Behind the 2008 Georgian War
The Aftermath of Georgia's Invasion of South Ossetia
The map of the region
- NATO scuttles US plan to encircle Russia
December 09, 2008 - F. William Engdahl
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ministers in Brussels have decided to ignore the wishes of the United States and delay the admission of Georgia and the Ukraine, in effect indefinitely, in what the George W Bush administration is sheepishly trying to claim is a positive "compromise".
- U.S. concedes Georgia attack attack in South Ossetia was a mistake
November 09, 2008 - David Gollust
The U.S. State Department said Friday the Georgian attack in South Ossetia last August was a mistake, but that it did not justify Russia's large-scale intervention. The comments follow a critical newspaper assessment of the Tbilisi government's role in the crisis.
- Ossetia-Georgia-Russia-U.S.A.: Towards a Second Cold War?
September 11, 2008 - Noam Chomsky
As the USSR collapsed, Mikhail Gorbachev made a concession that was astonishing in the light of recent history and strategic realities: he agreed to allow a united Germany to join a hostile military alliance. This "stunning concession" was hailed by Western media, NATO, and President Bush I, who called it a demonstration of "statesmanship ... in the best interests of all countries of Europe, including the Soviet Union." Gorbachev agreed to the stunning concession on the basis of "assurances that NATO would not extend its jurisdiction to the east, 'not one inch' in [Secretary of State] Jim Baker's exact words." This reminder by Jack Matlock, the leading Soviet expert of the Foreign Service and US ambassador to Russia in the crucial years 1987 to 1991, is confirmed by Strobe Talbott, the highest official in charge of Eastern Europe in the Clinton administration. On the basis of a full review of the diplomatic record, Talbott reports that "Secretary of State Baker did say to then Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze, in the context of the Soviet Union's reluctant willingness to let a unified Germany remain part of NATO, that NATO would not move to the east."
- The Anti-Empire Report: Obama-Biden, Russia-U.S.
September 05, 2008 - William Blum
If McCain had a role in the Georgian invasion of breakaway-region Ossetia it would have been arranged with the help of Randy Scheunemann, McCain's top foreign policy adviser and until recently Georgia's principal lobbyist in Washington. As head of the neo-conservative Committee for the Liberation of Iraq in 2002, Scheunemann was one of America's leading advocates for invading Iraq. One of McCain's primary campaign sales pitches has been to emphasize his supposed superior experience in foreign policy matters, which -- again supposedly -- means something in this world.
- The War over South Ossetia
September 04, 2008 - Stephen Gowans
On August 4, 2008, Russia's deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin phoned US assistant secretary of state Daniel Fried to complain about the build-up of Georgian troops in the vicinity of South Ossetia.  Two days later, South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity, having evidence that Georgia planned a military strike before the month was out, told Denis Keefe, Britain's ambassador to Georgia, that a Georgian invasion was imminent.
- Wag the Dog in Georgia
September 02, 2008 - Eric Walberg
Was an Independent Ossetia a US Election Ruse Gone Wrong?
- VIDEO: Medvedev - Unipolarity is unacceptable September 01, 2008
Russia's President says his decision to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia won't change. Here's what Dmitry Medvedev had to say in an interview with Russia's main television stations.
- Putin: Russia won't be isolated
August 30, 2008 - Russia Today
Russia will not be isolated because it protected its citizens and upheld its peacekeeping mission, the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said. In an interview on German TV, Putin suggested that if Russia had not responded to Georgian aggression, there could have been a tragedy along the scale of what happened in the former Yugoslavia.
- Kremlin announces that South Ossetia will join 'one united Russian state'
August 30, 2008 - Tony Halpin
The Kremlin moved swiftly to tighten its grip on Georgia's breakaway regions yesterday as South Ossetia announced that it would soon become part of Russia, which will open military bases in the province...
» No Russian bases in South Ossetia
The Russian Foreign Ministry has denied suggestions that Russian military bases will be located in South Ossetia. It says Russia is currently working on a cooperation deal with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but that it's too early to assess where this might lead.
- Putin accuses US of starting Georgia crisis as election ploy
August 29, 2008 - Ian Traynor, Guardian UK
Putin suggested that the Georgia war had been cooked up in Washington to create a neo-cold war climate that would strengthen Republican candidate John McCain's bid for the White House.
- VIDEO: McCain needs new Cold War August 28, 2008
With U.S. politicians calling for the international community to isolate Russia, talks on a 'new cold war' have become more frequent in the media. The roots of the strong rhetoric go deeper, though, than the recent conflict with Georgia. Presidential hopefuls are using it as an opportunity to earn some foreign policy credentials.
- Russia recognises Abkhazian & South Ossetian independence
August 27, 2008 - Russia Today
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed decrees, formally recognising the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He says the military conflict in South Ossetia has killed every hope for the peaceful co-existence of Ossetians, Abkhazians and Georgians within one country.
- Diplomatic rubble
August 27, 2008 - Eric Walberg
Russia's firm response to the Georgian gamble in Ossetia is being interpreted in various ways, but the reality is clear, says Eric Walberg
- VIDEO: Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin addresses the media
August 26, 2008
- Russia warns NATO over build-up of warships in Black Sea
August 26, 2008 - Russia Today
Russia's military says it is bewildered by the build-up of NATO's naval force in the Black Sea - and scoffed at claims the warships were delivering humanitarian aid.
- VIDEO: Russia dramatically reduce co-operation with NATO
August 26, 2008
- VIDEO: Medvedev backs independence for Abkhazia and South Ossetia
August 26, 2008
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has declared that Russia will recognise the independence of Georgia's breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He made the announcement in Sochi following a unanimous vote for the republics' independence by both houses of the Russian Parliament in Moscow on Monday.
- Dimitri Medvedev raises spectre of new Cold War
August 26, 2008 - James Hider
President Medvedev set tensions soaring when he recognised the independence of two breakaway republics inside Georgia. "We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a Cold War," he said. Hours earlier he had ordered his Foreign Ministry to start establishing diplomatic ties with the secessionist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
» Russia threatens military response to US missiles
- Why was Cheney's guy in Georgia before the war?
August 26, 2008 - Los Angeles Times
What was Joseph R. Wood, a top national security aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, doing in Georgia shortly before Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's troops engaged in what became a disastrous fight with South Ossetian rebels -- and then Russian troops?
But, the vice president's office says, he was there as part of a team setting up the vice president's just-announced visit to Georgia. (It is common for the White House to send security, policy, communications and press aides to each site the president and vice president will visit ahead of the trip, to begin making arrangements and planning the agenda.)
- A crisis Russia did not want
August 20, 2008 - Mikhail Gorbachev
Russia did not want this crisis. The Russian leadership is in a strong enough position domestically; it did not need a little victorious war. Russia was dragged into the fray by the recklessness of the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili. He would not have dared to attack without outside support. Once he did, Russia could not afford inaction.
- Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess
August 19, 2008 - Spengler
On the night of November 22, 2004, then-Russian president - now premier - Vladimir Putin watched the television news in his dacha near Moscow. People who were with Putin that night report his anger and disbelief at the unfolding "Orange" revolution in Ukraine. "They lied to me," Putin said bitterly of the United States. "I'll never trust them again."
- Russia-Georgia conflict: Why both sides have valid points
August 19, 2008 - Fred Weir
There seems little doubt that the conflict began with a massive military assault, launched overnight by Georgia on Aug. 7-8, apparently aimed at retaking the breakaway republic of South Ossetia before Moscow could react.
- From Kosovo to South Ossetia: in search of a precedent
August 19, 2008 - Oksana Antonenko
When Europe and the US advocated the independence of Kosovo, many experts warned that its impact on the Caucasus would be destabilising. The Allies responded by repeating that Kosovo was a unique case and should not be seen as a precedent. At that time this position was interpreted either as ignorance or wishful thinking.
- Georgia/Russia Conflict Forced Into Cold War Frame
August 16, 2008 - Peter Hart and Jim Naureckas
U.S. corporate media frequently evoked the Cold War as a key to understanding the conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia. This was certainly true of the media themselves, which generally placed black hats or white hats on the actors involved depending on whether they were allied with Moscow or Washington.
- Georgia: Background to War
August 15, 2008 - William D. Hartung
Perhaps the most ironic statement yet in the war of words over Russia's military intervention in Georgia was John McCain's assertion that "I'm interested in good relations between the United States and Russia, but in the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations." Too bad no one told the Bush administration that before it went into Iraq.
- Czech president condemns both parties in Caucasian clash
August 15, 2008 - CeskÚNoviny.cz
Klaus condemns Georgia's attack on [its separatist province] South Ossetia, the murdering of civilians in the area and the massive intervention by the Russian military.
- VIDEO: Int. reaction - 'West shares blame for Georgia' August 15, 2008
While the ceasefire in South Ossetia remains in place, the blame-game battle, debating who was right and who was wrong, continues in the international media. Many say Russia has been losing the information war, but, in some quarters, it seems the view of events may be changing.
- Merkel and Medvedev split over European peacekeepers
August 15, 2008 - Russia Today
The leaders of Russia and Germany have clashed over the role of European peacekeepers in South Ossetia. Speaking after their meeting in Sochi, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said their presence was vital to maintain stability in the conflict zone. But Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, while not objecting to the principle, argued that the South Ossetians would not allow it.
- VIDEO: 'Washington sanctioned assault on South Ossetia' August 15, 2008
Georgia wouldn't have attacked South Ossetia without the green light from the U.S, believes Paul Craig Roberts, a former assistant secretary to the treasury in Ronald Reagan's administration.
- VIDEO: South Ossetia conflict: the legacy August 14, 2008
The five days of fighting in South Ossetia have left more than a thousand people killed and tens of thousands homeless. Following Georgia's attack on its breakaway republic, it's hard to find a citizen who hasn't lost a relative in the conflict. Convoys of refugees continue to stream into Russia's southern regions.
- VIDEO: Russian FM Sergei Lavrov talks about conflict August 14, 2008
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talks about the Georgian government, Abkhasia, propoganda campaigns, the U.S. and the future of the Caucasus region.
- Saakashvili dragged his country into disaster
August 14, 2008 - Mensur AKG▄N
What the Georgian leader did is really insane. No matter what the reason is and who has provoked him, provoking a big country like Russia is insane, pure and simple
- Putin's War Enablers: Bush and Cheney
August 14, 2008 - Juan Cole
Indeed, despite George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's howls of outrage at Russian aggression in Georgia and the disputed province of South Ossetia, the Bush administration set a deep precedent for Moscow's actions – with its own systematic assault on international law over the past seven years. Now, the administration's condemnations of Russia ring hollow.
- VIDEO: Ceasefire gives way to PR war August 13, 2008
The information war between Russia and Georgia is continuing, even after a ceasefire agreement has stopped the military conflict. On Wednesday evening, Mikhail Saakashvili spread panic in Tbilisi, by claiming that Russian tanks are on the move towards the Georgian capital.
- Georgia War a Neocon Election Ploy?
August 13, 2008 - Robert Scheer
Is it possible that this time the October surprise was tried in August, and that the garbage issue of brave little Georgia struggling for its survival from the grasp of the Russian bear was stoked to influence the U.S. presidential election?
- Using Georgia to Target Russia
August 13, 2008 - Stephen Lendman
After the Soviet Union's 1991 dissolution, Georgia's South Ossetia province broke away and declared its independence. So far it remains undiplomatically recognized by UN member states. It's been traditionally allied with Russia and wishes to reunite with Northern Ossetes in the North Ossetia-Alania Russian republic.
- Russia May Turn Focus to Pro-U.S. Ukraine After Beating Georgia
August 13, 2008 - Henry Meyer
Now that Russia has humiliated Georgia with a punishing military offensive, it may shift its attention to reining in pro-Western Ukraine, another American ally in the former Soviet Union.
- 8 Key Things To Know, and One Big Question, About Russia v. Georgia
August 13, 2008 - William Bradley
Who gave the greenlight to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to launch an offensive against the capital city of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia? America has hundreds of military advisors and trainers in Georgia.
- VIDEO: Countdown - Beating the War Drum August 12, 2008
Keith reports on the statements coming out of the McCain campaign about the war between Russia and Georgia, that McCain's top foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann was a lobbyist for Georgia, and the Cold-War type rhetoric coming from McCain and his BFF Joe Lieberman. Rachel Maddow weighs in.
- VIDEO: Roadmap for Georgian peace drafted in Moscow August 12, 2008
A roadmap to stop all hostilities in Georgia and ensure continued security in the country's breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia has been brokered in Moscow. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gave a joint media briefing to comment.
- Russian triumph as Saakashvili's gamble fails
August 12, 2008 - Gwynne Dyer
The three-day war in South Ossetia is settled, and the Georgians have lost. There may be some more shooting yet, but it is now clear that Georgia will never regain control of the rebel territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
- Huge Stakes Behind War in Caucasus
August 11, 2008 - Socialist Project
"Serbia is a sovereign nation and its territorial integrity should be respected." Had George Bush said what he said about Georgia from Beijing about Serbia as well, this is how he would have approached the so-called independence of Kosovo. The truth, of course, is far from this. The U.S. was the first country to recognise the new 'state' when Kosovo seceded from Serbia last spring. Yet, Bush now has the audacity to talk about the territorial integrity of Georgia. The policies of imperialism will have pride of place in the annals of hypocrisy.
- The West must share the blame for war in Georgia
August 11, 2008 - Bruce Anderson
Tskhinvali is not Sarejevo in 1914. South Ossetia will not be the start-line of the Third World War. But it is a ghastly mess, all the more depressing because the West is partly to blame. In diplomacy, strategy and geopolitics, our political leaders have been guilty of multiple failures over many years.
- VIDEO: Georgia vs. South Ossetia:
roots of a 100-year conflict
August 11, 2008 - By Russia Today
Georgia and its breakaway republic of South Ossetia have always had an uneasy relationship. The current armed conflict has its roots in a dispute that goes back almost one hundred years.
- From Off-Shore Drilling to the Georgian War
August 11, 2008 - Paul Craig Roberts
Georgia was part of Old Russia and the Soviet Union for two centuries. After Soviet communism collapsed, the US taxpayer funded neoconservative National Endowment for Democracy broke every agreement that President Reagan had made with Gorbachev and began using US taxpayers' money to rig and purchase elections in former constituent parts of the Russian/Soviet empire.
- VIDEO: Saakashvili's War on S. Ossetia August 10, 2008
Georgia's invasion of S. Ossetia
- War in the Caucasus:
Towards a Broader Russia-US Military Confrontation?
August 10, 2008 - Michel Chossudovsky
During the night of August 7, coinciding with the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, Georgia's president Saakashvili ordered an all-out military attack on Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. The aerial bombardments and ground attacks were largely directed against civilian targets including residential areas, hospitals and the university. The provincial capital Tskhinvali was destroyed.
- Mass Murder in S. Ossetia: "Israelis should be proud of themselves"
August 10, 2008 - Kurt Nimmo
Israel's Ynetnews is not ashamed of the role Israel plays in arming and training Georgia's military. In fact, according to Arie Egozi, Israel is involved with Georgia specifically to gear its military up for confrontation with Russia...
- Plucky little Georgia? No, the cold war reading won't wash
August 09, 2008 - Mark Almond
It is crudely simplistic to cast Russia as the sole villain in the clashes over South Ossetia. The west would be wise to stay out
- Has Georgia Overreached in Ossetia?
August 09, 2008 - Tony Karon
Georgia and South Ossetia have been squared off in an uneasy peace for more than a decade, now, since the region broke away from Georgia in the early '90s, following its independence from the Soviet Union. After a protracted war that killed around 1,000 people and displaced thousands more ethnic Georgians from the territory, Georgia was compelled to sign a cease-fire agreement that left South Ossetia – a tiny mountainous territory a few football fields smaller than Rhode Island – effectively autonomous, but unable to secure recognition by the international community.
- Getting Georgia's War On
August 09, 2008 - Mark Ames
The outbreak of war in Georgia on Friday offers a disturbing and somewhat surreal taste of what to expect from John McCain should he become our nation's Commander in Chief. As the centuries-old ethnic animosities between Georgia and Ossetia boiled over into another armed conflict, drawing in neighboring Russia, McCain issued a stark-raving statement from Des Moines that is disturbingly reminiscent of the language used in the lead-up to NATO's war against Yugoslavia in 1999, a war McCain zealously pushed for:
- Georgia Breaking Apart, Separatists Cite The "Kosovo Precedent"
March 06, 2008 - George Turner
When Kosovo declared independence on the 17th of February, Georgia and Russia agreed on something for perhaps the first time since the Rose Revolution, their condemnation of the US for supporting Kosovo. The reason for this is simple. Since the break up of the Soviet Union, two regions of Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia have strived to become independent of Georgia, and Georgia fears that support for Kosovar independence will bring legitimacy to these claims.