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Russia trapped itself by granting independence to Abkhazia and South Ossetia

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, August 26
Exactly one year ago, on August 26, 2008, Russia recognized the ‘independence’ of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Some conclusions can now be made about the effects of this action.

Since the recognition of Kosovo, Russia had been threatening to take this step; frequently referring to the probability of recognizing the ‘independence’ of these breakaway territories of Georgia. In reality the Kremlin was particularly irritated after western countries took this very controversial and, in our opinion, wrong action and recognized Kosovo. Whatever the details of this case, the precedent of changing European borders was created and this untied Russia’s hands. However, taking such an arrogant and illegal step required Russia to justify it and even today, one year on, it is trying in vain to convince the world that it was acting to protect the small nations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgian ‘aggression’. But nobody is deceived by this allegation, and the overall opinion worldwide is clear: Russia invaded and occupied Georgian territories and subsequently proclaimed their so called ‘independent status.’

By doing this Russia tried to free itself from all previously made commitments, particularly the agreement signed on August 12, 2008 between Medvedev-Sarkozy-Saakashvili. The world community could not force Moscow to comply with this agreement. However, the nations of the world have clearly stated that none of them are going to legitimize Moscow’s aggressive behavior. Only Nicaragua and Hamas (which is not a State) approved Moscow’s actions.

In reality Moscow trapped itself by recognizing the ‘independence’ of Sokhumi and Tskhinvali. They are independent only on paper, otherwise they totally depend on Moscow militarily and economically. The entire population of South Ossetia including Georgians and other nationalities is less then 40, 000 and a number of them are leaving the territory. The only possible way to increase the number of people living there is by bringing in a permanent contingent of Russian soldiers and both regions are becoming huge Russian military bases, strongholds which permanently threaten Georgia and its independence.

Furthermore, the economic build up of South Ossetia is, in fact, virtual rather than real. It depends completely on the financial and other support rendered by Russia. Kokoity and his illegal government are desperately anxious to join the Russian Federation as member states, but it is very unlikely that the Kremlin will agree to this as its imperialistic ambitions will finally be revealed.

As for Abkhazia, the situation is even more tragic as Abkhaz nationals are the real losers on their territory. Most of the attractive assets are already lost as Russian businessmen are buying properties in Abkhazia very cheap, Abkhaz are losing their national identity under the pressure of Russian language, culture and other means, and confrontations between Russian occupiers and the local Abkhazs are already apparent..

Many political analysts have noted that the problems arising first from the Kosovo precedent and subsequent recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have created a very dangerous precedent for separatist activity from the 30 or so national entities which particularly threatens Russia and most of their efforts to gain independence have been provoked by Russia’s actions in Georgia..

According to some sources there is a huge ground swell of nationalist sentiment in Bashkirtostan and Tatarstan. to say nothing of Chechen, Ingush, Dagestan or other northern Caucasus peoples’ separatist yearnings.

Imperialistic Russia has twice experienced collapse, first in 1917 and again 1991. There is no reason to believe that Putin-Medvedev’s Russia is much stronger than the Tsarist Russian empire or the Soviet empire.