Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tskhinvali blog: "Russia recognized us! And next..."

Нас признала Россия! а что дальше...

The following is a translation of rupor_naroda's most recent livejournal blog post. He appears to be in favor of Russian annexation of South Ossetia. I translated his earlier posts written during the invasion of Tskhinvali earlier this month. They can be found here.

"To be honest, no one believed that they would recognize us. I thought the soonest this could happen would be after 2-3 years. Medvedev has demonstrated will and steadfastness. At last Russia became more decisive. This should have happened a long time ago. From now on, a new chapter begins in the history of Russia and Ossetia. I think the next to recognize South Ossetia will be Belarus, and as a result we will enter into the alliance of Belarus-Russia-South Ossetia. The phase of collecting Russian soil is beginning! Medvedev and Putin--collectors of Russian soil!"

South Ossetia asks Russia to establish military bases on its territory

Южная Осетия просит Россию разместить на своей территории военные базы

South Ossetia will ask Russia to establish a military base on its territory, stated South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity at a press conference at the international press-center "Tskhinvali-2008" in the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali.

As an IA Regnum correspondent reports, the president noted that as of now, only Russian peacekeepers and their reinforcements are located on South Ossetian territory. "As for a Russian base, I want to say that I, as president of the recognized government of the Republic of South Ossetia, will request the leadership of the Russian Federation to establish its own military bases on South Ossetian territory," stated Kokoity.

Lavrov: "Moral admonitions from Western colleagues cause of bewilderment"

Лавров: "Нравоучения западных коллег вызывают недоумение"

"Moral admonitions from Western colleagues regarding Russia's position on South Ossetia and Abkhazia are a cause of bewilderment," stated head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov to journalists on August 27. The head of the foreign policy department of the Russian Federation thus made it clear that Moscow was open to dialogue with the West.

Speaking about some of the statements coming from Western governments concerning Russia's recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Lavrov stated that "they are not factual and fail to address the issue from which all of this began." "They completely ignore the reality that we lost thousands of innocent civilians and peacekeepers who were operating with the support of the OSCE," emphasized Lavrov.

Shevardnadze: Russia rescued Saakashvili

Шеварднадзе: Россия спасла Саакашвили

By its latest actions, Russia has boosted the ratings of President Mikhail Saakashvili and rescued him from the fallout of the egregious mistake, for which he is responsible, of beginning "unprepared military actions against so-called South Ossetia," stated ex-president of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze on August 27 at a press conference in Tbilisi.

According to Shevardnadze, the categorical statements of the Russian leadership addressed to Saakashvili have boosted his ratings in Georgia "by ten fold," as the nature of a Georgian does not tolerate meddling in his affairs. "By recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia actually rescued Saakashvili from the fallout in Georgia itself of the egregious mistake he made of beginning military actions against so-called South Ossetia." In the opinion of the ex-president, as a result of this new turn of events, the US and Russia are not ready for a change of leadership in Georgia as they are now too busy resolving much more important issues.

First President of Abkhazia congratulates Abkhaz people on recognition of independence

Первый президент Абхазии поздравил народ с днем признания Независимости

The first president of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba congratulated the people of Abkhazia on their recognition of independence. Here is his full statement of congratulations:

"My dear compatriots! The day August 26, 2008 will forever be remembered in the history of our country as a major milestone marking this truly epoch-making event--the recognition of the independence of the Republic of Abkhazia. In order to realize a century of expectations and hopes that our people might one day know free existence and development, we had to endure the distressful and thorny road of national-liberation struggle. The burden of this heavy ordeal has been carried on the shoulders of many generations for the sake of freedom and independence. Many true patriots of our homeland have sacrificed their lives for this sacred struggle. During 1992 and 1993, when the Georgian aggressors tried to destroy our statehood, hundreds, thousands of worthy sons of the Abkhaz people stood up to defend our Fatherland. And in this struggle we were aided by many volunteers from our sister republics in the North Caucasus. The South of Russia, our foreign compatriots. The domestic war of the Abkhaz people ended with the exile of the Georgian occupiers from the territory of our republic. We admire the memory of everyone who put their lives before the altar of victory!

Today, the multinational people of Abkhazia celebrate one more great victory. We are inspired by the courageous and wise decision made by the political leadership of Russia. The declaration of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Anatolevich Medvedev recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia is in full accordance with international laws and norms. I am confident that soon we will hear of similar decisions from a number of other states. From the bottom of my heart I congratulate the people of Abkhazia and our brothers in South Ossetia, who endured all the horrors of Georgian aggression, on this long-awaited victory. Abkhazians and Ossetians are ancient indigenous ethnic groups of the Caucasus whose history and culture go back a long ways. Their right to sovereignty and political self-determination is supported by the centuries-old tradition of statehood. I warmly congratulate the peoples of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia on the recognition of independence! I pray for peace and prosperity for our states. Peace, stability, and well-being for the entire Caucasus and Russian Federation!

Kokoity: "Not all Georgians infected with nationalism and fascism"

Кокойты: "Не весь грузинский народ заражен национализмом и фашизмом"

The recognition of the independence of South Ossetia has been supported by many ordinary and sound-minded Georgians in Georgia itself and in Russia. The statement was made by South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity at a press conference in the international press center "Tskhinvali - 2008." As an IA Regnum correspondent reports, Kokoity made it clear that his speech was not about the Georgian authorities.

"Georgia's reaction absolutely does not interest me; the reaction of the Georgian people interests me. After the President of Russia signed the decree recognizing the Republic of South Ossetia, many Georgians from Georgia and Russia called me with words of thanks and congratulations. This speaks to the truth that not all Georgians are infected with nationalism and fascism, not all Georgians support the irresponsible politics which the Georgian leadership has been conducting, which could drag the international community and the US into a very serious stalemate if they don't change their present course," said the president. He expressed his condolences for the families and those close to the soldiers and officers "who carried out the orders of the criminal leadership of Georgia and were killed here in street battles in Tskhinvali." "The Georgian leadership is responsible, as are those who support Georgia, who armed Georgia, and who trained these soldiers to kill. Georgia should realize its tragic mistakes, for the sake of its own people and for its own sovereignty," noted Kokoity.

Russian General Staff: Georgia once again violates South Ossetian air space

Генштаб: Грузинская сторона снова нарушила воздушное пространство Южной Осетии

The Russian Ministry of Defense is accusing Georgia of violating South Ossetian air space. As Anatoly Nogovitsyn, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, said in a press conference, on August 26, peacekeepers stationed in the conflict zone observed an unmanned Georgian drone, reports an IA Regnum correspondent. The aircraft remained within the area which is under Russian responsibility for around 30 minutes. Nogovitsyn explained that the drone entered the territory of South Ossetia from the south and headed northwards.

This path precisely follows the route of peacekeeping forces, said the deputy chief of the General Staff. In Nogovitsyn's words, Tbilisi's latest actions demonstrate that Georgia does not intend to exclude the possibility of future aggression. Russia, on the other hand, is fulfilling its obligations and continues to withdraw its divisions from the region to their places of permanent deployment in the Russian Federation.

Russian General Staff: Russian Black Sea Fleet tracking NATO ships

Генштаб: Корабли Черноморского флота РФ приступили к слежению за действиями натовских кораблей в Черном море

Naval vessels of the Russian Black Sea Fleet continue to carry out the task of securing Abkhazia's coast. The statement was made at a Moscow press conference by Anatoly Nogovitsyn, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, reports an IA Regnum correspondent.

According to Nogovitsyn, as a result of the recent increase of NATO member country vessels in the Black Sea, the Russian fleet has begun to track the movements of these ships.

Nogovitsyn reminded journalists that in 1936, a convention [i.e. the Montreux Convention] was established concerning the status of the Black Sea. This document defines the number of naval vessels and duration of their stay for countries who do not have territory bordering the Black Sea. According to this convention, NATO can no longer continue to increase its fleet on the Black Sea. The maximum tonnage of these ships is not to exceed 45 thousand tons. The maximum duration of stay in the Black Sea is 21 days, after which a rotation must take place.

Georgia claims it doesn't have control over 31 villages in Didi and Patara Liakhvi Gorge

Грузия заявила, что не контролирует 31 село Большого и Малого Лиахвского ущелья

Georgian law enforcement agencies do not have control in 31 villages in Didi [Greater] and Patara [Lesser] Liakhvi Gorge, owing to the fact that residents cannot return to their own homes. This story is being carried in the Georgian media.

Refugees from the gorge are camped out in 50 tents set up in the center of Gori and in kindergartens. It is estimated that 5,000 people are living in the tent city; tomorrow, the International Red Cross will provide them with a cafateria. By evening, electricity will be provided.