Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

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   So Russia's at war. I don't think most of America noticed, though I have heard a few random people talking about it. Anyway, I wrote several papers about Georgia and its breakaway provinces and Russia's interests in the area, so this development is interesting to me.

   For those who haven't noticed yet, Russia has invaded neighbouring Georgia. Ostensibly because either Georgia killed some of its peacekeepers there, or to "protect its citizens." Both of these explanations are more or less bullshit.

   Firstly, you should ask, well why were Russian peacekeepers IN GEORGIA. The answer is that a norther province of Georgia, South Ossetia, has been fighting for independance from Georgia. The fighting has been pretty low key thus far I believe, but Georgia had better things to worry about and left it alone. Russia's been backing the South Ossetians though, mainly to annoy Georgia.
   I say mainly to annoy Georgia because all other things being equal, Russia has compelling reasons NOT to support the South Ossetians. North Ossetia is in southern Russia and also, I believe, wouldn't mind being independant. Also the Ossetians are members of the Confederacy of Mountain Peoples along with the Chechen seperatists, who Russia has been at war with. So Russia's only interest in supporting South Ossetia is really just to mess with Georgia.

   Additionally, Russia has issued Russian citizenship to the people of South Ossetia. That is, they've given Russian citizenship to people living in Georgia. These people aren't ethnic Russians, and they haven't historically been part of Russia any more than Georgia itself has. Russia was just being saucy. So Russia now says they're "defending their citizens" but thats about as accurate as if America gave citizenship to half the Iraqis and then claimed in the invasion was to protect American citizens.

   And as to the Russian peacekeepers getting killed, considering Russias belligerancy on the issue and militant protection of South Ossetian seperatist forces, I don't believe for a second those "peacekeepers" weren't already actively engaged in military activities against Georgian forces.

   And word on the street is Georgia is doing remarkably well! Reportedly Georgia has destroyed 40 Russian tanks and downed 10 aircraft. Thats quite the pwnage! Too bad Russia can just keep sending hundreds of them things in.

   Also Georgia and (the government of) the USA are basically BFF. Russia conveniently waited until 2,000 American troops left Georgia this last month before beginning the offensive. American forces have been there on and off training Georgian troops. The Pankisi Gorge which is in Georgia but neighbours Chechnya has long been a hideout for Islamic militants, and jihadists are also believed to hang out in South Ossetia and the other seperatists provinces. So training the Georgian forces to be able to "pacify" these regions has been in US's interest in the War On Terror. Additionally Georgia is one of the biggest contributers to the coalition in Iraq, with about 3,000 troops there.

Tags: georgia, international news, international politics, ossetia, russia
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