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Lessons taught by the aggression

By Messenger Staff
Friday, September 4
On September 1 the world marked the 70th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin did so by taking a very controversial step: he visited Poland, the first victim of Nazi aggression in Europe. This would not have happened then without the support and endorsement of the Kremlin.

Premier Putin had to listen to things he must have found very unpleasant, especially now when the aggressive imperialistic character of Russia has been exposed to the world. The most difficult for him to hear were probably the words of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who said that the biggest contemporary threat is the revival of totalitarianism, an example of which the world saw last year when Russia intervened in Georgia. TV cameras showed Putin’s frozen face in closeup as these remarks were being made.

Unfortunately not all Western leaders were so straightforward and brave and did not say openly what we want to believe they feel in their hearts and brains. Their silence was not diplomacy, it was the prevailing of pragmatic interests: What Russia did last year to Georgia was not done to their countries and ultimately their countries seek to gain long-term economic and other benefits from Russia. Their logic was similar to that used in the period leading up to World War II, when with the same self-justification Nazi Germany and Bolshevik Russia swallowed up their neighbours. The world paid very dearly then for turning a blind eye to such arrogance.

No one can tell at present how many years will pass before the world passes final judgment on Putin and Medvedev’s conduct at the beginning of the 21st century. Maybe it will take another 70 years to do so, maybe not. But one thing is obvious: Russia’s imperialistic ambitions, and its attempts to revive the Russian Empire “Derzhava” at any expense, will backfire on it sooner or later and the Russian Federation will collapse. This process has already begun. In fact it started at the end of the 20th century and the Russian Federation already faces huge difficulties keeping order in the North Caucasus. The bloodshed one could have predicted is already here.

If a miracle takes place and Russia becomes democratic all of a sudden, it will immediately reverse the Putin-Medvedev policy. It should then apologise to the peoples of the Northern Caucasus, and Georgians first of all, for the damage inflicted upon them in the Tsarist, Soviet and Post-Soviet periods. But today Russian leaders, feeling they can act, and have acted, with impunity, shamelessly state that black is white. Putin is blatantly trying to persuade world leaders that Russia was protecting Abkhazia and South Ossetia (inseparable parts of Georgia) from Georgian aggression. A clear aggression and occupation he calls the liberation of the Ossetians and Abkhaz, who now live under total Russian dominance. To an extent he is right. Entire Georgian villages and settlements have been burnt to the ground and their populations killed, raped, beaten, wounded and kicked out of their dwelling places. This is the ‘liberation’ Putin speaks of. However, Putin-Medvedev and their team continue to make their shameless allegations that the people thus displaced are Georgians who have committed atrocities, actions they call ‘genocide’, a term which should not be used because the allegation is a downright lie, as Russia well knows. Not even the Russians have been able to present any evidence of anything resembling genocide. In South Ossetia 162 people died and it is impossible to identify how many of these were killed by the Russians when they were shelling Tskhinvali.

The Russian aggression against Georgia is not over. It has merely been transformed and disguised. However, the Kremlin’s manoeuvres and manipulations are clear to the international community. Moscow cannot hide its support and promotion of its puppet regimes, which are becoming more and more arrogant feeling they have Russian support. The criminal Abkhaz leadership is now threatening to attack Georgian vessels with the “Abkhazian Navy”(?!). There is no such thing as the Abkhazian Navy, nor are there an Abkhazian Air Force or Army. Everything Abkhazia does is directed by Russia. It will be interesting to see how the EU and the international community will react when ‘Abkhazian Navy’ vessels appear in the Black Sea. Most probably the utmost concern will be expressed and both sides will be requested to refrain from engaging in hostilities.

Everyone is waiting for the EU fact finding commission investigating the causes of last August’s war to submit its conclusions at the end of this month. Recently Georgian politicians, analysts and media have been saying that German member of the commission Prof. Otto Luchterhandt has been clearly anti-Georgian from the start and considers Russia’s occupation of the separatist regions and then Gori and other places to be justified. We insist that Russia unleashed its aggression against Georgia much earlier than August 8, 2008 and the world should not ignore this. The ‘new reality’ which Russia claims exists is not an independent Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but the emergence of a neo-imperialistic Russia.

Let us open our eyes wide, not in surprise but in disgust. Most importantly, let us do something. Let us remember Munich, which opened the gates to the Second World War. Over seventy million people died in that war. The population of Georgia is approximately 4 million.