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 A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?

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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:02 pm

I remember 905 posting on this, with a useful map, but I can't find the thread.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:04 pm

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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:10 pm

Georgia have apparently shot down 2 russian jets:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4485527.ece
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:10 pm

SeathrúnCeitinn wrote:
riadach wrote:
It will be interesting to see what role Nato will have to play in this. Georgia was an applicant, and was party to many institutions, such as partnership for peace, which are Nato lead. Indeed, Georgia felt that Russia's propping up of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was to prevent any further integration with Nato. Abkhazia and North Ossetia are also thought currently to be sending fighters to the rebel region. I'm not well up on the situation myself, but would there be cause to say that Georgia could become the next chechnya?

It certainly is heading that way. We will be in for a detailed Geography lesson of the region in the months to come.

But then Russia has a lot of Europe by the magairlí over an oil barrel

And us now too, considering it was recently announced that our gas lines are going to be partially supplied by Gazprom. Some people better get off their respective arses in regards to this tidal energy we're all waiting for.

This globalisation and interdependence lark really isn't all it's cracked up to be. We live in a house of cards.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:24 pm

Bit of background;


Quote :


Georgia



Georgia is of vital strategic interest to Russia and the west, because it sits in the path of potentially lucrative oil routes. By early 2003 it appeared that the political situation in Georgia had stabilized after years of civil strife. It had a leader, President Shevardnadze, who commanded support from home and had a high profile abroad. Georgia had friendly relations with all of its neighbors - rare in a region torn with conflict. In addition, it had also been able to institute a series of economic reforms and position itself as a regional trading hub.

Russia has sought to retain a military presence in Georgia. Only recently, and with some reluctance, did it agree to withdraw its troops from the Gudauta base in Abkhazia and from the Vaziani military airfield near Tbilisi -- both by the end of June 2001. Moscow asked for lease renewals on two other Soviet-era bases -- one in Batumi in the Ajaria region, the other in Akhalkalaki in the Javakhetia region. Georgia wanted the two bases vacated by 2004, but Russia wants 15 years to fulfill its pledge to pull out, by 2016.

Shevardnadze periodicly pledged from 1995 through 2001 that Georgia will seek NATO membership in 2005. Russia is strongly opposed to the alliance's eastward expansion, which it sees as a threat to its national security. On 15 March 1999 President Shevardnadze said that NATO expansion will continue but added that it would be premature to speak of Georgia's possible entry to the alliance before Tbilisi establishes a "new model" for relations with Russia. In May 1999 Shevardnadze predicted that Georgia would not join NATO, even if he is re-elected in 2000 for a second five-year term. Shevardnadze admitted that Georgia was currently incapable of meeting membership requirements. However, in October 1999 Shevardnadze stated that if he was re-elected president in 2000, Georgia would campaign vigorously for NATO membership.

Stability in Georgia has been a recent phenomenon, and several underlying problems remained. These boiled over in late 2003.

Regional ethnic distribution is a major cause of the problems Georgia faces along its borders and within its territory. Under Soviet rule, a large part of Georgian territory was divided into autonomous regions that included concentrations of non-Georgian peoples. Russians, who make up the third largest ethnic group in the country (6.7 percent of the total population in 1989), do not constitute a majority in any district. The highest concentration of Russians is in Abkhazia.

Georgian government has no effective control over Abkhazia or much of South Ossetia. The Georgian state is highly centralized, except for the autonomous regions of Abkhazia and Ajaria, which are to be given special autonomous status once Georgia's territorial integrity is restored. Those regions were subjects of special autonomies during Soviet rule and the legacy of that influence remains. The political status of the breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is unresolved. Sporadic outbreaks of violence continue to erupt in Abkhazia. About 300,000 people displaced by these conflicts have yet to return to home.

As the Soviet Union disintegrated, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the most widely honored and recognized of the nationalist dissidents, moved naturally to a position of leadership. Arguably the most virulently anticommunist politician ever elected in a Soviet republic, Gamsakhurdia was intolerant of all political opposition. He often accused his opposition of treason or involvement with the KGB. After his election as president of Georgia in October 1990, Gamsakhurdia's most immediate concern was the armed opposition. Both Gamsakhurdia's Round Table/Free Georgia coalition and some opposition factions in the Georgian National Congress had informal military units, which the previous, communist Supreme Soviet had legalized under pressure from informal groups. The most formidable of these groups were the Mkhedrioni (horsemen), said to number 5,000 men, and the so-called National Guard. The new parliament, dominated by Gamsakhurdia, outlawed such groups and ordered them to surrender their weapons, but the order had no effect. After the elections, independent military groups raided local police stations and Soviet military installations, sometimes adding formidable weaponry to their arsenals. In February 1991, a Soviet army counterattack against Mkhedrioni headquarters had led to the imprisonment of the Mkhedrioni leader.

Gamsakhurdia moved quickly to assert Georgia's independence from Moscow. Once the Soviet Union collapsed at the end of 1991, Georgia refused to participate in the formation or subsequent activities of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Following its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia suffered from a civil war in 1992 following the overthrow of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, its first democratically elected president. In addition, Georgia was divided by separatist struggles in Abkhazia (northwest Georgia) and South Ossetia (north central Georgia). South Ossetia wants to join with North Ossetia, which is a part of Russia, and Russia has backed both separatist struggles. About 250,000 people were displaced by the civil wars in Georgia.

The UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), consisting of about 115 military observers monitoring the ceasefire lines and a civilian component, was established in 1994 after an accord reached in Moscow ended fighting that had forced nearly 300,000 people to flee.

The Russian-enforced ceasefire in 1994 brought an end to the armed conflict in Abkhazia, and resulted in the permanent stationing of Russian troops in Abkhazia. A Russian peacekeeping force also has been in South Ossetia since 1992. Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia have remained adamant in their separatist demands, and have refused any sort of autonomy that would mean remaining a part of Georgia. Georgia has been striving to reach a peaceful solution with the separatist regions.

The instability in Georgia during the early 1990s led to the postponement of elections until November 1995, when President Shevardnaze and his ruling Union of Georgian Citizens party won the presidential elections with over 70 percent of the vote.

President Shevardnaze narrowly escaped an assassination attempt just prior to the elections on August 29, 1995. The assassination attempt resulted in a crackdown against opposition forces such as the para-military Mkhedrioni (horsemen), led by former ally Saba Joseliani. The 1998 trial of Joseliani and 14 other alleged conspirators was characterized by the same violations of due process found in other recent trials with political overtones. The Government consistently violated due process both during the investigation and the trial. Torture, use of forced confessions, fabricated or planted evidence, denial of legal counsel, and expulsion of defendants from the courtroom took place. In February 1998 between 10 to 15 assailants unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate President Shevardnadze. During the exchange of gunfire, two of his bodyguards and one of the attackers were killed, and four bodyguards were wounded seriously. Both assassination attempts in 1995 and 1998 were reported to have been linked to disputes over construction of oil pipelines through Georgian territory. Moscow is also suspected of being behind the two assassination attempts on President Shevardnadze.

On 19 October 1998 army forces put down a small scale mutiny led by Colonel Akaki Eliava, a supporter of deceased former President Gamsakhurdia. The mutiny resulted in the deaths of one soldier and two mutineers and generated almost no popular support.

Since surviving assassination attempts in August 1995 and February 1998, President Eduard Shevardnadze consolidated his leadership and declared an ambitious reform agenda. Elections on November 5, 1995, described as the freest and fairest in the Caucasus or Central Asia, gave him the presidency and resulted in a progressive parliament led by sophisticated reformers. Since 1998, however, the reform process encountered serious obstacles and made limited progress.

The parliament instituted wideranging political reforms supportive of higher human rights standards, including religious freedoms enshrined in the constitution. Problems persisted, however, largely as a result of the unwillingness of law enforcement and criminal justice officials to support constitutionally mandated rights. Violence against religious minorities and mistreatment of pretrial detainees are significant and continuing problems, as is corruption.

The coup attempt in October 1998 led the chairman of the National Independence Party to call for NATO or the United States to station a military contingent in Georgia to protect Caspian oil transport. In December 1998, representatives from the GUAM Group (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) held talks about setting up a special peacekeeping force to protect the oil export pipelines. Proposals were made to work with NATO to set up this force within the framework of the Partnership for Peace Program, which was established by NATO to strengthen ties with former Eastern Bloc and former Soviet states.

Renewed fighting in the neighboring Chechnya (Russia) has generated concerns that the conflict will spill over into Georgia. Several thousand Chechen refugees moved into Georgia's Pankisi Gorge in late 1999, adding to the refugee/internally displaced population. The Abkhaz separatist dispute absorbs much of the government's attention. While a cease-fire is in effect, about 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were driven from their homes during the conflict constitute a vocal lobby. The government has offered the region considerable autonomy in order to encourage a settlement, which would allow the IDPs, the majority of whom are ethnic Georgians from the Gali region, to return home, but the Abkhaz insist on independence.

Georgia's long-time leader, Eduard Shevardnadze, was peacefully overthrown in November 2003 following a contested parliamentary election. Georgia's new President Mikheil Saakashvili was innagurated on January 25, 2004, and made promises to tackle Georgia's internal corruption and its endemic poverty.

Russia appears concerned that the US will use its alliance with the Westward-leaning Saakashvili to increase the US presence in the region. Saakashvili tried to placate Russia in speeches but was firm about his insistence on keeping breakaway provinces from seceding to Russia. Saakashvili could weaken separatist elements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which might discourage Russian intervention.

On 27 September 2006, Georgian-Russian relations deteriorated further when the Georgian government detained four Russian military officers on charges of espionage. Both nations engaged in a back-and-forth series of shows of military and diplomatic force. These included the surrounding of Russia's military headquarters in Georgia, the withdrawal of the Russian diplomats, and reprisal raids against each other's business interests.

On 6 October, the Russian Duma ratified a treaty that would guarantee a withdrawal of Russian forces from Georgian territory and assure Russian access to Armenian bases via Georgia. On 29 November, the Georgian and Russian presidents met unofficially in a meeting described as "useful."

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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:25 pm

Quote :

South Ossetia

On Thursday 07 August 2008 Georgian military forces fought their way into the capital of the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russian tanks entered the breakaway region as Georgian forces fought for control of the regional capital Tskhinvali. Georgian officials demanded Russia stop air attacks on Georgian cities - which Russia denies carrying out. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said Georgian forces have shot down two Russian aircraft. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev pledged to defend Russian citizens in South Ossetia, an area where many residents hold Russian passports. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin condemned the Georgian advance and vowed to retaliate. The White House, NATO, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have called for an immediate end to the violence.

South Ossetia, with a population of 70,000, has close ties to the neighboring region of North Ossetia in Russia and once had the status of an autonomous region within Georgia. In the thirteenth century, Ossetians arrived on the south side of the Caucasus Mountains, in Georgian territory, when the Mongols drove them from what is now the North Ossetian Autonomous Republic of Russia. In 1922 the South Ossetian Autonomous Region was formed within the new Transcaucasian republic of the Soviet Union. The autonomous region was abolished officially by the Georgian government in 1990, then reinstated in 1992. South Ossetia includes many all-Georgian villages, and the Ossetian population is concentrated in the cities of Tskhinvali and Java. Overall, in the 1980s the population in South Ossetia was 66 percent Ossetian and 29 percent Georgian. In 1989 more than 60 percent of the Ossetian population of Georgia lived outside South Ossetia.

The autonomous areas of South Ossetia and Abkhazia added to the problems of Georgia's post-Soviet governments. The first major crisis was in the South Ossetian Autonomous Region. In December 1990, Georgian leader Gamsakhurdia summarily abolished the region's autonomous status within Georgia in response to its longtime efforts to gain independence. When the South Ossetian regional legislature took its first steps toward secession and union with the North Ossetian Autonomous Republic of Russia, Georgian forces invaded. The resulting conflict lasted throughout 1991, causing thousands of casualties and creating tens of thousands of refugees on both sides of the Georgian-Russian border. Yeltsin mediated a cease-fire in July 1992. A year later, the cease-fire was still in place, enforced by Ossetian and Georgian troops together with six Russian battalions.

The international community has not recognized South Ossetia’s self-declared independence. South Ossetia is one of several so-called “frozen conflicts” involving separatist ethnic groups in former Soviet republics.

The OSCE has a mission in Georgia that has sought to promote negotiations between the conflicting parties, and the United Nations has chaired negotiations toward a settlement since 1993. The United States recently has urged the sides to make progress within the U.N. framework in areas such as human rights, civilian policing and the return of internally displaced persons.

The United States welcomed Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s proposal in January 2005 for an autonomous status within Georgia for South Ossetia On 27 October 2005 Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli presented the government of Georgia's plan for resolution of the South Ossetian conflict to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria. Georgia requested support for a new international diplomatic framework including the OSCE, the European Union, the United States and Russia. The peace plan proposed by Georgia was endorsed by the OSCE Ministerial Council in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in December 2005.

Georgians and South Ossetians fought in September 2006. According to news reports, a helicopter flying over the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone with Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili on board was fired upon by South Ossetian militia forces on September 3 and was forced to make an emergency landing. Five days later, it was reported that three South Ossetian militia members and one Georgian police officer died in a firefight in the South Ossetian conflict zone.

In November 2006 the United States joined the international community in rejecting a referendum and self-proclaimed presidential election scheduled for November 12 in Georgia’s separatist region of South Ossetia. “The U.S. will not recognize the ‘independence referendum’ and concurrent so-called ‘presidential’ elections,” Ambassador Julie Finley, U.S. envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said 09 November 2006. “As the international community has made clear, South Ossetia is a part of Georgia,” Finley told the OSCE’s Permanent Council in Vienna, Austria.

On 14 July 2008 the United States government expressed concern over the recent escalation in violence in the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and called upon all sides to return to direct negotiations and resolve their differences peacefully. The US was "deeply troubled" by Russia’s statement that its military aircraft deliberately violated Georgia’s internationally recognized borders by flying over Georgia’s region of South Ossetia. Such actions "raise questions about Russia's role as peacekeeper and facilitator of the negotiations and threaten stability" throughout the entire region. The US urged all members of the international community, including Russia, to support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, as called for by numerous UN Security Council resolutions, including, most recently, USNCR 1808 in April 2008. The United States said it "fully supports" and is actively engaged in the Friends of the Secretary General process and believes that the efforts of the Friends group will lead to a settlement of the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:32 pm

I get very suspicious when I see all these Russian experts coming out of the woods?
The news channels have taken a discernable swing to the Russians over the last few hours except for Richard Holbrooke who was saying I told you so


Last edited by SeathrúnCeitinn on Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:45 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Russia historically is not given to invading distant foreign parts but to acting with full force to create a buffer zone around her borders. The pressure is on from the US and NATO. The creation and recognition of Kosova which the Russians describe as a Nato base along with the US plans for an anti-ballistic missile shield across eastern europe is perceived by the Russians as deeply agressive.


Yep and this one is the outworkings of the resource war and the conflicting interests of the USA and a rising Russia.

Our actions and those of NATO have been anything but clever. From a Russian perspective we are continually acting in an aggressive manner. If you consider Russian history you can fully appreciate their outlook and more recently there has been all sorts of attempts to reduce their influence in resource rich areas of the former USSR. They have lost central Europe, the Baltic States, are on the ebb in the Balkans, are under threat in the Ukraine and the Caucus, have the USA thumping around in Iraq and Afghanistan and up to all sorts of deeds in the countries that were once within the USSR. NATO expanding east is a direct threat to them no matter what way we look at it.

We need to improve relations with Russia. It is probably the most important foreign policy objective that we in Europe need to undertake. Nothing we can effectively do about Georgia except address the concerns of Russia and send diplomats. We really don't have any sticks we can use. 20 years ago we had opportunity to help Russia and improve relations. We blew it and now we have the consequence.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:00 pm

Neither South Ossetia nor Abkhazia are recognised as independent states. So for all intents and purposes, Russia has invaded a sovereign nation, even if it stays within South Ossetia. The Russian invasion puts the US and the EU on the spot, given that Georgia is a US ally, contributor to the Multi National Force in Iraq, potential member of NATO and the EU and so on. It's hard to see how this kind of aggression can be ignored.

Problems for Russia if it intends to occupy South Ossetia is that the Caucusus mountains stand between them. There is just one land link between Russia and Tskhinvali (capital of S Ossetia), a road through the Roki tunnel. Resupplying an occupation force through the winter will be tough. Also the Russian Army is pretty bad. It mainly consists of conscripts who's one ambition is to get back to civilian life ASAP. They won't be looking forward to many years of guerrilla warfare with the Georgians, supported by the US.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:15 pm

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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:58 pm

Lestat wrote:
And the good news;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan_pipeline

Which led to this...http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=3891
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:19 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Which led to this...http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=3891

Favourite Paragraph;

Quote :
In 1993 the governments of Turkmenistan and Pakistan negotiated the building of the pipelines. They were joined by the Union Oil Corporation of California (Unocal), who hired Henry Kissinger, Hamid Karzi and Zalmay Khalilzad as advisers. Amoco hired Zbigniew Brzezinsky. Turkmenistan hired U.S. General Alexander Haig. When the Central Asia Gas and Pipeline Consortium (CentGas) was created in 1996, both Enron (Kenneth Lay) and Halliburton (Dick Cheney) were to be involved with the development. Condoleezza Rice, then on the board of directors of Chevron, supported the project.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:30 pm

905's thread - "A shot across Natos bows" - merged with the Georgian invasion thread by johnfas/seathrún . Welcome back seathrún.


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:26 am

Things are heating up pretty well in the Caucusus.

The President of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, claims that Georgian bombing has killed 1,400 people in Tskhinvali.

Russian armour is reported in the town.

Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, is to declare martial law.

Russian planes are reported to have bombed a military base outside Tbilisi and the Black Sea port of Poti.

Georgia is withdrawing it's thousand men from Iraq.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a statement calling on Russia to cease attacks on Georgia by aircraft and missiles, respect Georgia's territorial integrity, and withdraw its ground combat forces from Georgian soil.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:32 am

http://www.livenewscameras.com/

Go under Russia today in the world section. Another point of view, but complete propaganda. Perhaps an indication of Russia's intentions given the channel is sponsored by the state-funded RIA-Novostia? Are the Russian people being softened up for an all-out war?
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:15 am

The UN is still discussing the issue and is unable to decide on a statment let alone a course of action.

In Washington Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte summoned Russian Charge d'Affaires, Aleksander Darchiyev, and told hin Russia must halt military action.

Russian planes bombed Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin ironically, and reportedly killed 3 civilians.

Georgia is accused of bombing South Ossetian civilians.


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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:44 am

The latest I heard this morning is 1500 civilians dead and 15 Russian soldiers. Georgia is bringing home its 2,000 soldiers in Iraq asap.

And the Security Council couldn't agree on a wording.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:57 am

A little bit of history I got from this youtube that South Ossetia was granted autonomy in 1922 and was autonomous under the old soviet union but once Georgia seceded in 1990 they clamped down on the S. Ossetian and Abkahzian independence.

Georgia wants to join Nato but Nato's rules say that potential member states shouldn't have internal border disputes.

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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:28 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
A little bit of history I got from this youtube that South Ossetia was granted autonomy in 1922 and was autonomous under the old soviet union but once Georgia seceded in 1990 they clamped down on the S. Ossetian and Abkahzian independence.

Georgia wants to join Nato but Nato's rules say that potential member states shouldn't have internal border disputes.


The Irish Times says that both Abkahzia and South Ossetia have had de facto independence for the last 14 years.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:31 pm

Lestat wrote:
Neither South Ossetia nor Abkhazia are recognised as independent states.

Are there not similarities with Kosovo? I wonder if a referendum were held in those states what the outcome would be?

Lestat wrote:
So for all intents and purposes, Russia has invaded a sovereign nation, even if it stays within South Ossetia. The Russian invasion puts the US and the EU on the spot, given that Georgia is a US ally, contributor to the Multi National Force in Iraq, potential member of NATO and the EU and so on. It's hard to see how this kind of aggression can be ignored.

Problems for Russia if it intends to occupy South Ossetia is that the Caucusus mountains stand between them. There is just one land link between Russia and Tskhinvali (capital of S Ossetia), a road through the Roki tunnel. Resupplying an occupation force through the winter will be tough. Also the Russian Army is pretty bad. It mainly consists of conscripts who's one ambition is to get back to civilian life ASAP. They won't be looking forward to many years of guerrilla warfare with the Georgians, supported by the US.

This has to be resolved diplomatically.

I would hate to see it get to the stage of a Russian military win or loss. Either outcome may not be to our long term benifit. As for the Russian Army being below power, throughout history people have made that assessment. The effectiveness of that army really depends on the determination of the Russian people and perceptions of threat. The mood of mother Russia is key and there is a fair degree of resentment at their decline.

We really don't want to see this disintegrate into a long drawn out war of attrition. Where next Moldova?
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:19 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
A little bit of history I got from this youtube that South Ossetia was granted autonomy in 1922 and was autonomous under the old soviet union....

That would be just after the Democratic Republic of Georgia was invaded and annexed by the Soviet Union.

[quote="cactus flower"]
Auditor #9 wrote:
The Irish Times says that both Abkahzia and South Ossetia have had de facto independence for the last 14 years.

So they have. That independence of course depended on the presence of Russian "peacekeeping" troops.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:33 pm

Quote :
Obama on South Ossetia
by Vincent Amato
Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:52:42 PM PDT
Our favored candidate shows time and time again that on many issues his stand is indistinguishable from that of McCain's or 99% of other U.S. politicians. Not surprising perhaps, but disappointing. The U.S. response to events like those taking place in the former Soviet republic of Georgia is essentially out of the C.I.A. and State Department play book. Only U.S. citizens seem to accept uncritically the pronouncements made and the interpretations presented by our politicians and most of our press as well.

The candidate of change is adjusting his stands in such a manner as to raise a real question as to where the promised change will manifest itself. Hopefully, it will be in those areas rarely mentioned in the torrent of words that accompanies a campaign, namely, in the nature of the appointments Barama will make. The way he fills government posts, judgeships and the personnel of the Justice Department will hopefully stem the descent into the vortex of privatization and the dismantling of the role of government that we have been treated to for almost thirty years now. Perhaps we will once again have viable institutions in the FDA, the FCC, the EPA and all the other branches of government that Americans once expected to protect their interests against the greed of large corporations and the know-nothingism of the extreme right. On events in South Ossetia, however...When Kosovo, a district of Serbia viewed by the Serbians as their spiritual heartland declared its independence, the U.S. did not pause for a moment to recognize the rogue province. This, of course, may have something to do with the fact that Kosovo is home to the largest U.S. military institution on the planet, Camp Bondsteel, and occupies a strategic location with regard to oil. This has been the pattern of U.S. policy since the very origins of the break-up of Yugoslavia into warring independent states. The U.S., after making some silly noises about keeping the peace, encouraged the dissolution of the country by encouraging Croatia and Slovenia in their independence movements. Now, if one applied similar standards, one might expect the U.S. to support the people of South Ossetia--who already had autonomy on paper--from assaults by the Georgian government. Instead, we hear talk about respecting the sovereignty of Georgia and cries for an immediate Security Council session. I fail to see how this does not represent an obvious double standard. Georgia, of course, is even closer to the oil production centers and thus a natural candidate as far as the U.S. is concerned for entry into NATO. Not surprisingly, the Russians are a little sensitive about having yet another of their sattelite states turn into a U.S. satellite. While this gets worked out, there is the inevitable death of innocents.

The Georgian attack on South Ossetia is US backed. I've just posted some archive material on the Iraq thread that demostrates in detail how the US promotes its national strategic interests in this region.


Last edited by cactus flower on Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:34 pm

Squire wrote:
Are there not similarities with Kosovo? I wonder if a referendum were held in those states what the outcome would be?

The referendum would be a foregone conclusion. The UN and the US made a rod for it's own back in backing Kosovar independence. Logically they should also back independence for South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The big difference of course is that Georgia hasn't been thumbing its nose at the US. Quite the opposite in fact.

Squire wrote:
This has to be resolved diplomatically.

I'm afraid the tanks are rolling Squire. The diplomats are sidelined until the peace negotiations begin next week.

Squire wrote:
I would hate to see it get to the stage of a Russian military win or loss.

Russia has already lost. The US cannot afford to be seen to knuckle under to an ex-superpower.

Squire wrote:
As for the Russian Army being below power, throughout history people have made that assessment. The effectiveness of that army really depends on the determination of the Russian people and perceptions of threat. The mood of mother Russia is key and there is a fair degree of resentment at their decline.

I would say that General Winter and a willingness to sacrifice millions of people were war-winners for Russia rather than skillful troops.

Squire wrote:
We really don't want to see this disintegrate into a long drawn out war of attrition.

It will probably become a guerrilla war unless the UN acts, forces Russia to withdraw and sends forces to South Ossetia.

Squire wrote:
Where next Moldova?

Whatever bit of their former empire the Russians want back I suppose.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:37 pm

Quote :
It will probably become a guerrilla war unless the UN acts, forces Russia to withdraw and sends forces to South Ossetia.

The Georgians just launched an attack on the UN mandated Russian Peace Keeping force in South Ossetia. The UN would seem obliged to tell the Georgians to back off.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:06 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Quote :
It will probably become a guerrilla war unless the UN acts, forces Russia to withdraw and sends forces to South Ossetia.

The Georgians just launched an attack on the UN mandated Russian Peace Keeping force in South Ossetia. The UN would seem obliged to tell the Georgians to back off.

The Georgians launched an attack on the South Ossetians, the peace keeping force were caught in the crossfire. The peacekeeping force, which seems to have been supplying the south ossetians with weapons, began firing back and did not take long before they were reinforced by tanks. Think of the distance through the mountain ranges between south ossetia and Russia, the speed of tanks, and the time between when Georgia began its assault and when Russia reinforced its peacekeepers. This was a planned response that would have happened if a peace keeping force was attacked or not.

Do not paint the secessionist government as rosey. Eduard Kokoity is an extremely murky character. He capitalised on the tribal divide in South Ossetia to ascend to power. Most of the revenues of his government come from South Ossetia being the main canal for the drugs and arms trade in and out of Russia, and his government is only elected by ethnic South Ossetians and excludes the ethnic Georgians in the voting process, who make up 30-40% of the South Ossetian population. One only has to look at his response to the opposition to show how much of a democrat he is.
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PostSubject: Re: A Shot Across Nato's Bows - Russian tanks enter Georgia - Georgians enter South Ossetia - all out war?   

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