In Russia’s Vicious Circle, Nations Pay Heavy Price For Independence, Still Without Much Luck

Fuad Muxtarlı Analysis 8 August 2019
In Russia’s Vicious Circle, Nations Pay Heavy Price For Independence, Still Without Much Luck

With aggressive and unpredictable policies coupled with never-ending imperial ambitions, Russia, despite rich natural resources, has set back both own development and those of in its backyard and worldwide.

Without delving into global instances, it is enough just to name Cuba, Nicaragua, several African nations. Interestingly, several others once lured by Moscow’s promises, soon realized their error and distanced themselves from its sphere of influence and managed to develop economically and be active actors worldwide.

Their geostrategic locations often played a crucial role for them to come out of Russian influence though those viewed as Russia’s backyard countries were and are not enough lucky to often hedge off the Kremlin ubiquitous role in their domestic and independent foreign policy issues.

Georgia is one of them and today marks the 11th anniversary of the Russian military incursion into this country. Georgia marks one of the most tragic dates of its history. On August 8, 2019 marks 11 years of Russian widespread aggression against Georgia and the capture of the inalienable Georgian regions of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.

Despite the efforts of the Georgian government and the international community, Russia has been continuing its illegal and provocative actions for 11 years. The strengthening of the Russian military presence in the occupied Georgian lands and of “wire aggression”, that is, the advance of barbed wire deep into Georgian territory is continuing. And it also cynically advises Georgia and the entire world community to “get used to the new reality”.

The world, however, does not intend to get used to it. Together with Russia, the occupation regimes of Tskhinvali and Sukhumi were recognized as independent states by Venezuela and Nicaragua, now Syria has also joined them, as well as several other island statelets, like Nauru and Vanuatu, many of which later also recalled their recognition.

Most of the world community continues to support Georgia. Azerbaijan recognizes and supports the territorial integrity of Georgia though another South Caucasus nation of Armenia is ready for anew aggression against Armenian-populated Javakhetia region of Georgia.

Baku and Tbilisi jointly vote at many international events, including the UN General Assembly and the Eastern Partnership meetings, and such a political partnership is part of the strategic cooperation between the two countries though this makes some countries unhappy.

Another question is that even then, in 2008, the attack on Georgia practically got away with Russia. In response to the tanks moving through the Roki Tunnel, the shelling of Gori from the Iskander missiles and the explosions of ships in Poti, nothing at all followed - not even tisk, tisk.

Not that the world then believed in Russian fairy tales about the "peacefully sleeping Tskhinvali". In the end, already in hot pursuit of the war, a lot of evidence was presented that it was precisely Russian aggression. Recall: long before August 2008, combat-ineffective population, primarily women and children, were taken out from Tskhinvali. Under the guise of regular exercises, a solid military “fist” was pulled to the borders of Georgia.

But the world tried not to notice all this. Yes, Russia was lightly scolded for recognizing Tskhinvali and Sukhumi, agreed on a ceasefire, but there was no sanction or departure from the G8. The world was absorbed in hopes of a new “reset” and simply did not delve into what happened in the mountains of the South Caucasus.

But it seems that then many did not take into account: there are states in the world that simply should not be encouraged. Already in 2014, the capture of Crimea followed, and it was no longer possible to react to it. Moreover, now, in the "general context", the attitude towards aggression against Georgia is changing.

And against this background, Russia decided to make a return move. Russian propagandists have set out to bypass even their Armenian counterparts in the number of fabricated “genocides”.

Anatoly Bibilov, who heads the occupation regime created by Russia in Georgian Tskhinvali, promised to recognize the events of August 2008 when, according to Russian propaganda, such-and-such Georgia started shelling the “peacefully sleeping Tskhinvali” (just like that, without an “and” at the end ), he added:

“Without a doubt, we will tie this to the 1920 genocide.” Recall: a few days ago, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told reporters that the Council of the State Duma at the next meeting will consider an appeal from “colleagues from South Ossetia” on the recognition of the so-called “genocide of South Ossetians” in 1920 by Georgia.

Most experts link this Duma activity with the sensational statement of Vladimir Putin, who managed to call the Georgians “occupiers” on his own land and still hit on moral reading: they say, “it would be nice to know the history of Georgia’s relations with the peoples of Abkhazia and South Ossetia if they (the leadership Georgia) today want to establish relations with them ", and "the cruelty with which the Georgian troops acted in Ossetia in 1919 and 1920, ....this is exactly what is called genocide today."
When exactly this foul-smelling "initiative" will be considered by the Duma Council, he did not specify.

But it is impossible not to notice: Russian figures, including puppets, were moving at a whirlwind pace just ahead of the next anniversary of the beginning of Russian aggression against Georgia, when - and in this regard in Russia, they are hardly mistaken - a series of unpleasant statements awaits Moscow. And what, it seems, they decided to make a “return move” and accuse Georgia of “Ossetian genocide”?
Create a “legal counterweight”?

To prove that then they really “saved the Ossetians”? Only now, as it were softer, for such an action requires a little - evidence. But they are not. Even in the hot pursuit of the war, Russian propaganda screamed: they say 2,000 civilians were killed in Tskhinvali! Then the figure was reduced to 1,600. But in Tskhinvali, there was no mass funeral or terrifying destruction - nothing. PR specialists, according to Russian journalists, even offered to "build a cemetery".

And what is Moscow is counting on now? Or is it simply against the backdrop of the complete failure of its policy that it is trying to convince its fellow citizens that its policy in Georgia has not failed completely? The only question is how long this kind of fake and tricks will last.