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Russian-Georgian war revisited

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 9
Four years have passed since Russia invaded Georgia. Since then, the topic has been discussed within the Georgian media while politicians continue to speculate on the subject. The Kremlin promotes its position on the conflict stating that Russia was obliged to protect the Ossetian population from the Georgian ‘genocide’ and therefore it was forced to create two independent sovereign states on Georgian territory. The world community however does not trust the Russian version and continues to urge Moscow cease its occupation of Georgian territory. Georgia’s leadership meanwhile, has its version of the war. According to which Russia started the war and it did not fulfill its initial goal of overthrowing the Georgian government.

War between Russia and Georgia started before this time however. Russia inspired military activities in Abkhazia and Ossetia from the beginning of 90th of the last century. It was exercising a so- called ‘crawling annexation’ of those territories though different subversive actions like distributing Russian passports to the local population, introducing arms and ammunition to separatist supporters and creating paramilitary groups.

The war has a different definition: there is the Cold War, the informative war and now it has become a cyber war. Russia unleashed war in different forms that manifested itself in constant shootings in the direction of Georgian villages from the separatist-controlled side. This was long before the August War of 2008. The Tagliavini commission took this particular episode as a separate event and believes that the military operations on the Russian side began after the Georgian side launched an artillery attack on Tskhinvali. Just two months before this, Russia carried out the reconstruction of Abkhazian railways with its military forces which also could be considered as the beginning of war.

Today, official Tbilisi condemns and criticizes those who use the Tagliavini commission conclusions as its stand point. Some political parties have very precise opinions concerning this fact. For instance, The Labour Party declares that the military actions that were started were started by Saakashvili; leader of Free Georgia party Kakha Kukava also blames the Georgian president for beginning war. Those who promote this idea say that there was the provocation from the Russian side and Georgian leadership because of its shortsightedness, took the bait. The ruling National Movement party accuses its major opponent, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition, in supporting the Russian position, whereas Ivanishvili several times highlighted that Georgia and its president were trapped and in fact Georgia became a victim of this provocation. Georgian Dream leaders state repeatedly that it was possible to avoid the 2008 War if Georgia’s leadership had used common sense and rationalism. Some opposition parties also think that it was a mistake on behalf of the Georgian leadership. Leader of the New Rights Party David Gamkrelidze thinks so as well.

We should repeat that this particular topic is very important in the pre-election situation today. Because this is the major instrument with which the ruling National Movement is fighting and challenging the Georgian Dream coalition.