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The rape of Georgia, Part Two. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
The rape of Georgia, Part Two.

The players: more Russians, the Georgians, and others:


There is some suggestion that VI Sobolev had been replaced as commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army prior to the current crisis.  As I am relying solely on opensource intel in these notes, I cannot dismiss the possibility.  It is any event, as of the time of writing, reported in Russia that Maj Gen Anatoliy Khrulev (Hrulev, Khrulyov), identified as ‘commander of the 58th Army’, was wounded in South Ossetia.  Khrulev was previously O/C 20th Guards Motorised Rifle Division.


Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov is the Russian Foreign Minister, and, like many of Putin’s lackeys – I mean, cabinet – is a functionary only.  It may be of interest that his father was a minority Armenian in Tbilisi, Georgia.  He has repeatedly warned Georgia of imminent forcible action by the Russians, and explicitly stated that Georgia must conduct itself in accordance with Russian wishes and that it is the object of Russian military policy and action in the region to ‘frighten’ Georgia into doing Moscow’s bidding.  He has now called for the resignation of Georgia’s pro-Western government as a condition of peace, particularly directing his demands to the sought resignation of Georgia’s democratically elected president, Mikheil Saakashvili.


President Saakashvili was the target of an assassination attempt, along with the US President, on 10 May 2005.  The would-be assassin is a Tbilisi Armenian.


Georgia is an ancient nation that was absorbed by the Russian Empire, broke free after the 1914 War, and was then reconquered by the Soviet Empire in the face of the League of Nations’s admission that it could do nothing.  It has three separatist areas, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Adjara.  The last of these possesses no land border with Russia and is – purely coincidentally – quiescent.  Russia has for decades resented the loss of all these former Soviet captive territories.  The South Ossetian and Abkhazian separatist movements – tribes with flags – are the willing puppets of Moscow, for their ends.  Comparisons to the Czechoslovakian situation at the time of the Sudeten Crisis are left to the reader.


In a previous set-to with Abkhazia, Georgia suffered a military defeat and saw the mass deportation or flight of its own citizens from what is, after all, its own territory, followed by ‘ethnic cleansing’ conducted by the Abkhazian separatists.  This is not something they could have effected sans Moscow’s permission and support.


Russia has for more than a decade funded, trained, egged on, and protected the South Ossetian separatists, providing them with Russian passports and shielding them from Georgian law enforcement.


Terrain; Order of Battle:


Georgia possesses perhaps 12,000 effective troops, a nugatory air arm, and a largely notional navy.  They currently face at the least elements of the 58th Combined Arms Army, the Russian Air Force, and the Black Sea Fleet.  To these may be added the usual Spetsnazis, and the illegal Abkhazian and South Ossetian ‘militias’: jackals to the bear.


There are two essential terrain features to be apprised of: the Kodori Gorge that acts as the land choke-point between Abkhazia and Georgia, and the Roki Tunnel, through which runs the only road between Russia and South Ossetia / Georgia.


It is absolutely undisputed in international law that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia’s sovereign territory; no one, not even Putin, recognises the breakaway ‘governments’ therein.


There has been a ‘peacekeeping’ force deployed in South Ossetia and Abkhazia for some time.  A Russian one.  You do the maths.


We will next analyse the Russian trap and how it was sprung.


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5 comments or Leave a comment
fpb From: fpb Date: August 10th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would add that, although they look large on the map, the South Ossetes are about 70,000 as against about 4.5 million Georgians (IIRC). The loss of such a large and strategic mountain territory, within cannonshot of Tbilisi and Gori, would itself mean the end of any real independence for Georgia. On the Abkhaz and Ossete side, it is true that in the Soviet past the Georgians were very bad neighbours, let alone masters, and that the Abkhaz found themselves outnumbered in their own territory by Kartvelian (ethnic Georgian) incomers. This is indeed something that needs some rectification, but the recourse of both minorities to Russian help is the equivalent of catching cancer to cure a cold. And do they imagine they would have a better life under Great Russian overlordship?
banbury From: banbury Date: August 11th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)
It's interesting to read opinion from the other side :-) As little as I watch news I realise that we have information purely from the Russian side and the other world from American/Georgian side. Plus - I knew almost nothing about politics and have to rely on my father's opinion. As to my very humble opinion with great dislike of that kind of situations - Georgia has little economic potential (mostly agriculture and now practically non-existent tourism), they need to make money. Americans give them money, but their greater supporter will live his post in December, so they need to do something urgently and internationally loud, the best way to make a trap for us, which we fell in (not that i really understand our policy towards Georgia in tote). And they have their *bang*
(Sorry for my English)
fpb From: fpb Date: August 11th, 2008 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
You evidently are not informed of the continous political and military assaults against Georgia's independence carried out by the Russian government over several years. If Georgia has, as you say, "little economic potential", they certainly are spending an inordinate amount of time and resources to break her and force her into submission one way or another.
banbury From: banbury Date: August 11th, 2008 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, as Itold I don't understand our policy towards Georgia, but all the confrontations are about power not economy and mostly on the higher levels. We have quite a few friends of Georgian origin who work in Moscow but have their families back in Tbilisi, we respect each other and i don't remeber arguing with them about politics. And frankly speaking i don't care about politics, I care about people.
max_und_moritz From: max_und_moritz Date: August 11th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
---It is absolutely undisputed in international law that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia’s sovereign territory; no one, not even Putin, recognises the breakaway ‘governments’ therein.

Slight correction here: the Russian Federation´s diplomats at several international organisations (notably the OSCE) continuously refer to the separatist South Ossetian leaders as "the Government of South Ossetia". And the same goes for Abkhazia. As seen by the current events, the Russian delegates were deliberate about this, and it was more than a verbal quillet meant to drive their Georgian counterparts up the rhetorical wall.
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