More on Georgia and Russia…

Recently, one of our more erudite critics has engaged us in a debate on the Russian war with Georgia back in 2008. We at Monomakhos have endeavored to show that this was not a black-and-white situation but quite complicated. In addition, more information has come out in the interim regarding the behind-the-scenes machinations of war-hawks who never miss an opportunity to get Americans to spill their blood and expend their treasure for their own nefarious ends. In 2008, Sen John McCain was only the latest in a long line of dupes to have fallen for this ruse.

As usual, Pat Buchanan nails it.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Marco Rubio vs. Rand Paul

Source: | Patrick J. Buchanan

In August 2008, as the world’s leaders gathered in Beijing for the Olympic games, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, hot-headed and erratic, made his gamble for greatness.

It began with a stunning artillery barrage on Tskhinvali, capital of tiny South Ossetia, a province that had broken free of Tbilisi when Tbilisi broke free of Russia. As Ossetians and Russian peacekeepers fell under the Georgian guns, terrified Ossetians fled into Russia.

Saakashvili’s blitzkrieg appeared to have triumphed.

Until, that is, Russian armor, on Vladimir Putin’s orders, came thundering down the Roki Tunnel into Ossetia, sending Saakashvili’s army reeling. The Georgians were driven out of Ossetia and expelled from a second province that had broken free of Tbilisi: Abkhazia.

The Russians then proceeded to bomb Tbilisi, capture Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin, and bomb Georgian airfields rumored to be the forward bases for the Israelis in any pre-emptive strike on Iran.

The humiliation of Saakashvili was total, and brought an enraged and frustrated John McCain running to the microphones.

“Today, we’re all Georgians,” bawled McCain.

Well, not exactly.

President Bush called Putin’s response “disproportionate” and “brutal,” but did nothing. Small nations that sucker-punch big powers do not get to dictate when the fisticuffs stop.

What made this war of interest to Americans, however, was that Bush had long sought to bring Georgia into NATO. Only the resistance of Old Europe had prevented it.

And had Georgia been a member of NATO when Saakashvili began his war, U.S. Marines and Special Forces might have been on the way to the Caucasus to confront Russian troops in a part of the world where there is no vital U.S. interest and never has been any U.S. strategic interest whatsoever.

A U.S war with Russia — over Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia — would have been an act of national criminal insanity.

Days later, there came another startling discovery.

McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann had been paid $290,000 by the Saakashvili regime, from January 2007 to March 2008, to get Georgia into NATO, and thus acquire a priceless U.S. war guarantee to fight on Georgia’s side in any clash with Russia.

What makes this history relevant today?

Last week, Sen. Marco Rubio, rising star of the Republican right, on everyone’s short list for VP, called for a unanimous vote, without debate, on a resolution directing President Obama to accept Georgia’s plan for membership in NATO at the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago.

Rubio was pushing to have the U.S. Senate pressure Obama into fast-tracking Georgia into NATO, making Tbilisi an ally the United States would be obligated by treaty to go to war to defend.

Now it is impossible to believe a senator, not a year in office, dreamed this up himself. Some foreign agent of Scheunemann’s ilk had to have had a role in drafting it.

And for whose benefit is Rubio pushing to have his own countrymen committed to fight for a Georgia that, three years ago, started an unprovoked war with Russia? Who cooked up this scheme to involve Americans in future wars in the Caucasus that are none of our business?

The answer is unknown. What is known is the name of the senator who blocked it — Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, who alone stepped in and objected, defeating Rubio’s effort to get a unanimous vote.

The resolution was pulled. But these people will be back. They are indefatigable when it comes to finding ways to commit the blood of U.S. soldiers to their client regimes and ideological bedfellows.

Back in 2008, however, as Bush was confining himself to protesting the excesses of Russia’s response, his ex-U.N. ambassador was full of righteous rage and ready for military action.

In the London Telegraph, Aug. 15, 2008, John Bolton declared that Russia had conducted an “invasion,” that Georgia had been a “victim of aggression,” that America had “fiddled while Georgia burned,” that we had played the “paper tiger”when faced by the snarling Russian Bear.

As for the European Union, in bringing about a ceasefire, it had achieved results “approaching Neville Chamberlain’s moment in the spotlight at Munich.”

But did not Georgia launch the attack that started the war?

“This confrontation is not about who violated the Marquis of Queensbury’s rule in South Ossetia,” scoffed Bolton. Russia planned this “rape” because brave little Georgia refused to be “Finlandized.”

Restoring America’s credibility, said Bolton, now requires “drawing a clear line for Russia” in the Caucasus and elsewhere.

And who is John Bolton?

Newt Gingrich told two groups Wednesday he intends to name Bolton secretary of state.

With Newt appointing as America’s first diplomat an uber-hawk who makes Dick Cheney look like Gandhi, and Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team crawling with neocons primed for war with Iran, a vote for the GOP in 2012 looks more and more like a vote for war.

Like the Bourbons of old, the Republican Party seems to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


  1. I’m also beginning to think that our government’s left-over leaders from the Cold War are as concerned about +Kirill as they are about Putin

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Of course they are. He’s not pliable like the EP. Be on the lookout for more stories about his supposed “corruption.” If it’s anything the neo-cons can’t stand, it’s a vibrant Russia with a vibrant Church. One that can’t be made to feel guilty for the sins of the West.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        I read a report, a few days ago, about the new Russian missile-launching submarine, named “Alexandr Nevsky.” It has an Orthodox chapel, complete with icons, etc.

        In a small town in New Jersey, the Christmas banner hung by the Knights of Columbus is being challenged in court.

        We live in very different worlds.

        One Jewish commentator today—evidently exasperated by all this—said he wants to “put the Han back in Hanukkah.”

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Yes, I read about that as well. Meanwhile, the USAF Academy is busy building a chapel for the Wiccan and Pagan students. I suppose next we’ll have the USS Barney Frank, complete with a sensitivity-training room instead of a chapel.

  2. Wouldn’t Georgia’s strike be considered to be part of a “civil war”, since it took place inside the territorial borders of Georgia? Even if Georgia did strike first, there is no moral equivalence between the government of a country fighting within its borders to maintain a united country vs the invasion of a sovereign foreign country.

    Even if we grant Russia some slack for wanting to “defend” a territory within Georgia that has traditional ties to Russia, we should not forget that Russia did not take simply take a defensive stance. I remember the TV commentators at the time commenting how Russia showed exceptional agression that went way beyond defending South Ossetia.

    Every country has its characteristic sins. I’m not saying one country’s sins are greater than another, but when analyzing international affairs, it is instructive to consider each country’s attitudes and faults. It has been my observation that Russia’s characteristic sin, which is profoundly un-Orthodox, is the notion that “might makes right.” The idea that power should be exercised absolutely, and the question is never what is true or what is right (little things like liberty, national sovereignty, and human rights), but rather who is powerful enough to get their way. One comment by Mr Buchanan seems to play into this mentality: “Small nations that sucker-punch big powers do not get to dictate when the fisticuffs stop.” I find that comment disturbing, especially since Georgia did not puch anyone on Russian soil. They only punched a hostile force on their own soil. If Russia wants to claim the high ground in South Osettia, they have to admit the low ground in Chechnya. You can’t have it both ways, unless of course your definition of truth is whether you have the power to do whatever you want to do, and only then can they claim to have the high ground in both Chechnya and South Ossetia.

    Regarding the US defending its allies, I fully understand wanting to withdraw into an isolationist stance. After all, we have been embroiled in two ill-conceived wars for the past decade. However, one of the things that actualy made the 19th century one of the most peaceful in history (at least the period after WWII) is the fact that little could be done to infringe on any given country’s borders without incurring the wrath of one of the two superpowers. Being willing to defend countries against foreign aggression is a noble thing. In personal morality, we do not consider someone virtuous becuase they allow a bully to beat up a helpless and weak person who does not offer us any strategic interest. Rather, virtue requires the defense of the “small” and “weak.” In the context of countries, that would mean defending a country’s territorial integrity against agressors, and it would mean preventing genocide within countries.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Ken, you bring up excellent points. It’s very possible that Russia’s response may have been disproportionate and that it was meddling in the affairs of Georgia regarding the breakaway provinces of Ossetia and Abkhazia. But isn’t that what NATO did in Kosovo? And if we accept the notion that nations can act egregiously within their borders against rebellious peoples and/or provinces, doesn’t this give the lie to the idea that we had to go into Iraq to save the Kurds? What about the humanitarian crises of Darfur, Somalia, Rwanda, etc? Are sovereign nations allowed to go in to another sovereign land and stop genocide and ethnic cleansing?

      I’ll be honest in that I haven’t resolved this issue myself completely (and that’s one of the reasons I’m becoming a hyper-non-interventionist) but by what right do we criticize Russia for coming to the aid of Ossetians in Georgia while we did the same for Albanians in Kosovo? I mean, why aren’t we exercized about the continued partition of Cyprus? Why is the Patriarchate of Constantinople resolutely silent about that? Or the fact that the Kurds are the largest ethnic group on earth without their own homeland?

  3. Francis Frost says

    Dear Mr Michalopulos:

    The fact that you use a supposed Orthodox Christian web-site to provide political cover for acts of naked aggression against unarmed civilians is despicable.

    Once again you demonstrate a studied ignorance for the facts. Fortunately we have multiple credible independent Russian sources to counteract your pro-Kremlin propaganda. Those of your readers who understand the Russian language should watch the Russian documentary by filmmaker Andrei Nekrassov, which documents the lies and fabrications used by the Kremlin to justify its attack on Georgia and its murder of innocent civilians. The entire film in Russian is available on YouTube in 12 segments, at least one of which has English sub-titles. The entire film was at one time available from Netflix with English sub-titles. Further information refuting the Russian government’s claims are made in the elegantly documented article by Moscow Times correspondent and author Yulia Latynina, which is attached below the Wall Street article by Svante Cornell. You may also want to read the following article: Medvedyev Get Caught Telling the Truth”.

    Again, I apologize for taxing your reader’s attention span; but deliberate lies used to justify acts of violence against civilians must not go unanswered.

    There is a God in Heaven who cannot be swayed by lies and propaganda. That same God has promised to return to judge those who massacre innocent civilians and destroy the sanctuary and the very altar of the Living God. On that Day, those who lie to provide cover for the murderers of Christians will also be convicted as accomplices after the fact and must share the eternal shame of those murderers of Christ.

    “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart, you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each one according to his deeds, eternal life for those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor and immortality: but to those who are self seeking, and do not obey the truth; but obey unrighteousness – indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil…” Romans 2:5

    “As you did it to the least of these My brethren, so you did it to Me” Matthew 25

    “Medvedev Gets Caught Telling the Truth” About Russian Invasion of Georgia

    DECEMBER 06, 2011

    By Michael Rubin

    In August 2008, Russian forces invaded Georgia. Sen. John McCain reacted strongly, but then-Sen. Barack Obama’s reaction was limp-wristed at best until Michael McFaul, perhaps Obama’s most able adviser and certainly the shining star of Obama’s National Security Council, shored it up.

    Nevertheless, the atmosphere among the American media was poisonous. Obama was promising to embrace all enemies, and Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry were repeatedly thumbing their nose at the Bush administration (and Lebanon) by sitting down to engage with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. When Russia invaded Georgia, the blame-the-victim mentality was rife, with even The New York Times suggesting that tiny, democratic Georgia was responsible for provoking Russia. European fact-finders went so far as toblame George W. Bush for provoking Russia by celebrating Georgia’s democracy, and its efforts to promote freedom and liberty.

    In November, however, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in a rare moment of honesty, revealed the real reason why Russia invaded tiny Georgia. According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, from which I’ve borrowed the title of this post, Medvedev suggested to officers in Vladikavkaz, that Russia’s goal was not countering Georgia “aggression” or “genocide” but rather was to prevent Georgia from joining NATO:

    “Today I already spoke with the army officers and I will tell it to you too, that it was of course a very difficult page in our recent history, but, unfortunately, it was absolutely necessary [decision]. And the fact that Russia’s actions at the time were so tough has eventually secured a situation for us, which, despite of all the difficulties, is now quieter than it was.”

    “We have simply calmed some of our neighbors down by showing them that they should behave correctly in respect of Russia and in respect of neighboring small states. And for some of our partners, including for the North Atlantic Alliance, it was a signal that before taking a decision about expansion of the Alliance, one should at first think about the geopolitical stability. I deem these [issues] to be the major lessons of those developments in 2008.”

    The United States should stick by its allies, no matter how tiny, and stand for the principles of liberty and democracy. Sacrificing Georgia to satiate Russia’s desire for overwhelming influence in any area its considers its near abroad is not in the United States interest. Given how many commentators and diplomats were willing to throw tiny Georgia under the bus, perhaps it’s time for some real reflection in Washington, given Medvedev’s candor.


    OCT 1, 2009
    WSJ: Europe Exposes Russia’s Guilt in Georgia

    In an invasion, when can a spade be called a spade?


    This week’s much-anticipated European Union-commissioned report into the causes of the Russian-Georgian war of August 2008 predictably spread the blame for the conflict around. While Georgia was also censured, the text is devastating to Russia’s narrative of the conflict.

    Assisted by a small army of experts, Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini has spent close to a year investigating the origins of the war that initially shocked Europe but then was relatively quickly forgotten in the midst of the global economic crisis that succeeded it. As expected, both sides have claimed that the 40-page report—with a thousand pages of appendices—vindicates their version of events. Yet anyone who bothers to read the document will find that the Tagliavini Commission apportions the overwhelming part of the responsibility for the conflict on Moscow. In fact, it rejects practically every item in Russia’s version of what supposedly happened last year.

    The press has so far focused on the commission’s conclusion that Georgia started the war. That should, however, not be confused with the question of responsibility: Firing the first shot does not necessarily mean being the aggressor. The report acknowledges this, concluding that, “there is no way to assign overall responsibility for the conflict to one side alone.” The report details the extended series of Russian provocations, accelerating in the spring of 2008, that precipitated the war.

    The report faults Georgia for lacking a legal basis for its attack on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, and for the use of indiscriminate force there. But on the crucial Georgian claim that it was responding to a Russian invasion, the report equivocates: The mission is “not in a position” to consider the Georgian claims “sufficiently substantiated.” This is an exercise in semantics, since the next sentences acknowledge that Russia provided military training and equipment to the rebels, and that “volunteers and mercenaries” entered Georgian territory from Russia before the Georgian attack. One is left wondering what would be necessary for a spade to be called a spade.

    But the report is far more devastating in its dismissal of Russia’s justification for its invasion—in fact surprisingly so for an EU product. As will be recalled, Russia variously claimed it was protecting its citizens; engaging in a humanitarian intervention; responding to a Georgian “genocide” of Ossetians; or responding to an attack on its peacekeepers. The EU report finds that because Russia’s distribution of passports to Abkhazians and Ossetians in the years prior to the war was illegal, its rationale of rescuing its “citizens” is invalid as they were not legally Russian. It also concludes that Moscow’s claim of humanitarian intervention cannot be recognized “at all,” in particular given the Kremlin’s past opposition to the entire concept of humanitarian intervention.

    The list goes on. The report finds Russian allegations of genocide founded in neither law nor evidence. In other words, they’re not true. And whereas the report does acknowledge a Russian right to protect its peacekeepers, it finds that Moscow’s response “cannot be regarded as even remotely commensurate with the threat to Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia.” On the other hand, it faults Russia for failing to intervene against the ethnic cleansing of Georgians from South Ossetia and Abkhazia that took place during and after the war. Finally, it castigates Russia’s recognition of the independence of the two breakaway territories as illegal, and as a dangerous erosion of the principles of international law.

    In sum, the official EU inquiry found that none of Russia’s various justifications for its invasion of Georgia hold water, and also faults Russia’s behavior following the conflict, as Moscow continues to be in material breach of the EU-negotiated cease-fire agreement. While the report will be of great use to historians, its main implications should concern the present, because just as the war did not begin in August 2008, the conflict between Russia and Georgia is not over. While the war’s military phase only lasted a few weeks, it continues in the diplomatic, political, and economic realms. Russia successfully evicted the international community from the conflict zones and expanded its military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, building large bases there. Its economic warfare against Georgia continues, as does its efforts at subversion inside the country. Most importantly, Russia’s stated objective of regime change and the effective termination of Georgia’s sovereignty goes on.

    This conflict continues to destabilize a part of Europe to which the West has so far not paid sufficient attention. The EU, now engaged also on the ground in Georgia, must go beyond reluctantly accepting, as it has, that this conflict is a European problem. It needs to overcome its internal divisions and pursue a cohesive strategy toward Georgia—one that takes its basis in the country’s European identity and aspirations, as well as its right to sovereignty and security. As for the White House, it would ignore at its own peril one of the EU report’s final conclusions: “Notions such as privileged spheres of interest…are irreconcilable with international law. They are dangerous to international peace and stability. They should be rejected.”

    And doing so will take more than words and the scrapping of missile shields—it will take the type of serious engagement that neither the EU not the U.S. have so far been willing to pursue.

    Mr. Svante E. Cornell is research director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University-Sais and director of the Institute for Security and Development Policy, and co-editor of “The Guns of August 2008: Russia’s War in Georgia” (M.E. Sharpe, 2009).


    FEB 21, 2009
    Julia Latynina – Articles on August war (Translations)

    Julia Latinina is well-known Russian columnist and political commentator. Below are the abstracts from series of her articles about Russo-Georgian war of August of 2008, published in November of the same year.

    If a lie is told aggressively and repeatedly, it will still leave a mark in people’s mind, no matter how absurd it is, – even after the truth is revealed.


    Russo-Georgian War: 200 kilometers of Russian tanks

    Video record

    Russian TV news “Vesti” website features a video record made from a mobile phone by one of the Georgian tank drivers in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia, with the following headline: “Georgians were video-recording their crimes”.

    Given the accusations that Georgian tanks were running over squabbling babies, while Georgian soldiers were shooting the elderly and raping women in South Ossetia, you would expect to see a documentary evidence of these crimes.

    Yet, this video record shows the town of Tskhinvali intact at the time when Georgian tanks were crossing it with no visible signs of resistance.

    Let’s assume, for a second, that audio track with the sounds of machine guns and swearing in Georgian are genuine and were not “added” by creative TV news staff (similar to infamous case with fake “coughing” and some bodily noises added by Russian RTR TV channel to Fox News’ interview with an Ossetian girl, – to “prove” a pro-Georgian bias of US media in this conflict. GT). It is not really important whether such audio background was creatively “added” by Russian TV news Vesti.

    What is important in this video record is that Georgian tanks are crossing into town of Tskhinvali, which is intact, – no rubbles, and no signs of destruction. Green trees along the fences of small houses, – all standing undamaged. Multistory buildings intact, with only smashed window panes in one of them. And a single rising smoke that can be seen on the horizon. Only two or three shots are fired from machine gun off the armored vehicle from which this video record was made.

    “We saw the streets of Tskhinvali after Georgian tanks rampaged through them, firing at everything and everyone on their way. All houses and apartment buildings were razed to the ground. Even trees were burnt down”, says TV news channel Vesti.

    Right. As we can see from this video record, town of Tskhinvali is intact when merciless Georgian military is entering it, facing almost no resistance. Two days later, when Georgian fascists were pushed out of Tskhinvali, it was in ruins after artillery strikes and air bombardment.

    So, who destroyed the town of Tskhinvali?


    In the morning of 8th of August, Russian TV channels announced that fascist Georgia treacherously invaded a small nation of South Ossetia, and its main town of Tskhinvali had been razed to the ground by “Grad” missiles.

    Russian public also learnt that Georgian fighter jets attacked a humanitarian convoy bringing aid to Tskhinvali in the night of 7th to 8th of August. Russian TV news channel Vesti also told us that Georgian SU-25 warplane bombing Tskhinvali civilians was shot down by South Ossetian defenders, and that its pilot was “torn apart” by furious local residents.

    3 pm that very day, we learnt that Russia decided to help South Ossetia, and that columns of Russian tanks are moving toward Rocky tunnel (on the Russia’s border with Georgia, – GT). In two hours, we were told that Tskhinvali is liberated. For next two days, South Ossetian press office kept repeating that although Tskhinvali is freed from Georgians, the town is still under fire from nearby hills, while Georgian snipers are killing civilians in the streets.

    While official Russian television keeps telling us about crimes committed by Georgian monsters, more and more questions are raised, because, – just like in Orwell’s “1984” novel, – what was said just a day before does not tie to what is said today, and even preceding paragraph contradicts with the next.

    Let’s examine, e.g., this story about humanitarian convoy, attacked by Georgian fighter jets during the night of 7th to 8th of August. What idiot would send humanitarian aid by the road which was likely to be crowded by refugees and vehicles? And then again, why send humanitarian aid to South Ossetia if, according to South Ossetian authorities, an entire civilian population of South Ossetia was already evacuated three days earlier? And if this was a military convoy, – not a humanitarian one, – then would that mean it left Russia before this war even started?

    Maybe there was no such convoy? Maybe, Georgians were falsely accused of bombing it? No, there were witnesses who saw it. It was spotted in Java (town half way to Tskhinvali from Russo-Georgian border, GT) early morning, at 5 am, by Russian TV “Zvezda” reporter Naziullin. He described what he saw as “the column of Russian tanks and armored vehicles just passed near us”.

    Or, let’s take that Georgian warplane bombing Tskhinvali in the morning of 8th of August. Worth noting that Russian public at that time did not know that Russian air force was already bombing Georgian villages and town of Gori. We were only told about Georgian warplane that bombed Tskhinvali. However, any intelligent person would wonder why Georgians bombed Tskhinvali after it was already taken by them? Were they bombing their own tanks?

    It would be enough to show what’s left of that Georgian warplane, any documents proving the identity of Georgian pilot. None were available. And, by the way, the pilot who was shot down over Tskhinvali in the morning of 8th of August was buried in Russian town of Buddyonovsk…

    Mismatches mounted further. Russian reporters who were in Tskhinvali that night of 7th to 8th of August made it clear that Russian troops did not liberate Tskhinvali on 8th of August.

    Even worse, – Russian troops did not make it on 9th of August either. The Russian column that attempted to break through to Tskhinvali that day of 9th of August was led by the head of entire 58th Russian army, General Khrulyov himself. We know what happened to this column very well, as it was accompanied by TV Vesti crew, as well as by the newspaper reporters of Moskovsky Komsomolets (Vladimir Sokirko) and Komsomolskaya Pravda (Alexandre Kots).

    “Shot at point blank”, describes Vladimir Sokirko an annihilation of this column, “rocket-propelled grenade hit an armored vehicle at the front of the column, and column grinded to halt under torrent of fire. I saw machine gun pointed at me, from some six meters or so, and young girl in NATO uniform who was aiming it at me. She was about 25-year old, this Georgian girl, not very tall, rather attractive, one may say pretty. Uniform suited her well. This crossed my mind in a split of a second. I shouted “I am a reporter!” She lowered her machine gun, and that very instant was killed by machine gun volley that cut her in two”.

    TV news Vesti is announcing liberation of Tskhinvali, while head of 58th Russian army is sitting among corpses of his soldiers.

    “Entire battalion is destroyed” he roars, pounding the soil with his fists, “Why?! Why?! I told them!”

    Why am I describing all this in such detail?

    Because, as we can see, Georgians controlled Tskhinvali on 8th of August, and on 9th of August. So, who was shelling this town then, full of Georgian tanks? And what happened to another column which was believed to have taken Tskhinvali a day before, on 8th of August?

    “I will hang Saakashvili by his balls”, allegedly told Putin to Nikolas Sarkozy on 11th of August, when Russian tanks were already in Gori. “Bush hanged Saddam, why can’t I?”

    I am sorry, – what for? Because Saakashvili’s troops attacked the convoy of Russian tanks and armored vehicles that mysteriously emerged in the middle of South Ossetia even before Georgians took Tskhinvali? Because our troops could not take Tskhinvali during next two days, although they entered South Ossetia before Georgians? Because they were destroying Tskhinvali during these two days and were telling us all this time that it was Georgians who did it? Because the head of 58th Russian army that was sent by Kremlin to fight for Kokoyti’s regime (South Ossetian president, GT) is sitting on the burnt soil with his fists clenched?

    Well, on second thought, – yes. This is exactly the situation when you wish to see your enemy hung by his balls.


    Both sides lie, – heard I many times about Russia and Georgia in this war.

    Georgian deputy minister of interior, Ekaterine Zguladze, showed during one of the press conferences two thousand fake Russian passports appropriated by Georgians in Tskhinvali. These passports had names and photos, but were not signed by their assumed holders. I.e., these passports were for those people who left South Ossetia, and did not even know that local authorities issued Russian passports for them.

    In response, General Nogovitsin demonstrated a passport of an American instructor Michael Lee White, whose “presence on the battlefield alongside with Georgian special forces is an established fact”. Shortly after, it has been discovered that Michael Lee White is an English language teacher in Guangzhou, China, who lost his passport during Moscow-New York flight in 2005, and whose passport, thereof, was voided.

    Here is another lie, which is a key to this war. From the very beginning, all Russian TV channels accused Georgians of genocide.

    “Georgians and foreign mercenaries had an order to burn everything and to kill everyone who is young enough to produce offspring”, says the head of Ossetian information agency, Inal Plyev, “In one of the villages, Georgians locked up seven young Ossetian girls in one of the houses, and then fired at it from a tank”.

    “Our colleagues witnessed an entire family decapitated, month-and-a-half old babies burnt alive… Wounded people, including our peacekeepers, were finished off, some were burnt while they were still alive”, writes Russian army TV channel Zvezda reporter, Alguis Mikulskis.

    Another story: Mairbeg Tskhovrebov was trying to flee Tskhinvali in his car in the morning of 8th of August, with his son Aslan and his daughter Dina. At the corner of Isaac Street and Heroes street, his car was fired at by a Georgian tank. “Dina was still alive, when Georgian soldiers approached the car, pulled her and her father’s and little brother’s corpses, and decimated all three with machine guns. Then they piled their bodies and burnt them. All this was witnessed by residents of nearby apartment buildings, who were hiding in the basements. Trembling, fearful, they covered their kids’ mouths… They were afraid for their lives”, wrote Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper on 11th of August.

    Nevertheless, neither Human Right Watch organization, nor even the official South Ossetian unit in charge of collecting war crimes testimonies could produce any evidence of these crimes. Seven young Ossetian women slain in basement, decapitated families, peacekeepers burnt alive, – all disappeared without a trace.

    On the other hand, residents hiding in the basement of the nearby apartment block at the corner of Isaac street and Heroes street describe the death of Mairbeg Tskhovrebov and his two kids somewhat differently from the newspaper version: “There was a big explosion that morning next to the building where we were hiding”, testified Zhanna Tskhovrebova to the official South Ossetian unit in charge of collecting war crimes evidence, “the family that was trying to flee came under fire and was burnt alive”. (Who was bombing Tskhinvali at that time with Georgian troops in it? GT)

    What is even more peculiar, no single name of victims of Georgian genocide was published by the head of the prosecutor’s office Alexander Bastyrkin, who was in charge of investigating these crimes. He, nonetheless, miraculously brought back to life 1,866 people by announcing 134 civilian casualties (instead of 2,000 announced earlier by South Ossetian president Kokoyti).

    While the evidence of atrocities committed by Georgians was fabricated, ethnic cleansing of Georgian villages by South Ossetian militia is a fact. It is easy to prove it, – no need even to present its profuse evidence (including daily satellite images clearly showing destruction of Georgian villages after Georgian troops left South Ossetia, – GT). South Ossetian president Kokoyti said it himself: “We razed everything to the ground there”.

    And this is the key to this whole story. If Nazis tell you that Jews drink the blood of Christian children, while Jews are telling you about Buchenwald, the truth is NOT somewhere in between. The truth is that the story about Christian blood sucking Jews was used to justify Buchenwald.

    It was also the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when one of the puppet regimes (of South Ossetia, – GT) incapable of defending itself, was robbing, looting, and killing behind the lines of advancing Russian troops.

    Someone must have misled the Kremlin: great nations do not rise from their knees with a help of marauders (an expression of “Russia rising from its knees” has been increasingly popular in Russia in recent years, GT).

    Objectives of this war

    One of the strangest things that followed this war, was Kremlin’s irritation with any criticism about achieving its objectives in it. This is strange, as Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, by all accounts, suffered a crushing defeat, while Vladimir Putin was victorious. However, Kremlin’s reaction suggests the opposite. Why? To try to understand this, let’s take a look what kind of war it was, – how it started and how it was conducted.

    All-out war

    First thing that catches an eye is a massive scale of this war and its geography. Russian army deployed, at very minimum, 25 thousand troops (Georgian sources insist on up to 80 thousand), and 1,200 tanks. It took extensive railroad maintenance in Abkhazia earlier in May to be able to deploy some of them in Abkhazia. Georgia was attacked from two fronts: South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russian warplanes were also taking off from their airbases in Armenia (south from Georgia, – GT); Iskander missiles aiming oil pipeline and town of Gori were launched from Dagestan (north-east from Georgia, – GT).

    Secondly, it was a war dominated by air strikes and artillery barrages. Georgian shells and bombs inflicted substantial damage to Russian troops advancing through Trans-Caucasus highway, while Russian bombs and shells hammered Georgians in and around Tskhinvali and Gori. Russia’s victory was guaranteed simply because she had more bombs. Georgians tell us about over 200 Russian air raids, while a source within Russian military claims 413 air raids.

    Thirdly, the war was preceded by massive military build-up. Russia was building its military bases around Georgia for last several years before the war. We reinforced our base in Ochamchire, Abkhazia, and sent there paratroopers back in April of 2008. TV channel Zvezda rather imprudently showed another military base, in the middle of South Ossetia, in town of Java, on 11th of September (one month after the war, – GT), and called it a “shield against Georgian aggression”. As you will learn later in this article, on the night of 7th to 8th of August, Russian tanks and 135th and 693rd regiments of Russia’s 58th army were already in Java, South Ossetia.

    Third military base for some 10 thousand troops was built in Botlikha, Dagestan (north-east from Georgia, – GT). The road from Botlikha to Georgia (that president Putin ordered to repair) was not yet ready when this war started. The columns of tanks and armored vehicles traveled from Botlikha to Rocky tunnel (on the Georgian border with Russia, – GT) through Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia. On the way back, they stretched from Ingushetian town of Ekazhevo to Dagestani capital of Makhachkala, – some 200 kilometers of tanks. One of the bridges over Argun river collapsed after this column passed through it. It survived two Russo-Chechen wars, but could not withstand Russo-Georgian war.

    There is not much to say about the use of modern weaponry in this war. Russian Iskander missiles developed in 80s, still rare in Russian army, were used only twice, – aiming oil pipeline and hitting a central square in town of Gori, where humanitarian aid was being distributed (killing, among few others, Dutch reporter Stan Storimans). Praised for its precision, it missed both targets (unless Gori’s central square itself was a target, making it the first case of deliberate shooting of civil population with high-precision missiles).

    Abkhaz guerillas used radar station “Casta-2E2”, in addition to “Tochka-U” missiles that were fired at seaport of Poti, and warplanes that bombed Georgian positions in Upper Kodori valley (as we all know, guerrillas normally use missiles and warplanes).

    However, the most disturbing element of the preparations for this war was structured, methodical Russian propaganda that portrayed Georgia as America’s puppet, with its president Saakashvili as some lunatic dictator.

    In order to comprehend the depth of Georgia’s reforms, you have to see it with your own eyes. Georgia was always a synonym of corruption, laziness, organized crime and gray market. Today, it is a modern and rapidly growing economy with minimal taxation, minimal bureaucracy, with police that do not take bribes, with open and fair auctions that sell privatized real estate properties.

    Nevertheless, Georgia was still stereotyped in Russian media the same way the United Stated were stereotyped by Soviet propaganda in 70s, when Soviet public was told about lynching black population in America, and about decaying American government system that would soon collapse.

    Preparations for this war, – building Russian military bases around Georgia, Russian TV propaganda, and brainwashing Russian public, – were going on for several years. It is ludicrous to claim that it was a war to defend South Ossetians, – would be an equivalent of saying that WWII was a fight for the rights of Sudeten Germans.


    Georgian state, as European as it has become, still had one characteristic that was making it different from other European countries: abhorrent revanchism. Although by its economy, police, Georgia was European country, but come to territorial claims, it was still stuck with 11th century mindset.

    South Ossetia

    The situation in South Ossetia was escalating before this war, and there was enough violence from both sides. South Ossetian TV propaganda was promoting the view that it was all thanks to South Ossetian president Kokoyti that Georgians could not exterminate ethnic Ossetians. It is worth noting, however, that fascist Georgian regime, for some unknown reason, was trying to slaughter only those Ossetians who lived under president Kokoyti’s rule, but did not massacre Ossetians in any other part of Georgia (e.g., about 33 thousand Ossetians live in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi alone).

    The most astonishing thing in this whole story is that while building a modern army, threatening with it Abkhaz and South Ossetian separatists, scaring them away and pushing them into Moscow’s hands (who was methodically preparing for this war), Georgia was not getting ready for the war with Russia itself. “We are not going to fight Russians”, told me then-Georgia’s minister of Defense, Timur Kezerashvili, “it is impossible. Your air force can beat us with pots and pans, left alone bombs”.

    This was true (and, quite frankly, the precision of our bombing was not far from dropping pots and pans). Strategically, a strong air defense system could have prevented Georgia’s defeat.

    Maybe it was better not to build at all such an army that frightened separatists, but was helpless against indiscriminate Russian air bombardment and artillery strikes at city squares, irrespective of who and what was there.

    South Ossetia: minefields and movie theaters

    Before this war, Georgian government built restaurants, hotel, movie theater in the part of South Ossetian territory under its control, between Tskhinvali and town of Java, – all and all about 20 new social infrastructure objects.

    “I am surprised with what I see in Georgian villages in South Ossetia”, wrote Dmitry Stepashin from pro-Kremlin “Komsomolskaya Pravda” newspaper just before this war started, “movie theater made of steel and tinted glass, with dancing hall, brand new gas station, lovely looking pharmacy, hotel, sport field with synthetic cover, pool…” Unlike the rest of Georgia, which was experiencing rapid growth, these improvements in Kurta village (Georgian village near Tskhinvali, GT) represented a mere window dressing. However, even these limited-scale improvements offered the new possibilities for the local population. When new hospital opened in Kurta, Ossetian population of Tskhinvali, first time in 15 years, got a chance to undergo medical check-ups. South Ossetian president Kokoyti immediately closed the border with Kurta. He also announced that standards of living in South Ossetia were “higher than in the West”.

    Apart from building social infrastructure in Georgian-controlled enclave along the Trans-Caucasus highway between Tskhinvali and Java, this part of South Ossetian territory was heavily defended by Georgians. Even with complete air superiority and heavy artillery shelling, Russian troops could not get through it during the first two days of this war. Russian military officials casually mention this fact in private conversations, while Georgians deny having built such defenses, as, according to then-existing agreements, they did not have the right to have there tanks and heavy artillery systems. The fact that Georgians had this territory just north of Tskhinvali so heavily fortified, is crucial to understanding of what exactly happened on the night from 7th to 8th of August.

    I would also like to stress here that the regime which erects “buildings made of steel and tinted glass” (i.e., Georgia, – GT), is probably thinking not about invading, but more about discrediting its tiny quasi-totalitarian neighbor (i.e., South Ossetia, -GT). While regime which is not building anything (i.e., South Ossetian one, – GT), but is constantly telling about atrocities that are being committed by Georgian fascists, – such regime is not simply preparing for a war, – it clearly does not have any other choice, because, sooner or later, such regime would have to explain how come that Tskhinvali, heavily subsidized by Moscow, does not have even drinking water, left alone supermarkets, while just one kilometer down the road, on the other side of the closed border, begin “steel and tinted glass-made buildings”.

    South Ossetia: June – August

    “For you this war might have started on 8th of August, for us it was going on for years”, said Tsisana Tatishvili, a refugee from Tamarasheni village (a Georgian village north of Tskhinvali), “our kids got used to shooting, and were walking to school under fire”.

    Starting from 15th of June, the intensity of shooting in South Ossetia increased.

    Then, from 1st of August, heavy artillery shelling started. South Ossetian information bureau announces that Georgian snipers started killing civilians in Tskhinvali, with the photo that shows wounded man in military uniform.

    On 3rd-4th of August, South Ossetian president Kokoyti starts evacuating civilian population. On 6th of August “the last convoy with women and children left villages of South Ossetia”, according to Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. Worth noting that Georgians did not evacuate Georgian villages in and around South Ossetia. Georgian refugees started fleeing only after massive Russian bombardment of 8th of August that continued for several days.

    “We will retaliate”

    “We will strike back at Georgian towns, we have the means of retaliation”, declared South Ossetian president Kokoyti on 1st of August. South Ossetian army claimed to have 87 tanks, hundreds of armored vehicles, 23 “Grad” missile complexes, hundreds of rocket propelled grenade launchers, anti-aircraft missiles, etc.

    On per capita basis, South Ossetia seemed to be more militarized than North Korea! However, there was no sign of these weapons being used by South Ossetians in this war. “We only had machine guns”, they tell, “many of us dropped them and dressed as civilians, since there was no real chance of fighting”.

    So, who was to play the role of “South Ossetian army”, which was supposed to strike back at Georgian towns? Maybe, volunteers from Russia? But Tskhinvali residents that testified to the official South Ossetian unit in charge of collecting the evidence of Georgian genocide did not mention a single case of any volunteers fighting in Tskhinvali against Georgians.

    So, again, whose were all these tanks, missiles, and armored vehicles then?

    58th Russian army

    The answer is evident, if we know that 135th and 693rd regiments of 58th Russian army were already waiting in town of Java (in the middle of South Ossetia, – GT).

    On 12th of August, Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper published an article about 23-year old lieutenant Alexandre Popov, who was wounded near Tskhinvali. According to his mother, one week before the war started his son told her that they already are in the mountains from where they could oversee Tskhinvali.

    “Rumors about immanent war started circulating during the first days of August” told Private Alexandre Plotnikov of 693rd regiment of 58th Russian army in his interview to Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. “Nothing was announced officially, but we understood everything when 2 companies of our regiment were sent inside South Ossetia, near Tskhinvali. Later, on 8th of August, alarm went off for the rest of us at 3 am early morning”.

    “Permskiye Novosti” newspaper interviewed on 15th of August mother of another serviceman of the same 693rd regiment from town of Perm, Russia, who told her that they “were there from 7th of August, that is, our entire 58th army”. “Vecherny Saransk” newspaper (Saransk, Republic of Mordva, Russia) ascertains that Ukit Bikinyaev from Saransk serving in 135th regiment of 58th army was in Java, South Ossetia, on 7th of August. Some Vitaliy from Vyatka region “called on 6th of August to tell that they are on the move”. He called on 7th of August again, confirming that he was “heading toward mountains”.

    On 13th of August “Izvestia” newspaper published an article about Evgeniy Parfyonov from Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, who was serving in 22nd special brigade, and who was killed near Tskhinvali. “He called his parents a few days earlier to tell them they may have a problem reaching him on his mobile”.

    Many ethnic Ossetians served in 135th regiment too. “Everyone knew that our boys, who served in 135th regiment of Russian 58th army, were staying in Java”, admit Ossetians themselves.

    But when Georgians started shooting Tskhinvali late night 7th of August, South Ossetian president Kokoyti’s “retaliation” that was talked so much about all of the previous week, did not materialize. It was close to an “informational miracle” not to hear anything about volunteers, 87 tanks, 23 “Grad” missile complexes, about Ossetian forces who taken over Nuli heights near Georgian village just a day before. What we heard instead was a treacherous Georgian attack on unwary, peaceful Tskhinvali.

    This is a classic Orwell. The episode where main character of “1984” novel is watching crowd going wild after chocolate daily rations are increased up to 20 grams. “Very strange”, thinks he to himself, “wasn’t it just yesterday when the daily ration was 30 grams?”

    Obviously, the role of “retaliating guerillas” was meant to be played by 58th Russian army, whose vanguard was already in Java.

    “Kokoyti is out of control”

    August 3rd and 4th – tanks and armored vehicles arrive in Abkhazia by railroad. 4th and 5th of August – troops leave Botlikha military base and start moving toward Georgian border. This is all in addition to those troops who were engaged in military training in Caucasus, with some of them already in Java, South Ossetia.

    Easy to see that the goal was probably to have this pompous Georgian military machine crushed by South Ossetian and Abkhazian guerillas, attacking it from two fronts. We can also tentatively guess the date when this was planned to happen: 9th of August.

    First of all, this can be deduced based on the timing of movement of Russian troops into their positions. Only vanguard of 135th and 693rd regiments reached Java, while main forces of 58th Russian army were still at Georgian border on 6th of August, as confirmed by “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” correspondent, Marina Perevozkina.

    Second of all, 9th and 10th of August is weekend. UN and OSCE would only be able to react on Monday, 11th of August, and by that time, the only thing left for them to do would be expressing their condemnation of “fait accompli”.

    Thirdly, and, probably, most importantly, George Bush, Vladimir Putin and Mikheil Saakashvili were supposed to be attending the Olympics Games opening in Beijing on 9th of August. Vladimir Putin would have a pleasure of telling George Bush and Mikheil Saakashvili that “Kokoyti is completely out of control”.

    You would agree that it would be enormously pleasing to tell this news to president Saakashvili in person, to this American whore, this Washington DC puppet, this bastard who destroyed Georgia’s democratic system, who killed his own Prime Minister Zhvania, and extradited innocent Russian secret service officers accused of espionage. It would be a super cool, just like saying that he could not reach Attorney General the day Gusinky was arrested (Gusinky was one of Russian media magnates arrested in early years of Putin’s presidency. When asked if he knew about it, Putin replied that he could not reach Attorney General on his phone,- GT).

    7th of August

    No plan is ever perfect. Georgians do not sit and wait. They act.

    When Georgians saw that returning fire only escalates the situation in South Ossetia, they quickly changed their strategy. Georgian minister in charge of re-integration of separatist regions, Temur Jacobashvili visits Tskhinvali on 5th of August. South Ossetian president Kokoyti refuses to see him. Jacobashvili tries to meet him again on 7th of August, together with Russian ambassador in Georgia Yuri Popov, but Russian ambassador tells him that he cannot join him in Tskhinvali because of a flat tire problem with his car. Jacobashvili tells Popov to replace flat tire, but Popov tells him that his spare tire is also flat. Jacobashvili meets the head of Russian peacekeepers in Tskhinvali, General Kulakhmetov, who tells him that “Kokoyti is out of control”, and that he cannot find him and organize a meeting with him. Kulakhmetov asks not to shoot, and not to return fire, no matter what.

    Let’s re-cap. Who is seeking a cessation of hostilities? Georgians. Who is asking OSCE to intervene? Georgians. Who is an aggressor? Of course, Georgians, – entire 58th Russian army knows it! Its soldiers were given leaflets describing its potential enemy a month earlier, during military exercises in Caucasus.

    Georgian president agrees to Kulakhmetov’s request, and orders to stop fire. Russian ambassador in Georgia Popov still arrives in Tskhinvali later that day of 7th of August, and meets Kokoyti, – he is evidently successful in finding both, a spare tire, and the South Ossetian president. On the way back, Popov sees columns of Georgian tanks and trucks moving toward Tskhinvali. Let’s keep in mind that Georgian troops are advancing toward Tskhinvali in the evening of 7th of August, when Russian troops are already in South Ossetian town of Java.

    According to anonymous sources in Russian government, Popov calls Deputy Foreign minister Karasin (as Foreign minister Lavrov is on vacation). Karasin calls president Medvedyev, who then calls Prime Minister Putin himself.

    7th of August, 23.00 pm. Georgian village Tamarasheni, located on Trans-Caucasus highway, near Tskhinvali, comes under heavy artillery fire from Ossetian towns of Tskhinvali (from the South) and Java (from the North). It is shelled from major caliber cannons (152 mm), never used in South Ossetian conflict before.

    “We were sitting in Georgian president’s office”, tells us Temur Jacobashvili, “when Tamarasheni news first came”. President replied, “Do not return fire”. A few minutes later – another phone call, and Saakashvili’s face turns pale: “150 Russian tanks are moving toward Rocky tunnel”.

    Was this phone call before Georgians started shelling Tskhinvali, or after? Based on intercepted communication from Ossetian border patrol, Russian tanks crossed into Georgia about 3.40 am on 8th of August, hence, the timing of a phone call to Saakashvili about Russian tanks starting their move toward Rocky tunnel is about right.

    What does it mean?

    1. Georgian president Saakashvili made his decision instantaneously, all by himself, and contrary to Americans’ advice “not to respond to provocations”.
    2. He did not fully realize a significance of the fact that vanguard of 135th and 693rd regiments of Russian 58th army was already in Java, – otherwise, his reaction to the news about 150 Russian tanks advancing toward Rocky tunnel on Georgian border would not be so dramatic.
    3. Russian artillery strike at Tamarasheni was the first step before 200 Russian tanks already in Java, and another 150 tanks advancing through the Rocky tunnel, could break through Georgian-controlled stretch of Trans-Caucasus highway, between Tskhinvali and Java. This was necessary first step before they could reach Gori with further strategic access to the whole of Georgia’s lowlands south of Caucasus.

    Georgians do not talk about it, as they were not supposed to have any defenses built between Tskhinvali and Java. Russians do not talk about it, because it would mean admitting they were first who attacked. But what should have been a reaction of Georgian president, after the head of Russian peacekeepers in Tskhinvali asked him not to fire back, and, at the same time, the only defenses Georgia had to stop an advancing enemy toward its key town of Gori came under heavy artillery fire?

    The answer to this question is simple. At that point, the president of Georgia did not have any strategic choice, the only choice he had was tactical: he could only choose if this war would start that night in Tskhinvali, or next morning in Gori.

    Of course, instead of resisting the aggression, Saakashvili could have complained to the UN. And if he had done it, no one, not even Georgian opposition parties, would criticize him now. Instead, they would be praising Georgia’s new president Igor Giorgadze (a well-known puppet figure, whom Russians wanted to install as Georgia’s next president, – GT).

    Chronology of the conflict is becoming clearer too: “Ossetian guerillas” were supposed to strike on 9th of August, Georgians got worried, began mobilizing their forces, and Russians decided to start their operation a day earlier than originally planned.

    A propos, why wasn’t blocked Rocky tunnel?

    Kokoyti’s regime kept on blaming Saakashvili for escalating this conflict. This brings three following questions.

    Firstly, it is Georgia who carries out large-scale construction works in the parts of South Ossetia under its control: modern movie theater and café, hotel and swimming pool, etc. It offers $500 a month salaries (unheard of in that part of the Caucasus, – GT) and free housing in newly built apartment blocks. Russian subsidies to South Ossetia, on the other hand, disappear with no trace.

    Regime, which is busy with large-scale construction works is normally not interested in war. Regime that squanders money is interested in war, which would write off these subsidies and would discourage any further questions about its performance.

    Secondly, why would Georgia want to escalate the situation. Surprise is the key to a victory. Military intelligence and counter-intelligence normally spend millions to disguise preparations for military campaigns. According to international law, South Ossetia is part of Georgia. In order to enter Tskhinvali, Georgians would not need an escalation, rather a full secrecy be in order. South Ossetia, on the other hand, did need an escalation, for the same reason Hamas and Hezbollah need an exchange of fire with Israel.

    Thirdly, the key to Georgia’s defeat was an open Rocky tunnel. The only chance Georgia had in this war was blocking Rocky tunnel and Trans-Caucasus highway. Georgia easily subdued South Ossetia. Georgia automatically lost to Russia. However, Georgia had a very simple way of blocking Rocky tunnel, whereas not a single tank or vehicle could have passed through it. And it wouldn’t cost a single penny. It is called “winter”. All passages through Caucasus mountain range are blocked during the winter time, cutting off South Ossetia from Russia, while down below, in the valleys, weather is bearable for military operations. Georgia would just need to start a war during winter time.

    And yet, Georgia starts shooting that ruins its large-scale construction works in South Ossetia, which removes an element of surprise in military sense, and instigates the war at the worst time of the year. Saakashvili must be really out of his mind!

    Obedient reporters

    Russia made one strategic mistake in this conflict, – it brought to Tskhinvali a bunch of its reporters. These reporters were supposed to describe how enraged volunteers fought against Georgian aggression. These reporters were carefully selected. Most of these reporters did exactly what was expected of them. They did not notice, e.g., such an obvious thing as deserted Tskhinvali by noon of 7th of August. The fact that the people left in town at that point were mostly military and reporters, while on the neighboring hills were located “Grad” missile complexes. They wrote what was expected of them: how Ossetian people resisted Georgian aggression.

    There was one little problem though. Reporters love details. Details raise questions.

    All these reporters tell the same story about summoning them in the backyard of the headquarters of Russian peacekeepers in Tskhinvali, after 23.00 pm on 7th of August.

    “War started exactly at 23.20 pm”, writes Yuri Snegirev from “Izvestia” newspaper, “journalists were standing there, waiting for Marat Kulakhmetov, the head of Russian peacekeepers, when shell exploded some 50 meters from them. Everything became clear even without Kulakhmetov’s announcement”.

    “Around 23.30 pm, all journalists were summoned from hotel to Russian peacekeepers’ headquarters”, write Marina Perevozkina from “Independent Newspaper”, “General Kulakhmetov was going to make an announcement, we all prepared our cameras, when a shell exploded somewhere nearby”.

    “Public liaison for General Kulakhmetov called us and told us to immediately come to his headquarters”, writes Roman Gusarov of NTV, “we were there five minutes later, almost all of our colleagues were there too. We prepared our cameras, waiting for General Kulakhmetov, when something exploded near us”.

    It is peculiar that all of these reporters state different time of the start of this war, – exactly 23.20 pm according to some, and exactly 23.36 pm according to others (on 28th of August, prime minister Putin tells CNN that war started at 22.35 pm!)

    As you know, our military typically do not like media exposure. Normally, they start war, and then journalists are chasing them for interviews. This time, it was all the way around: press was first summoned in headquarters, and only then war started. Why would Russian journalists be summoned in the middle of Tskhinvali, in Russian peacekeepers’ headquarters? If the attack from Georgians was expected, then journalists had to be hidden away, not clustered in the backyard of military installation.

    What is even more amazing that those who were not summoned to Russian peacekeepers’ headquarters tell a different time when this war started: 23.00 pm.

    “Exactly at 23.00 pm, residents of Tskhinvali heard how heavy artillery opened fire”, writes Irina Kelekhsayeva.

    This paradox can be explained, if we recall that Georgian village Tamarasheni was shelled at 23.00 pm. As Tamarasheni village is in outskirts of town of Tskhinvali, for its ordinary residents (not experts in military tactics), this could have been easily perceived as shelling of some parts of Tskhinvali itself.

    This is the reason why journalists are summoned to Russian peacekeepers’ headquarters in Tskhinvali: to tell them how to interpret already started heavy artillery fire obliterating nearby Georgian village, so that journalists would know how to write about it in their reports. Ok, all gathered, prepared for briefing, everyone knew about provocations of these cocky Georgian militarists even before they arrived in Tskhinvali… And, all of the sudden, these impudent militarists indeed opened fire! This is why these journalists fail to agree on exact time of start of this war.

    The night from 7th to 8th of August

    So, what did these Russian reporters do next, after Georgian military opened fire at town of Tskhinvali?

    Yuri Snegiryov from “Izvestia” newspaper, headed back to hotel under waves of “Grad” missiles. “I got on the roof of hotel”, he writes, “blaze of fire from the south, and then explosion just a second later in the north, – you can tell it was a heavy cannon. Grad missiles flying from the north”.

    It must have been a spectacular scene. Reporter is observing Grad missiles from the roof of his hotel. Even more astonishing is that Grad missile launches are noticed in the north, because this is where Georgian village of Tamarasheni is located, and it would be very difficult to safely observe Grad missiles from hotel in Tskhinvali if they were hitting all of Tskhinvali itself.

    Then Yuri Snegiryov, together with 1st TV channel reporter Olga Kiriy leaves hotel and walks toward South Ossetian government offices. They are not the only brave souls who wonder around Tskhinvali under torrent of Georgian Grad missiles.

    Then Yuri Snegiryov returned to hotel, and went to bed. He was awakened by people talking in Georgian. “There was a Georgian platoon near hotel”, he writes, “in the dawn, you could see their NATO army helmets”. Then… he went back to bed (!) He was awaken second time by Olga Kiriy, who was reporting live from Georgian platoon’s location near hotel: “Georgian troops are trying to take Tskhinvali, but face stiff resistance”.

    These statements are remarkable. First, we were told that Tskhinvali was reduced to rubbles by Georgian Grad missiles. But Izvestia newspaper’s reporter witnessed Grad missiles in the north, while staying in Tskhinvali central hotel himself. Then, we were told that Georgians face a strong resistance. But Georgian platoon calmly gathered in front of hotel, where Yuri Snegiryov was peacefully sleeping.

    After being waken up twice, he apparently gave up on sleeping and decided to go back to Russian peacekeepers’ headquarters. “Three shells exploded near our car”, he writes, “when we moved away from hotel, I looked back and saw the smoke rising from hotel’s windows. It was a direct hit”.

    Let’s re-cap. Yuri Snegiryov was sleeping in hotel until Georgians arrive. Before that hotel was not under fire. Once Georgians arrived and took positions in front of hotel, hotel came under fire. This must have been done either by Ossetian militia, or by opening artillery fire at Tskhinvali after it was taken by Georgians (as South Ossetian president Kokoyti fled the town at 2 am).

    When arrived at Russian peacekeepers’ headquarters, Yuri Snegiryov saw open gates. “Defenders of town of Tskhinvali were coming to our headquarters building, – it was getting crowded with journalists, local residents, and some people in military uniforms but without signs. I heard them talking to each other: “Do you realize what shit we got ourselves into? They will shoot us first”. These guys were not peacekeepers”, continues Yuri Snegiryov, “Who were they? A good question. I saw a lot of strange guys who gathered there”.

    Again, these details contradict with the overall coverage of this war by pro-Kremlin journalists, same way as Olga Kiryi’s live report about “stiff resistance” Georgian soldiers were facing when gathered in front of hotel.

    First of all, despite the fact that Kokoyti and Russia were preparing for this war during last four years, the building of Russian peacekeepers’ headquarters in Tskhinvali did not even have a bomb shelter.

    Second of all, gates of Russian peacekeepers’ headquarters are wide open, but it is not under attack. No one was killed, although there was no bomb shelter to hide.

    Thirdly, it is not only peacekeepers who were there, but also these very “strange guys” hiding there as well. Who were they? Volunteers who were supposed to resist Georgian aggression?

    So what kind of war Kokoyti’s regime was preparing for, if it was not ready for defensive war?

    Khetagurovo and Nuli

    Another dramatic story of the same night of 7th to 8th of August develops in Ossetian village Khetagurovo. Georgian village Nuli and Ossetian village Khetagurovo are two villages facing each other on either side of Zari road, near Tskhinvali. Taking Khetagurovo by Georgians would mean blocking Zari road from Java to Tskhinvali.

    There is an interesting eye-witness testimony in the article “South Ossetian war in SMS”: “20.34 pm. Neighbors decided to celebrate knocking out Georgian special forces from nearby Nuli heights. Bringing beverages and snacks”.

    So, at 20.34 pm, the same time as Saakashvili announced a unilateral cease fire, Tskhinvali residents celebrate taking Nuli heights.

    “It was horrible: heavily shelled houses, scared cattle in barns… It was the result of heavy artillery bombardment”, tells Georgian “Kviris Palitra” newspaper’s reporter Irakli Managadze, who was in Nuli on 7th to 8th of August.

    Just a few hours later after Tskhinvali celebrated taking Nuli heights, those damn Georgians took Khetagurovo village. First they fire Grad missiles, then infantry and tanks cross into the deserted village firing at gates of the houses they pass by. Few of them enter through the gates of one of the houses, and see an elderly couple sitting at the doorsteps. “What are you doing here?”, ask Georgians in apparent surprise. “We live here”, answer the elderly. “We thought there are only military in this village”, tell Georgian soldiers to this Ossetian couple, turn back and leave them in peace. This is how this story was told to Tatiana Lokshina of “Memorial” about these damn Georgians who suddenly entered a peaceful Khetagurovo village. “They were breaking into houses, searching for weapons and uniforms, shouting “are you hiding guerillas?” They thought we had more combatants here than in Tskhinvali”, told one of the residents of Khetagurovo, Amiran Kabayev.

    Imagine, that at 20.34 pm the population of Russian town Blagoveshchensk (on Chinese border of Russia) celebrates artillery attack on nearby Chinese city of Heihe, while three hours later central Russian TV channels are furious about Chinese aggressor treacherously attacking peaceful Blagoveshchensk.

    Artillery fire at Georgian Nuli village was opened from Khetagurovo by troops, not by Khetagurovo residents! Moreover, South Ossetian president Kokoyti announced on 4th of August that evacuation of Khetagurovo was complete. No significant civilian population was left in the village. Every time I asked why Khetagurovo fell into Georgian hands, the answers were “we were surprised ourselves”, “we do not know”, “it was impossible to hold it”. Why impossible? Shelling nearby Georgian village is possible, but stopping Georgian tanks with rocket-propelled grenades is impossible? It was critical to keep Khetagurovo. It is because of Georgians taking it, fail attacks of Russian ground forces in the following days, including ambushing Russian General Khrulyov’s column, described earlier.

    Kokoyti fled to Java. Georgian tanks entered Tskhinvali with no significant resistance, – it resembled Soviet tanks entering Prague in 1968, rather than fierce fighting Russian tanks encountered entering Grozny (Chechen capital) in 1995. Not being able to defend Tskhinvali, South Ossetian regime puts Russia in a very difficult position. Russia can no longer pretend that this war is waged by “strange guys” sitting in Russian peacekeepers’ headquarters, with “87 tanks” and “23 Grad missile systems”.

    Russian troops in early morning of 8th of August

    As already mentioned, Georgian president Saakashvili was shocked when he learnt about 150 Russian tanks moving toward Rocky tunnel. We can only guess that he may not have fully realized the significance of the fact that vanguard of 135th and 693rd regiments of Russia’s 58th army was already in Java by that time (as a comment: a slowly accumulated Russian reinforcements in Java is one thing, a massive column of Russian tanks moving toward Georgia’s border was a clear sign that war has actually started, – GT).

    This column of Russian tanks was reported by “Zvezda” cameraman Naziullin at 5 am of 8th of August. The circumstances in which Naziullin was reporting it were far from pleasant: this column of Russian tanks (together with him) was bombed.

    “The head of this column, Captain Dennis Sydristy, set an objective of reaching southern outskirts of Tskhinvali before Georgian village of Nikozi”, writes “Krasnaya Zvezda” in its article about Private Levan Khubayev serving in 135th regiment of Russian army, “This is where our peacekeepers were located”. Captain Sydristy is one of those who arrived in Java on 7th of August, and was sent to fight on 8th of August, as it was described in “Krasnaya Zvezda”’s article dedicated to captain Sydristy’s story. The article caused a scandal. It was soon removed from the website. A disclaimer was placed, telling that journalist got it wrong. That it was 9th of August events he was describing.

    Unfortunately for us, this is not even about this gaffe about the dates. The military objective set for this column speaks for itself. The objective set in the morning of 8th of August, was to reach the southern outskirts of Tskhinvali. Such objective could only be set if Sydristy’s superiors did not know that Tskhinvali is already in Georgian hands, or if they did not understand the scale of catastrophe (as a comment: “catastrophe” here probably refers not only to the fact that Georgian military responded so quickly to escalating aggression by promptly taking Tskhinvali, but also to solid evidence of Georgian artillery being very successful in shelling advancing Russian columns during the first several days of this short-lived war. The author will conclude later in this article, that it was Russian air superiority that allowed Russia to defeat Georgia in this war. GT).

    Furthermore, the articles about Khubayev and Sydristy are not the only ones published in “Krasnaya Zvezda”. There is a third article about Lieutenant Mikhail Melnychuk of 135th regiment. His company was in that very column too, with the same objective of reaching southern outskirts of Tskhinvali. “They almost reached the headquarters of Russian peacekeepers, when his column came under massive fire”, writes “Krasnaya Zvezda”, “the fight continued for long 7 hours, the column was surrounded, and by the evening of 8th of August, lieutenant Melnychuk decided to try to break out and retreat back to main Russian forces”. This is the same very column witnessed by Tskhinvali resident, Marina Khugayeva on 8th of August: “I can’t recall how we got on Zari road”, she tells, “and all the sudden ran into Russian soldiers, about 30 of them. They looked at us, in surprise, and asked “are there any survivors in Tskhinvali?” They told us that their column entered Tskhinvali, but was gunned down by Georgians, and only they managed to escape”.

    This is the same very column, whose triumphant entrance in Tskhinvali is announced during the press conference in Moscow by General Barankevich. “Krasnaya Zvezda” newspaper is a very good paper. Equally good is TV channel “Zvezda” who showed a huge military base in Java on 11th of September, which was a “shield against Georgian aggression”.

    We do not need any anti-Russian propaganda, when w

  4. Francis Frost says

    PS: Andrei Nekrassov’s documentary is titled “Uroki Russkogo” (Russian Lessons

  5. cynthia curran says

    George, you have a point about the kosvo I didn’t support our involvement there since I felt it was a European thing, if Great Britian and so forth wanted to get involved then it was their decision. What is interesting is their is an orthodox priest a former Marxists that does charity work in Africa that stated in one of the African countries I believe the Congo the civil wat ended there becuase they thought the British were going to intervened because some British soldiers were captured. Britian sent some troops to save the British soldiers and then the civil ended.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Cynthia, thanks for the additional information. I also want to be consistent here: when the US was involved in the Cold War, we got involved in “civil wars” to further our own interests. I supported then (and in retrospect still do), our support of the Contras against the Sandinistas. Given the fact that when free elections were allowed to be held the Sandinistas lost resoundingly, supports our involvement.

      Great nations like the US, Great Britain, China, and Russia have legitimate interests in doing what it takes to secure their borders and the support of nearby states. We may not always like it but it’s the way it is. If we were justified in trying to overthrow Castro (and I believe we were), then we need to stop and seriously consider the views of Russia regarding the states nearby them.

      And as for Georgia joining NATO, that was hare-brained from the start. It’s not even close to the South Atlantic, much less North Atlantic.

  6. cynthia curran says

    Well, that’s true and I understand Mr Frost’s point as well regarding Georgia .Its not always pretty between Russia and its ex-states. Also, I changed my mine somewhat of Justinian’s reconquest of the West most Western historians heavily influence by Procopius see Justinian as a imperialists thug. Granted, the conquest of Italy didn’t last long in some parts but cities like Venice which were under the Byzantine empire wings until around 700 or so actually became trading partners heavily in the medieval period. People will say that good always good since Venice was involved with the sack of Constantinople but for centuries Venice was a major market to the west for the empire. And in one Turkey brochure it stated the reconquest of North Africa the Carthage era is were Heraclius came from and of course Heraclius defeated the Perisans. So, history is hard to predict in the short term. This is off topic but it is an example out of history of self interest.

  7. I want to thank my brother in Christ, Francis (Frost) for telling the truth about the August 2008 war between Russian and Georgia, and telling the truth about the suffering flock of the Georgian Patriarchate. It’s too bad, George, that you deleted his lengthy comment that I saw earlier today containing specific factual citations about that war. Francis has been a voice crying in the wilderness about the situation in Georgia.

    I was quite chagrined when I saw this posting. I will say briefly what I know to be true about the terrible August 2008 war. Georgia did not start this war. There were lengthy provocations by Russia and Russian-backed militia, shelling of Georgian villages, kidnapping of citizens that preceded the outbreak of war. As the nun who is the assistant to Metropolitan Daniel of the Georgian Patriarchate said to me of the repeated attacks that preceded the August 2008 war, “Are Georgians the only people who are not allowed to live peaceably in their own country?” You choose to ignore the suffering of the flock of the Georgian Patriarchate, instead making a political pose that is closer to your heart than standing up for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Georgia.

    George, you know nothing about the situation in Georgia. You know nothing about what’s happening on the ground. You know nothing of the plight of the internally displaced persons and refugees, nor the continued suffering of those living near and in the territories illegally occupied by Russia. I have been blessed to travel yearly to Georgia since 1990. I’ve made 23 trips in this time. I have visited Zemo (Upper) Nikozi several times, the first time just three months after the August 2008 war. Zemo Nikozi is just a kilometer from Tskhinvali, South Ossetia, part of the now-occupied territory. I am blessed to know the ruling hierarch of the Tskhinvali-Nikozi Diocese, His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah. I also know well the former ruling hierarch of the Abkhazia diocese, His Eminence, Metropolitan Daniel. I have heard from him and his assistant, the Nun Elene, terrible tales of atrocities commited by Russian and Russian-backed militias that occurred in the ’92-’93 war in Abkhazia. (His Holiness, Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia is now also Metropolitan of Abkhazia.) I am humbled to be kindly received by His Holiness, Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch.

    All of Metropolitan Isaiah’s clergy are themselves now internally displaced persons, living in makeshift/refugee housing. From the entire diocese of Nikozi-Tskhinvali, Met. Isaiah has access only to three villages due to the occupation of the territory by Russian and Ossetian militia. Met. Isaiah never left his diocese during the August 2008 war. I have listened to him speak, seen his videos and photos, heard how members of his flock were killed by Russian bombs, by Russian troops. In November 2008 I met His Eminence, Metropolitan Andria (Andrew) of the Gori diocese. As we drove around Gori, I saw the bullet holes and evidence of shelling by Russian military all throughout the city.

    I was in Tbilisi in August 2009, in the patriarchal cathedral of Sameba (Holy Trinity) when His Holiness Ilia II served a panikhida for all who died in that war. His Holiness calls out to and continually prays for His flock across the land, be they Georgians, Ossetians, Abkhaz, Russians or Armenians.

    (For those who do not know, my first Orthodox parish was a Russian parish in the Bay area of northern California. My godparents were Ukrainian and Latvian, although both Russian speakers. My academic background includes a graduate degree in Russian language and literature. I am not a Russophobe.)

    I was thinking earlier today after having glanced at your blog, that we should all be praying the Beatitudes, truly taking them to heart. These lines especially touch my heart today. “Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven!”

    God bless the long-suffering flock of the Georgian Patriarchate and their spiritual father, His Holiness Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia!

  8. Georgia is now a victim of a brutal aggression initiated by Russia and its cronies in the Caucasus. After Georgian troops defeated the criminal regime of South Ossetia, Russian troops blatantly violated Georgian sovereignty and invaded the country. Georgian army has been fighting one of the best armies in the world for days now. As of now, Russian tanks are advancing to Tskhinvali and Russian Jets are bombing Georgian cities.The criminal regime that the Russians set up in South Ossetia has accused Georgia of genocide against the Ossetian people. This is a terrible lie and another Kremlin-sponsored provocation. Georgia has always been a multi-national countries that has been home to Georgians, Jews, Azerbaijanis, Ossetians, Armenians, and Abkhazians among others. All these nations have lived in Georgia peacefully for many centuries. Georgia is not waging a war against Ossetians, Georgians have lived side by side with Ossetians for centuries. Georgia is defending itself from the Russian nationalists who sit in Kremlin and what to annex Georgian land to rebuild an empire that is long gone.The real genocide happened in Ossetia in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Russian-backed thugs and the Russian military expelled 40,000 Georgian civilians from their homes and killed thousands more.This is a war in which a small but proud nation fights for its right to exist against a superpower that wants to destroy it. THE THROUGH ANALYSIS OF THE WHOLE WAR IS PRESENTED BY MR. ILLARIONOV:

  9. From the KGB to FAPSI
    After the failed coup of August 1991, Gorbachev began dismantling the organization, starting with the elements responsible for mainly for eavesdropping on Government and Party officials, the 8th Chief Directorate tasked with communications and cryptography, the 16th Directorate conducting communications interception and two unspecified civilian organizations.
    The new body, called The Government Communications Committee (KPS) was an All-Union organization and consisted of:
     the Chief Directorate of Government Communications,
     the Chief Directorate of Communications Security (including the Scientific Technical Centre),
     the Chief Directorate of Radio-electronic Intelligence,
     the Information-Analytical Directorate,
     the Directorate of Government Communications of the RSFSR,
     a Personnel Directorate,
     an Administrative Directorate,
     a Military Construction Directorate,
     a Finance and Planning Directorate,
     a Secretariat,
     a Commercial Department,
     an Organisational and Mobilisation Department,
     a Legal Department,
     a Security Service,
     a Scientific-Technical Council,
     Archives,
     a Press Centre,
     the Orel Higher Military Command School,
     the Cryptographic Academy,
     and Government Communication Troops.
    The Guardian accuses the FSB (Federal Security Service) of using KGB methods of psychological pressure initially developed for the Stasi to use on British and American diplomats. The author describes how special service agents broke into his Moscow apartment, tapped his telephones, intercepted his email, shadowed him, and tried to intimidate him in order, as he claims, to force him to change his critical attitude to Russia’s domestic and foreign policy. FSB agents break into homes, the British journalist writes, and move personal belongings, wind up alarm clocks, open windows and plant some inexpensive new objects such as soft toys in order to achieve a psychological effect and cause the victim to feel anxious. Naturally, Harding claims, all the “enemies of the state” are under constant surveillance.

    The author of Mafia State has this to say about the FSB and its role in present-day Russian society: “In the pastiche new-Soviet Russia that Putin had created since becoming president, theFSB had become the pre-eminent power in the land – a huge, secret… organization that operated outside the framework of the law … the FSB felt empowered to crush anyone it considered enemies of the state.”

  10. Russia deployed big amount of military technique in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in May and July.
    More than 1500 armored technique, artillery equipment, tanks and different kinds of technique were taken to Abkhazia. We don’t have information of GDP in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but we can approximately say that Abkhazia spent 50% of its budget on military equipments, South Ossetia spent – 60%. It is obvious that Russia provided them with weapons free of charge.
    We can say that there were Russian military bases before start of military activities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia on August 7. Aim of Russian government was to change Saakashvili’s government in Georgia. Nobody even hid it in Russian government. War against Georgia was prepared 4 years ago. After Georgia had solved Ajarian problems painlessly, Moscow started to think about changing Saakashvili. Russian energetic company’s heads were called to the Kremlin in 2005 and the government told them to make problems in providing Georgia with electro energy. They were rejected by the heads of the companies and they started to act themselves. All oil pipelines and electro lines leading to Georgia were exploded. Russian government stated that it was done by terrorists. It was found out later that terrorists used the same explosive materials used by Russian special units.
    Georgian special units detained Russian spies and they were extradited to Russian government without noise. In spite of this Russian special units didn’t stop working in Georgia but on the contrary, their works were reinforced. Georgian special services detained 4 Russian agents in 2006 and it was noisy ceremony of extraditing them to Russia. Russia started economic blockade against Georgia. Transportation, wine, ‘Borjomi’, blockade followed this. Russia strengthens Abkhazia and South Ossetia in military field. Russian diplomats don’t hide that war had to be started before September in Georgia. Russia rehabilitated Ochamchire and Sokhumi-Ochamchire 54 kilometers railway. Russia deployed 50 echelons of military technique to Abkhazia. There was impression that war had to be started from Abkhazia. Georgian villages were fired on August 1. If Ossetians used to stop firing after respond from Georgian side, this didn’t happen this time. Ossetian side continued to fire with artillery equipments. Ossetian information department didn’t hide on August 6 that there were Russian units in South Ossetian territory. Russian defense minister assistant Nikolai Panko and head of reconnaissance service visited Tskhinvali on August 3. They had meeting with Kokoity. Kokoity moves to Java after their departure and evacuation of the population starts on August 3. Russia started war activities on August 3. 58th army is already mobilized near Georgian border for this time and 9000 soldiers, 700 units of armored technique are sent from Russian regions. Russian frontiers occupied Roki tunnel on August 6. Russian information sources informed from August 3 that war had started in South Ossetia, this was when war activities didn’t took place.
    Georgian side tried to negotiate with Ossetian side on August 7. Georgian reincarnation minister Temur Iakobashvili visits Tskhinvali who has to meet with Kokoity together with Russian special tasks ambassador Popov. Popov says that he was not able to be on the meeting due to problems of car tyre. He is offered to change the tyre, but he says that the extra tyre is also damaged. Iakobashvili meets with peaceful forces commander in Tskhinvali Marat Kulakhmetov, who offers to Georgian side to cease fire. Iakobashvili tells the proposal of the general to President Mikheil Saakashvili on phone at 18:30. Saakashvili makes televised announcement at 19:00 that Georgian side is interested in peace. He demanded and practically bagged to reach ceasefire. He declared ceasefire partially, but Ossetian side started to bomb Georgian village Tamarasheni and then other villages at 22:10.
    Russian journalists in Tskhinvali said that there practically wasn’t Ossetian population in Tskhinvali. According to official information, 34 thousand people were evacuated before starting war activities. After emerge of Russian defense ministry tank colonies, Georgian government concluded that war was started by Russian politicians.
    Fights to three direction start after this. Tskhinvali assault, skirmishes near java and Roki direction. Both sides had big losses. It must be stressed that tanks that entered from Roki tunnel reached Tskhinvali only on August 10. Russian troops occupy Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia at the same time. Russian ships are near Georgian coasts. Russian defense ministry had sub divisions mobilized in Zemo Larsi and Georgian-Armenian border.
    It is obvious that the war is not over and it continues. Russian government has not refused to overthrow Georgian government. Russia doesn’t hide that Georgian pro-Western choice is unacceptable to it. I think that everything starts from now on. Russian government acted like scoundrels, when they attack weak ones. Russia of course wouldn’t attack NATO member Baltic States. Kiev’s strive to the West is also unacceptable to Russia. Moscow didn’t like when Kiev supported Tbilisi in August events.