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Second anniversary – different versions

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, August 11
August 8 was commemorated differently in Georgia, Russia, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. Of course the event is remembered differently and although the military confrontation is over the war continues to take different shapes, mostly in how the information is reported and perceived. It could be said that since the war did not start on August 8 but long before, it did not end on August 12. The war of nerves, the war of information, the war of different kinds of attacks, the war in passive form goes on.

Moscow and its puppet regimes carry on promoting their own version. According to their version Georgia was encouraged to start the fight against Russia. Russia claims that it was protecting its opinion that Georgia was planning the genocide of the Ossetian people, that Georgia’s victory would have been a catastrophic humiliation of Russia’s authority. Moscow won the global war against Georgian aggression – such is the rubbish propaganda still being disseminated by the Kremlin and its puppets.

Naturally Georgia has a radically different position, but even here there are diverse interpretations, whether one listens to the ruling power or the opposition. The ruling administration is using its control of the media and carrying out a propaganda type campaign. Special actions were staged in different locations, in particular in the town of Gori, in which the main incidents of August 2008 took place. Russia’s enormous strength and potential demonstrated against Georgia were emphasised. Many events were dedicated to the commemoration of those soldiers and civilians killed during the war. A series of actions was carried out to ensure the involvement of the families of those killed, orphaned children, widows of soldiers or their parents. Georgian soldiers were highly praised as heroes, while dramatic stories of IDPs' from the war were told. Everything has been portrayed rather pitifully similar to the best propaganda methods used during Soviet times. Officially there has been nothing mentioned about the numerous mistakes and shortcomings of the Georgian leadership or military commanders. The chaotic situation, failures in the system of communication and deliberate lies – two Messenger correspondents were wounded in Tskhinvali because they entered the town having trusted and relied upon the official information that Tskhinvali was under Georgian control. Officials have avoided talking about these issues. No one has been blamed or taken responsibility. It is however understandable since the same political force, the same people remain as leaders of our country, those who were provoked into the trap – a provocation masterfully organized by Moscow.

Meanwhile the Georgian opposition tries to lay emphasis upon the facts, the precise issues where the Georgian position looks vulnerable. Some opposition members highlight the question of who started military actions. Some acknowledge that Russia was the instigator of the war but stress that the Georgian leadership carried out its policies in a clumsy and tragic manner; and with its short sighted decision was trapped by the Russian provocation. Much is said by the opposition about the inability to organise an efficient defense system. Some even say that if Georgia had resisted for at least 7-10 days, western involvement would have been different. In reality however, everything was over just in two days.

A lot has been written about August war but most of these writings are part of the propaganda campaign and are less than professional in their analysis of what really happened. Many questions still remain unanswered, for instance, why did the Georgian artillery start bombarding Tskhinvali when it was practically deserted, the majority of the population having fled sometime before the start of hostilities. So, why did Georgians attempting to seize the town? Why were the Georgian armed forces not first moved to the Roki tunnel connecting Georgia with Russia thus blocking the entry of Russian troops into Georgia?

Even the Tagliavini fact finding commission mentioned that practical military moves started from this point. Although it also added that there had previously been Russian moves of war-like activities such as a distribution of Russian passports, supplying arms and ammunition, introducing mercenaries, sporadic shelling of Georgia villages and so on.

So the information war continues together with a war of nerves, but the situation remains unchanged – Moscow stubbornly continues to try to persuade world communities and countries to recognise Georgia’s territories as sovereign states, while Georgia tries to establish the word occupation and occupier to determine Russia’s position against Georgia. However time is passing and almost 20% of country’s territory is occupied; Russia continues its military build up of its territories, trying to integrate its territory closer; IDPs remain in a stressful situation – many are still homeless and there is no visible solution to the situation.