Streetwise Professor

April 9, 2012

Georgia On His Mind. Always.

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 6:59 pm

Putin’s truculence is on display daily in the aftermath of his election.  One example is the deployment of S-400 AA missiles to the Kaliningrad enclave, in a demonstration of pique at American refusal to acquiesce to Russian demands regarding ballistic missile defenses.  But the most ominous sign is the clear escalation of hostility towards one of Putin’s blackest bêtes noir: Georgia.

Georgia, along with Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland, inhabits a special place in sovok hell for its refusal to truck to Russian dominance, and for its taking a leading role in the dissolution of the USSR. Its attempts to cement ties with the west generally, and the US in particular, further enrage the sovok mind. Add to these visceral hates the fact that Georgia is an important link in an energy transportation chain that circumvents Russia, and you have more than enough reasons for Putin to attempt to do anything possible to bring the small country to heel.  Moreover, it is more vulnerable than the Baltic countries or Poland, which are in NATO; Georgia is still outside the western security perimeter, and its sometimes erratic behavior, combined with a reluctance to get involved in a conflict with Russia in a region where all of the military and strategic advantages lie with the Kremlin, make it far more vulnerable.

The escalation of hostility is displayed in ways large and small. The shrillness of Russian rhetoric about Georgia has ramped up.  Another example: Russia accuses Georgia of deliberately introducing swine flu into southern Russian regions.  Get a load of this:

“ASF came to us from Georgia. First, of course, to Ossetia, and then to the Krasnodar and Stavropol regions. There are signs that this situation is artificially injected,” Rospotrebnadzor head Gennady Onishchenko was quoted as saying by the news agency Interfax.

“It is economic sabotage,” he added.

Onishchenko, by the way, was the official who banned Georgian wine and mineral water in 2006. That was a measure that presaged an escalation in actions against Georgia, including crackdowns on Georgian immigrants in Russia.

Then there is this from Eurasia Daily Monitor:

Russian Defense Ministry sources told the semiofficial news agency Interfax that action plans are being finalized to react to an armed conflict involving Iran and its nuclear program. The General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces “calculates” that military action against Iran will commence “in the summer” of 2012. Since Israel does not have sufficient assets to defeat Iranian defenses, the Russian military considers US military involvement inevitable (Interfax, March 30).

Bits of information have been appearing, indicating the essence of Russian military action. Last December it was disclosed that families of servicemen from the Russian base in Armenia have been evacuated to Russia, while the troops have been moved from the capital, Yerevan, north to Gumri – closer to the borders of Georgia and Turkey. The preparation of Russian forces in Armenia for action in the event of military conflict with Iran began “two years ago” (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 15).

After the short Russo-Georgian war in August 2008, break-away provinces Abkhazia and South Ossetia were occupied by Russian troops. Tbilisi in turn stopped military transit to the Russian troops in landlocked Armenia. There is only an air link to Russia, while fuel and other essentials reportedly come over the Iran-Armenia border. Moscow believes this border may be closed in the event of war. According to Lt. General (retired) Yury Netkachev – former deputy commander of Russian forces in Transcaucasia – “Possibly, it will be necessary to use military means to breach the Georgian transport blockade and establish transport corridors, leading into Armenia (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 15). The geography of the region implies that any such “corridor” may go through the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

The article goes on to detail how the 58th Army-which spearheaded the attack on Georgia in 2008-has received far more modernized equipment than the Russian army as a whole.

The leaks of this information are probably a twofer.  First, they are intended as a warning to the US against taking any military action against Iran. That is, Russia/Putin running interference for Iran. Second, they are part of a pressure campaign against Georgia in the run-up to its October elections, analogous to the pressure campaign that culminated with the 2008 war.

Hopefully Saakashvili will have wised up, and won’t rise to the bait this time, as he did to his cost in August of 2008.

Putting this in a broader perspective: note that this is all occurring after Obama’s plea to Medvedev for “space” in the lead-up to the November election, in return for a promise to be more flexible afterwards. A plea that Medvedev, good little errand boy that he is, promised to convey to Putin.

I wonder if Barry notices how Putin is responding to his plea for understanding. I don’t know whether it would be more disturbing that he does, or he doesn’t.

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  1. In May 2005, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili admitted that “many [Georgian] wine producers exported falsified wine to Russia, because Russia is a market where you can sell even fecal masses”. Okruashvili also noted that Russia’s decision to ban the import of Georgian wines “was not a surprise” for Tbilisi.

    Those evil, evil sovoks, refusing to drink Georgian shit. Russians literally have to become coprophiliacs to appease SWP’s feelings.

    Or is it that Wikipedia editors are Kremlin moles? Better contact @catfitz on that.

    Comment by Da Russophile — April 9, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

  2. “Wikipedia editors.” You’re kidding, right? Trolls is more like it.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 9, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

  3. Speaking of trolls, DR. You are cited in a Wikipedia article on Alexander Goldfarb. Interestingly, virtually all of the edits, including the one that cites to your Sublime Oblivion post, was inserted by kolokol1. Kolokol-1 being, of course, the gas used by the FSB in the Nord Ost debacle. I am sure that is purely coincidental, and doesn’t say anything about the possibility that Russophile trolls contaminate Wikipedia with their sh*t.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 9, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  4. Let’s stay on topic.

    Is RFERL too then run by Russophile trolls?

    September 27, 2007 (RFE/RL) — Georgians are well-accustomed to Okruashvili’s coarse, no-nonsense style.

    He’s the man, after all, who once said Russians would buy anything, even fecal matter — and that was why Georgia sold them wines that wouldn’t sell in Europe.

    Comment by Da Russophile — April 9, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

  5. I was on topic. You brought up Wikipedia, and are now trying to change the subject. You stepped in it. Not me.

    And re that quote. It clearly sounds like a colloquial Georgian insult of Russia, rather than an admission of the actual content of Georgian wine. Get a grip.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 9, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

  6. “…Last December it was disclosed that families of servicemen from the Russian base in Armenia have been evacuated to Russia, while the troops have been moved from the capital, Yerevan, north to Gumri – closer to the borders of Georgia and Turkey.”

    In the post-Soviet era there have never been Russian troops in Yerevan. They have always been deployed in Gumri.

    Comment by MJ — April 9, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

  7. DA SOCIOPATH’S comments are highly educational. As is the case in Chechnya, and many other places, rabid Russian hatred of post-Soviet ethnic minorities like those found in Georgia creates an absolutely untenable situation. Russian racism, brilliantly reflected in DA SOCIOPATH’S comments, makes it impossible for Slavic Russians to allow people from places like Chechnya and Georgia to be considered full-blooded Russian citizens. Yet, the massive ego and greed of the Slavic Russians makes it impossible for them to allow such places to have their freedom and to live as they wish. Russians want to have their fetid fecal cake and eat it too. They want to subjugate such places and then force their residents to live forever as second-class citizens, essentially as Russian slaves. In classic Russian fashion, they are then “shocked, shocked” to learn that such people are unhappy with them. Meanwhile, Russia continues to spiral around the bowl, headed for the final flush.

    Comment by La Russophobe — April 10, 2012 @ 2:35 am

  8. Putlers war-Room is Buzzing and the prayer Room on Berkelye is Buzzing . The PKK is now converting an mass tho the ortodox faith . Puler have learned some nice trix from his old buddies Gaddafi and Berlusconi . Putler and his gang need new proxy warriors –

    Kurdish PKK’s bombing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline in Turkey a mere 72 hours ahead of Russian tanks rolling on Georgia?

    If someone has clearly and I have missed it in disconnection, good. If not, call me crazy, but let’s keep in mind that the PKK is a communist group – the Kurdistan Worker’s Party – and therefor the type of rebel group that stays near Putin’s KGB heart.

    Not a Pipeline Conspiracy, a Pipeline Coincidence
    It is mighty strange that this Russian attack comes within twenty-four hours of a reported Kurdish guerilla attack, by the well-financed PKK, on the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline. This was the first explosion ever reported on the pipleine that carried 1% of he world’s daily need; and the report that the pipeline will be shut for up to two weeks reversed the sell-off in oil and sent it back up through $120. Am I suspicious? Yes. Is it significant that the attack took place outside of the PKK region? Yes. When BP declared force majeure on the pipeline, it freed BP and all members of the consortium from contractual obligations. In other words, your money is no good when there is trouble with that pipeline. And now there are tank battles, air strikes, refugees and anarchy within 40 kilometers of the Tblisi section while the exploded Turkish section near Refahiye must burn itself out for days before it can be replaced.

    Comment by Anders — April 10, 2012 @ 5:03 am

  9. Putlers Olympic WAR in Georgia – Russia proposed to China that the two nations should sell Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds in 2008 to force the US government to bail out the giant mortgage-finance companies, former US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson – Mr Paulson said that he was told about the Russian plan when he was in Beijing for the Olympics in August 2008. Russia had gone to war with Georgia, a US ally, on August 8.

    The Chinese did not like Putlers plan and told the Americans about it –

    Comment by Anders — April 10, 2012 @ 5:16 am

  10. Some information on the glorious South Ossetian election.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 10, 2012 @ 7:55 am

  11. glorious South Ossetian election- Thank you

    Comment by Anders — April 10, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  12. Some information on the glorious South Ossetian election.

    What I wrote there:

    “Unlike the Georgians, Russia never attacked sleeping Ossetian civilians (who, by the way, are not Georgians, and have no desire whatsoever to be part of a Georgia, within borders set by Stalin) in the night with Grad rockets.

    It might be news to fascists like Saakashvili and their neocon propagandists like Hamilton, but there you go.If true, the suppression of minority languages is of course always bad, even if Georgians do make up a negligible share of the Georgian population. But Saakashvili’s Georgia has closed down Russian, Armenian, and Mingrelian language schools, the latter two of which are large minorities, and we don’t see the neocon Hamilton complaining about that, so its obvious that its not concern for human rights that motivates him.”

    Comment by Da Russophile — April 10, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

  13. Rubbish Da Russophile.

    There are still Russian, Ossetian, and Armenian language schools in Georgia.
    Mingrelian is not a literary language, and is part of the Georgian family of languages.
    Try telling a Mingrelian he is not Georgian and see where it gets you.

    Meanwhile, compare the situation in Abkhazia, where in the region of Gali Georgians make up 90% of the population, but education in Georgia is banned outright.

    Or in Russia, where the “minority component” of ethnic minority languages has been totally banned from schools throughout the RF.
    Needless to say large ethnic minorities like the Tartars are very upset.

    The Russians did try and start a Mingrelian separatist movement, it’s pro Russian leader was chased out of Mingrelia.

    Also note that the leader of the Georgian independence movement, and 1st president of independent post Soviet Georgia was Zviad Gamsakhurdia, a Mingrelian, also note that Saakashvili is very very popular in Mingrelia.

    BTW, the Ossetians and Russians bombed sleeping Georgian civilians in Tamarasheni before the Georgians retaliated.

    Comment by Andrew — April 10, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

  14. Mingrelian separatist movement -And The Berkeley mafia academician Da Russophile.

    KGB tried to cultivate a relationship with Zviad Gamsakhurdias son . The snakes have propped up the young boy with a lot of mafia – money .

    Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was arrested in October for allegedly shooting and injuring his neighbor, David Bazhelidze. But this week he received documents regarding that case and also was told that he is being charged with cooperating with the Russian secret services.

    BREIVIK’S CASE. KGB did pay Breivik through a Russian mafia bank in Latvia

    Independent experts say that two such major sabotage operations practically simultaneously are technically impossible for one person. According to earlier information, the government buildings were destroyed by other Russian KGB agents at the request of the Libyan dictator Gaddafi. 4 days after the bombings in Oslo, Norway suddenly ceased to bomb Libya, although it has been bombing it for more than half a year.

    Comment by Anders — April 10, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  15. The Putlers agents poisonous con-artist fascist propagandist language from Berkley are as funny as Mr X now .

    Thank you Da Sublime Putlerophile.

    Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.
    Gilbert K. Chesterton

    Comment by Anders — April 10, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  16. Georgia embarked on an anti-corruption campaign a while back, which has been closely watched by Ukraine.

    And you can bet it has also been closely watched by Rasha.

    The Georgian economy has turned around and improved tremendously. So has the level of confidence of the Georgian people in government and in the police.

    One of the things that Putler and his ilk absolutely can’t stand is the idea that people can get along without a dictator like him, and without his siloviki, and without corruption.

    So I think there is an additional aspect to Putler trying to wipe out Georgia.

    By the way, Onishchenko also banned cheese from Ukraine, in yet another of the endless trade wars that Rasha likes to conduct to try to show people who is boss.

    As it turns out, the cheese that was banned came from non-Rashan owned cheese producers.

    Cheese that came from Ukrainian-owned cheese producers was banned.

    So here we go again with Georgian wine. Bottled water from Georgia was also banned.

    What was the phrase they used last time?

    It was something like “If you like freedom – drink Georgian wine.”

    Andrew would probably know.

    Comment by elmer — April 11, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  17. The Putin mafias centralized economic war give some funny results .

    Norwegian salmon might disappear from Russian supermarket shelves as the “dangerous produce” doesn’t meet the Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus Custom Union’s standards, according to the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Monitoring Service, or Rosselkhoznadzor.

    Do not think so – The salmon find new ways to the hungry market – The mafia and middlemen take a normal cut and the Russian people have to pay the extra cost

    Comment by Anders — April 12, 2012 @ 2:21 am

  18. please view this video – hope this will change your opinion “Hopefully Saakashvili will have wised up, and won’t rise to the bait this time, as he did to his cost in August of 2008″… I know what you wanted to say with that but as I was following events from as far as 2006 (and even before that) Saakashvili had no alternative to what he did – at the minimum he brought to west’s attention to matter they were choosing not to pay attention to… I so very much respect you and thank you for great read and exceptional analyses of events that matter to me…

    Comment by ALLA WAGNER — April 23, 2012 @ 10:07 pm

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