Russia’s victory over Georgia in the armed conflict in South Ossetia, the diplomatic maneuvers which followed the conflict and showed that the Western community cannot (and does not want to) oppose Russia in a serious way, and Dmitry Medvedev’s bold statements at the Valdai International Discussion Club make the President of Russia ‘a hero of the day’. Some time ago it was difficult for Dmitry Medvedev to show his real worth, but today his importance as a strong state leader is beyond any doubt.
Fortunately, the Russia-Georgia war was short-lived, but its repercussions will be felt for quite a long time. By defeating Georgia and showing that Washington was unable to defend its own ally, Russia humiliated the United States in front of the whole world.
The public statements made by Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, whom the status of the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol gives no rest at all, are unlikely to surprise or really offend anybody – everyone has already got accustomed to such declarations.
Whenever a writer promises to "reveal the truth behind recent events," he usually digs up the latest conspiracy theory or divulges "inside information" that explains how key decisions were made. Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories, nor am I privy to any secret negotiations between the Kremlin and the White House. Nevertheless, I am convinced that we should interpret the fundamental reasons behind the present U.S.-Russia confrontation much differently than the way the media have portrayed it.
Yes, Russia clashed with Georgia.
Georgia has resolutely condemned Russia’s actions in Chechnya. Russia has severely criticized NATO actions towards Serbia.
Later on the Georgian authorities tried to do the same thing in South Ossetia as the Russian authorities had done in Chechnya. Moscow decided to treat Georgia in the same way as NATO had treated Serbia. Bad habits are contagious.
Stupid leaders interpret words to satisfy their political desires. They miss vital nuances in dangerous international relations. On August 7, Mikheil Saakashvili ordered Georgia's armed forces to invade South Ossetia, a secessionist province bordering Russia. In so doing, he joined other heads of state who won dunce caps with disastrous decisions based on failure to understand the obvious.
Georgia's President apparently counted on US backing, albeit his "good friend" George W. Bush had not explicitly promised to send US forces if needed.
After delays, the Russian promise to withdraw its military forces from Georgia seems to be taking shape. By the terms of the French-brokered ceasefire Russian troops will remain in South Ossetia, plus occupy a security belt of undisclosed width in South Ossetia. The situation remains fluid and far from resolved.
The brief and vicious war between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia has killed an untold number of people and displaced and traumatised many thousands more; promised a lengthy and abrasive aftermath; postponed even further the prospects of a settlement over this and the region's other territory lost to Georgia's control in the early 1990s, Abkhazia; created new enmities as well as poisoning existing ones; and planted