02 September, 2008

Dependent--er, Independent--er, Annexed South Ossetia

Russian president Medvedev has finally decided what his military strategy will be in Georgia: whatever it is his military has been doing for the past month. To wit:

  • First Medvedev declares his intent is merely to arrest a genocide, respond to Georgian provocations that include killing Russian civilians, and eject the Georgians from South Ossetia; this will force them to understand that only a political solution is permissible.
  • Next, Medvedev declares a political solution off the table as long as Saakashvili is in control. However, the Russian military aims only to drive Georgian agressors out of South Ossetia; they aren't attacking Georgia. Never mind those bombs falling on the Georgian cities of Gori, Poti, and Zugdidi.
  • Next, Medvedev agrees to a ceasefire brokered by the French (who else?). Medvedev publicly declares that the Russians are withdrawing to honor the ceasefire, but the ceasefire contains a rather large loophole that allows Russian troops instead to advance into Georgia and set about destroying infrastructure, including a railroad bridge that carries an enormous amount of freight from Armenia and Azerbaijan to the Black Sea.
  • Okay, Medvedev says, now we're really withdrawing, because we've accomplished our objectives and heroically stopped a genocide, but you can forget a political solution at all because the territorial integrity of Georgia is out of the question.
  • The Russian military finally withdraws somewhat, about a week after Medvedev's second or third claim (maybe more; I lost count) that Russian is now honoring the ceasefire and withdrawing to the border. Even this notion of compliance comes with fine print: Russia fulfills the agreement of the ceasefire by unilaterally redrawing the borders between Georgia, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia.
    "The new border is there," said a Russian colonel named Anatoly, who declined to give his last name, pointing down the road to Mosabruni, which before the war was in undisputed Georgian territory. "On this side is South Ossetia. On the other side is Georgia. We will not go any further. And they cannot come any further."
  • As for that genocide? Ummmm… Never mind. Medvedev is still a month behind, however, and continues to tell his nation that the Georgian government was engaged in a genocide of epic proportions, and their military has heroically stopped them, defended the lives of Russian citizens, etc.
Now we have this news from last week.
Russia will absorb South Ossetia "in several years" or earlier, a position that was "firmly stated by both leaders," [South Ossetian Parliamentary speaker] Znaur Gassiyev said. …"We will live in one united Russian state," [his deputy] said.
In another article I read that the South Ossetians wanted to unite with the North Ossetians in a Russian republic named Alania. The Russians are denying this publicly of course, but since it takes Medvedev an entire month to admit anything, wait a while and see.

In completelu unrelated news, a dissident journalist in the Russian province of Ingushetia (near Georgia, the Ossetias, Chechnya, etc.) was shot through the head last week after police took him into custody? He didn't even make it to the police station. The explanation given was that once in the police car, he tried to grab a police officer's gun.

1 comment:

Clemens said...

Aha! The Alans. I am going to write up the little history of the Samratians who become Alans who become Ossetian (at least the ones who didn't become Mongols, Bretons, and King Arther) right now.

BTW, was it my imagination or did Putin's lips move?