Voices from Russia

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Saakashvili Reported Wasting Money on PR Campaign in Western Media

Georgians in Gori receiving food aid from Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations aid workers. Human Rights Watch! You’re NOT reporting this, are you? Why? Would it offend your US paymasters? Hmm…

Saakashvili’s régime in Georgia lost the war against South Ossetia when it was rebuffed by Russia, but, the Georgian rulers are still waging a propaganda battle against Moscow in the West, which, some observers say, has been more successful so far. Whilst the Georgian leadership is licking its wounds after a humiliating military defeat at the hands of the Russian army, Georgian representatives have fanned out around the world wailing for support of their beleaguered junta.

With his glib tongue and fluent English, and his ubiquity on western news networks, Mikhail Saakashvili these days never seems to be lost for words, quite frequently putting his foot in his mouth. Once, he was actually seen on television chewing on his tie. The hard-pressed Georgian ruler is so omnipresent on CNN’s Larry King, on BBC World, in teleconferences for reporters, editors, and columnists world-wide that, as one western observer remarked, it is hard to see where he finds the time to fight a war or run a country. The war is mercifully over for him and now it’s the time for his régime to put his country in order.

As the Los Angeles Times wrote this week, “he is the leader of a small country that was, until recently, not on the radar of most Americans. But, it’s been hard to turn on a news channel this month without encountering the angry, brooding glare of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, railing against the Russian troops pouring across his country’s borders, doing his best to turn a military disaster into a media victory”. According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, “the Russia-Georgia conflict highlights the mores and methods of modern warfare. Propaganda and black radio have always been essential tools of the warmonger. What’s new in the Caucasus is the battle between the PR agencies taking the war mongers’ shilling and competing for airtime and column inches on behalf of their clients”.

Last year, Saakashvili reportedly paid half a million UK pounds (22.816 million roubles. 938,438 USD. 629,974 euros) to engage Brussels’ Aspect Consulting to brand Georgia as a western wannabe, a NATO and European Union aspirant, emphasising everything from “its fabulous food and drink to its liberties and democratic politics”. In television appearances Saakashvili is invariably flanked by the Georgian and European Union flags, even though Georgia is not a member. The message is clear; Georgia is aligning itself with the West, ostensibly against Russia. Ironically, as Russian forces were driving Georgian troops out of South Ossetia, a de facto independent entity that Saakashvili was trying to seize by force of arms, thousands of panicked Georgians trekked to Russia where they hoped to find shelter and comfort among their numerous compatriots, particularly those settled in Moscow. So, whilst Saakashvili and his henchmen were railing against Russia in the Western news media, common Georgians sought refuge in Russia itself.

21 August 2008

Yuri Resetnikov

Voice of Russia World Service



Western Leaders Squabble over Response to Russia

Georgian T72 main battle tanks abandoned intact by the Georgian forces in their haste to flee the battle zone. 24 out of 84 Georgian T72s engaged at Tskhinvali were captured intact, besides those knocked out by the Russian forces. Send your latest to Georgia, NATO! It shall end in Russian hands after their next defeat.

NATO allies said that there will be no “business as usual” with Russia until its troops withdraw from all parts of Georgia. But, Moscow, for its part, shows little inclination to bend to the West’s “biased” approach to the Caucasus conflict, which caused a major crisis in the relations between Russia and the West. A declaration issued after an emergency meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels called on Russia to “demonstrate, both in word and deed”, its commitment to a cooperative relationship with the alliance. It outlined a series of measures the alliance would take to help Georgia lick its wounds and dangled the prospect of bringing it into the fold of the West. In its characteristically one-sided and biased approach to the issue, nothing at all was said about how the West is going to heal the wounds inflicted by the Georgian onslaught on South Ossetia that caused a Russian military response and brought Russian-Western relations to their lowest nadir in years, a point at which they are today.

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the alliance would coordinate assistance to what he asserted were more than 150,000 Georgians displaced by the fighting and said western experts would be dispatched to assess damage to Georgia’s infrastructure and armed forces. He appeared to be unconcerned about the damage the Georgian onslaught on South Ossetia caused in the region. Mr Scheffer apparently assumed that it was Russia’s responsibility to take care of the effects of devastation and loss of life caused by the Georgian aggression against a tiny ethnic minority of Ossetians who found themselves on the cutting edge of the conflict, being haphazardly wedged between Georgia and Russia proper.

Meanwhile, it is now apparent that the West will be hard put to it to square its need for maintaining normal ties with Russia with its gut feeling to attempt to punish Moscow somehow. Washington stressed it cannot be “business as usual” with Russia following its action in Georgia and it has already called for a full review of NATO ties with Moscow, including dialogue on counter-terrorism and missile defence. But, the missile defence part was virtually terminated on Wednesday when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Polish counterpart signed a long-stalled missile shield deal in Warsaw. But, then, Moscow made it clear it does not regard such a dialogue with NATO as some kind of a favour to it, but, rather a two-way traffic benefiting both sides and not Moscow alone. For all the damage that’s been done to Russian-Western relations by Saakashvili’s reckless move in South Ossetia, one positive aspect of it has clearly emerged. Regrettably for the West, Saakashvili allowed Moscow to demonstrate quite clearly the limits of western interests and, particularly, American interests, in Russia’s immediate neighbourhood. Moscow clearly has much more at stake here than either Washington or the West at large, and Russia is prepared to act decisively and with overwhelming force to bring this point across, if it hasn’t gotten across yet.

20 August 2008

Yuri Reshetnikov

Voice of Russia World Service


The USA Used Georgia as a Tool in Its Standoff with Russia

Czech-built DANA 15.2 centimetre self-propelled howitzer captured intact by the Russian forces after the fleeing Georgian forces abandoned it without a fight. No matter how many times you train a zero, he remains a zero still.

The United States acknowledged that Russia virtually defeated it, but, not the Georgian army in South Ossetia. One must realise that American instructors spent four years training the Georgian military for an attack against Russian citizens. According to experts at Stratfor, the so-called Shadow CIA, engaged in strategic forecasts, the Russian army not only proved its combat capacity, but, also, proved to the whole world that it is fully capable of defeating an enemy armed to the teeth and coached by American instructors.

A report from Stratfor says the operation in South Ossetia showed that, firstly, Russia proved to have an armed force capable of conducting successful operations, which is something many Western observers doubted before. Secondly, the Russians demonstrated that they can defeat forces trained by American advisors. Thirdly, Russia demonstrated that the US and NATO do not happen to be in a position where they can interfere in a conflict from the military point of view.

At the same time, the experts consider it to be a military demonstration by Russia to former republics of the Soviet Union, including the Ukraine, the entire Caucasus, and Central Asia. In addition, they see a hidden warning to Poland and the Czech Republic against the backdrop of a possible deployment of elements of a US missile defence system in those countries. However, the experts ruled out an opportunity for Russia to organise an intervention against some of the abovementioned countries, and say it only wants to change the balance of force in the region.

One should also mention here the fact that the Israelis have also been working hard to train the Georgian army and provide it with everything necessary. Looks like all this effort was in vain though… Stratfor’s statement sends a clear signal to Georgia that the fight is all over now and that the Bush Administration is not going to cross the red line in its relations with Moscow. President Mikhail Saakashvili’s hopes for NATO to become involved in a conflict with Russia went up in smoke.

Why were the Americans who, along with some of their allies, had in the past four years been busy beefing up the Georgian military, so quick to accept their defeat? Well, maybe because the United States, that masterminded Georgia’s bungled blitz in South Ossetia, is pursuing absolutely different goals and does not see the creation of Greater Georgia as a major priority. Well, with the presidential elections now less than three months away, the Republicans organised the provocation in South Ossetia to portray Russia as a monster trampling its poor neighbours who have surely done nothing wrong. This clearly plays into the hands of John McCain, who openly says that “Russia’s imperial ambition” needs to be curbed. One way or other, the United States used the small country of Georgia as a tool. I really don’t think I would be wrong to say that Russia’s support for Iran, which is now facing a possible American-Israeli aggression, and Moscow’s “too intimate” relations with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez could soon become a new topic for discussion…

19 August 2008

Mike Sullivan

Voice of Russia World Service


Russia’s Moiseyev Defends Olympic Title in Modern Pentathlon

Filed under: China,Olympics,Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Andrei Moiseyev (1979- ), gold-medallist in the modern pentathlon at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics

Defending Olympic champion Andrei Moiseyev won Russia’s 16th gold medal on Thursday in the modern pentathlon on day 13 of the Beijing Olympics. The 29-year-old Russian, who is only the second man to successfully retain the modern pentathlon title at the Olympic games, said that winning gold in Athens in 2004 was “definitely easier” than in Beijing. The silver and bronze medals went to Lithuanian teammates, Edvinas Krungolcas and Andrejus Zadneprovskis. The modern pentathlon, which is often referred to as a “true Olympic sport”, is supposed to replicate a soldier delivering a message with five sporting events, pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping, and running. With three days left of Olympic competition, Russia is currently ranked 4th in the overall medal standings with 16 gold, 16 silver, and 19 bronze medals, while China tops the standings boasting 46 gold, 15 silver, and 22 bronze medals.

21 August 2008



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