Russian Military Gets Stronger - August, 2008

Russian Military Gets Stronger


August, 2008

Russian soldiers sit atop an armored vehicle in a long column of military hardware advancing past Gori August 13, 2008 near Gori, Georgia. A Russian military column, along with an assortment of paramilitary forces allied with them, penetrated further into Georgian territory August 13.


Russia's first foreign war since Soviet troops stormed into Afghanistan nearly three decades ago is showcasing a resurgent military that's trying to overcome years of decline after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Russia's oil wealth and Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin's ambition to return his country to its position as a world power have fueled the buildup. But analysts are quick to point out that Russia has picked on a weakling in its invasion of neighboring Georgia and is still a long way from developing a world-class military. Television images of Russian troops and tanks pressing into Georgia provoked reminders of Soviet military might and Cold War invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered a halt to the 5-day-old conflict Tuesday, although Georgian leaders said the Russian attacks continued. Although Russian military spending is a small fraction of that of the United States — roughly $30 billion a year compared with more than $500 billion — the country's nuclear-equipped military is vastly improved from the early and mid-1990s, when soldiers foraged for food in potato fields and officers often had to hold second jobs.


"The Russian military pretty much went into free-fall in the early 1990s," recalled Steven Pifer, who was the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 1998 to 2000 and is now a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, a center-left research center in Washington, D.C. After the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991, Russia's military expenditures dropped to one-tenth of the Soviet Union's military budgets during the preceding decade, according to GlobalSecurity.org, an online military research site. Spending on weapons declined by 75 percent. After Putin became president in 2000, the former KGB spy embarked on a military buildup as oil production boosted Russia's economy by an average of 26 percent each year. The Defense Ministry launched an eight-year, $189 billion plan last year to build a new generation of intercontinental missiles, nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers and radars and make other upgrades. Russia also is improving the training, pay, benefits and treatment of soldiers, many of whom notoriously have been subjected to bullying and harassment by superiors. Thousands of Russian soldiers received combat experience through two conflicts in the breakaway republic of Chechnya. Additionally, the Russian military leaders behind the Georgia attacks apparently studied the NATO air campaign over Kosovo and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Nathan Hodge, a land-warfare specialist for Jane's Defence Weekly, said Tuesday in an analysis of the Russian-Georgian conflict.


The Russian strikes into Georgia, which was once part of the Soviet Union, appeared designed to reverse Georgia's attempts to modernize and rearm, Hodge said. Georgia's $1 billion defense budget is much smaller than Russia's, but the smaller country nevertheless had developed a small, well-armed force with updated equipment, Hodge said. Retired Col. Christopher Langton, an analyst at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, called the Russian attack a "classic Soviet-style invasion" featuring tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers and aerial assaults. Other analysts said it was relatively easy for Russian troops to move across the border from their own country without the need for a long supply chain. "If we're talking about a theater-wide war in Europe, it would be a very different picture," said Stephen Blank, a professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. Russia also boasts one of the world's most respected air forces, with sophisticated multirole warplanes such as the MiG-29 and the Su-27. It's moving aggressively to develop unmanned aircraft similar to those the U.S. uses.

Source: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...ilitary13.html

The ugly side of resurgent Russia?


Tbilisi has desperately sought international support since Russian forces moved into Georgia after the Georgian army launched an offensive to bring separatist South Ossetia, which broke away in the early 1990s, back under government control. Mark Seddon, Al Jazeera's diplomatic correspondent, says Georgia's actions had clearly been anticipated by Moscow and that the Russian response may be an ominous portent of its future foreign policy. There should be an iron rule for all journalists, commentators and politicians when discussing the crisis in Georgia, especially when in the United States, where I am now. It is this, make it absolutely clear that you know which Georgia you are talking about. The looks of horror that have crossed peoples faces here when I have told them that Russia 'has invaded Georgia' is something to behold. This is not to trivialise the conflict that has erupted, but simply to remind ourselves of what was once said about Czechoslovakia as the Nazis prepared to invade the country after Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister, had given his blessing. Namely, that it was 'a faraway country of which we know little'. Brutally, the same may be said about Georgia and, more so, of the two breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. For Zbigniew Brezinski, a former national security adviser to Jimmy Carter, the former United States president, and now a foreign policy adviser to presidential hopeful Barak Obama, has apparently compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler. Now Russia is, of course, in breach of international law, and having invaded a sovereign state, albeit one with sizeable pro-Russian enclaves, it is bound to expect a furious response from the West. But Brezinski, as a product of the Cold War, is unwise to make such sweeping claims, not least because Georgia is not Czechoslovakia and Russia is not the old Soviet Union.

Nato encirclement

Whether or not Western leaders like it, the increasingly autocratic political leadership in Moscow is reacting to what it sees as a gradual encirclement by Nato. The military alliance is moving steadily eastwards, and a new generation of long- range missiles are being prepared for deployment in what were Warsaw Pact member states. Moscow is not of course going to send the tanks into Prague or Budapest again. But recent history in the Caucasus suggests that on the inner fringes of the old Soviet bloc, where there are substantial Russian minorities, Moscow is not going to surrender them, and may use them to weaken what it sees as pro-Western governments. To which should be added something else; in those disputed areas with Russian minorities, those who stand in the way may be forced to leave. The untold story of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia is how those breakaway provinces have been emptied of their pro-Georgian populations, and how Russia has distributed passports for those who remain.

Olympic blunder

In retrospect, the move by Mikhail Saakashvili, the Georgain leader, to reign in South Ossetia when he thought that the rest of the world would be distracted by the opening of the Olympics in Beijing, was one of the least smart moves he could have made - particularly as it had clearly been anticipated by Moscow. A sensible policy of co-existence may not have assuaged nationalists in both Georgia and Russia, but it has to be a better way ahead than the vicious conflict that has now probably led to the informal, but permanent annexation of Georgian territory by Russia. This is not to excuse, but to try and understand. It may also be timely for Georgia, which, like Ukraine, wants membership of Nato. Had Georgia actually been a member, Nato members could have been called upon to come to the country's aid.

Worrying foretaste

A nightmare scenario of a Nato conflict with Russia over breakaway provinces in Georgia should at the very least make Nato planners think very carefully about further expansion. It may be one thing to occasionally poke the Russian bear when it is weak, quite another to get into its cage when it is beginning to feel stronger and more confident. Historians may look back at this period, and describe something that we may like to call the 'Kosovo Doctrine'. Moscow was opposed to the independence of Kosovo, despite the fact that most Kosovans wanted it, for Moscow was determined to stand by its old Slav ally Serbia, and wanted to send a warning to others in the former Soviet Union. The new Russia is not the plural democracy that many of its founders had hoped for. If Boris Yeltsin clumsily allowed the Perestroika and reform of Mikhail Gorbachev to disintegrate on his watch, as Gorbachev had himself allowed the Soviet Union to disintegrate without a proper plan for dealing with the fallout from that process, the new bosses in the Kremlin, appear to be saying 'so far and no further'. This is not a pleasant sight, and Russia's raw and ugly power displayed by its iron-fist policy in Georgia, may be a foretaste of much to come.

Source: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/eu...629447507.html


In related news:


Russia Not Releasing Two Provinces



Georgia is a U.S. Project - Russian FM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9hbLooJYOI

Russian officials said Thursday that the Georgian government will not regain control over two breakaway provinces that are at the center of a weeklong military conflict, as the Kremlin issued an uncompromising response to U.S. and Western threats over its military incursion deep into the territory of its tiny neighbor. Russian troops remained in control of the key Georgian city of Gori on Thursday, although a top U.S. military official said in Washington that the invading force appeared to be preparing for a withdrawal, consistent with the terms of a cease-fire signed Tuesday. Amid reports of scattered explosions and the continued destruction of Georgian military assets by Russian troops, Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman James Cartwright said at a Pentagon briefing that Russian forces appeared to be "consolidating" in apparent preparation for a pullback. The cease-fire calls for troops to return to positions held before fighting broke out last week and a large Russian force rolled into the disputed provinces of South Ossetia and Azbhakia. "We see them generally complying and moving back to a position where they can make their exit," Cartwright said. Russian air activity over Georgia, he said, had all but ceased. The situation on the ground, however, remained in flux. According to the Georgian government and wire service reports from Gori, Georgian police had approached the city Thursday for the start of an expected handover, but left after it became apparent that the Russian troops planned to remain, at least for now. Gori is near South Ossetia and sits near the country's major east-west transportation routes.

Confusing events

The status of Russia's presence in a second strategic town, the port city of Poti, and in other locations around the country was also unclear. Georgian officials said that Russian troops remained in Poti, and also in the towns of Senaki and Zugdidi in the western part of the country. The confusing events on the ground were matched at the diplomatic level, with Kremlin officials seeming to back the breakaway aspirations of the two Georgian provinces, in opposition to U.S. and European demands that the country — closely allied with the West — remain intact. Following the events of the past week, "One can forget about any talk about Georgia's territorial integrity," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Associated Press reported from Moscow. "It is impossible to persuade South Ossetia and Abkhazia to agree with the logic that they can be forced back into the Georgian state." Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met Thursday with leaders of the separatist movements in the two provinces and pledged to support them in discussions about the future of the two disputed regions.

Not concerned about threats

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice began a trip to the region Thursday, beginning with talks in France on her way to Tbilisi. Lavrov, in remarks broadcast on Russian radio, sounded unconcerned about White House threats that Russia could suffer a chill in relations with the West because of its incursion into Georgia. "I don't know how they are going to isolate us," Lavrov said during an interview on radio station Echo Moskvy. "I have heard threats that we are not going to be admitted to the (World Trade Organization), but we see clearly that nobody is going to admit us there anyway," he said. His remarks were translated by the Interfax news service. "Excuse my language, but they're just stringing us along." The Russian Foreign Ministry also issued a formal response to Bush's recent remarks on the situation, rebuking the United States for taking what it said was a one-sided view of the conflict. "We regret that the U.S. still refuses to admit the real cause for what happened, which is that (Georgian President) Mikhail Saakashvili's regime, in violation of all its international obligations, unleashed a war against the people of South Ossetia," the statement said. Bush said Wednesday that Russia's actions could make it unfit for membership in international political, economic and security alliances. Bush also reiterated U.S. support for Georgia, dispatching Rice to Tbilisi and ordering U.S. military forces to begin delivering humanitarian aid. Russia on Tuesday agreed to stop offensive operations and pull its troops out of Georgian territory, but a day later took over Gori, seized munitions at Georgian military bases and set up positions along the country's main east-west highway. Paramilitary fighters accompanying the troops looted homes and stole cars, witnesses said. Statements by Georgian officials that the Ossetians were looting Gori were supported by Western reporters who witnessed homes being ransacked, cars being seized and buildings being set on fire. Black smoke billowed over part of the city Wednesday afternoon.

Source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...d/5944873.html

Russian Convoy Moves Deeper Inside Georgia: Witness



Russian tanks roll towards Tbilisi:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ9yUnvNnNA

A Russian military convoy advanced to within 55 km (34 miles) of Tbilisi on Friday, a Reuters witness said, in the deepest incursion since conflict with Georgia erupted last week. The advance by some 17 armored personnel carriers (APCs) and about 200 soldiers coincided with a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to secure Georgia's signature on a French-brokered peace plan to end the fighting. Initially 10 APCs moved along the main highway from the Russian-occupied town of Gori, 25 km (15 miles) from breakaway South Ossetia, before stopping in the village of Igoeti. Several APCs headed down side roads and seven more arrived later. The exact mission of the incursion was not clear. At a news conference after President Mikheil Saakashvili signed the agreement, Rice called for the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces. The vehicles advanced unimpeded by Georgian police and army stationed along the road. A Reuters correspondent saw a military ambulance, snipers and rocket-propelled grenades. The convoy was initially shadowed by three low-flying Russian combat helicopters, which later left. Russian troops this week pushed out of South Ossetia as far as Gori in a counter-offensive to drive out Georgian forces who had tried to recapture the separatist South Ossetia region. Moscow declared a halt on Tuesday to military action but says it is securing Georgian military installations and abandoned arms dumps. On Thursday, Russian troops were spotted in Gori, the Black Sea port of Poti, and the western town of Zugdidi, which lies near another breakaway region, Abkhazia. Georgia has been calling for the Russian troops to pull back from Gori, alleging that irregular militias from over the border in the North Caucasus have moved in behind them and are looting and burning Georgian villages.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/wtMos...BrandChannel=0

Russian Tanks in Georgia's Poti - Witnesses


Russian forces sink Georgian ships: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQXe9rLDW0U

Russian tanks rolled into the Georgian port town of Poti on Thursday, accompanying trucks carrying troops to the port, witnesses said, but Russia denied its forces were there. "Just a few minutes ago they (Russians) entered Poti in tanks," a Poti shipping agent, Nikoloz Gogoli, said by telephone at about 0900 GMT. "Some of the guys have blue signs, badges, which means they should be peacekeepers." Vakhtang Tavberidze, acting harbourmaster in the port of Poti, said Russian peacekeepers had arrived at the military port accompanied by military vehicles, including tanks and armoured personnel carriers, and removed unidentified equipment. "Yesterday they came to the commercial port, but today they only came to the military port, to the coast guard area," Tavberidze said by telephone. "They took away some equipment." "This is looting," he added. "People are afraid to go in there. It might be mined." Asked about the reports, Russia's deputy chief of the general staff, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said: "There are no Russian armour or troops in the city of Poti now." Nogovitsyn offered no further comment. Gogoli said the tanks did not enter the port and were moving in the direction of an old military base. Guards at the port said the tanks were accompanying troop trucks and moved away from the port once the trucks had parked inside. One guard said a truck was carrying around 20 troops and identified them as peacekeepers. A Reuters staff photographer on the scene was barred from entering the port. Earlier, Tavberidze said that Russian troops sank six Georgian cutters stored at Poti on Wednesday. He said no one was hurt. Gogoli and Tavberidze said the cutters, old military boats, were not fired on from sea or air. Russian troops warned bystanders of their plans, Gogoli said. "I think what they did was blow them up with some explosives," he said. Russia denied the previous day that its troops had entered Poti.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSLE126209

Russian FM: Forget Georgian territorial integrity


Russian troops must stay on alert in conflict zone - Medvedev: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD415eyg87I

Russia's foreign minister says the question of Georgia's territorial integrity is a dead issue, a clear sign that Moscow is giving full backing to two separate regions in the wake of recent fighting and could absorb them. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the statement Thursday simultaneously with the announcement that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was meeting in the Kremlin with the separatist regions' leaders. "One can forget about any talk about Georgia's territorial integrity because, I believe, it is impossible to persuade South Ossetia and Abkhazia to agree with the logic that they can be forced back into the Georgian state," Lavrov told reporters.

Source: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/...ia-Georgia.php

Fear Rises Among Defeated as Invaders Show No Sign of Retreat


How long shall we stay in Gori? As long as we want to," the young Russian tank commander replied with casual arrogance. A mile down the road Georgian troops endured the sweltering heat for a second day, waiting for the Kremlin's permission to enter their own city. There was no sign yesterday of the Russians abiding by their pledge to withdraw from the strategic town of Gori, and hand it over to Georgian forces. Instead, just as Condoleezza Rice was due to speak about Russian withdrawal, an armoured column, escorted by helicopter gunships, moved out of the city to advance a further seven miles inside the country, taking up positions near the village of Igoeti.

The Russian presence in Gori, as well as in Abkhazia and the port of Poti, which is in Georgia "proper", is the reality of Moscow's might on the ground and the symbol of Georgia's national humiliation. By taking Gori and adjoining areas the Russians hold a strategic position little more than an hour's tank drive to the Georgian capital. They have also bisected the country east to west, controlling movement of traffic while positioning themselves close to the BTC pipeline, which carries energy supplies through Georgia to western Europe. The "peace" agreement brokered by the French government is now widely seen as an act of betrayal. A Georgian officer in an army convoy from Tbilisi which had come to a halt near the remains of a bombed Georgian tank, said: "We do feel let down, do you blame us? What happened to our allies? We do not know what will happen in the future but it looks like we may lose parts of our country."

A Georgian army base near Gori was partly destroyed by the Russians, who also sank five ships and patrol boats off Poti and bombed military airfields. The campaign group Human Rights Watch also accused Russia of using cluster bombs in civilian areas. The organisation said warplanes had dropped RBK-250 cluster bombs on Gori and the town of Ruisi this week, resulting in the deaths of 11 people including the Dutch television cameraman Stan Storimans. The Russians denied the claim. Georgian forces, heavily outgunned, have not engaged the Russians, with commanders privately admitting that to do so would have led to further pulverising attacks. Meanwhile, Ossetian, Cossack and Chechen militias which had entered the region continued to terrorise the local population, looting and burning, adding to the atrocities against civilians carried out by both sides.

The severity of the problem has been acknowledged by some senior Russian officers. Maj-Gen Vyacheslav Nikolaevich Borisov, in charge of Gori, said: "Ossetians are killing poor Georgians, this is a problem and we are trying to deal with it". He said his troops had been ordered to stop the abuse and arrest those responsible. Most of the atrocities occurred in Georgian enclaves in separatist South Ossetia and villages in Georgia proper outside Gori. Around 80 per cent of the population of Gori had fled and the town had been without water and power for three days. Yesterday, the Russians allowed some humanitarian aid to go through, but the numbers of those fleeing the violence continued to grow in refugee camps. Misha Amashvilli left his home in the village of Karbi in South Ossetia with his family of seven after, he said, his neighbour had been killed by militia. "We have nothing left and we cannot go back home ... our lives have been destroyed and I do not think our government or America can change that."

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...at-898988.html

74 Russian army men killed in Georgia fighting

Russia today said at least 74 army men were killed and 171 injured in five days of fierce fighting triggered by Georgia's attempt to regain control over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia. At least 19 servicemen were also reported missing, Deputy Chief of the General Staff Col-Gen Anatoly Nogovitsyn said and added that Russia has asked the Georgian military to exchange lists of POWs and persons missing in action. However, he was unable to give exact number of Georgian soldiers killed in action. Gen Nogovitsyn hinted that several black Americans and other foreigners were among the Georgian troops killed in the Russian operation. Russian army stopped active military operations in Georgia on August 12 but were told not to leave the positions where they received this order. "Some units are protecting transportation facilities, primarily the Zari road, through which humanitarian aid is being delivered and an independent medical battalion started working in Tskhinvali," he said. Meanwhile, the United States has cancelled upcoming joint military exercises with Russia, its first concrete response to the armed conflict in Georgia, as officials consider broader reprisals following Moscow aggression. A senior US defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity yesterday said, the August 15-23 exercises involving Russian, French, British and US warships in the Sea of Japan "have been scrapped." The exercises were to involve an onshore component in the Russian port of Vladivostok.

Source: http://www.ptinews.com/pti%5Cptisite...0?OpenDocument

Georgia and the West: Goebbels Would Have Been Happy!

The war in South Ossetia is a war of medieval atrocity unleashed by a country whose culture is based on Orthodox Christianity, a country claiming to be "a young democracy" and seeing itself as part of the "humane" Europe. The aggression launched by the current Georgian regime and its puppeteers is marked by extraordinary cruelty and cynical lies. Tbilisi would have never dared to do what it did without the support of the US. Even in Ancient Greece, there was an understanding that wars can be fair or unfair. The civilized West, part of which Georgia is trying to be, is obsessed by human rights and believes to be superior to the Greeks, but this does not prevent some (Georgia) from perpetrating genocide and others (Europe and the US) - from encouraging the aggressor.

The analysis of the way the aggression began - without a formal declaration of war - and of the overall conduct of the Georgian leadership makes one ask a number of questions. One of them is: can a crazy fanatic be regarded as a human being? The answer is - definitely not! The crimes committed in South Ossetia - the killings of women, children, and senior citizens, the deliberate extermination of civilians - are instances of inhuman conduct. Specialists in ethical anthropology (Boris Didenko) either explain this type of behavior by brain disease or attribute it to the specifics of conduct of super-aggressive human species. In the latter case, their intentions simply cannot be changed. In the Russian language, such individuals are called non-men. These are monstrous creatures more dangerous than any wild beasts. The protracted standoff in South Ossetia is something much greater than just a regional conflict. Nor has it ever been exclusively a conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia. It also has axiological, moral, and geopolitical dimensions. The unexpectedness and unjustifiable atrocity of the current war, the careful planning of its military and informational offensives show clearly that one of the objectives was to provoke Russia's inadequate response. Moscow was expected to act inadequately, and those who planned the aggression calculated the options open to Russia.

Option 1: Russia's nonintervention and a withdrawal of the peacekeepers (or the limitation of their activity to the defense of their checkpoints). By the way, this mode of behavior was typical for peacekeeping forces of various levels throughout the conflict in Yugoslavia. Operation Storm and Operation Flash launched by the Croatian army in May-August, 1995 against the unrecognized Republic of Serpska Krajina were particularly similar to the Georgian offensive in South Ossetia. One of the results of the above operations was the total (and, as I firmly believe, deliberate) demise of the entire UN system of peacekeeping and region security measures. The world literally watched the flight of 250,000 Serb civilians and the bombardment of refugee convoys by Croatian warplanes. The Serb population in the region decreased by 90.7% following the Croatian offensive which was silently OKed by the international community (1)! Confident of the US support, Saakashvili's regime hoped to achieve a similar result in South Ossetia. Croatia practically turned into a mono-ethnic state. No matter what had been promised, at that time Serbs saw no help from either the Serbian Republic or Belgrade. It is well-known what happened to the Pale and Belgrade leaders later - betrayal is never rewarded by happiness. Russia chose to act otherwise.

In the horrible days of the tragedy, Russians not only truly fulfilled their peacekeeping obligations, but - above all - they also did not betray their countrymen in South Ossetia. This means a lot! Option 2: desired by the US instigators of the war and the Georgian aggressor: Russia's direct involvement in an armed conflict with Georgia. The failure of the expectation made Saakshvili change his plans on the first day of the war. On August 9, the Georgian Fuhrer gave a 10-minute interview to CNN, which opened an obviously synchronized anti-Russian campaign in the Western media. Currently, the main theme is that Russia used all of its military might against the tiny Georgia. Having such dedicated followers could make Nazi propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels happy. As for Saakashvili, he has learned by heart not only Goebbels's notorious commandment "A lie repeated 100 times becomes the thruth", but also the ninth comandment of national socialism which said "Do what must be done in the name of the New Gemany without shame! " (2). In the case of Saakashvili, it could read the same but with "the New Georgia" instead.

Over the past several days, the independent and objective Western media have been launching an all-out mankurtization campaign. The term mankurt was introduced into modern languages by well-know Soviet-era novelist Chinghiz Aitmatov in his The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years. According to an ancient Turkic myth, a fresh raw camel hide would be put as a cap on the thoroughly shaven head of a captive meant to be turned into a slave. The slave with his hands tied and with a large wooden stock around his neck preventing him from reaching his head would be left in a desert for several days. Once the hide would start drying it would shrink and bind to the head, thus causing intolerable sufferings further strengthened by thirst. In a while the victim either died or lost the memory of the past life and became a perfect slave having no independent will and totally subdued by its master. In the modern world, the complex procedure of suppressing human will and ability to think and to analyze has become extremely simple and is known as brainwashing.

Judging by the dirty lies about the war waged by the Georgian leadership against civilians and Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, the biased Western media and political leaders of the Euro-Atlantic civilization regard their own citizens as mankurts. The global success of brainwashing during the Croatian, Bosnian, Kosovo, Chechen, Iraqi, Crimean, Transdnistrian and other crises is renowned. The aggression of mankurts was invariably directed at the nations designated by the masters - Serbs, Russians, Iraqis... What could prevent Georgia from resorting to the familiar technology? Here is an example: the interview given to CNN by Russian envoy to the UN Security Council V. Churkin, in which he condemned the barbarian conduct of the Georgian aggressor, was aired with a caption saying that Russia was bombing Georgian towns, and the title remained on the screen throughout the broadcast. German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer would have explained the current policies adopted by Western media as follows: "invariably, the source of lies is the intention to dominate others by suppressing their will in order to reaffirm one's own. Consequently, lies as such stem from injustice, greed, and anger".

Western journalists who never visited South Ossetia and used the footage from Russian media consistently avoided mentioning the following appalling figures: 2,000 people - over 15% of the population of South Ossetia - had been killed in less than 24 hours. The international community so preoccupied with human rights issues does not seem to be concerned about the people trapped without water, electric power, and food under the ruins of Tskhinvali. Why is it that Russia is the only country to supply humanitarian aid to South Ossetia? What has happened to your hearts, humane Europeans? Have you forgotten how to use Internet? Do you no longer have satellite TV? Are you really so afraid of alternative information sources?

***

To an extent, my criticism of the Western media and their audiences applies to Russian news agencies and TV channels as well. We must be doing a fairly poor job if it is so easy to portray Russia as the aggressor and the suppressor of the Caucasus! It is common knowledge that whoever has information has power. In the case of Russia, the issue is extremely serious: its national security and the protection of its national interests are impossible without informational security, which must be promoted by everyone here from the President to a provincial newspaper journalist. Anyhow, we are people, not mankurts!

Source: http://www.iras.ir/English/Default_v...0Been%20Happy!

The Balkan Roots of the War in South Ossetia

The current developments in the Caucasus are a manifestation of a broader tendency which is going to play a fundamental role in the global politics for years to come. The crimes committed by the Georgian regime led by M. Saakashvili became possible not only as a result of the military-technical assistance massively provided to Georgia by the US and other countries touting their democratic images, but also due to the collapse of the system of international law which took place on February 17, 2008. On that date, Albanian extremists proclaimed the independence of Kosovo, another conflict zone in the Eurasian space. According to various UN resolutions, Kosovo had to remain a part of Serbia and an international peacekeeping mission was deployed in Kosovo under the UN flag. Western countries not only raised no objections to the unilateral declaration of the Kosovo independence, but welcomed it as the optimal solution.

Throughout the months after the declaration, Moscow kept warning that the "Kosovo independence" would undermine the entire system of international relations. The Kosovo scenario would equally attract the leaders of numerous separatist movements worldwide and the regimes eager to suppress opposition by force. In February and March, international politics watchers followed with a great deal of surprise the cacophony in Tbilisi's official assessments of the Kosovo phenomenon. Already on February 18, the very next day after the Kosovo Parliament had voted for independence, Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Bakradze said Georgia did not recognize the independence of Kosovo. He said that Georgians were united on the issue regardless of their individual political preferences1. As for the unity, it was clearly an overstatement - already on March 29 Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said in an interview to Estonian media that "since the friends of Georgia had recognized the Independence of Kosovo" it would be quite natural for Georgia to do the same2. The statement outraged the opposition which condemned it as unacceptable in the light of Georgia's problems with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Saakashvili sided with the opposition on the issue and said that Georgia had no plans to recognize the independence of Kosovo.

The uncertainty of Georgia's stance is explainable. The country is struggling to combine loyalty to the US in every aspect of politics with at least a shadow of common sense at the face of the threat posed to Georgia's positions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia by the self-proclaimed Kosovo independence. The truth is that the illegitimate outcome in Kosovo absolved politicians like Saakashvili of any legal limitations whatsoever. If the Kosovo Albanians could forge a country of their own by means of anti-Serbian ethnic cleansing, what could prevent Tbilisi from cleansing Ossetians from South Ossetia? Ordering the invasion of South Ossetia and planning a similar aggression against Abkhazia, Saakashvili was simply trying to benefit from the fact that after February 17 the UN, the OCSE, the Council of Europe, and likewise organizations were no longer the guarantors of the international law. Saakashvili's reckoning was absolutely correct in this respect. The Georgian Fuhrer did make a mistake, but of a different kind: as in the not-so-distant past, he and his US patrons expected to meet no resolute opposition from Russia.

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a diplomat shared with me certain details of the discussions between Russia and the US in the UN Security Council during the crisis in South Ossetia. The US supported by Great Britain was promoting its vision of the situation with great hypocrisy and stubbornness. Allegedly, there were no 2,000 civilian fatalities in South Ossetia and no 30,000 refugees who fled the Republic. Even if there were any civilian casualties, the people were killed by Russian air strikes. When asked whether they recognized the fact that Russian peacekeepers had been killed, US diplomats mumbled that indeed that was pretty odd, but at the moment it was Russia who was the cause of tensions and had to be stopped. The Russian delegation invoked the recent hostilities between Israel and Lebanon, during which the UN Security Council kept trying for a whole month to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire and thus to stop fire from the Israeli side, but the US neutralized the attempts. Americans replied that it was a different type of a situation, there were terrorists and they had to be suppressed. They also claimed that the situation in Yugoslavia was different and had nothing to do with the current developments in the Caucasus. My source said that at the moment talking to Americans in the UN Security Council was completely useless.

All that remains is to admit that Moscow's recurrent warnings concerning the imminent demise of the entire system of international relations as a result of the "Kosovo independence" did not help. Now that the collapse is an accomplished fact, there are no reasons for Russia to refrain from acting according to the new rules of the game, and not only in South Ossetia but also in other regions where it has vital interests, including the Balkans.

Source: http://www.iras.ir/English/Default_v...outh%20Ossetia

Georgia and the West: Goebbels Would Have Been Happy!

The war in South Ossetia is a war of medieval atrocity unleashed by a country whose culture is based on Orthodox Christianity, a country claiming to be "a young democracy" and seeing itself as part of the "humane" Europe. The aggression launched by the current Georgian regime and its puppeteers is marked by extraordinary cruelty and cynical lies. Tbilisi would have never dared to do what it did without the support of the US. Even in Ancient Greece, there was an understanding that wars can be fair or unfair. The civilized West, part of which Georgia is trying to be, is obsessed by human rights and believes to be superior to the Greeks, but this does not prevent some (Georgia) from perpetrating genocide and others (Europe and the US) - from encouraging the aggressor.

The analysis of the way the aggression began - without a formal declaration of war - and of the overall conduct of the Georgian leadership makes one ask a number of questions. One of them is: can a crazy fanatic be regarded as a human being? The answer is - definitely not! The crimes committed in South Ossetia - the killings of women, children, and senior citizens, the deliberate extermination of civilians - are instances of inhuman conduct. Specialists in ethical anthropology (Boris Didenko) either explain this type of behavior by brain disease or attribute it to the specifics of conduct of super-aggressive human species. In the latter case, their intentions simply cannot be changed. In the Russian language, such individuals are called non-men. These are monstrous creatures more dangerous than any wild beasts.

The protracted standoff in South Ossetia is something much greater than just a regional conflict. Nor has it ever been exclusively a conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia. It also has axiological, moral, and geopolitical dimensions. The unexpectedness and unjustifiable atrocity of the current war, the careful planning of its military and informational offensives show clearly that one of the objectives was to provoke Russia's inadequate response. Moscow was expected to act inadequately, and those who planned the aggression calculated the options open to Russia.

Option 1: Russia's nonintervention and a withdrawal of the peacekeepers (or the limitation of their activity to the defense of their checkpoints). By the way, this mode of behavior was typical for peacekeeping forces of various levels throughout the conflict in Yugoslavia. Operation Storm and Operation Flash launched by the Croatian army in May-August, 1995 against the unrecognized Republic of Serpska Krajina were particularly similar to the Georgian offensive in South Ossetia.

One of the results of the above operations was the total (and, as I firmly believe, deliberate) demise of the entire UN system of peacekeeping and region security measures. The world literally watched the flight of 250,000 Serb civilians and the bombardment of refugee convoys by Croatian warplanes. The Serb population in the region decreased by 90.7% following the Croatian offensive which was silently OKed by the international community (1)! Confident of the US support, Saakashvili's regime hoped to achieve a similar result in South Ossetia. Croatia practically turned into a mono-ethnic state. No matter what had been promised, at that time Serbs saw no help from either the Serbian Republic or Belgrade. It is well-known what happened to the Pale and Belgrade leaders later - betrayal is never rewarded by happiness.

Russia chose to act otherwise.

In the horrible days of the tragedy, Russians not only truly fulfilled their peacekeeping obligations, but - above all - they also did not betray their countrymen in South Ossetia. This means a lot! Option 2: desired by the US instigators of the war and the Georgian aggressor: Russia's direct involvement in an armed conflict with Georgia. The failure of the expectation made Saakshvili change his plans on the first day of the war.

On August 9, the Georgian Fuhrer gave a 10-minute interview to CNN, which opened an obviously synchronized anti-Russian campaign in the Western media. Currently, the main theme is that Russia used all of its military might against the tiny Georgia. Having such dedicated followers could make Nazi propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels happy. As for Saakashvili, he has learned by heart not only Goebbels's notorious commandment "A lie repeated 100 times becomes the thruth", but also the ninth comandment of national socialism which said "Do what must be done in the name of the New Gemany without shame! " (2). In the case of Saakashvili, it could read the same but with "the New Georgia" instead.

Over the past several days, the independent and objective Western media have been launching an all-out mankurtization campaign. The term mankurt was introduced into modern languages by well-know Soviet-era novelist Chinghiz Aitmatov in his The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years. According to an ancient Turkic myth, a fresh raw camel hide would be put as a cap on the thoroughly shaven head of a captive meant to be turned into a slave. The slave with his hands tied and with a large wooden stock around his neck preventing him from reaching his head would be left in a desert for several days. Once the hide would start drying it would shrink and bind to the head, thus causing intolerable sufferings further strengthened by thirst. In a while the victim either died or lost the memory of the past life and became a perfect slave having no independent will and totally subdued by its master.

In the modern world, the complex procedure of suppressing human will and ability to think and to analyze has become extremely simple and is known as brainwashing. Judging by the dirty lies about the war waged by the Georgian leadership against civilians and Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, the biased Western media and political leaders of the Euro-Atlantic civilization regard their own citizens as mankurts. The global success of brainwashing during the Croatian, Bosnian, Kosovo, Chechen, Iraqi, Crimean, Transdnistrian and other crises is renowned. The aggression of mankurts was invariably directed at the nations designated by the masters - Serbs, Russians, Iraqis... What could prevent Georgia from resorting to the familiar technology?

Here is an example: the interview given to CNN by Russian envoy to the UN Security Council V. Churkin, in which he condemned the barbarian conduct of the Georgian aggressor, was aired with a caption saying that Russia was bombing Georgian towns, and the title remained on the screen throughout the broadcast. German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer would have explained the current policies adopted by Western media as follows: "invariably, the source of lies is the intention to dominate others by suppressing their will in order to reaffirm one's own. Consequently, lies as such stem from injustice, greed, and anger".

Western journalists who never visited South Ossetia and used the footage from Russian media consistently avoided mentioning the following appalling figures: 2,000 people - over 15% of the population of South Ossetia - had been killed in less than 24 hours. The international community so preoccupied with human rights issues does not seem to be concerned about the people trapped without water, electric power, and food under the ruins of Tskhinvali. Why is it that Russia is the only country to supply humanitarian aid to South Ossetia? What has happened to your hearts, humane Europeans? Have you forgotten how to use Internet? Do you no longer have satellite TV? Are you really so afraid of alternative information sources?

***

To an extent, my criticism of the Western media and their audiences applies to Russian news agencies and TV channels as well. We must be doing a fairly poor job if it is so easy to portray Russia as the aggressor and the suppressor of the Caucasus! It is common knowledge that whoever has information has power. In the case of Russia, the issue is extremely serious: its national security and the protection of its national interests are impossible without informational security, which must be promoted by everyone here from the President to a provincial newspaper journalist. Anyhow, we are people, not mankurts!

Source: http://www.iras.ir/English/Default_v...0Been%20Happy!

The Balkan Roots of the War in South Ossetia

The current developments in the Caucasus are a manifestation of a broader tendency which is going to play a fundamental role in the global politics for years to come. The crimes committed by the Georgian regime led by M. Saakashvili became possible not only as a result of the military-technical assistance massively provided to Georgia by the US and other countries touting their democratic images, but also due to the collapse of the system of international law which took place on February 17, 2008. On that date, Albanian extremists proclaimed the independence of Kosovo, another conflict zone in the Eurasian space. According to various UN resolutions, Kosovo had to remain a part of Serbia and an international peacekeeping mission was deployed in Kosovo under the UN flag. Western countries not only raised no objections to the unilateral declaration of the Kosovo independence, but welcomed it as the optimal solution.

Throughout the months after the declaration, Moscow kept warning that the "Kosovo independence" would undermine the entire system of international relations. The Kosovo scenario would equally attract the leaders of numerous separatist movements worldwide and the regimes eager to suppress opposition by force. In February and March, international politics watchers followed with a great deal of surprise the cacophony in Tbilisi's official assessments of the Kosovo phenomenon. Already on February 18, the very next day after the Kosovo Parliament had voted for independence, Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Bakradze said Georgia did not recognize the independence of Kosovo. He said that Georgians were united on the issue regardless of their individual political preferences1. As for the unity, it was clearly an overstatement - already on March 29 Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said in an interview to Estonian media that "since the friends of Georgia had recognized the Independence of Kosovo" it would be quite natural for Georgia to do the same2. The statement outraged the opposition which condemned it as unacceptable in the light of Georgia's problems with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Saakashvili sided with the opposition on the issue and said that Georgia had no plans to recognize the independence of Kosovo.

The uncertainty of Georgia's stance is explainable. The country is struggling to combine loyalty to the US in every aspect of politics with at least a shadow of common sense at the face of the threat posed to Georgia's positions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia by the self-proclaimed Kosovo independence. The truth is that the illegitimate outcome in Kosovo absolved politicians like Saakashvili of any legal limitations whatsoever. If the Kosovo Albanians could forge a country of their own by means of anti-Serbian ethnic cleansing, what could prevent Tbilisi from cleansing Ossetians from South Ossetia?

Ordering the invasion of South Ossetia and planning a similar aggression against Abkhazia, Saakashvili was simply trying to benefit from the fact that after February 17 the UN, the OCSE, the Council of Europe, and likewise organizations were no longer the guarantors of the international law. Saakashvili's reckoning was absolutely correct in this respect. The Georgian Fuhrer did make a mistake, but of a different kind: as in the not-so-distant past, he and his US patrons expected to meet no resolute opposition from Russia.

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a diplomat shared with me certain details of the discussions between Russia and the US in the UN Security Council during the crisis in South Ossetia. The US supported by Great Britain was promoting its vision of the situation with great hypocrisy and stubbornness. Allegedly, there were no 2,000 civilian fatalities in South Ossetia and no 30,000 refugees who fled the Republic. Even if there were any civilian casualties, the people were killed by Russian air strikes. When asked whether they recognized the fact that Russian peacekeepers had been killed, US diplomats mumbled that indeed that was pretty odd, but at the moment it was Russia who was the cause of tensions and had to be stopped. The Russian delegation invoked the recent hostilities between Israel and Lebanon, during which the UN Security Council kept trying for a whole month to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire and thus to stop fire from the Israeli side, but the US neutralized the attempts. Americans replied that it was a different type of a situation, there were terrorists and they had to be suppressed. They also claimed that the situation in Yugoslavia was different and had nothing to do with the current developments in the Caucasus. My source said that at the moment talking to Americans in the UN Security Council was completely useless.

All that remains is to admit that Moscow's recurrent warnings concerning the imminent demise of the entire system of international relations as a result of the "Kosovo independence" did not help. Now that the collapse is an accomplished fact, there are no reasons for Russia to refrain from acting according to the new rules of the game, and not only in South Ossetia but also in other regions where it has vital interests, including the Balkans.

Source: http://www.iras.ir/English/Default_v...outh%20Ossetia

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