhumi, while Russian ships and aircraft and artillery shelled the city.

                      You really are scum.

                    • http: // http://www.nytimes.com/1993/09/29/world/georgian-leader-charges-atrocity.html?pagewanted=1

                      “Russian ships evacuated about 5,000 wounded Georgian soldiers and civilians from Sukhumi on Monday, even as Abkhazian shells crashed into the city.”

                      New York Times, September, 1993.

                      Read something else but Saakashvili’s propaganda, dear overly agressive Georgian.

                    • Well Dtard, Russian warships and aircrafts shelled and bombed civilian targets in Sukhumi.

                      The Role of the Russian Federation in the Conflict
                      The conflict in Abkhazia was heightened by the involvement of Russia, mostly on the Abkhaz side, especially during the war’s initial stages. Whereas Russia has endorsed the territorial integrity of the Republic of Georgia, Russian arms found their way into Abkhaz hands, Russian planes bombed civilian targets in Georgian-controlled territory, Russian military vessels, manned by supporters of the Abkhaz side, were made available to shell Georgian-held Sukhumi, and at least a handful of Russian-trained and Russian-paid fighters defended Abkhaz territory in Tkvarcheli.

                      The motives of Russian military involvement have been the subject of much speculation. It has been regarded by some as post-imperial meddling, as genuine humanitarianism by others, and by still others as something in-between. The Russian role in this conflict has in part foreshadowed the brutal Russian behavior in Chechnya, and has contributed to a pattern of Russian disregard for human rights and violations of the laws of war.

                      http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/topic,4565c2254a,4565c25f593,3ae6a8274,0.html

                    • You told me they were saved by the ukrainian ships, and Russians did not save these Georgian servicemen and civilians. I proved you wrong. Now go off.

                    • And you said that no Russian units attacked Georgian civilians, you lying little rat, now go and f8ck your mother.

              • Are you implying a world war with Russia is imminent?

            • And the current parallels are all too unpleasant:

              Beware the rise of Russia’s new imperialism
              Robert Horvath
              August 21, 2008
              PERHAPS the worst thing about the anti-American left is not its prejudices but its parochialism. Fixated upon the evils of US global hegemony, its publicists turn a blind eye to the imperialism of regimes opposed to that hegemony.

              Consider this analysis by Guardian columnist Seumas Milne (The Age 16/8): “By any sensible reckoning, this is not a story of Russian aggression, but of US imperial expansion and ever tighter encirclement of Russia by a potentially hostile power.”

              To deny that Russian imperialism is shaping the events unfolding in the Caucasus is to ignore the public pronouncements of Russian leaders and the climate of nationalist hysteria that permeates the Russian media. Within hours of his arrival in Vladikavkaz last week, Vladimir Putin boasted that Russia “for centuries” played a “positive, stabilising role (as) a guarantor of the security, progress and co-operation” in the Caucasus and “would remain so in the future”.

              Advertisement: Story continues below
              That confident affirmation of Russia’s imperial destiny is a tribute to the achievements of a decade of nationalist propaganda in the state-controlled media. No longer is public opinion agitated by the memory of Russia’s 19th-century conquest of the Caucasus, Stalin’s genocidal deportations, and the two brutal Chechen wars. As human rights activist Sergei Kovalev has lamented, the regime’s tribunes “have drummed the values of the imperial state into the social mind”.

              This indoctrination was made possible by the subjugation of the mass media during Putin’s early years in power. As a result of the displacement of liberal journalists by “patriotic” ideologues, Russian television became a forum for the most improbable conspiracy theories, sneering contempt for the West, sycophantic adulation of Putin and the celebration of Russian military power. It also provided a platform for charismatic commentators such as Mikhail Leontev and Vladimir Solovev, vehement converts to the imperial idea.

              The ascent of the new Russian imperialism is exemplified by the philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, who emerged in the radical nationalist underground of the late 1980s. Languishing at the margins of politics during the Yeltsin years, he adopted Eurasianism, an ideology formulated in the 1920s by Russian emigres and popularised in the late Soviet period by the historian Lev Gumilev.

              For Eurasianists, Russia was a unique Slavic-Turkic civilisation of the steppe and the eternal enemy of decadent Europe. In Dugin’s reworking, Eurasianism became a justification for the resurrection of an empire on the ruins of the Soviet Union and for a struggle to the death against the Atlantic democracies.

              Under Putin, Dugin has become a ubiquitous presence in Russia’s circumscribed public sphere. On August 8, he amazed an interviewer on the radio station Ekho Moskvy by accusing Georgia of genocide in South Ossetia, a line that was subsequently taken up by Putin and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Dugin is also the leader of the Eurasianist Youth Union, a militant Kremlin-sponsored youth movement. The authorities apply massive police force to suppress democratic protests, but Dugin’s lads encounter few obstacles when exercising their right to assembly. On August 10, they protested outside the Defence Ministry in Moscow, chanting “Tanks to Tbilisi!” and “Glory to Russia! Glory to Empire!”

              The doyen of the Russian imperialists is Aleksandr Prokhanov, whose novels, set in the battlefields of the Cold War, earned him a reputation as the Rudyard Kipling of the Soviet empire. A radical opponent of Yeltsin’s “occupation regime”, he became respectable under Putin. In his latest editorial in his newspaper, Zavtra, Prokhanov exulted that “we were not defeated by the West in the Cold War, because the Cold War continues. We lost gigantic territories, but we held Moscow. From here we launched our counterattack.”

              Imperialist passions are also being inflamed by influential nationalist clerics. In February this year, Russian television broadcast Demise of an Empire, a visually spectacular documentary narrated by the Orthodox abbot Tikhon Shevkunov, reputedly Putin’s confessor. Ostensibly an account of the collapse of Byzantium, it was really an allegory about Putin’s Russia: a warning against Western subversion and domestic traitors, and a celebration of empire. Enthused by Tikhon’s “fiery imperial, great power rhetoric”, one nationalist reviewer extolled this travesty of history as “a propaganda masterpiece”.

              The effects of this cult of empire extend far beyond the ranks of the nationalist intelligentsia and official patriotic movements such as Nashi. On the evening of Victory Day, May 9, I witnessed an annual spectacle that has alarmed liberals for years: gangs of aggressive, drunken youths marching around the Moscow metro, rhythmically chanting “Ros-siya, Ros-siya!” As Sergei Kovalev has pointed out, these children of the Putin era do not even realise they are behaving like fascists.

              For too long, we in the West have ignored the xenophobic fulminations and the neo-imperial fantasies disseminated by the Russian state media. For too long, we pretended that the Kremlin’s sabre-rattling was nothing more than a benign concession to the resentments of the downtrodden. It is time to confront the reality that we can no longer attribute the behaviour of the Russian state to the effects of Western power. Russian imperialism has become a fact of life.

              Robert Horvath is a research fellow at La Trobe University.

              http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/beware-the-rise-of-russias-new-imperialism-20080820-3yw6.html?page=-1

            • “uninhabited planet” is a myth. This is a likely scenario (realtively many survivors, ruled by the military, slow rebuilding of the civilization – 13 parts):

            • Well, you are entitled to your opinion. If it is right, then a world war with Russia is in the offing… I hope you are wrong.

          • @How is Milosevic relevant?

            Milosevic refused to recognise the ICTY’s jurisdiction.

            @You know as well as I do that only some leaders of nations are sovereigns. Queen Elizabeth is. Milosevic was not a sovereign.

            Milosevic was a (former) dictator. How about General al-Bashir?

            http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article35817

            • And how is ICTY relevant? Robert, is there a point in randomly throwing in various UN bodies into your postings? This format is not convenient for hints and allusions. What is your message? And the general is not a sovereign; and right, Milosevic was a dictator but not a sovereign either. Why?

    • Hey, have you been to the Kosovo embassy in your country lately? :)

    • One more lawyer from another racist country:)

  6. OK, I’m done with this discussion. Everything I had to say I already did.

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