Archive for August 28th, 2008

The TImes of London

Russian-backed paramilitaries are “ethnically cleansing” villages on Georgian soil, refugees and officials told The Times yesterday.

South Ossetian militiamen have torched houses, beaten elderly people and even murdered civilians in the lawless buffer zone set up by the Russian Army just north of Gori. The violence, close to the border with the breakaway republic recognised by Russia this week as independent, has prompted a new wave of refugees into Gori, 40 miles north of Tbilisi.

  • “They had no uniform — I think they were Ossetians,” said Siyala Sereteli, 73, who fled her village of Irganeteye the previous day when irregular forces arrived. Weeping, she lifted her sleeve to show a deep bruise inflicted by a blow from a rifle stock. “They took everything they wanted, even the fans. They beat up a man using sticks and a chair and then threw him in the river,” she said. Continue Reading »
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Russia’s Delusions

Washington Post Editorial 8/28/08

A flurry of [Russian] presidential statements on Georgia mix lies with a dangerous new doctrine.

IN TIME WITH Russia’s unilateral recognition of the independence of the two Georgian provinces it invaded this month, President Dmitry Medvedev issued a statement, penned an op-ed and granted an unusual flurry of interviews. His intent was to justify Moscow’s latest provocation of the West, which has been united in condemnation — as was demonstrated yesterday by a statement by the Group of Seven industrial nations. Instead Mr. Medvedev merely revealed the dangerously arrogant and reckless mood that seems to have overtaken the Kremlin in recent weeks.

What’s striking, first of all, is the spectacle of a leading head of state making statements that not only are lies but that are easily shown to be such. Continue Reading »

From the Opinion Journal comes this excellent report out of Georgia written by Melik Kaylan, a New York based writer who often reports from Georgia.

‘Anybody who thinks that Moscow didn’t plan this invasion, that we in Georgia caused it gratuitously, is severely mistaken,” President Mikheil Saakashvili told me during a late night chat in Georgia’s presidential palace this weekend.

“Our decision to engage was made in the last second as the Russian tanks were rolling — we had no choice,” Mr. Saakashvili explained. “We took the initiative just to buy some time. We knew we were not going to win against the Russian army, but we had to do something to defend ourselves.” Continue Reading »