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Author Topic: After conflicting reports, Russia has entered city of Gori
Telperion the Silver
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The vital central city of Gori has fallen today and the capital is next!
:-(

Sure, Georgia overplayed it's hand when it tried reclaiming it's breakaway province more loyal to Russia than the Georgian government, but Russia has really overstepped it's bounds in this insane invasion.

I can almost understand Russia invading to help the breakaway province a la Germany invading Czechoslovakia before WWII, but to not stop and start invading Georgia proper and now taking central cities... freaking nuts.

The problem is Georgia is one of our strongest allies...but they are small and weak. They are ][ close to joining NATO which Russia of course hates. But we need Russia to help stop the Iranians from getting nukes.

Do we save Georgia and screw our relationship with Russia?
Or do we let Georgia be annihilated and show our utter weakness?

Russia is showing that they don't really care about this province... what they really want is to take out the Georgian President, a huge USA fan, and remove this thorn from their side.

[UPDATE]

Seems like there were conflicting stories about the city... Gori was not taken originally, just surrounded.

But now, just a day after the cease-fire was signed they took the city anyway.
Georgian forces seem to have already evacuated towards the capital, just 40 miles away

[ August 13, 2008, 06:02 PM: Message edited by: Telperion the Silver ]

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JLM
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You can trust Russia as far as you can throw it. They have always been and always will be imperial expantionists. Sooner or later, war with Russia (be it hot or cold) is inevitible.
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Teshi
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quote:
Russia's defence ministry quickly issued a statement rejecting the claim, saying there were none of its troops in Gori.

Later, a spokesman for the Georgian interior ministry told the BBC that there had never been Russian troops in Gori.

He said the Russian army had taken up a position just outside the town after destroying a military base and admitted Georgian troops had fled the area without putting up a fight.

BBC - Russian troops in Georgia advance.
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Lyrhawn
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If Russia decides to take Georgia, or to take some portion of it, they'll get it, and it'll only embolden them to try and take more territory from other former SSRs. No one is going to send a massive military force to Russia to repel an invading force. Even if we had the will, we in America don't really have the means. Russia's no pushover. Georgia is.

I have less, but not zero sympathy though for the country that started it.

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Blayne Bradley
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I happen to recall that France's largest policy mistakes of the 20's and 30's was making these large coalitions with you geussed it small and weak nations.
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Blayne Bradley
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Actually aside from the Baltic states Georgia was the only former SSR thats really moved away from Russia, Ukraine's government had to compromise with the Pro Russia crowd so they're efforts are going to slowly slow down, Kazakistan and Belarus actually want to return to some sort of stronger confederacy type government (Union of Belarus and Russia for example) and most of the other central asian states I haven't much from but considering they're geographical position I doubt they have moved far.
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Lyrhawn
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Methinks most of Ukraine's compromising has to do with a large Russian military and the fact that Russia can cut off their gas and oil with Winter forthcoming.
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King of Men
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quote:
I can almost understand Russia invading to help the breakaway province a la Germany invading Czechoslovakia before WWII, but to not stop and start invading Georgia proper and now taking central cities... freaking nuts.

What is nuts about it? What bad consequences do you foresee for the Russians?
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Telperion the Silver
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
I can almost understand Russia invading to help the breakaway province a la Germany invading Czechoslovakia before WWII, but to not stop and start invading Georgia proper and now taking central cities... freaking nuts.

What is nuts about it? What bad consequences do you foresee for the Russians?
Zero.

At least it seems like Gori has not fallen and fighting seems to have slowed down..

What I don't get is why would Georgia basically perform such a suicidal act...it must have known what would have happened...

Did Russia bait Georgia in some way?
An attempt to claim the pipeline perhaps?

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Xavier
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quote:

Do we save Georgia and screw our relationship with Russia?

I can't see "saving" Georgia without a full-out war between US and Russia.

This is something we've managed to avoid for the last 60+ years, with good reason! I'd rather my country not be a steaming crater of glass, thank you very much.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
I happen to recall that France's largest policy mistakes of the 20's and 30's was making these large coalitions with you guessed it small and weak nations.

Um, no. The mistake was to make those coalitions and then not back them up. Poland and the Czechs between them could easily have matched the Wehrmacht as late as 1938. Add France, and all that was needed was a tiny bit of leadership.
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scholarette
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Well, I got a forward from my colleagues in Georgia today, asking us to sign a petition and urge the US to help out. This was the response I got to my inquiries about how they all are doing. I guess if they are able to e-mail requests for political help, no one over there has been hurt yet.
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Lyrhawn
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It looks like things might be fizzling out a little bit of the reports of truces and six point plans are to be believed.

I don't think Russia is backing down at all though. I think they pretty much just tested the waters and proved to the world that if they want something, no one is really going to stop them, and all they'll get is a loud of complaining. Granted this thing didn't really go on long enough to escalate to the point where someone MIGHT have done something, but if Russia had reall wanted to, Georgia could either be totally overrun or a pile of rubble right now. No one jumped to their defense physically.

With the exception of stuff like Russia's "diplomatic standing" with the world, or how people feel about Russia, which I don't think equates to a whole heck of a lot most of the time, I think this was a major coup for Russia. They just flexed, and no one really pushed back.

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Occasional
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What I don't understand is why the World isn't angry about the military agression? Where are the anti-war demonstrations with hundreds of thousands condemning Russia for its Emperialism? Where is the peace-nicks traveling over seas for the sit-ins at bomb targets? Where are the body bags demonstrating the numbers killed on both sides? I will tell you where. Scared of Russia and perhaps even supportive of its actions (that kind of shows they aren't anti-war, just anti-United States).

When "the wall fell down" on Communist Russia I had hope it would become better over there. For maybe a few years it was better, but then Putin came into office. Almost all of his actions have been totaltarian. I think the only thing holding him back from returning to the old ways is the memories of the old ways by the majority who lived it. Give it another generation if Russia continues to vote in a Putin type President and the "Evil Empire" will return.

As to backing Georgia? To be honest, I really don't know what Georgia might have done or if Russia was unprovoked. There has been conflicting reports with perhaps more silence about any motive from either side, just Russia invaded Georgia.

History is keeping me from really caring what Russia does to Georgia. Like everyone here (I assume), I lived during the fall of Communist Russia and rather enjoy the illusionary peace. I am afraid that we are entering a new Cold War with a real Superpower and not even realizing it. There are serious problems with antagonizing a beast that has proven more than once it will bite. Iran can posture, but holds no serious threat (for now). N. Korea doesn't have the money for more than a Hail Mary. China has the numbers and the power, but likes its mix of historical isolationism and U.S. imported commerce. Russia, on the other hand, wants its glory back and has the power to try.

Both McCain and Obama's reactions (and the next U.S. President is going to have to deal with this in the long run) have me scared. The rhetoric is reaching war-like cries. The United States is strong, but its real allies either think its too conservative (Europe) or too liberal or decadent (Middle East). It has never been liked and for that reason I get very upset by those who think the United States is Emperialistic. No, it is not. At least, not since the bulk of its States were organized. Meanwhile the real Empirialists - the ones that really are willing and can start WWIII - are considered harmless. Then again, maybe it is because they aren't considered harmless that the U.S. can be the World's punching bag. No real regrets, but a sense of having stood up to a powerful force.

I hate Russia. On the other hand, I don't want to get it angry.

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Alcon
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Well... so much for that...

Russia has taken Gori for real now, after the supposed peace accords were sign.

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Telperion the Silver
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Oh crap...
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Alcon
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Hey Telp, you might want to change the thread of the title to reflect the confusion and the update. Just so that people who are following this will know there's been an update.
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Blayne Bradley
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Occasional have you ever heard of "Shock Therapy" in terms of Boris Yeltsin's handling of the Russian economy and how it nearly collapsed the Russian economy? Things were very bad just before Putin to the average Russian Putin is seen to have brought about a upward turn for the economy.
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Juxtapose
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quote:
With the exception of stuff like Russia's "diplomatic standing" with the world, or how people feel about Russia, which I don't think equates to a whole heck of a lot most of the time, I think this was a major coup for Russia. They just flexed, and no one really pushed back.
Bad enough that Moscow just let all their former territories know Russia will do whatever they feel like with them. The subtext here is even more disturbing though - "The West is unable and unwilling to stop us."
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Telperion the Silver
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What about the Georgian military?
Are they setting up a line around Tblisi? I assume so.

It's looking more and more like Russia is gunning for the capital, as their troops headed down the highway from Gori to Tblisi, only to set up a base an hour away from the city.

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Blayne Bradley
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considering they cut and run without a fight from Gori I wouldn't hold my breath, the Georgian military has been a rather large disappointment.
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Telperion the Silver
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But if Tblisi falls there is no more Georgia...there is no more cut and run...they've run as far as they can. I hope the whole racoon-backed-into-the-corner gives the Georgians more resolve in saving themselves.

Though if Russia says "surrender or we flatten the city" it's a big incentive to surrender.
BUT, if Russia really did try and flatten the city then the world might be goaded enough to actually do something serious against Russia... though they still have Europe by the stones by holding their fuel hostage.

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Blayne Bradley
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???

Georgia is somewhat bigger then it looks, you could have a significant geurilla campaign and annoy, so far none of that has happened.

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Rakeesh
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Blayne,

quote:
considering they cut and run without a fight from Gori I wouldn't hold my breath, the Georgian military has been a rather large disappointment.

Georgia is somewhat bigger then it looks, you could have a significant geurilla campaign and annoy, so far none of that has happened.

Or Georgia has decided, in an effort to stop its tyrannical bullying six-hundred pound gorilla of a neighbor, to avoid fighting wherever they can in order to deny Russia any further pretexts for continued aggression. When there is no longer a hope for Russian aggression and invasion to cease, things may very well change.

Do you make even the slightest effort to examine any of your preconceptions before speaking, Blayne? This isn't China we're talking about. Think!

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fugu13
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Occasional: it isn't like such reactions happen in the case of any small war the US isn't involved in. You're acting like this is somehow different from typical behavior when it is exactly the same as typical behavior for wars like this.
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lem
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I thought this would be a good place to post Ron Paul's assessment of Russia and Georgia back in 2002. Granted it is not directly related to the current conflict because Russia didn't use "terrorism" as an excuse to attack, but it is still interesting.

1 minute and 10 seconds.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Blayne,

quote:
considering they cut and run without a fight from Gori I wouldn't hold my breath, the Georgian military has been a rather large disappointment.

Georgia is somewhat bigger then it looks, you could have a significant geurilla campaign and annoy, so far none of that has happened.

Or Georgia has decided, in an effort to stop its tyrannical bullying six-hundred pound gorilla of a neighbor, to avoid fighting wherever they can in order to deny Russia any further pretexts for continued aggression. When there is no longer a hope for Russian aggression and invasion to cease, things may very well change.

Do you make even the slightest effort to examine any of your preconceptions before speaking, Blayne? This isn't China we're talking about. Think!

Your giving a huge benefit of the doubt there when journalists more or less confirmed they cut and run. This isn't some grand strategy to stop provoking Russia, Georgia's entire C&C infrastructure is currently toast the Georgian government has no idea of whats going on anywhere.
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Occasional
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"You're acting like this is somehow different from typical behavior when it is exactly the same as typical behavior for wars like this."

Let me clarify then. The typical rection is what worries me. Unlike all those small wars, reactions to this one can have huge consiquences because of who we are dealing with. This is no second rate country that can't be found on a map beating up on another second rate country. This is Russia. I would feel the same way if this was China invading Taiwan . Say and do the wrong thing and nuclear war could be the end product.

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Rakeesh
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Blayne,

quote:
Your giving a huge benefit of the doubt there when journalists more or less confirmed they cut and run. This isn't some grand strategy to stop provoking Russia, Georgia's entire C&C infrastructure is currently toast the Georgian government has no idea of whats going on anywhere.
Heh, so now you're trusting the accounts of journalists? It's fun watching when you'll believe journalists and when you won't.

I'm sure there's more than a little frantic retreating going on. I'm equally convinced that such a thing also serves Georgian interests for the time being as well.

Georgia has no hope of repelling a committed Russian invasion. Zero. Why shouldn't they retreat? Ask yourself what Russia would be doing if they were putting up stiff resistance with lots of Russian casualties.

I would also ask you to put yourself in their shoes and wonder what you would do were you them, but you're famously incapable of doing that.

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Blayne Bradley
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No I think your giving way to much credit to a country with a second rate military. With no or piss poor command and control remaining I highly doubt some "higher" strategy of combat avoidance is in effect, Your giving them way to much credit.

Stiff resistance would "buy them time", would show the world they are worth backing up, if they're so unreliable as to run away at the first sign of trouble are they worth this much effort by NATO?

If I were georgia I wouldn't have done anything at all, I would not have attacked a Russian enclave knowing the probably outcome, not without a massive amount of preparation and mobilization in the first place.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Stiff resistance would "buy them time", would show the world they are worth backing up, if they're so unreliable as to run away at the first sign of trouble are they worth this much effort by NATO?
Nonsense. Buy time for what? Military aid from elsewhere? Don't kid yourself: that's not ever coming, no matter if they've got Patton, Napoleon, Sun Tzu, and Robert E Lee wrapped up in one amazing general. Had they fought back as effectively as you describe, there would be more Russian troops in the region, not less.
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Blayne Bradley
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Irrelevent to your argument that they're somehow "planning" deliberately to avoid combat. Poland's situation was helpless but at least they fought for something worth fighting for.

Georgia? What are they fighting for? Or not fighting for.

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James Tiberius Kirk
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And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what the next president will inherit:

quote:
Russian troops will leave "sooner or later," Kosachev said, saying the timetable depends "definitely on how Georgians will continue to behave."

"If I would ask you in response to the same question how fast the American forces can leave Iraq, for example, the answer would be as soon as we have guarantees for peace and security there," Kosachev said. "The same answer would be toward this situation."

--j_k
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Ron Lambert
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Does Russia have any neighbors who do not hate it? Sooner or later, relying on conquest as a means for securing its borders is going to backfire on Russia, in a most horrible and terrible manner. Remember, the Ukraine and Georgia and some of the other former provinces still may have a few nukes lying around somewhere.
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Blayne Bradley
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i believe according to treaty all of the former SSR's handed over their nuclear warheads over to the Russian Federation being the successor state to the Soviet Union.

Also, I should point out that the Central Asian SSR's like Kazakistan have friendly relations with Russia and in the case of kazakhstan intends to enter a tighter level of soverigenty with Russia akin to "Treaty of the Union of Russia and Belarus" who also has friendly relations.

Armenia is also a close ally to Russia and last I heard Azerbaijain allows for Russian troops to be stationed in their territory.

This is the first case of Russia using armed force against a former SSR, a case where I might add georgia started it.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
This is the first case of Russia using armed force against a former SSR, a case where I might add georgia started it.
A surprising and simplistic description.

Wait, it's actually not surprising. I'm not saying Georgia is blameless, but then neither is your buddy Russia.

But even if they did start it, Russia has gone quite a few steps too far. Something just about everyone except you and Russians agree on.

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Blayne Bradley
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odd, did you see the youtube video with the 12 year old girl and the babushka? It think it is a far cry indeed to claim only "I" agree with with Russia.

Iraq was allegedly making WMD's so they got invaded.


Georgia attempts ethnic cleansing against South ossetians and somehow they're the good guys?

Or is this even simpler?

Iraq, people the US didn't like.

Georgia people the US does like.

So its okay to invade people the US doesn't like but not okay to invade people the US does like?

And what is a "few steps to far"? what would have been the appriobiate response? Boycott Georgia? "Let them" invade South Ossetia and hope for an internetional mediation?

Georgia ATTACKed a Russian protectorate this called for an immediate military response to STOP the opposing military force from taking over the protected region.

What should they have done?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Georgia ATTACKed a Russian protectorate...
All else aside, why do you consider that particular part of Georgia to be a Russian protectorate?
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Blayne Bradley
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90% Russian citizens/passports implies a certain level of obligation on Russia to 'defend' the region. The Russian constitution also makes the President bound to protect said citizens wherever they may be.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
90% Russian citizens/passports implies a certain level of obligation on Russia to 'defend' the region.
That raises an interesting question. If Islamic Kazaks started rioting right now, in an effort to institute harsher sharia law, would Russia have to invade to protect those of its citizens who still live in the 'stans?
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Rakeesh
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*snort* It's predictible how you believe just about everything the Russians say about Georgia.

That aside, do you remember why so many residents in South Ossetia have Russian citizenship?

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Telperion the Silver
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ok blayne, you really should get your facts straight, those provinces are not Russian property, they are Georgian and the whole world recognizes that fact. They were not wrong to try and take back the land from the rebels. Russia had been building up forces there for a year, just waiting for an excuse to invade.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
That aside, do you remember why so many residents in South Ossetia have Russian citizenship?

Presumably because they felt like getting one when the Russians were freely giving them out?
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Presumably because they felt like getting one when the Russians were freely giving them out?
Bingo!
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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
This is the first case of Russia using armed force against a former SSR, a case where I might add georgia started it.
A surprising and simplistic description.

Wait, it's actually not surprising. I'm not saying Georgia is blameless, but then neither is your buddy Russia.

But even if they did start it, Russia has gone quite a few steps too far. Something just about everyone except you and Russians agree on.

Russia wasn't the aggressor...
In fact on some regards much of the Russian population considers this on level with what the US did after 9/11. The fact that Georgian ethnic cleansing was taking place in South Ossetia (which has 90% Russian citizenship, and only 1/5th of its population is actually Georgian), is reason enough to invade. If you think of Ossetia as our version of Puerto Rico then you wouldn't be that far off from how the Russian government views it.
The Russians even warned Georgia that they would intervene if conflict arose between the Georgians and the Ossetians. I'm not saying Russia is totally clean in this, but saying that Georgia was the aggressor isn't being simplistic, its being truthful.

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Rakeesh
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Whether or not either of our statements is accurate remains to be seen. Time will tell.

How 'factual' is Georgian ethnic cleaning in South Ossetia, exactly? Thus far I've heard a lot of talk about it from Russia, but nothing close to objectively documented.

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Dan_raven
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Picture this.....

The Southern States want to separate from the United States.

England comes to their aid--their long lost English children.

While negotiations for what to do about this rebellion go on, souther forces violently attack US troops.

The US invades the South to reclaim its lost property.

England comes to the aid of its English children, and sends in troops to help the Southern cause.

That is fine.

Then the English forces start conquering the West.

France and the other countries see this as dangerous and demand that England leave. A truce is declared and England says its leaving, while it advances on Chicago, Cleveland, and aims for New York.

South Ossetia is filled with mostly Russian people. Why? Because after Russia conquered it, the Stalinist era gulags ate up the Georgians living there, and Russians moved into the nice warm countryside.

Imagine if 2,000,000 Mexican illegal immigrants settled in Nevada. Then Mexico demanded Nevada as a state?

Georgia has a claim on South Ossetia as much as Russia does.

At the risk of invoking Godwin, Nazi Germany invaded Austria, Czechoslovakia, and eventually Poland on the claims very similar to Russia's--to protect the Russians/Germans living there.

Still, there is cause and effect. If this was all that is on Russia's mind, then with the truce signed, the troops should be leaving. The Russians in S. Ossetia are safe.

But the Russians don't seem to be leaving like they say they are.

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aspectre
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http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/18/opinion/edrogozin.php
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Telperion the Silver:
ok blayne, you really should get your facts straight, those provinces are not Russian property, they are Georgian and the whole world recognizes that fact. They were not wrong to try and take back the land from the rebels. Russia had been building up forces there for a year, just waiting for an excuse to invade.

This is naive, simplistic, and encourages a "Black and White" altitude to the world. Also what evidence have they been building up for a "year"?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
This is naive, simplistic, and encourages a "Black and White" altitude to the world.
So are you willing to grant that maybe Tibet isn't Chinese? [Wink]
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