Friday, August 22, 2008

Some light on Russian aggression against Georgia

Only the title of this post is mine. Below, I am copying Shlemazl's post Who won the Georgian War, with permission. (Shlemazl is a Canadean Jew of Russian origin. So, unlike most people writing on the conflict, he speaks Russian fluently and has the background information necessary to interpret the current events. Also, as a blogger he is free of the political correctness bondage that prevents Western commentators from calling a spade a spade.)

First, a few little known facts:
- South Ossetia and Abhazia became de-facto Russian dependencies following Georgian civil wars in 1990s. Atrocities were committed on all sides.
- In the 90s Shamil Basayev, a notorious Chechen warlord fought on the side of Russia, Abhazia and Ossetiya against Georgia. Later he carried out a large number of terrorist attacks against Russia, including the one in Beslan which resulted in the death of hundreds of children. (This information was published also in the Bulgarian weekly paper Pro & Anti - M.M.)
- It is believed that Putin's personal hatred of Saakashvili started when Saakashvili referred to the diminutive Russian leader as "Liliputin".
- South Ossetian "separatist" leader Eduard Kokoity is a former Soviet communist with major interests in smuggling and criminal underworld and very recent involvement in the Russian parliament.
- Other prominent "Ossetian" separatists include head of South Ossetian KGB Anatoly Baranov, South Ossetian Minister of Defense Vasilii Lunev, Secretary of Security Council of South Ossetia Anatoly Barankevich and Prime Minster Yuri Morosov. All happen to be ethnic Russian immigrants to the region of South Ossetia.
- Georgia is the only Former Soviet Union country outside the Baltic states where police does not take bribes.
- South Ossetian economy is 50% funded by Russia directly with the balance split between large scale counterfeit/smuggling operations and charging a semi-legal levy on cross-boder trade between Russia and Georgia.
- Until now Russia claimed to have accepted Georgian sovereignty over Abhazia and South Ossetia, but gave Russian citizenship to population of both regions. Others, even ethnic Russians from the former USSR are finding it very hard to get a Russian citizenship.
In the lead up to the conflict
- Putin and Medvedev openly threatened Georgia and its government on a number of occasions, including in early August.
- Russian planes carried out multiple overflight and occasional bombing operations in Georgia.
- "South Ossetian" forces carried out recent terrorist operations in Georgia, including a lethal attack on police station in Gori.
- Russia has carried recent military exercises in the region and brought large numbers of troops and equipment into the region in general and specifically into Abhazia.
What might have happened.
Saakashvili's decision to attack the bankrupt source of terrorism in South Ossetia can be explained in only two ways:
1. Georgia was aware of an imminent Russian attack to take over Georgia and change "regime" and decided to preempt it. If true, the objective was met at the price of losing some territory and thousands of ethnically cleansed + few hundred dead and wounded Georgians. The way the events unfolded, world opinion and leaders were mobilized by the time Russia was in a position to attack Tbilisi. Wouldn't have been the case had Russia initiated a two-pronged attack.
2. Georgia miscalculated and assumed that Russia would not engage in her first direct attack on a sovereign nation since Afghanistan.
The biggest lie.
Russian casus belli. Claims of 2000 dead Ossetian civilians and genocide committed by the Georgian troops suck three cocks. For one thing you wouldn't have been able to walk in Tshinvalli without a gas mask. The actual independently reported number of Ossetian civilians that were killed in the conflict is 44. Clearly the Russians have learned their PR campaign technique from Palestinians.
Incidentally, the figure of 180 dead and thousands ethnically cleansed Georgians appears to be accurate.
Did Russia win?
Not exactly. Honestly, I cannot see a pro-Russian leader coming to power in Georgia, Ukraine, Moldavia or any other currently independent Eastern European country in the next 20 years. Poland quickly agreed to bring in anti-missile defense shield.
Price for a few square kilometres here and there (like Russia needs the land so badly...), includes comprehensive international isolation. Too stark were the similarity with Sudetenland Czechoslovakia and 1938.
Russia lost almost the same number in dead and wounded military as Georgia + planes and other military equipment.
Oh, and by the way... Russian stock market (and pension funds) has lost a quarter of its value.
Last but not least... Strongly anti-Putin candidate for the White House has improved his chances of success.
Don't you think it is such a nice touch that UK's Muslim Public Affairs Committee makes direct use of neo-Nazi website to answer the question "Who started it?" Can you guess?Oh, and I can't help but wonder where are the good old lefty anti-war "anti-Imperialists" on all this.
Source 1, source 2.


programmer craig said...

Hi Maya! Great post! I don't read Shelmazl's blog any more but in this case, thank you very much bringing it to my attention :)

Maya M said...

Thank you!

Melissa Hahn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maya M said...

Melissa, your comment was posted automatically. I deleted it as soon as I read it. My e-mail is mayamarkov at gmail dot com.