Page 20 of 22 FirstFirst ... 101819202122 LastLast
Results 381 to 400 of 434

Thread: Georgia's South Ossetia Conflict - Political Commentary

  1. #381
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default Georgian Real Estate

    In the event you folks are considering real Estate ventures, and you discover that you have a 500 kg Russian UXO in the basement...Don't call the bomb squad

    Enjoy the pics !
    Attached Images Attached Images
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  2. #382
    Council Member sullygoarmy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Fort Stewart
    Posts
    224

    Default

    Awesome pics! Stay safe!
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."

    -Thucydides

  3. #383
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    And, this is what your neighbor's roof looks like after (cough) an EOD visit
    Attached Images Attached Images
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  4. #384
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    currently in Washington DC
    Posts
    321

    Default

    And what do you say to that, "thank you" or "f*$k you!"? Loses a bit on the curb appeal, I have to admit.

  5. #385
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Cool Pictures Stan...hope you did those with a telephoto lens

  6. #386
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebubalicious View Post
    And what do you say to that, "thank you" or "f*$k you!"? Loses a bit on the curb appeal, I have to admit.
    Hey Eric,
    As you can see from the pictures, these were strategic sites the Russians bombed 7.5 clicks off target... thereabouts

    Actually, word from the field was the entire neighborhood was for the destruction and have already cleaned up the site for a new foundation. I also have information that the Georgian government will finance the rebuild. Til then, it's a sleep over at the neighbor's house (without a roof)

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Cool Pictures Stan...hope you did those with a telephoto lens
    Hey Slap !
    According to the IBF's safe distance tables, the team would have been in Estonia for the remote blast initiation

    Yep, it's a pretty cool camera and has a good zoom lens to boot !

    Off to southern and sunny parts. See ya later next week !

    Regards, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  7. #387
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    Six briefing notes from Chatham House, 30 Sep 08:

    Russia and Georgia: Culpabilities and Consequences
    Culpability matters. We cannot be ‘forward-looking’ unless we know who we are dealing with, what is driving them and what they are capable of. We also need to know ourselves, particularly when we share culpabilities with others. Culpabilities are shared in this conflict, but they are different in scale and in nature.....
    After the Battle: What the August War will mean for Russia's Domestic Politics
    Within the past 15 years the Russian Federation has crossed three significant thresholds. When Boris Yeltsin shelled his own parliament in 1993 he launched a new era of personalized power in Russia. The arrest of oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and destruction of his company, Yukos, in 2003 propelled Russia down the road to bureaucratic capitalism. The August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia — a proxy war between Russia and the West, with Georgia serving the role of whipping-boy — crosses the third threshold. It ends the Perestroika experiment begun by Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s. In so doing, it marks the end of Russia’s latest attempt to secure a firm place for itself within Western civilization.....
    The Paradoxical Regional Implications of Russian Actions in Georgia
    Several issues arise from Russia’s actions in Georgia that are relevant in the larger Caucasus region. Taking the North Caucasus first, arguably one Russian motivation for military action in South Ossetia was to address its security concerns in the North Caucasus. This has at least two dimensions. First, substantial flows of refugees from South Ossetia into North Ossetia risked the destabilization of the delicate relationship between North Ossetia and Ingushetia (specifically the Prigorodnyi Raion). The near-war between North Ossetia and Ingushetia in 1992 was in part a product of refugee movements from South Ossetia into areas populated by Ingush in this region. The dispute has never been fully settled. A similar movement of people risks generating a return to violence at a time when the situation in the North Caucasus region as a whole remains parlous.....
    Russia and Europe in the Aftermath of the Georgian Conflict: New Challenges, Old Paradigms
    ....In the immediate future, Moscow will try to pursue a path of accommodation with the EU in order to help overcome the effects of August 2008. Russia’s leaders have already confirmed that Russia will continue to recognize that Crimea is part of Ukraine and that the 1997 interstate treaty with Ukraine remains valid. The authorities in Tiraspol, capital of Moldova’s breakaway region, Transdnistria, have demonstratively agreed to resume negotiations with Chisinau. Taking into account the reluctance of Russia’s closest CIS partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to express their full solidarity with Russia’s actions in South Ossetia, it behoves Russia to treat them as a special case, rather than the start of a new trend.

    In the longer run, however, it would be in Europe’s interests to find the courage to face the new realities. After Georgia, Russia will feel emboldened to raise its geopolitical game in the region, and this promises to create new tensions not only with Ukraine, but also with Belarus, which seems to have started exploring the possibilities of moving closer to Europe. A Cold War response is neither feasible nor appropriate. But substituting new rhetoric for serious policy revision will not help the EU.
    US-Russian Relations After the Events of August 2008
    The US relationship with Russia – in steady decline since Russian ‘disillusionment’ over lack of reciprocal cooperation after 11 September 2001 – is now in a state of flux, following the Georgia crisis of August 2008. There are three reasons:

    · a lame-duck US administration, with a focus elsewhere: the November presidential election and US entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    · irritation at Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s unpredictability and rashness.
    · genuine concern over the intentions of the current Russian regime, mixed with uncertainty over the most effective counter-policy.

    This commentary will examine the last two reasons and then offer a brief analysis of Russian views of US policy.
    The August 2008 Conflict: Economic Consequences for Russia
    Russia’s intervention in Georgia in August 2008 has economic consequences. Some are short-term only; some are likely to be perceptible only in the longer term. In both cases, some effects are beneficial to Russia, and some are harmful.

    The likely consequences are easy to list but impossible to measure. There are more negative effects than favourable ones for Russia. That is no guarantee that, in total, the damaging effects will outweigh the positive effects. All the listing can do is provide an agenda for future monitoring, and perhaps some guidance for policy.

    One final caveat: several Russian economic indicators – growth, the stock market index and net international capital flows, for example – were already deteriorating before the conflict. Evidence about any negative economic development for Russia after mid-August needs to be interrogated with this in mind. Was that development already visible before 7 August? If it was, do we really have any indication that it was exacerbated by the conflict?

  8. #388
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Russian Withdrawals ...

    According to the following articles, Russia has withdrawn its forces from the so-called "buffer zones", after roughly a 2-month occupation.

    BBC
    updated at 14:17 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 15:17 UK
    EU verifies Russia's withdrawal
    Russia has dismantled its checkpoints in the buffer zones

    Russian forces have fully withdrawn from buffer zones adjoining Georgia's breakaway regions, the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana says.

    He said he was "happy to announce" that EU monitors had confirmed the withdrawal from the zones outside Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    Friday was the deadline for the pull-out under a ceasefire plan.

    Earlier, however, France's foreign minister noted that Russian forces remained in some disputed pockets.

    Asked if Russia had honoured the ceasefire deal, Bernard Kouchner said: "I think so, but partly."

    "They had to leave the buffer zone before October 10 and they did it," he said, after touring the area with EU monitors.

    But he said he was aware of three disputed pockets of land, and that these would be discussed at an international conference in Geneva next week.

    Georgia has complained that Russian forces still occupy Akhalgori and Perevi in South Ossetia, and the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia - areas that were under Georgian control before conflict erupted on 7 August. ....
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7663145.stm

    I doubt whether Russia will give up any of the three pockets.

    Yahoo News
    France: Russia only partly met Georgia obligations
    By MATT SIEGEL, Associated Press Writer
    Fri Oct 10, 1:03 PM ET

    TKVIAVI, Georgia - Russia has only partially met its obligations in Georgia under an EU-negotiated ceasefire, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner declared Friday as he toured damaged villages and spoke to displaced people in Georgia.

    He confirmed that Russia had met the Friday deadline to withdraw hundreds of troops from strips of land in Georgia outside the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. But Kouchner suggested Moscow has not met all its obligations under the cease-fire, which also stipulated that Russia must withdraw to positions held before the five-day war broke out Aug. 7.

    "The withdrawal is complete on the first part of the agreement. Of course, the agreement is not complete at all, and it is not a perfect agreement," Kouchner said at a refugee camp in the central city of Gori, which was heavily bombed in war. ....
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081010/...georgia_russia

  9. #389
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    903

    Default

    Our Man in Tbilisi: Fifteen Years Ago, a Bullet Felled CIA Agent Freddie Woodruff. Was It the First Shot in a New Cold War With Russia?, By ANDREW HIGGINS. The Wall Street Journal, OCTOBER 18, 2008.
    The bullet that killed Mr. Woodruff, 15 years to the day before Russia's recent military thrust into Georgia, was never found. Evidence casting doubt on the official story wasn't presented at Mr. Sharmaidze's trial. Key witnesses have now retracted their testimony, saying they were beaten and forced to finger Mr. Sharmaidze.

    If Mr. Sharmaidze didn't do it, though, who did? Those who don't buy the official explanation suspect that the answer lies in the spy games that played out on Russia's frontier following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Woodruff was an early actor in a dangerous drama. American spies were moving into newborn nations previously dominated by Soviet intelligence. Russia's security apparatus, resentful and demoralized, was in turmoil, its nominal loyalty to a pro-Western course set by President Boris Yeltsin shredded by hard-line spooks and generals who viewed the Americans as a menace.

  10. #390
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    From Estonia's President

    What changed in the world after 8 August when Russia attacked Georgia? Should we worry about our security? After all, we are not in the same situation as Georgia.

    After the attack on Georgia, people in Estonia started saying that NATO has no plan for the Baltic States. What does it mean?

    NATO has not thought for 17 or 18 years that there could be military aggression in Europe. However, the alliance does have general plans.
    It is also irrelevant to say that everything will be over by the time NATO gets here to help us.

    No country can gather its forces quickly by the border of another country and go unnoticed. It is a very long process and should it happen, then NATO will be ready and waiting.

    Are you in favor of establishing NATO bases in Estonia?

    Every military unit of Estonia is a NATO base, which makes the discussion of bases irrelevant.

    The condition of our airports and ports is important at present. The question is whether we are able to receive our allies and not whether there will be bases.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  11. #391
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Fort Leavenworth, KS
    Posts
    1,512

    Default What was that formula now....

    And, this is what your neighbor's roof looks like after (cough) an EOD visit
    oh yea... "P" for plenty

    Stan, I certainly admire both the technical expertise required and the stones the EOD folks exhibit. They are mong the best we have.

    Best, Rob

  12. #392
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    oh yea... "P" for plenty

    Stan, I certainly admire both the technical expertise required and the stones the EOD folks exhibit. They are mong the best we have.

    Best, Rob
    Hey Rob, it's in fact a secret recipe... add just about as much as will fit snugly into the entrance hole

    We in fact began training these folks in the early and mid 90s, and they are now providers vs recipients of security. Not bad me thinks
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  13. #393
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Job well done ...

    We in fact began training these folks in the early and mid 90s, and they are now providers vs recipients of security.
    and you are entitled to say so.

  14. #394
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default South Ossetia and Abhazia - Permanent Russian Bases in 2009

    This announcement is no great surprise.

    Russian bases to stay in separatist regions
    Article from: Agence France-Presse
    From correspondents in Moscow
    October 22, 2008 06:04am
    .....
    RUSSIA will establish permanent military bases in the Georgian separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abhazia next year, the chief of the Russian general staff said today.

    "I think it will take us at least a year to set up these bases so that they fully meet our aims," General Nikolai Makarov told the Interfax news agency.

    He was speaking on his return from Helsinki where he had met his US counterpart Admiral Michael Mullen. ....
    ....
    Under the cooperation and mutual assistance agreements with South Ossetia and Abkhazia Russia has undertaken to defend their borders with the rest of Georgia.
    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sto...005961,00.html

    There is NO evidence from US sources that any sort of "deal" was struck between the US and Russia at Helsinki.

    Makarov's comment reported by Reuters (below) is a bit ambiguous: "We found an understanding on those reasons that have led to a cooling in relations between Russia and the United States." I believe this means that they agreed as what their disagreements were.

    The Mullen-Makarov meeting was reported yesterday by Helsingin Sanomat, the New York Times and Reuters, among others.

    HELSINGIN SANOMAT
    INTERNATIONAL EDITION - TRAVEL
    21.10.2008
    Leaders of US and Russian armed forces hold meeting in Finland
    Military chiefs discuss Georgia and US missile defence
    .....
    Leaders of the military forces of the United States and Russia met in Finland for talks on Tuesday. According to US officials, the aim of the meeting, which had been kept a secret until Tuesday, was to improve bilateral relations between the great powers.

    According to the New York Times newspaper, the two sides wanted to meet on neutral soil. Taking part in the meeting was Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his Russian colleague, General Nikolai Makarov.
    .....
    Hosting the meeting was Finland’s Chief of Defence Juhani Kaskeala, who met the two guests for lunch. The meeting was held at the Königstedt Manor in Vantaa. .... “Finland has been given a butler’s role in this”, said an anonymous source to Helsingin Sanomat. ... The meeting concluded at 2:00 PM on Tuesday.
    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Lea.../1135240416668

    NY Times
    Top Military Officers Talk in U.S.-Russia Conference
    By THOM SHANKER
    Published: October 21, 2008
    .....
    HELSINKI, Finland — The United States and Russia sent their top military officers to this neutral capital, with its resonant legacy of cold-war-era talks, for a secretly arranged meeting on Tuesday to try to push their strained relations back on track, American officials said.
    ....
    The admiral said he and General Makarov had discussed American disquiet over the war in Georgia — Russia’s first post-Soviet offensive outside its soil — as well as Russian unhappiness with the arrival of American warships in the Black Sea with humanitarian aid for Georgia.

    Other topics included NATO’s relations with Russia and how to improve cooperation on countering terrorism, halting the proliferation of unconventional weapons and stemming narcotics trafficking.

    Admiral Mullen offered no details of those discussions but said that he and his counterpart had pledged to continue talking. .....
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/22/wo.../22mullen.html

    U.S., Russian military chiefs meet in Helsinki
    Tue Oct 21, 6:18 pm ET
    ....
    HELSINKI (Reuters) – U.S. and Russian military chiefs met on Tuesday for the first time since Russian troops crushed the forces of America's ally Georgia in a war that has strained relations between the two countries.

    The U.S. Embassy in Helsinki said Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, met Russian General Nikolai Makarov, head of the Russian general staff.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the talks did not mean the Pentagon, which put all aspects of its ties with Russia under review after the Georgia conflict in August, had resumed normal relations with Moscow. ...
    ....
    Makarov told Russian news agencies that he had spoken to Mullen for about two hours and that a range of issues, including Georgia, had been discussed.

    "During the meetings, we agreed that on key questions of a military character we shall periodically hold dialogue by telephone and, when needed, personal meetings, which I think will acquire a regular and structured character," RIA news agency quoted Makarov saying.

    "We found an understanding on those reasons that have led to a cooling in relations between Russia and the United States," he said. Discussions had been "open and honest." .....
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081021/...ia_usa_meeting

  15. #395
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default Georgia is a danger to today’s Russia

    ... most of Russia is an impoverished country with crumbling infrastructure and a declining population.

    Georgia presents a grave threat to the ruling class in Russia. They fear Georgia and are determined to undermine its growing success.

    Putin’s Russia is good at killing journalists, poisoning political enemies and growing corruption. The lack of political debate and freedom of the press gives Russians few alternatives to ponder.

    The new Georgia threatens those falsehoods. Georgia is fast becoming an example Russia’s leaders fear. That’s why Russia is doing all it can to stifle Georgia’s growth away from the old Soviet mentality.

    In a recent trip to Ukraine, many young professionals I met in Kyiv could not imagine driving a few kilometers without being stopped by police panhandling for bribes. They said Ukraine would never change. They were amazed when I told them about Georgia, where policemen are helpful and not corrupt. It opened their eyes to what their country can someday achieve as well.
    Having said that there's a little cash involved to boot !

    Western donors have pledged $4.55bn to help rebuild Georgia

    The announcement followed a meeting of some 70 organisations and countries in Brussels, hosted by the European Commission and the World Bank.

    EU officials said the amount was far more than had been expected.
    Last edited by Stan; 10-22-2008 at 07:23 PM. Reason: forgot the link yet again !
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  16. #396
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,007

    Default

    Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia on Wednesday approved a former Russian tax official as its prime minister, prompting Georgian charges that Moscow has annexed the region after a war in August.

    Aslanbek Bulatsev, a former tax chief in neighboring North Ossetia, was approved by the rebel region's parliament. South Ossetia has a long-term aim of uniting with North Ossetia.
    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/articl.../42/371881.htm

  17. #397
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default Russian tolerance warning from Estonian president

    In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, Ilves said that “some EU countries will certainly soon start behaving as if the Russian aggression against Georgia in August never happened.”

    In his words, he sees that Russia can do anything it pleases within its borders, such as bombing Chechnya, but outside Russia, the fact that people are free to decide their own future no longer holds since the Russian invasion of Georgia in August.

    Ilves said one should not believe that Russia will calm down if NATO closed its door to Ukraine and Georgia.

    "Europe must call a spade a spade and put in place firm rules in interaction with Russia," Ilves said.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  18. #398
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    currently in Washington DC
    Posts
    321

    Default

    What Russian invasion? We've got a full-scale financial crisis....

    Perhaps the best thing for Ukraine is a small-scale invasion by Russia. I suggest they "accidentally" sink one of those black sea ships and entice Russia to attack. It would spur Ukrainian nationalism, polarize the population against Russia, spur defense spending, solicit the sympathy of the international community and ultimately result in massive foreign aid. Only problem is that the emporer has no clothes and Russia might just march all the way to Kyiv while EU countries wring their hands...

  19. #399
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,602

    Default Georgia Claims on Russia War Called Into Question (by OSCE observers)

    Georgia Claims on Russia War Called Into Question

    By C. J. CHIVERS and ELLEN BARRY
    New York Times
    Published: November 6, 2008

    TBILISI, Georgia — Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.

    Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia’s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.

  20. #400
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,007

    Default

    I'd like to add to Rex's quote this one.

    With a paucity of reliable and unbiased information available, the O.S.C.E. observations put the United States in a potentially difficult position. The United States, Mr. Saakashvili’s principal source of international support, has for years accepted the organization’s conclusions and praised its professionalism. Mr. Bryza refrained from passing judgment on the conflicting accounts.
    plus other Georgian supporters.

Similar Threads

  1. North Korea: catch all thread
    By SWJED in forum Asia-Pacific
    Replies: 408
    Last Post: 04-24-2015, 03:17 PM
  2. Replies: 141
    Last Post: 08-30-2012, 09:23 AM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-14-2010, 02:38 PM
  4. Conflict Analysis
    By Jedburgh in forum Training & Education
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-24-2007, 04:10 PM
  5. Vietnam's Forgotten Lessons
    By SWJED in forum Training & Education
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 04-26-2006, 11:50 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •