Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ready for Round 2?

The open issue at the time of the suspension of open warfare last summer in the Republic of Georgia was, and remains, how long will Russia wait before they engineer a chance to finish what they set out to do?

Well, summer is here again, and with the season comes Russian claims of Georgian "aggressive intent". Their servile frontmen in South Ossetia are accusing Georgia of firing two mortar rounds on a military outpost along the defacto line-of-control, and the Russian Defense Ministry hauled out the usual threats:
"In the event of further acts of provocation threatening the population of the republic and the Russian military contingent based in the territory of South Ossetia, the Russian Defense Ministry reserves the right to use all available force and means to defend the citizens of the republic of South Ossetia and Russian servicemen," the ministry said in a statement, Russia's Interfax news agency reported.
To no great surprise, the Georgian Interior Ministry said there was no firing:
The Georgian Interior Ministry said there had been no shooting from either side of the boundary. The Russian statement "clearly shows very aggressive intent," said ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili. He urged the West to pay attention.
I'll echo that last part loudly.

The West should pay attention to what is happening. There are international inspectors and observers to be asked about this, even though they are only able to see things from the Georgian-controlled areas (the Russians got the OSCE observer mission on the Russian side of the line shut down early this year).

The truth can be known.

Let's let it be known far and wide, *before* things reach the point where the Russians feel confident enough to try for another bite of Georgian territory.

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