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A South Ossetia/Georgia (and Russia) Primer


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Don't look to "FIX NOOSE"...Rish Limpie...Sean and Adams apple Ann for the realities in Georgia, the former Soviet Union state...........use the Internet and keep an open mind. President Barack Obama will need all the openly informed American citizens he can get if we are to stop the fall of the nation. <_<

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/...8206290341.html

South Ossetia: Inside Georgia but dependent on Russia

The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s spurred a separatist movement in South Ossetia, which had always felt more affinity with Russia than with Georgia.

It broke away from Georgian rule in a war in 1991-92, in which several thousand people died, and continues to maintain close ties with the neighbouring Russian region of North Ossetia, on the north side of the Caucasus.

The majority of the roughly 70,000 people are ethnically distinct from Georgians, and speak their own language, related to Farsi.

They say they were forcibly absorbed into Georgia under Soviet rule and now want to exercise their right to self-determination. The separatist leader is Eduard Kokoity.

In November 2006, villages inside South Ossetia still under Georgian control elected a rival leader, former separatist Dmitry Sanakoyev. He is endorsed by Tbilisi, but his authority only extends to a small part of the region.

Around two-thirds of South Ossetia's annual budget revenues of around $30 million (€19.9 milllion) come directly from Moscow. Almost all the population hold Russian passports. They use the Russian rouble as their currency.

A peacekeeping force with 500 members each from Russia, Georgia and North Ossetia monitors a supposed truce. Georgia accuses the Russian peacekeepers of siding with the separatists, which Moscow denies.

Sporadic clashes between separatist and Georgian forces have killed dozens of people in the last few years.

© 2008 The Irish Times

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080810...=globalbriefing

Georgia picks a fight it is unlikely to win

Paul Woodward, Online Correspondent

Last Updated: August 10. 2008 9:20PM UAE / August 10. 2008 5:20PM GMT “The conflict between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia moved toward all-out war on Saturday as Russia prepared to land ground troops on Georgia's coast and broadened its bombing campaign both within Georgia and in the disputed territory of Abkhazia," The New York Times reported.

"The fighting that began when Georgian forces tried to retake the capital of the South Ossetia, a pro-Russian region that won de facto autonomy from Georgia in the early 1990s, appeared to be developing into the worst clashes between Russia and a foreign military since the 1980s war in Afghanistan."

The Times said: "After days of heavy skirmishing between Georgian troops and Russian-backed separatist militias in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, Mikhail Saakashvili, the Georgian president, went on television on Thursday evening to announce that he had ordered an immediate unilateral ceasefire.

"Just hours later his troops began an all-out offensive with tanks and rockets to 'restore constitutional order' to a region that won de facto independence in a vicious civil war that subsided in 1992.

"From that moment events began to spiral out of control. As the 70,000 citizens of a self-styled republic of 2,500 square kilometres huddled in their basements, Georgian troops seized a dozen villages and bombarded the capital, Tskhinvali, with air strikes, missiles and tank movements that left much of it destroyed."

In The Guardian, Mark Almond noted that: "today in breakaway states such as South Ossetia or Abkhazia, Russian troops are popular. Vladimir Putin's picture is more widely displayed than that of the South Ossetian president, the former Soviet wrestling champion Eduard Kokoity. The Russians are seen as protectors against a repeat of ethnic cleansing by Georgians.

"In 1992, the West backed Eduard Shevardnadze's attempts to reassert Georgia's control over these regions. The then Georgian president's war was a disaster for his nation. It left 300,000 or more refugees 'cleansed' by the rebel regions, but for Ossetians and Abkhazians the brutal plundering of the Georgian troops is the most indelible memory.

"Georgians have nursed their humiliation ever since. Although Mikheil Saakashvili has done little for the refugees since he came to power early in 2004 - apart from move them out of their hostels in central Tbilisi to make way for property development - he has spent 70 per cent of the Georgian budget on his military. At the start of the week he decided to flex his muscles.

"Devoted to achieving Nato entry for Georgia, Saakashvili has sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan - and so clearly felt he had American backing. The streets of the Georgian capital are plastered with posters of George W Bush alongside his Georgian protege. George W Bush avenue leads to Tbilisi airport. But he has ignored Kissinger's dictum: 'Great powers don't commit suicide for their allies.' Perhaps his neoconservative allies in Washington have forgotten it, too. Let's hope not."

In Time magazine, Tony Karon said: "Whether or not the effect was intended, Moscow now appears to be using Saakashvili's strategic overreach to teach a brutal lesson not only to the Georgians, but also to other neighbours seeking to align themselves with the West against Russia. Saakashvili is appealing for Western support, based on international recognition of South Ossetia as sovereign Georgian territory. 'A full-scale aggression has been launched against Georgia,' he said, calling for Western intervention. But given Nato's previous warnings, its commitments elsewhere and the reluctance of many of its member states to antagonise Russia, it remains unlikely that Georgia will get more than verbal support from its desired Western protectors. Saakashvili appears to have both underestimated the scale of the Russian backlash, and overestimated the extent of support he could count on from the US and its allies. The Georgian leader may have expected Washington to step up to his defence, particularly given his country's centrality to the geopolitics of energy - Georgia is the only alternative to Russia as the route for a pipeline carrying oil westward from Azerbaijan. But Russia is not threatening to overrun Georgia. Moscow claims to be simply using its military to restore the secessionist boundary, which in the process would deal Saakashvili a humiliating defeat.

"Although its outcome is yet to be decided, there's no win-win outcome to the offensive launched by Georgia with the goal of recovering South Ossetia. Either Saakashvili wins, or Moscow does. Unless the US and its allies demonstrate an unlikely appetite for confrontation with an angry and resurgent Russia in its own backyard, the smart money would be on Moscow."

Returning to a theme from the US Democratic primaries - the test that every American president can face in addressing an unforeseen crisis - Ben Smith wrote in Politico: "When the North Caucasus slid into war Thursday night, it presented Senators John McCain and Barack Obama with a true '3am moment,' and their responses to the crisis suggested dramatic differences in how each candidate, as president, would lead America in moments of international crisis.

"While Obama offered a response largely in line with statements issued by democratically elected world leaders, including President Bush, first calling on both sides to negotiate, John McCain took a remarkably - and uniquely - more aggressive stance, siding clearly with Georgia's pro-Western leaders and placing the blame for the conflict entirely on Russia.”

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READ AND THINK!

http://wiredispatch.com:80/news/?id=289432

Aug 10 (Reuters) - Georgian forces pulled out of the breakaway South Ossetia region on Sunday after three days of fighting and Russian troops took most of the capital.

Here is a chronology of events in South Ossetia:

November 1989 - South Ossetia declares autonomy from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, triggering three months of fighting.

December 1990 - Georgia and South Ossetia begin a new armed conflict which lasts until 1992.

June 1992 - Russian, Georgian and South Ossetian leaders meet in Sochi, sign an armistice and agree the creation of a tripartite peacekeeping force of 500 soldiers from each entity.

November 1993 - South Ossetia drafts its own constitution.

November 1996 - South Ossetia elects its first president.

December 2001 - South Ossetia elects Eduard Kokoity as president. In 2002 he asks Moscow to recognise the republic's independence and absorb it into Russia.

January 2005 - Russia gives guarded approval to Georgia's plan to grant broad autonomy to South Ossetia in exchange for dropping its bid for independence.

November 2006 - South Ossetia overwhelmingly endorses its split with Tbilisi in a referendum. Georgia's prime minister says this is part of a Russian campaign to stoke a war. April 2007 - Georgia's parliament approves a law to create a temporary administration in South Ossetia, raising tension with Russia.

June 2007 - South Ossetian separatists say Georgia attacked Tskhinvali with mortar and sniper fire. Tbilisi denies this.

October 2007 - Talks hosted by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe between Georgia and South Ossetia break down.

March 2008 - South Ossetia asks the world to recognise its independence from Georgia following the West's support for Kosovo's secession from Serbia.

March 2008 - Georgia's bid to join NATO, though unsuccessful, prompts Russia's parliament to urge the Kremlin to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

April 2008 - South Ossetia rejects a Georgian power-sharing deal, insists on full independence.

August 2008 - Georgian forces attack South Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali to re-take the breakaway region. Russia says its troops were responding to the assault and Georgia's Saakashvili says the two countries were at war.

-- Georgian forces pull out after three days of fighting. Russia says its troops control most of Tskhinvali.

-- Russia bombs a military airfield outside Tbilisi.

-- Russia says that the death toll in fighting stands at 2,000. Georgia said on Friday that it had lost up to 300 people killed, mainly civilians.

Source: Reuters North American News Service

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Don't look to "FIX NOOSE"...Rish Limpie...Sean and Adams apple Ann for the realities in Georgia, the former Soviet Union state...........use the Internet and keep an open mind. President Barack Obama will need all the openly informed American citizens he can get if we are to stop the fall of the nation. <_<

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/...8206290341.html

South Ossetia: Inside Georgia but dependent on Russia

The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s spurred a separatist movement in South Ossetia, which had always felt more affinity with Russia than with Georgia.

It broke away from Georgian rule in a war in 1991-92, in which several thousand people died, and continues to maintain close ties with the neighbouring Russian region of North Ossetia, on the north side of the Caucasus.

The majority of the roughly 70,000 people are ethnically distinct from Georgians, and speak their own language, related to Farsi.

They say they were forcibly absorbed into Georgia under Soviet rule and now want to exercise their right to self-determination. The separatist leader is Eduard Kokoity.

In November 2006, villages inside South Ossetia still under Georgian control elected a rival leader, former separatist Dmitry Sanakoyev. He is endorsed by Tbilisi, but his authority only extends to a small part of the region.

Around two-thirds of South Ossetia's annual budget revenues of around $30 million (€19.9 milllion) come directly from Moscow. Almost all the population hold Russian passports. They use the Russian rouble as their currency.

A peacekeeping force with 500 members each from Russia, Georgia and North Ossetia monitors a supposed truce. Georgia accuses the Russian peacekeepers of siding with the separatists, which Moscow denies.

Sporadic clashes between separatist and Georgian forces have killed dozens of people in the last few years.

© 2008 The Irish Times

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080810...=globalbriefing

Georgia picks a fight it is unlikely to win

Paul Woodward, Online Correspondent

Last Updated: August 10. 2008 9:20PM UAE / August 10. 2008 5:20PM GMT “The conflict between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia moved toward all-out war on Saturday as Russia prepared to land ground troops on Georgia's coast and broadened its bombing campaign both within Georgia and in the disputed territory of Abkhazia," The New York Times reported.

"The fighting that began when Georgian forces tried to retake the capital of the South Ossetia, a pro-Russian region that won de facto autonomy from Georgia in the early 1990s, appeared to be developing into the worst clashes between Russia and a foreign military since the 1980s war in Afghanistan."

The Times said: "After days of heavy skirmishing between Georgian troops and Russian-backed separatist militias in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, Mikhail Saakashvili, the Georgian president, went on television on Thursday evening to announce that he had ordered an immediate unilateral ceasefire.

"Just hours later his troops began an all-out offensive with tanks and rockets to 'restore constitutional order' to a region that won de facto independence in a vicious civil war that subsided in 1992.

"From that moment events began to spiral out of control. As the 70,000 citizens of a self-styled republic of 2,500 square kilometres huddled in their basements, Georgian troops seized a dozen villages and bombarded the capital, Tskhinvali, with air strikes, missiles and tank movements that left much of it destroyed."

In The Guardian, Mark Almond noted that: "today in breakaway states such as South Ossetia or Abkhazia, Russian troops are popular. Vladimir Putin's picture is more widely displayed than that of the South Ossetian president, the former Soviet wrestling champion Eduard Kokoity. The Russians are seen as protectors against a repeat of ethnic cleansing by Georgians.

"In 1992, the West backed Eduard Shevardnadze's attempts to reassert Georgia's control over these regions. The then Georgian president's war was a disaster for his nation. It left 300,000 or more refugees 'cleansed' by the rebel regions, but for Ossetians and Abkhazians the brutal plundering of the Georgian troops is the most indelible memory.

"Georgians have nursed their humiliation ever since. Although Mikheil Saakashvili has done little for the refugees since he came to power early in 2004 - apart from move them out of their hostels in central Tbilisi to make way for property development - he has spent 70 per cent of the Georgian budget on his military. At the start of the week he decided to flex his muscles.

"Devoted to achieving Nato entry for Georgia, Saakashvili has sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan - and so clearly felt he had American backing. The streets of the Georgian capital are plastered with posters of George W Bush alongside his Georgian protege. George W Bush avenue leads to Tbilisi airport. But he has ignored Kissinger's dictum: 'Great powers don't commit suicide for their allies.' Perhaps his neoconservative allies in Washington have forgotten it, too. Let's hope not."

In Time magazine, Tony Karon said: "Whether or not the effect was intended, Moscow now appears to be using Saakashvili's strategic overreach to teach a brutal lesson not only to the Georgians, but also to other neighbours seeking to align themselves with the West against Russia. Saakashvili is appealing for Western support, based on international recognition of South Ossetia as sovereign Georgian territory. 'A full-scale aggression has been launched against Georgia,' he said, calling for Western intervention. But given Nato's previous warnings, its commitments elsewhere and the reluctance of many of its member states to antagonise Russia, it remains unlikely that Georgia will get more than verbal support from its desired Western protectors. Saakashvili appears to have both underestimated the scale of the Russian backlash, and overestimated the extent of support he could count on from the US and its allies. The Georgian leader may have expected Washington to step up to his defence, particularly given his country's centrality to the geopolitics of energy - Georgia is the only alternative to Russia as the route for a pipeline carrying oil westward from Azerbaijan. But Russia is not threatening to overrun Georgia. Moscow claims to be simply using its military to restore the secessionist boundary, which in the process would deal Saakashvili a humiliating defeat.

"Although its outcome is yet to be decided, there's no win-win outcome to the offensive launched by Georgia with the goal of recovering South Ossetia. Either Saakashvili wins, or Moscow does. Unless the US and its allies demonstrate an unlikely appetite for confrontation with an angry and resurgent Russia in its own backyard, the smart money would be on Moscow."

Returning to a theme from the US Democratic primaries - the test that every American president can face in addressing an unforeseen crisis - Ben Smith wrote in Politico: "When the North Caucasus slid into war Thursday night, it presented Senators John McCain and Barack Obama with a true '3am moment,' and their responses to the crisis suggested dramatic differences in how each candidate, as president, would lead America in moments of international crisis.

"While Obama offered a response largely in line with statements issued by democratically elected world leaders, including President Bush, first calling on both sides to negotiate, John McCain took a remarkably - and uniquely - more aggressive stance, siding clearly with Georgia's pro-Western leaders and placing the blame for the conflict entirely on Russia.”

Does this idiot think no one has access to computers and t.v.'s ?

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