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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus > South Ossetian Conflict

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South Ossetian Conflict Discuss the conflict between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia.

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  #16  
Old 21 Aug 08, 14:10
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BrownBear,

Nobody expected Russia to turn Georgia into asphalted parking lot nor find a bigfoot. However the assumption widely held after Russia passed SO was that it intends to at minimum force a regime change. This impression was reinforced by Russian politicians making statements like Saakashvili will have to go. The Russian feint toward Tbilisi and several reports of Russian soldiers claiming their destination being Tbilisi also created a widely held assumption that this is their target. It is also a logical assumption considering past Russia's conquests.

While Russians may not view this as defeat at the moment and while in military terms it wasn't, this will nonetheless be viewed as a huge blunder by Russia since Russia will be perceived as having achieved nothing and lost quite a bit.
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  #17  
Old 21 Aug 08, 14:17
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Well there is the abakhazian wich are now seeking more recognition....
I think it's maybe what russia is expecting.... the abakhazia and south ossetia remain the longer it is possible far from georgian presence so more and more they can be see as indepandant nation.
If you notice it make sence, has time pass russia is see as the bad boy in the story but as time pass more and more voice are heard that for stoping this, abakhazia and south ossetia should do what they want.
This buffer zone that russia is seeking i think is in this optic.... so that this two region are no longer in georgian are of influence but totaly under russian one.
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  #18  
Old 21 Aug 08, 14:28
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I would tend to think that the slow withdrawal has more to do with the political situation rather than the military. They want to leave a more predictable/controlable government behind both in SO and perhaps in Georgia proper. How they are going to pull the later off I don't know, but if it happens the west will be faced with another crisis.
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  #19  
Old 21 Aug 08, 14:30
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Originally Posted by xiong View Post
destroying another county's capital just to sooth the pride
Looting businesses and destroying infrastructure in the hopes of damaging the economy of another country just to sooth the pride is better how? At least with taking of the capital and demanding capitulation you could say you trounced Georgian forces. Now it looks like a stalemate militarily.
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  #20  
Old 21 Aug 08, 14:35
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The Russian quite probably have forced a regime change, since the majority of the Georgians seem to blame their current leader for what has happened. I don't expect him to remain in office, and I'm sure that his replacement will not be pro-Western, but rather pro-Russian.

I think the Russians are staying because they can, and it's a good test to see just how far NATO and the West will go with their bluster before realizing that there is absolutely nothing they can do, and until Russia has ensured the future of the two independent republics and gotten Georgia properly lined politically.

Meanwhile, I'm also sure that the Russians are scouring the countryside for anything useful or significant to remove and ship home, and Putin has gotten himself his own personal Hummvee.
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  #21  
Old 21 Aug 08, 14:44
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Saakashvili is out next elections anyway. But from what I hear from people down there, they're definitely not leaning pro-Russian.
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  #22  
Old 21 Aug 08, 15:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pp(est) View Post
Looting businesses and destroying infrastructure in the hopes of damaging the economy of another country just to sooth the pride is better how?
I haven't seen reports of mass-scale (or for that matter intentional) looting of businesses or civilians by the Russian army. Can you provide a link to that, please? Quite the contrary, the army are giving humanitarian aid out (check reports on Gori). I know there was some plundering by Ossetians, which the army tries to prevent.
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At least with taking of the capital and demanding capitulation you could say you trounced Georgian forces. Now it looks like a stalemate militarily.
Again, not to most Russians. We say we trounced Georgian forces enough
Yes, Georgian army personnel has mostly fled to Tbilisi, but they have left most of their munition behind. Tbilisi is indefensible. And you don't have to kill everyone to claim victory, or do you believe otherwise?

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Originally Posted by pp(est) View Post
Saakashvili is out next elections anyway. But from what I hear from people down there, they're definitely not leaning pro-Russian.
If they elect someone sane who won't attack, that is a big shift to the better, from the Russian pov.
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  #23  
Old 21 Aug 08, 16:13
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Originally Posted by Deltapooh View Post
That might all be true, but Russia's decision to invade Georgia was a huge mistake. Crossing that line was the difference between Russia - defender of her national interest and Russia - the aggressor.
It is really sad that many people in NATO countries see that as a disproportionate response by Russia. If you think Russians are happy about those accusations, you are wrong. Yet there were many factors to consider, and really, Western public opinion is just one of them.
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  #24  
Old 21 Aug 08, 16:30
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Originally Posted by pp(est) View Post
This is getting more puzzling by the hour. Now Russian forces have apparently detained French ambassador in Gori.

Before this conflict the best friends of Russia within EU have been Germany, France and Italy (more recently the order should Italy, France and Germany). Their biggest critics have been Poland and UK. Openly snubbing the French and Germans by making their efforts to bring about cease fire look foolish and detaining French diplomats seems like destroying all Russia had been building in terms of its divide and conquer policy within EU. What is Putin thinking?

Right now it seems to me Putin has two options - pull back and accept humiliation or take Tbilisi and call western bluff. The second option will render Russia to Iran-like pariah status no matter how the west responds or what happens to Georgia.

And to think that with restraint on 8 August, Russia could have maneuvered Saakashvili into the international villain status for his unilateral action in SO.

Just hanging on hurts Russia every day way more than it hurts Georgia which can only consolidate its victim position and gain more and more concessions from the west. They already got their own commission in NATO (something they would've otherwise never got), I wouldn't be surprised seeing them handed the MAP next.

Excellent! Very much on the money.
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  #25  
Old 21 Aug 08, 16:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiong View Post
It is really sad that many people in NATO countries see that as a disproportionate response by Russia. If you think Russians are happy about those accusations, you are wrong. Yet there were many factors to consider, and really, Western public opinion is just one of them.
Okay, let's put it this way. Your neighbor's dog is always leaving doggie land mines in your yard. The proper response is......

a) get a fence

b) call animal control and get a fence

c) talk with your neigbor, call animal control, and get a fence.

d) take over your neighbor's yard, smash all his windows, vandalize his car, terrorize his wife and kids, and tie up his dog like a salami.

Which of the above choices is likely to make you extremely unpopular with your neighbors?

If you are related to Vladimir Putin, you are probably scratching your head right now thinking that is trick question and that the teacher is totally unfair.
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  #26  
Old 21 Aug 08, 17:05
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Originally Posted by bass_man86 View Post
Okay, let's put it this way. Your neighbor's dog is always leaving doggie land mines in your yard. The proper response is......

a) get a fence

b) call animal control and get a fence

c) talk with your neigbor, call animal control, and get a fence.

d) take over your neighbor's yard, smash all his windows, vandalize his car, terrorize his wife and kids, and tie up his dog like a salami.

Which of the above choices is likely to make you extremely unpopular with your neighbors?

If you are related to Vladimir Putin, you are probably scratching your head right now thinking that is trick question and that the teacher is totally unfair.
Russia couldn't deploy anything except the small peacekeeping force (joint with the Georgians) in Tskhinvali -- that is what Saakashvili wanted to provoke Russia into. But Russia explicitly said dozens of times: don't attack S.Ossetia, we'll come to help. That should have worked like a fence against sensible people.

Apparently, it wasn't the dog, but the neighbor himself who came make doggie landmines Animal control wouldn't consider the issue
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Old 21 Aug 08, 17:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiong View Post
Russia couldn't deploy anything except the small peacekeeping force (joint with the Georgians) in Tskhinvali -- that is what Saakashvili wanted to provoke Russia into. But Russia explicitly said dozens of times: don't attack S.Ossetia, we'll come to help. That should have worked like a fence against sensible people.

Apparently, it wasn't the dog, but the neighbor himself who came make doggie landmines Animal control wouldn't consider the issue
Stop it, you are killing me!

Seriously though, people are not always sensible, and you are correct insofar as it was not like Saakashvili was not warned. With that being said, there are many people in the west that are under the impression that Russia has gone overboard. The reports and photographs that have been filtering in of Russian troops parading through the streets with blindfolded prisoners, towing away HUMVEEs awaiting shipment back to the US, police cars being bowled over by armored personnel carriers, and stories of a Georgian naval unit baing towed away with a very loud explosion being heard a while later do not help.

The articles in Pravda in which Bush and Rice were festooned with epiteths that impressed even this 22 year sailor do not help matters either. And let's not forget the Russian general that threated to drop nukes in Poland after accepting that controversial missile system; by tha way, as far as I am concerned both sides were being ridiculous in that issue. Anyway, you have to remember that sometimes perceptions are 9/10 of the law.
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  #28  
Old 21 Aug 08, 18:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiong View Post
I haven't seen reports of mass-scale (or for that matter intentional) looting of businesses or civilians by the Russian army. Can you provide a link to that, please? Quite the contrary, the army are giving humanitarian aid out (check reports on Gori). I know there was some plundering by Ossetians, which the army tries to prevent.


Again, not to most Russians. We say we trounced Georgian forces enough
Yes, Georgian army personnel has mostly fled to Tbilisi, but they have left most of their munition behind. Tbilisi is indefensible. And you don't have to kill everyone to claim victory, or do you believe otherwise?



If they elect someone sane who won't attack, that is a big shift to the better, from the Russian pov.
Do you honestly believe that any of this has been about Georgia "attacking"? From the Georgian POV - remember that they were the ones invaded - they were quelling rebellion in two provinces within their own borders, which from what I understand were officially part of Georgia in the first place despite their claims of autonomy. Russia interfered in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation, something they certainly wouldn't have tolerated and which they loudly decry if a Western nation does it.

If this was all about the "security of South Ossetia", sending Russians in to keep the peace in Ossetia might have been explainable, but to invade the remainder of Georgia is merely conquest Russian style, using any flimsy excuse.

What excuse will the Russians manufacture to justify invading the next country on their list? A "local uprising" by three kids with slingshots and a dog?
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Old 21 Aug 08, 19:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiong View Post
I haven't seen reports of mass-scale (or for that matter intentional) looting of businesses or civilians by the Russian army. Can you provide a link to that, please? Quite the contrary, the army are giving humanitarian aid out (check reports on Gori). I know there was some plundering by Ossetians, which the army tries to prevent.
Here's a link regarding Finnish OSCE inspectors and journalists confirming Russian troops participating in ethnic cleansing of SO. Apparently this is what's taking so long. 1/3 of SO population was Georgian, apparently all of them are dislocated by Russian military.

According to the people their houses are being looted and then burned.

Russia has also once again reneged on their word and have set up a new deadline for 10 days. I guess they found ethnic cleansing takes longer to accomplish. While Red Cross is allowed to Tshinvali, OSCE isn't and there are quite a few Georgian villages which no one can reach and there is no idea what is being done there.
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Old 21 Aug 08, 23:03
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Back to the topic

IMO Every day of tensions gives more power in Russia to Putin and "security" leaders. Putin already instructs President Medvedev in public, something like: "I suppose it will be right if you, Dmitriy Anatolyevich, do so and so". And Russian TV shows that message to the nation.
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