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True in Russian - Georgian conflict!

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Soviet man, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    two things: South Ossetia has the size of a British shire with the population of a small town (70.000). It has hardly any roads, no sea, no real economy and the villages are separated from each other by mountians. Abahzia is a little bigger with the size of Corsica and about 200.000 inhabitants , they have access to the Black sea and a tourist industry which depends on rich Russians who now prefer to go elsewhere.
    So there is no way these countries could even exist as independent nations even if the entire worlds agrees, which will never happen. Russia gambles on the fact that the west will not want a cold war because of those two territories and when the local population realize they cannot survive without Russia, they will proboably be annexed
     
  2. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    This whole thing is reminding me more and more about the Falkland war. A war about nothing, some rocks, sheeps and national pride escalate into a nuclear threat.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  3. Soviet man

    Soviet man Member

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    I heard that we found all more than 100 units of technology, in that number of 65 tanks. "21 we destroyed for their unfitness, other 44 they will remain at us" - russian general said.
    He noted that withdrawn in zone of conflict there is specialist, in master of foreign manufacture.
    "This is five complexes of AIR DEFENCE "Wasp", big quantity of armored personnel carriers of countries of NATO, artillery system of czech production "is Given", about two 2 thousand of units of small arm, 15 fighting machines of infantry", -- colonel listed.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    What have you got against sheep, eh?

    South Ossetia is not Kosovo
    Aug 28th 2008
    From The Economist print edition

    Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia cannot be justified by a bogus comparison to Kosovo


    [​IMG]


    WITH a flourish, Russia this week recognised the “independence” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the enclaves that gave it a casus belli for its war on Georgia (see article). The Abkhaz and Ossetians celebrated their reward for living under Russian protection for 15 years. The Russians saw it as a logical outcome of their victory, a further stage in their confrontation with the West—and a copy of what happened in Kosovo. As Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, argued, “you cannot have one rule for some and another rule for others.”

    Yet the West is right to respond firmly to Russia’s new belligerence by refusing to recognise the new states. Never mind that Russia is itself being incoherent in continuing to insist that Kosovo’s independence from Serbia is still illegal (a stance driven in part by its wish to avoid setting a precedent for Chechnya or other restive republics within Russia). Mr Medvedev’s assertion of a parallel between Kosovo and South Ossetia is almost entirely bogus.

    This is not to deny the superficial similarities that the West would do well to accept. NATO’s air war on Kosovo and Serbia in 1999 was, like the Iraq war in 2003, conducted without the legal approval of the United Nations. Both wars were aimed in part at regime change. Last February’s recognition by many Western countries of Kosovo’s independence from Serbia again lacked formal UN blessing (thanks to Russia’s threatened veto). All this made it inevitable that Kosovo, like Iraq, would be cited as justification for other adventures. The West knew that Kosovo’s independence, in particular, risked becoming an excuse for Russian recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    Yet this is where the parallels run out. In Georgia’s enclaves, Russian forces have acted as self-interested troublemakers, not as neutral peacekeepers. Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic long oppressed the Kosovo Albanians, as well as perpetrating war and ethnic cleansing right across former Yugoslavia. But it was the Georgians who ended up as the bigger victims of ethnic cleansing in Abkhazia in the 1990s, and have been again in South Ossetia in the past three weeks. Unlike Milosevic, Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili is a democratically elected president who will surely be held to account by voters for his impetuous decision to invade South Ossetia on August 7th.

    Motive provides an even clearer difference. Throughout the 1990s the Americans and Europeans were extremely reluctant to get involved in the Balkans. After Milosevic’s withdrawal from Kosovo in 1999, the main role of the UN and NATO forces in the province was to protect the Serb minority and Serb religious sites. The Western powers devoted years to negotiations over the province’s future, culminating in UN-led talks under Martti Ahtisaari, a former Finnish president. Only when these failed, again thanks mainly to Russian intransigence, did Kosovo’s unilateral independence become inevitable.

    In total contrast, Russia has nakedly pursued its own interests in the Caucasus. It did its utmost to provoke Mr Saakashvili into a fight. Its “peacekeepers” have made no pretence of protecting minorities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It has not even tried to promote serious negotiations over the territories’ future. Instead, it has steadily cemented their links with Russia, building up military facilities and giving the local people Russian passports (a transparent ploy to justify a later purported need to “protect” Russian citizens). Although Mr Saakashvili took the catastrophic decision to send in the Georgian army, resulting in many civilian deaths, no evidence has been offered by the Russians to support their wild claims of genocide or ethnic cleansing.

    Peacekeepers or piece-keepers?

    The difference between Kosovo and South Ossetia has been starker still in the war’s aftermath. In 1999 the Western powers went in as a last resort and quickly internationalised the issue, bringing in the UN and international peacekeepers. Eight years of patient diplomacy preceded Kosovo’s independence. The Russians invaded Georgia in a fever of war enthusiasm; have refused to pull out and rejected attempts to internationalise the dispute; and have now recognised the enclaves’ independence less than three weeks after the war began.

    In principle, sub-national states should sometimes be able to secede, but South Ossetia and Abkhazia clearly do not qualify. Neither enclave has properly consulted its people, including huge numbers of Georgian refugees. Nor has there been a long, hard effort to find a negotiated settlement. Mr Saakashvili should stop promising to regain control of the enclaves, and the West should insist on the case for international peacekeepers. But Russia’s aggression in Georgia must not be rewarded by conceding the enclaves’ independence. That really could set a dangerous precedent, in Ukraine, Moldova and—not least—inside Russia itself.
     
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Put out even more flags
    Aug 28th 2008 | MOSCOW
    From The Economist print edition

    Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia will reverberate for a long time—not least at home

    A FEW months ago Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s new president, did not think he would be recognising the independence of two separatist regions of Georgia and heading into direct confrontation with the West. When he met Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, in St Petersburg in June, both seemed happy. War did not feature in Mr Medvedev’s plans; he was even considering an early visit to Tbilisi. But when the two leaders met again in early July, the temperature was far chillier. The night before, South Ossetian and Georgian forces had exchanged fire. Mr Medvedev never made it to Tbilisi: instead Russian tanks poured into Georgia.

    Did Russia’s security chiefs fear that the two presidents might agree on something that would spoil their long-planned conflict? Did Vladimir Putin, Mr Medvedev’s patron and prime minister, crave a small, victorious war? Or did Mr Saakashvili think Mr Medvedev was too soft to respond to Georgia’s attempt to regain control over South Ossetia? The answer may never be known. But after barely 100 days in office, the soft-spoken Mr Medvedev was cast in the unlikely role of war leader.

    His initial job appeared to be as Mr Putin’s spokesman. But he quickly got a taste for war. This former lawyer may have been overcompensating for his civilian background. At any rate, on August 26th he stood beneath the two-headed Russian eagle and solemnly announced the Kremlin’s decision to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A day earlier the Russian parliament had demanded that Mr Medvedev do just that.

    Mr Medvedev said he had no choice and had to protect human lives. The decision, he argued, was forced on him by Georgia’s aggression and “genocide” against South Ossetia. But the argument is spurious. It is true that, in the early 1990s, when Georgia was barely a state, its nationalistic leaders (one military commander is still hiding in Russia) committed atrocities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. But it is also true that more than 200,000 Georgians were driven out of Abkhazia in a burst of ethnic cleansing, and that Russia backed Abkhazia militarily.

    Abkhazia had the trappings of a nascent state, but South Ossetia was a chessboard of villages (Georgian and Ossetian) which suffered under a Moscow-sponsored, thuggish and corrupt regime whose main job seemed to be to provoke Georgia. Mr Saakashvili made mistakes: he was in too much of a rush to take back the enclaves and did too little to disown Georgia’s nationalist past. His worst mistake (which he does not admit to) was to order the shelling of Tskhinvali, South Ossetia’s capital, on August 7th. But this was not, as Russia claimed, genocide; the death toll was fewer than 200. Moreover, the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in South Ossetia is all too evident: Georgian villages have been destroyed and thousands of Georgians displaced by South Ossetian militia under Russia’s watch.

    If Russia had really wanted to resolve the separatist conflicts in Georgia, it had opportunities. It might have begun by not handing out Russian passports and then claiming a purported need to defend its “citizens”. It might also have avoided unleashing anti-Georgian and anti-Western hysteria in the Russian media.

    And although the latest conflict was triggered by Georgia, the deeper roots of Russia’s invasion lie in domestic events that go back as far as 2003-04: the destruction of the Yukos oil company, and Russia’s perception of the colour revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine as a Western plot to undermine its sovereignty. Mr Saakashvili’s support for Ukraine’s orange revolution particularly irked Mr Putin.

    Lilia Shevtsova of the Carnegie Moscow Centre argues that the political system built by Mr Putin requires the images of an enemy and a besieged fortress. “This war is not about South Ossetia, Abkhazia or Georgia,” she says. “It is about the matrix of the Russian state and its survival. The beast needs feeding.” Konstantin Zatulin, a Duma deputy handling relations with former Soviet republics, is more belligerent. “The time when we needed Western applause is over,” he says. “Mikhail Gorbachev made military and political concessions to the West: he agreed to the unification of Germany and the liquidation of the Warsaw Pact but a few years later the country where he was president fell apart.”

    After years of cultivating xenophobic sentiment and persuading Russians that they face an enemy, the Kremlin had prepared the population psychologically for war. That, says Boris Dubin, a sociologist, is why Russia’s propaganda fell on fertile ground. In the public mind, he claims, the cause of the war is to be found in “America’s expansionist plans and desire to establish control over Russia’s neighbours.”

    In practice, Russia’s recognition of the two territories may not change much. Russia already had almost full control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia and dealt openly with its self-proclaimed presidents. Few countries will follow Russia’s recognition. With its troops still in Georgia, Russia has also made a mockery of the French-negotiated ceasefire that demanded their withdrawal to pre-war positions and an international discussion about the enclaves. But overall the war has cemented the victory of isolationist ideology in Russia, which will shape both domestic politics and foreign relations for years to come.

    The partition of Georgia may cause a long-term confrontation between Russia and the West, with echoes of the cold war. Too bad, Mr Medvedev said this week: “Nothing scares us, including the prospect of a cold war…we have lived in different situations and we will survive.” (“If it’s only cold, that’s not a problem,” Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister retorted.) Russia’s elite is convinced that the West is weak and will swallow Russia’s decision. “When you cross the road you have to check for dangers,” declares Mr Zatulin. “The West can apply psychological pressure. But Europe cannot afford to turn down our gas and America needs our help with Afghanistan and Iran.”

    The fallout may be felt most inside Russia itself. Hopes for liberalisation and modernisation under Mr Medvedev have evaporated. In the past few days the Kremlin has rejected Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s parole application, refused to grant Russian citizenship to an investigative Moldovan journalist from Russia and briefly detained protesters in Red Square who held a banner “For Your Freedom and Ours” in a repeat of a protest against the invasion of Czechoslovakia staged by dissidents 40 years ago. Views once considered extreme are creeping into the mainstream. For example, Alexander Dugin, a nationalist ideologue, greeted events in Georgia by celebrating the removal of the previous “masks”. “We are at war,” he proclaimed. “Now the country should fight not only against its external enemies but also with the fifth column. Pro-Western liberals …should be interned. War is war. The time of patriots is coming: the time for revenge for all the humiliation from these people that we have been suffering for years.”

    Mr Medvedev’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia may also have unpredictable consequences for Russia’s north Caucasus. Russia has bolstered separatism in Georgia but crushed it brutally in Chechnya. “Talking about the right for independence, about genocide and the war crimes of Mr Saakashvili, Russia’s leaders are perhaps forgetting about the tens of thousands of civilians who were killed by Russia’s bombardment of Grozny and who were executed, cleansed and tortured by the Russian military in Chechnya,” says Ekaterina Sokiryanskaya of Memorial, a human-rights group.

    Indeed, Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia could easily reignite separatist sentiment in the north Caucasus. Chechnya may be too exhausted to fight another war with Russia at present, but in ten years’ time “the question of independence of Chechnya will arise again,” says Ms Sokiryanskaya. Russia maintains stability in the Caucasus by military force and fear. Even as Russia was “liberating” South Ossetia, its security services were intimidating human-rights activists in Ingushetia and Dagestan. The methods they use differ little from those of the separatists and terrorists they are fighting. Inevitably, this leads to further radicalisation of the population, says Magomet Mutsolgov, a human-rights activist in Ingushetia.

    Mr Mutsolgov says the war in Georgia found little support in Ingushetia, not long ago engaged in a bitter ethnic conflict with North Ossetia. Rather, Russia’s actions in Georgia have created a general sense of injustice, says Mr Mutsolgov. “What about the thousands of Ingush who have been forced out of their homes by Ossetians?” Many Ingush refused to fight in Georgia. “People here say ‘it is not our war’ ”. The seeds of many conflicts in the Caucasus, as of Russia’s own problems, were planted by Stalin’s ruthless nationalist policies in the 1930s and 1940s. Today’s Russia is planting new ones.
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Investors will think twice before puting their money into a Georgian pipeline and thus thwarting Europe which was trying to diversy it's energy imports. south Ossetia was just a pretext, the real thing is to keep the energetic monopoly with some of the European countries. This energetic dependence weakens European nations in their gamble. Notice Germany with a milder position, they have much to loose. France and Britain are less dependent and have fiercer postions. The exception may be Poland, which despite being dependend, compared this invasion with the Soviet 1939 invasion. Besides imports from Norway won't last forever, so Russia knows Europe depends on her. What the Europenas neglect is that Russia depends on European technology and investors...that might be the real string to pull....
     
  8. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Quote from Skipper:
    What the Europenas neglect is that Russia depends on European technology and investors...that might be the real string to pull....

    No way man, suffocate our greed for money? Boycott? Siemens, France Telecom and others are going to loose money because of aahm... aaa.... .ah...Ossizi....Acasi.... what was the name of those places again?

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Russia has even more to loose. It's a shame but yes, money is an issue here too and the reason why ther =e are no sanctions is also because there is a lot of lobbying
     

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