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Russian enemy number one: Georgia?

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Thursday, May 15
Recent polling shows Russians see Georgia as one of their top enemies.

Russians always kept a wary eye cocked toward Georgia, but now our tiny nation has caught up with the United States in its apparent threat toward Russia.

The US and Georgia were both named by about a quarter of Russian respondents as a key foe, with the honor of third place going to Ukraine, according to the Georgian newspaper Rezonansi.

This is due to propaganda spread wide and far by Russian mass media and politicians. Why are they doing it? Because Russia velikoderzhavniks want to restore Russian imperial glory by first asserting itself over former Soviet republics—and Ukraine, Georgia and their American patron are making that difficult.

Both Ukraine and Georgia are striving for NATO membership, making it unsurprising Russia would play them up as intransigent and threatening.

But there is something interesting. The Baltic states, now EU members and NATO members, don’t make the Most Wanted list. Yet when they were bidding for NATO accession, Russia relations were extremely negative.

From this, it can be said that Moscow will be aggressive toward Georgia and Ukraine up until they succeed in integrating into Euro-Atlantic structures, after which aggression will become a far less effective tool.

Yet this can happen only if the international community pressures Russia into ceasing its annexation of Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

If that does not happen, aggression will remain a potent part of the velikoderzhavniks’ toolkit.