Thursday, August 14, 2008

Russia withdraws from Georgia!

Russian troops have throughout the day been withdrawing from Georgia in accordance with statements made by President Dmitry Medvedev.

This would normally have been treated as good news, however there is a problem, and that is that either their navigational equipment is broken, or that their definition of "withdrawal" is a one with which we are not familiar with.

It beggars belief that Russian troops have been filmed by both Channel 4 and the BBC in and around Gori.

Iain Dale laments the tales of Georgian refugees in this article here. I have not been there, but I can tell you that I have been to the former Yugoslavia when it was at war, and this sort of things happen both ways. That is of course no excuse for anything, but I will say this: I suspect that if you went to Tshinvali* and sat and had a coffee with a few local Ossetians you would come away with the impression that these were good solid honest hospitable and above all friendly people. You would feel exactly the same way having spent the afternoon in the company of Georgians in Gori. You would however, as I was in the former Yugoslavia be dreadfully shocked at the bestial violence they seem to meet out amongst themselves.

I have heard much about the atrocities the Russians claim have been committed and those committed by them and the Ossetians. With regret I can believe and disbelieve both at the same time. What is of course needed is hard evidence and in war that is hard to come by. Is that dead child a Georgian killed by the evil Russians, and Ossetian killed by the evil Georgians, or just a casualty of war.

Two things are clear though, Mikheil Saakashvili is not the sort of person I would want to be able to declare war on my behalf, and Russia needs sorting out.

*Please note that a correct transliteration would probably spell that Tsinvali though other alternatives are Tschinvali. It is pronounced roughly as Shinvali but try to imagine a T being there, at the front, but just a bit.

The BBC has this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I havent been to Georgia but like you I did spend a lot of time in Croatia and Bosnia. I noticed on TV today several things.

The Russians are technologically superior but still deployed an obvious antique artillery piece - date c. latest 1950 seen on the BBC.

The Russian tanks T-70s etc are useful against civilians and the Georgian antiqueware but against NATO would all be destroyed like balsa wood models.

2 or 3 Eurofighters could clear all the Russians out of Georgia in an afternoon from way beyond the range of anything the Russians have...