Monday, August 11, 2008

France against US playing primary role in resolving Georgian-Ossetian conflict

Франция против того, чтобы США играли первую скрипку в грузино-осетинском урегулировании

The US is not suited to the role of lead mediator in resolving the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. The statement was made by French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner.

In Kouchner's opinion, the United States is actually part of the conflict, as it is present in Georgia and is equipping its armies, reports Channel 1.

As IA Regnum reported earlier, Bernard Kouchner and Alexander Stubb, head of Finland's MFA and acting chairman of the OSCE, arrived in Tbilisi on August 11th where they held talks with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. On August 12th, European diplomats will hold talks in Moscow with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov. Also on August 12th, French President Nicolas Sarkozy will arrive in the Russian capital for talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Sarkozy intends to propose his own plan for resolving the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, which is presumed to include a ceasefire and the return to pre-August 6th positions.

However, IA Regnum's sources in diplomatic circles are saying that the French plan is not likely to be met with Russian support: Moscow has its own plan which it intends to propose to Tbilisi.

IA Regnum

Political scientist: Success in South Ossetia for Saakashvili would inspire Moldovan radicals to recreate the same situation in Transnistria

Политолог: Успех Саакашвили в Южной Осетии воодушевил бы молдавских радикалов на реализацию данного сценария в Приднестровье

[This is an excellent article which may cast light on Russia's actions; most of the article is devoted to Georgia and not Moldova as the title seems to suggest]

“The Nazi-like activities of Georgia in South Ossetia, which are making even the most extremely liberal and western sponsors of Tbilisi shudder, came about because the US inspired a feeling of utter impunity in Saakashvili,” stated Vladimir Bukarskiy, head of the department for Moldova and Transnistria of the Association of Orthodox political scientists of Russia, commenting in an interview with an IA Regnum correspondent about the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia.

“The Georgian president was certain in his “untouchability” to such a degree that during the course of the last several years, he has systematically humiliated Russia and laughed in the face of the Russian president.” Vladimir Bukarskiy continues, “So far, punishment has escaped him, however, he can’t outrun his fate. The terror, in the spirit of Pol Pot, of shooting women, children and the elderly in Tskhinvali, was the last straw which forced the Russian leadership to act decisively and adequately. Now any talk about a peaceful resolution to the Georgian-Ossetian conflict is out of the question. Georgia has lost South Ossetia for good. From now on, the city “Tskhinvali” [the Georgian spelling] no longer exists—it was destroyed and covered in blood by the Georgian butchers. Now there is only “Tskhinval”—capital of the free and independent Republic of South Ossetia.”

According to this expert, it’s Russia’s turn “to demonstrate to the whole world that it can no longer 'sit on the sidelines,' that it has its own interests, that from now on it will take responsibility for its own citizens, wherever they may be.” “If Russia were to back off, it would lose not only the North Caucasus, but all of its autonomy. The clock would be turned back to the 90s, when the word “Russia” brought to mind irony or contempt. These times have passed. Moreover, the most recent war in South Ossetia, which was inspired and generously financed by Washington and Brussels, was designed to test Medvedev, to see how weak he is. Just like they test the new guy in a prison cell or in the barracks. To the displeasure of the West and Georgia, Dmitriy Medvedev has endured the test with dignity. Now Russia has full moral reason to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” emphasized Bukarskiy.

Speaking about Kishinev’s position on South Ossetia, he noted that Moldovan radicals are impatiently waiting for Saakashvili’s full and final control over South Ossetia. “It has momentarily raised the stakes of anti-Russian powers in Moldova. They were squealing in delight and rubbing their hands together in anticipation—nothing would stop them from a triumphant procession to power in 2009, the utter crushing defeat of the pro-Russian powers, and the subsequent attempts to bring about a similar result [i.e. retaking S. Ossetia] in Transnistria. But these powers have been taught a lesson: Russians don’t desert their own in war, and no one will permit a repeat of the 1992 Transnistria events. It’s time for Russia to demonstrate to the officials in Kishinev that, as before, Russia is “in the game,” and as before, Russia will have to be taken into consideration,” concluded Vladimir Bukarskiy.

IA Regnum

Georgia acknowledges genocide of Ossetians

Грузия признает геноцид осетин

IA Regnum’s chief editors for the Caucasus and the Federation continue to receive unprecedented numbers of reports from people who became victims of the war in South Ossetia. The majority of reports handed in concern the events which took place in Tskhinvali from August 7th through 10th. Shocking stories have emerged from eyewitnesses and those who participated in the Ossetian struggle for the right to live on their own land, of what the Georgian armed forces did during the period of their control over the city and dozens of villages in South Ossetia. According to the policies of this news agency, these stories cannot be published in detail, even though the agency has already released a number of articles covering the Ossetian genocide with reference to eyewitnesses. Many of them do not want to reveal their names, as they are afraid of reprisals.

The tragic events in South Ossetia were notably mentioned by Temur Iakobashvili, Georgian State Minister for Reintegration, during his address to the Abkhazian people in which he warned them not to get mixed up in the war. Here are his very words: “…The situation in South Ossetia should serve as an example, as many lives have been lost there, and you wouldn’t want to see your own young people die.” The full statement can be read in an August 10th IA Regnum news release. Thus, Iakobashvili, who suddenly now finds himself occupied with the task of resolving the territorial and interethnic conflicts in Georgia, directly acknowledges the annihilation of one young people—Ossetian—and is warning another young people—Abkhazian—that the same fate may be dealt to them.

IA Regnum

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: We can't decide for the Georgian people

МИД РФ: Мы не можем решать за грузинский народ

The fate of Saakashvili lies in the hands of the Georgian people. The comment was made by Boris Malakhov, deputy official spokesman for the Russian MFA, at a press conference in Moscow on August 11, reports an IA Regnum correspondent.

"Those who are guilty of what has happened should bear the responsibility. We can't decide for the Georgian people, as the fate of Saakashvili lies in the hands of his people and in his own hands. I'd like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the disinformation alleging that the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs in a conversation with the US Secretary of State supplied conditions according to which Saakashvili should resign and further alleging that the US representative to the UN even agreed that Russia talked about a "regime change"--I wish to remind that "regime change" is not our terminology. I see more of an "American accent" in it," said Malaxov.

"Our problem here is to resolve the situation and to return it to a normal course, and then we'll let the Georgian people themselves sort out their leaders, whom they will choose," said the spokesman for the MFA.

He also cited the most recent numbers on civilian casualties, which according to him, number 1600 dead.

IA Regnum

Tbilisi reportinig that Abkhazian and Russian forces have taken Zugdidi

В Тбилиси заявляют, что абхазские и российские войска заняли Зугдиди

[You should read this news report in the context of this previous translation.]

The Abkhazian army with the support of Russian peacekeepers and reinforcements from the Russian Airborne Troops have taken the village of Khurcha in the Zugdidi region [Georgian territory], reports Shota Utiashvili, chief departmental analyst at the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, at a news briefing. "Russian forces have also penetrated all of the policed districts of Zugdidi and the 12 kilometer security zone, and now they completely control the situation," he said. The Georgians say that the situation is calm in the conflict zone.

Abkhazia has already categorically denied this information, stated Ruslan Kishmariya, presidential envoy of Abkhazia to the Gali district, to an IA Regnum correspondent.

IA Regnum

11 Aug, 2008 [Tskhinvali soldier's blog]

Here's the latest post from rupor-naroda's livejournal page. He has also posted some photos of Tskhinvali. Again, some details are graphic.

August 11, 2008 10:00 am

This morning the city was subjected to shelling. Now there's shooting in the southern part of the republic.

The Georgians can't accept their own defeat. They are bad people; in one village, they caught a mother and her daughter, cut off their heads, and then mocked their corpses! We'll soon find out what else they've made mockeries of.

May they rest in peace...