The Russian invasion of Georgia has not changed the balance of power in Eurasia. It simply announced that the balance of power had already shifted. The United States has been absorbed in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as potential conflict with Iran and a destabilizing situation in Pakistan. It has no strategic ground forces in reserve and is in no position to intervene on the Russian periphery. This, as we have argued, has opened a window of opportunity for the Russians to reassert their influence in the former Soviet sphere. Moscow did not have to concern itself with the potential response of the United States or Europe; hence, the invasion did not shift the balance of power. The balance of power had already shifted, and it was up to the Russians when to make this public. They did that Aug. 8.
Tag Archives: south ossetia
Human Rights Watch says it has received an official letter from Georgia’s Defense Ministry that acknowledges use of the M85 cluster munition near the Roki tunnel that connects South Ossetia with Russia. The M85 is the same weapon that was used extensively by Israel in its 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
By Larisa Sotieva in Vladikavkaz (CRS No. 452, 12-Aug-08)
Residents of Tskhinvali in a cellar sheltering from bombardment.
High in the sky I saw five steel-coloured planes. As I was studying them, they formed a line like geese and plunged towards the ground. From their bellies they dropped bombs like eggs. Their insane whistle shook the mountain gorge and the ground shook like an earthquake. Having dropped their eggs, the planes flew on in the direction of Tskhinvali.
If there were any doubt that the rules of the international game have changed for good, the events of the past few days should have dispelled it. On Monday, President Bush demanded that Russia’s leaders reject their parliament’s appeal to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Within 24 hours, Bush had his response: President Medvedev announced Russia’s recognition of the two contested Georgian enclaves.
The NKR Foreign Minister yesterday made a statement welcoming the recognition of the independence of South Osetia and Abkhazia. The statement runs as follows, “The Nagorno Karabakh Republic welcomes the recognition of the state independence of South Osetia and Abkhazia. It is in full compliance with the fundamental principles of the nations’ right to self-determination and international law, principles that are enshrined in the fundamental documents and legal acts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations and other international organizations.
The American people should be eternally grateful to Old Europe for having spiked the Bush-McCain plan to bring Georgia into NATO.
Had Georgia been in NATO when Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia, we would be eyeball to eyeball with Russia, facing war in the Caucasus, where Moscow’s superiority is as great as U.S. superiority in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis.
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday he has signed an order recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two breakaway regions in the Republic of Georgia.
“This is not an easy choice but this is the only opportunity to preserve the lives of the people,” Medvedev said, according to a translation from Russia Today.
Medvedev called on other countries to follow Russia’s lead.