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Will Russia attack again?

By Messenger Staff
Monday, March 23
Russian military expert Pavel Felgengauer is famous for having predicted with great accuracy the details of the August Russian assault against Georgia. Currently he is writing in different media about a repeat attack in April-May. His predictions are grave: the seizure of Tbilisi, the removal of the Saakashvili administration and “solving the South Caucasus’ problems.”

Georgian experts, whether analysts or politicians, deny such a possibility. The country’s External Intelligence Service also denies there will be a further Russian military assault, but is positive about Moscow’s subversive involvement in Georgia’s internal affairs.

The head of the External Intelligence Service Gela Bezhuashvili reported to a Parliamentary Defence and Security Committee meeting that according to his information there is a certain plan of military action in Georgia being lobbied for by Russian warlords, but this is unlikely to occur in the near future and Georgia will be subject to a different type of pressure.

Bezhuashvili thinks that the Kremlin will undertake a policy of continual provocation, creating tension and aggravating political and economic destabilization. Moscow has one goal: to change the Georgian leadership, weaken our statehood and sovereignty, subordinate us to its influence and thus establish control and set the rules of the game in the South Caucasus.

“Controlling Georgia is of vital importance for Moscow and there is little probability that it will change this position, despite the serious financial crisis,” Bezhuashvili said.

After occupying Georgian territories Russia’s mode of behaviour has changed. Previously it used the separatist-controlled regions to blackmail Georgia. Today they are the advance posts for possible direct aggression against its neighbour, a fact that Abkhazia and South Ossetia themselves are finding difficult to understand, believing that if Russia helps them it must support their ‘independence’ rather than want to use them as a means to an end.

We have written many times that both sides in the current Georgian standoff, administration and opposition, are accusing each other of a pro-Russian orientation. The threat of possible Russian attack, and the recent statement of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov that the Georgian leadership should go, have been highly publicized in Government-controlled media. This gives the opposition grounds for concluding that in reality Moscow needs Saakashvili, as his behaviour will help Russia achieve its goal of weakening Georgia’s statehood and sovereignty, both politically and economically, through buying up Georgia’s strategic assets. Saakashvili could always be removed later, when he has fulfilled his purpose.

Russia’s open support of the opposition and its slogans has discouraged some segments of the population from backing the opposition as it “plays the Russian game.” This is what is seen on the surface at least, and the ruling administration supports such ideas. So there is chaos in Georgian internal politics. People are at loss what to do, rumours of all types abound, there is uncertainty whom to trust. The Government is no good – it lost the war and territories, but what is to come? Will they be any better? Has anyone at the very least devised an action plan of what it will do in the event of various possible developments?

Will Russia attack again? If so, and most importantly, who is responsible for the civil defence system, or will be by the time this happens? We have no distinct answers so far. What has to happen to the country and its people before we find them?