Friday, May 29, 2009

A new war? - Russia’s Caucasian Mess

“Territorial integrity is a thing of the past”, Russias UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin (picture) said during the attack on Georgia last summer. It’s wise to have that statement in mind as we now learn that the Russians, like last spring, is planning their big military exercise Kavkaz 2009 in June, and the South Ossetians have began shooting at Georgians (Civil.ge) in the buffer zone (29.05.09), maybe to prepare the ground for yet a Russian “humanitarian intervension” like last year? They have also deployed more troops, missile launchers and tanks along the borderzones.The unstable situation has affected the whole of Georgia. Abkhazia and South Ossetia appear to be in deep political crisis, with various political forces fighting for power. The mess Russia has created after its invasion of Georgia in 2008 is considerable. As Solzhenitsyn pointed out, a Federation is always based on a mutual wish for a beneficial unity, a centripetal force, not the Russian centrifugal military invasion and oppression strategy. So naturally what Russia has achieved by its occupation of Georgian territory is more or less chaos and hostility everywhere. Maybe more than they wished for.
Political turmoil in Georgia proper
In Tbilisi, the opposition has gone completely off the rails lead by a singer called “Ucnobi”, the unknown. Gathering 60 000 at his political rallies, this oppositional figure, presumably perceived as a sort of romantic revolutionary hero, has his own TV show where he pours out his wrath in a small cell, only interrupted by frequent drinking and smoking. The man has no political program, and no identifiable political direction. He is supported by several opposition figures (also without any program or direction) like former Saakashvili allied and Parliamentary speaker Nino Burdjanaze and her compatriot Salome Zurabishvili, determined to commit political suicide as soon as possible. The goal is to topple president Saakashvili, which remains calm and relatively unprovoked judging from the lack of interference with the bold demonstrators. Blocking railroads and main roads, alienating it self and the vast majority of Georgians that wants peaceful reforms is playing it directly into the Russians hands. Destabilization and riots only serves the Russian Federation. The former Georgian Ambassador to the UN, Irakli Alasania, leader of Alliance for Georgia, is in spite of this a point of light. His fraction has turned from activism to more democratic means of protest, and wants to negotiate with the Saakashvili regime instead. A very smart move:According to Caucasus Research Resources Centres 20% - 30% of the population support the government. 20% support the more strident opposition. 50% to 60% are more or less undecided politically. Put in other terms: 20-30% want stability 20% want change, even if this involves risk, and 50-60% want significant change, but also sufficient stability. This means that for the opposition, they could have found up to 80% of the population agreeing with them that they want change -up to a point, and only if stability could be guaranteed.
Abkhazia – Soon to be swallowed by Putin.
According to the De facto Vice-President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba, which is supported by Moscow and seen as the guarantor of Russian expansion in Abkhazia, there is a “deep governmental crisis” in Abkhazia. Khajimba says that President Baghapsh uses force against the opposition in Abkhazia, and accused Baghapsh of behaving in a “non-transparent” way when giving control over the Abkhazian-Georgian administrative border to Russian forces. Baghapsh is also accused by the opposition of “selling” the country to Russia. The majority of Abkhazian strategic and economic facilities are owned by Russian citizens and that the de facto authorities are drafting a law which will allow Russians to purchase Abkhazian land. Baghapsh has already signed a deal giving the Russian ownership to railroads and airfields for ten years ahead, given permission to drill for oil off the shores of Abkhazia, and finally given space for the mighty Russian Black Sea Fleet.
South Ossetia – dictatorship, corruption and nepotism
Separatist leader Eduard Kokoity is expected to extend what the opposition calls his tyranny over South Ossetia when the Russian-backed rebel region holds an election on Sunday. The opposition say Kokoity wants to change the constitution so that he can run for a third term in 2011 and an overwhelming success in the parliamentary election would help him do this.South Ossetia awaits Parliamentary elections on May 31. Representatives of the South Ossetian opposition have stated that the current separatist leader Eduard Kokoity is using “dirty tricks” to keep his party in power. Some opposition members have accused him of “stealing Russian money” destined for the rehabilitation of the region after the August 2008 conflict. “A dictatorship is being established in South Ossetia right now and the President Kokoity and his brother are stealing Russian humanitarian aid and budget funds destined for rehabilitation,” said a Moscow-backed ethnic Ossetian, Jambulat Tedeev. The South Ossetian opposition believes the election will be rigged, and will organize protests against Kokoity

Sources: Temur Kiguradze, Guy Faulconbridge - Reuters, Georgia Dayly, Caucasus Research Resources Centres
and Civil.ge

9 Comments:

Blogger Khatia said...

Thank you for nice article! I am so worried about the situation, we Georgians have to calm down and come to reality. Think about the issues, and not just make some dramas.

Saturday, May 30, 2009 5:55:00 am  
Blogger Eistein G. said...

Thank you for your response, Khatia. I think the main problem is with Russia. Georgia should not stand divided in front of this threat. This is something the opposition clearly doesn't care about. Discussions, yes. But in a democratic format.

Saturday, May 30, 2009 12:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Peter Olsen said...

Khatia do you think that the FSB-mafia still pays for PKKs services ?

Russian Energy Projects Driven by Geopolitics Not Profit . Who want to play the role as the Putin-mafias proxies ?

Stalin and neo-Stalinist Putin , are there similarities ?

Nino Burjanadze ,Otto Wille Kuusinen ,and Vidkun Quisling , are there similarities ?

Stalin actually did set up a puppet government in Finland on 2 December 1939 and this "government," which was led by Otto Wille Kuusinen, requested "help" from the Soviet Union in pretty much the same way Stalin's puppet governments in the Baltic states asked for help or permission to join the Soviet Union. All the ministers were communists approved by Stalin although Radio Moscow lied to Muscovites that it was a multi-party government. Stalin was naive enough to believe that Finns would support Kuusinen's "government" thanks to the numerous improvements it promised for Finns.

Parliamentary speaker Nino Burdjanaze and her compatriot Salome Zurabishvili, determined to commit political suicide as soon as possible.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121866234961938253.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Raids Suggest Russia Targeted Energy Pipelines

Leader of the Democratic movement-United Georgia Nino Burjanadze apologized to Azerbaijan and Armenia for closed railway track on May 26.

"We understand thereby caused harm to our neighbors, but we had no other way," Burjanadze told opposition members in front of the mayor's building.

Activists pointed out the wall of the municipality with offensive slogans

A closer cooperation will be established with Azerbaijan and Armenia after Saakashvili's resignation, while Saakashvili's administration is a great danger for these countries.

http://www.rferl.org/content/Is_A_New_RussiaGeorgia_War_On_The_Horizon/1740028.html



"Russia did not accomplish its goals in the first war," Baku-based political analyst Shahin Abbasov said in a recent appearance on RFE/RL's "Caucasus Crossroads" program.

"The goal was not the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The goal was to shut the West out of Georgia and the entire region. That goal was not achieved," Abbasov said. "I don't know how the situation is going to develop, but I would not rule out further escalation."

Analysts and officials say Russia's recent saber-rattling is just part of a comprehensive strategy designed to intimidate and destabilize Georgia in order to force it to be more compliant with Moscow's foreign-policy priorities.

Analysts say Russia would prefer to impose a so-called Armenia model on Georgia, a reference to Yerevan's traditional fealty to Moscow in foreign affairs. At the very least, the Kremlin would like to return to the situation that existed prior to the 2003 Rose Revolution under former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, when Moscow had a virtual veto over key foreign-affairs cabinet posts.

Monday, June 01, 2009 12:53:00 pm  
Anonymous Oleg said...

Parliamentary speaker Nino Burdjanaze and her compatriot Salome Zurabishvili, determined to commit political suicide as soon as possible.

Robert Coalson have a very interesting summary of the Burjanadze- family and their interest’s that sometimes do not always fits with the peoples of Georgia .

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/pp032809.shtml

Nino Burjanadze was supported financially by her father Anzor Burjanadze, a wealthy businessman .

Burjanadze's husband, former border-guard commander Badri Bitsadze, meeting in Kyiv with oligarch Shalva Breus, a native Georgian with Russian citizenship who once served as a Russian deputy property minister.

"Russia has been trying to create some kind of a fifth column in Georgia, be it by strengthening [Igor] Giorgadze's Justice party or through the creation of some NGOs," Nodia said. "They probably thought that since Saakashvili was 'brought in by the West,' they could similarly change the government in Georgia."

"In Russia, business and the mafia are one and the same -- business, mafia, and the KGB," Rcheulishvili said. "Large Russian businesses are run by the mafia and the KGB. An order goes out telling Georgian businessmen who live in Moscow to finance various political parties here [in Georgia]."

According to a 2007 ranking of the richest Georgians, 19 of the top 50 are living in Russia.

The Putin-mobsters henchmen and collaborators tried reach safety and freedom in South Ossetia ?

The Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that ex-military commander Gia Krialashvili died from wounds suffered during a shootout with police in the outskirts of the Georgian capital during the night of May 20. Two other suspects, ex-military commander Levan Amiridze and retired Special Forces Gen. Koba Otanadze, were hospitalized for wounds deemed not to be life-threatening. The trio had been in hiding since the failed revolt on May 5. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Police reportedly intercepted the three riding in a minivan just outside of the capital; they claimed that the three men were en route to the breakaway region of South Ossetia, roughly an hour’s drive from Tbilisi.

Monday, June 01, 2009 1:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Peter Olsen said...

Kjære Eistein.

Jeg håper jeg ikke har laget problemer for deg.
Jeg har brukt deg som kilde i en nettdebatt i Dagsavisen .
Du kan finne innleggene her.

http://www.dagsavisen.no/innenriks/article418271.ece

(At Eistein Guldseths tilsynelatende oppkok fra Georgiske nyhetsmedia, som er meget skjeve i sine reportasjer om Sør Ossetia og Abkhazia, skulle måle seg med International Journal of Anarchism's reportasje hva objektivitet angår, har jeg vondt for å tro. Det finnes imidlertid foreløpig ikke FN-statistikk og annen statistikk for Sør Ossetia og Abkhazia for en utførlig analyse av libertærgraden i disse små uavhengige republikkene. Den er imidlertid, ut fra "an educated guess" trolig nokså nær det vi finner for Russland, men kanskje noe lavere, og dermed altså likevel høyere libertærgrad og mindre autoritærgrad enn i Georgia.)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 4:05:00 pm  
Blogger Eistein G. said...

Hei, Peter. Ingen fare. Den "Internasjonale anarkibevegelsen" tåler vi nok å bli fordømt av uten å miste vesentlig nattesøvn.:-)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 4:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Peter Olsen said...

The propagandists for the Putin-mafia are insisting on the lie “Georgia are the aggressor “

The conspiracy theorists know the truth, Saakashvili is bombing the railroad to get an excuse to start a new war ?

TBILISI, June 2 (Reuters) - A bomb damaged a railway line connecting east and west Georgia on Tuesday in a "terrorist" attack, a local railway official said.

The blast on the Tbilisi-to-Zugdidi line occurred at around 3:30 a.m. (2230 GMT Monday), two hours before a passenger train was due to travel the route.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 1:23:00 am  
Blogger Eistein G. said...

Well, there's nothing in it for Saakashvili to start a new war. It is totally absurd. And who sais he startet the first one anyway? According to most international observers and analysts the war war pre-planned already in 2004 by Putin as an attempt to secure Russia's shpere of influence against a NATO expension in the Cucasus.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 3:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debating Georgia: Expert Views on the War, Protests, Russia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Zeg0sCG5_c

Svante Cornell, from the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of John Hopkins University, Paul Goble, former State Dept. official and blogger at Window on Eurasia, and David Satter, an author and Hudson Institute Fellow, all discuss in separate interview segments the August 2008 war in Georgia, the current political crisis, and relations with Russia. Interviews were shot by Robert Amsterdam

Monday, June 15, 2009 5:13:00 pm  

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