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India And Russia - I
Published: Thursday, 14 August, 2008, 01:39 AM Doha Time
Georgia’s gamble could cost Saakashvili dear
The shelling has stopped, the dead are being counted, a peace plan has been agreed and US and British politicians – without any sense of irony – are spouting indignant condemnations following Russia’s trouncing of Georgia.
Typically, the Bush and Brown lobby have painted the Great Bear as the bad-guy aggressor. And yesterday, Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband, leapt right over the wall of western double-standards when he railed: “That is simply not the way in which international relations can be run in the 21st century.”
One would think, in light of the Iraq debacle and the continuing disgrace of detention without charge, that these two world ‘powers’ would have been among the last to plant their flags in the shifting soil of moral high ground.
In contrast, one French official hit straight at the heart of the matter by branding Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili “mad”.
It was Saakashvili’s decision to launch a military offensive last week in the pro-Russian region of South Ossetia – and Russia, itching for an excuse, came in hard.
“He gambled, he lost,” said the senior French official on condition of anonymity. “The Georgians fell into a crude trap.”
Without doubt, Russia’s reaction was heavy-handed in the extreme, but the warning signs had been there to read – and subsequently ignored – by Saakashvili.
Now, some 100,000 people have been displaced by the conflict, many hundreds have died.
Writing in a UK newspaper yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticised what he described as a “truly David and Goliath interpretation” of the conflict.
“Let me be absolutely clear,” he wrote. “This is not a conflict of Russia’s making. This is not a conflict of Russia’s choosing. There are no winners from this conflict.”
Perhaps not, but there could be one very definite loser because when the dust settles Saakashvili will face some tough questions.
As Nick Grono, of the International Crisis Group, explained: “This situation escalated the way it did because of miscalculations, especially on the part of Saakashvili.” Furthermore, the crisis has now put Georgia’s Nato dreams in jeopardy and the devastating effect on the country’s economy and infrastructure is massive.
Until a week ago Georgia’s economic growth stood at more than 10% in 2006 and 2007, despite sanctions imposed by Moscow on key industries. Three five-star hotels are being built in Tbilisi and Western-style boutiques and malls have mushroomed throughout the city.
Now, it will cost millions to repair the damage caused by Russian bombs; at a time of global economic crisis and the probable imposition of more sanctions by Russia to further hurt the Georgian economy.
Defeat in South Ossetia could mean Georgia has lost the province for good – a bitter blow to Saakashvili who promised to restore central control there – and his military has been humiliated.
There may not have been any winners from the conflict, but Saakashvili increasingly looks to have gambled away his political future.
<b>Russia flexing its muscles

Fighting in Georgia a serious test for the West, and mostly for America</b>

Isabella Ginor
Published: 08.11.08, 09:20 / Israel Opinion

Russia’s decision to get involved in a seemingly local conflict apparently stemmed from its desire to prompt Georgia to embark on a military operation. This allowed Russia to portray Georgia as the aggressor and to justify Moscow’s massive intervention

Russia’s conduct is amazingly similar to a scenario we are already well familiar with: The Soviet initiative to create a crisis and war between Israel and the Arab states ahead of the Six-Day War, in order to intervene in favor of the “victims of aggression.”

Russia takes S. Ossetian capital, Georgia pulls back / Reuters
Georgian forces retreat from separatist region after three-day battle; government offers ceasefire, talks. US warns Moscow further escalation could have 'significant impact' on relations
Full story
The scope of the Russian military intervention was immediately characterized by the West as “disproportional.” That would be true had the operation been directed at Georgia alone. The targets bombed by the Russians as early as Friday included a Georgian Air Force base in the capital, Tbilisi. According to some reports, American experts are regularly deployed at the base. Israeli experts may also be deployed there, and at the very least were there at some point.

Yet this bombing, which was accompanied by political declarations, hinted that the Russians were signaling to the West, and mostly to the United States, that Russia is determined to prevent its own encirclement by NATO member states.

West’s credibility on the line
The events in Georgia are tuning into a serious test for the West’s ability, and first and foremost for the US, to end the war in the Caucuses and ensure that Georgia remains a sovereign state. Should Georgia be abandoned, the West’s and America’s credibility in respect to the willingness to protect their allies would be undermined.


Therefore, the events in Georgia must be of great interest for Israel as well. However, if it turns out that Georgia acted rashly and allowed the crisis to escalate, the Americans may be forced to find a balance that is not necessarily in Georgia’s favor. Does this remind you of anything?

Israel maintains close security ties with Georgia, but has great interest in the conflict for other reasons as well: Large quantities of oil and gas are transferred from Azerbaijan to the West via Georgia.

Dr. Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez co-authored Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War
Georgia a policy debacle for US

* Thomas Meaney and Harris Mylonas
* August 13, 2008
* Page 1 of 2 | Single Page View

Backing rebel movements, as in Kosovo, sets a dangerous precedent.

FOR the coolest composure while going to war, the gold medal goes to Vladimir Putin. At the Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing, the Russian leader maintained his characteristic calm — giving a firm salute to the Russian athletes marching by — while he arranged for another kind of march into the disputed territory of South Ossetia.

It's clear that Mr Putin considers this payback time, not only for Georgia, Russia's meddlesome neighbour to the south, but also for President George Bush.

In February, Mr Bush and most leaders in Europe backed the independence of Kosovo from Serbia, which Mr Putin vociferously opposed. At the time US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave the assurance that "Kosovo cannot be seen as precedent for any other situation in the world today".

But precedent is just what it set. By the same logic that led to partition of Kosovo — a region that suffered terribly under Serbian rule — Putin hopes to sever South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia and bring them back into the Russian orbit of influence. He is effectively using our own medicine against us.

To avoid conflict and carnage like this in the future, the United States and the world community need a more consistent platform when it comes to fledgling independence movements. Why does the US support movements in some places, such as Kosovo, and thwart them in others, such as South Ossetia?

Like every great power, the US chooses to support self-determination movements that destabilise its competitors (Russia, China, Iran) and oppose the ones backed by them. This has always been a central tenet of realism in foreign policy.

But it is also a Pandora's box. If the US opts not to respect the principle of sovereignty, it encourages other powers to do the same, thus undermining state sovereignty the world over.

As long as the international community continues to reward some self-determination movements and deny others, the leaders of such movements will continue to appeal to the highest bidder. Continued...

The people of South Ossetia knew that if they provoked Georgia, they would also provoke Russia to come to the rescue.

If the US wants to prolong its global influence and enhance the legitimacy of international institutions, it should send a clear message that partition is never an answer.

It must work within existing borders and encourage world leaders to make their ethnic minorities equal partners in government, rather than backing rebels who pursue states within states like a succession of Russian dolls.

In the long run, US inconsistency jeopardises the possibility of ethnic pluralism becoming a universal ideal and a workable solution for multi-ethnic societies.

As citizens of a nation that was founded on the principle of self-determination, Americans are understandably uncomfortable about depriving others of that right.

The case for preserving state sovereignty has always had less appeal for Americans than the allure of an independence movement. But while its own independence was based on a doctrine of individual rights, the vast majority of self-determination movements today are based on ethnic group rights.

Groups as divergent as the Kurds and the Tibetans have made repeated appeals for self-governance in the past decade. But the urgency of their calls relies less on any liberal principle than on the sheer fact of their ethnic preponderance in their regions and the violence they have endured.

So what do we do when ethnic minorities such as the South Ossetians, Abkhazians, Kurds, Bosnians or Kosovo Albanians are forcefully repressed by their respective host states?

The world community has an obligation to protect them, of course. But it's far from clear that backing self-determination movements and partitioning existing states is the best policy.

Ironically, history shows that insecure host states are more likely to consider ethnic cleansing as a solution whenever an internationally backed movement for a new state emerges.

The unintended consequences of ethnic partitions have typically brought more violence, more

inter-state conflict and more self-determination movements. Our best bet is therefore to work with the borders we have, not the borders we want.

Thomas Meaney is a PhD candidate in history at Columbia University. Harris Mylonas is a PhD candidate in political science at Yale.
What Should the West do in Georgia?
Hasan Selim Ozertem

Monday , 18 August 2008

In the literature it is mainly argued that the collapse of the Soviet Union has been surprisingly non-problematic and despite the change in balance of power in the world politics there has been no large scale conflicts or wars in the Eurasian region. As known, system changes bring an environment of chaos which causes crisis in international relations. Among others, French revolution, Bolshevik revolution and demise of Ottoman Empire after World War I can be shown as recent examples from political history that caused many disputes and conflicts to emerge in the old continents of the globe.

However, apart from conflict areas like Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transdnestr or Chechnya the world did not witness big battles going on between any blocs. In fact, even the tendency of Russia was to compromise with the West at the first term of President Yeltsin when Andrei Kozyrev was the chief of foreign affairs.

Now, after 17 years it seems that the balance in relations seems to be disturbed between Russia and the West.

When Kosovo declared its independence in February 2008, Russia was not satisfied with the result. Since the demise of the USSR, it could not prevent the West’s movement to the East and ex-Warsaw Pact countries have become NATO and the EU members one by one.
Independence of Kosovo was another blow by the West and meant a loss of power in Balkans for Russia. Russian politicians argued that this would be precedence for other conflict areas and since then supported separatist movements in Georgia.

What brought Russia here?

Sour experiences of shock-therapy, NATO enlargement and zero sum politics of Russia with the West were not satisfactory for the Federation. Drawing a profile that even small countries challenge Russia, while trying to protect its diaspora in Baltics or having problems with Poland which was a friendly country a few decades ago were unacceptable for Russia, which hardly overcome the legacies of Cold War and perception of defining itself as a super power.

While the West-Russian integration discussions going on in the literature and the negotiations going on with WTO, NATO and other international mechanisms, in Caucasus Georgia has given the opportunity to Russia to show its muscles to the world once again.

Georgia and Russia could not build up the relations that Russia desired since 1991. It has started with the hesitation to be a member of Commonwealth of Independent States after the independence. However, especially after the Rose revolution in 2003, Saakashvili’s stance against this country was so disturbing for Russian political elite under Putin administration. Saakashvili’s efforts for being a NATO member and establishing good relations with the West were going on in the backyard of Russian Federation.

Georgian maneuver on 8 August 2008 has given the chance for Russia to punish Saakashvili and the West via showing its muscles in Caucasus. After then the West is trying to get used to this new environment disturbed by Russians aggressive stance.

As known Russia is a one of the permanent members in the UN Security Council and also is a member of OSCE as well as other international organizations like CIS and BSEC. Instead of working these mechanisms, Russia chose to use pure hard power in Georgia. The legitimizing argument was there are human rights violations and people in Ossetia are the citizens of Russian Federation.

Up to a point these arguments were valid. However, using military option and protecting your own citizens without firstly using diplomatic channels in another country’s territory to stop the ongoing violence as well as devastating Georgian cities to protect South Ossetia are not acceptable.

After the visit of French President Sarkozy to Moscow, a six point peace plan announced by Medvedev and Sarkozy. Medvedev ordered, just a couple hours before his meeting with Sarkozy, Russian Army to halt operations. In fact, this has two messages in it, firstly to overcome the criticisms of the public regarding Putin is still in charge it was an important movement, since Medvedev said that “I ordered Russian Army to halt operations in Caucasus.” Secondly, it would not be Sarkzoy’s success, but it was Russia to take initiative to stop ongoing war.

As known, Saakashvili and Medvedev signed the peace plan. However, Russian politicians’ comments are really important. For instance, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov says that “We recognize the sovereignty and Independence of Georgia…But territorial integrity, it’s just another matter.”[1] Moreover, Medvedev claimed that “…Georgia can never again have sovereignty over S. Ossetia and Abkhazia.”[2]

All these comments regarding Georgia’s territorial integrity are too dangerous. First of all, Georgia is a transit country that helps the West to reach to Central Asia and the Caspian. Moreover, it is a key country for the Black Sea Region’s security. It is the blame of both Russia and the West to hesitate to show necessary political will to bring a permanent solution to these ongoing disputes. In addition to these in Bucharest Summit this year, while Georgia and Ukraine awaiting to be included to the Membership Action Plan, they only could get a blurred promise. This also put Georgia defenseless before aggressive Russian politics. Now, as the Great Game gains impetus in the region once again, it is the civilians getting hurt or losing their lives.

What should be done?

· In the six-step plan, the point of finding a solution for the future of these conflict areas are positive, but neglecting the territorial integrity of Georgia, even before sitting to the negotiation table is not a solution. What region lacks is a long term solution that would bring stability to the region; not polarization or partition of the countries.

· The West should pursue more pro-active and realist policies for the sake of stability. It is so obvious that Russia does not want zero-sum games anymore and it would be naïve to expect Russia to leave the current situation without taking anything. While the parties negotiating for peace plan, international mechanisms should start to function to find a common basis with Russia.

· Moreover, for the sake of Georgia and Azerbaijan, NATO should take a more serious stance and not only in rhetorical sense, but also a road map should be drawn for the membership of these countries to the organization immediately. Partition of Georgia can be a serious threat for Azerbaijan’s isolation from the Western Alliance and would cause a serious blockade for the West to reach inner Asia.

· A military base can be opened in Georgia as a peacekeeping mission by the West.

· Humanitarian aid should be reached to the region via organizations like United Nations, Red Crescent and Red Cross. There should be coordination between parties to prevent malfunction of this mechanism. As known, the US aid could not be reached to Georgia due to uncoordinated movement between the US and Turkey. Moreover, Russia should be involved to this international aid initiative.

· There are 100.000 displaced people in the region. Refugee policies should be created for these people and for any possible situation.

· Gori and Tshinvali should be rebuilt by the international community. It would be a good message to the region, creating a constructive image of international community.

· Russian contribution to these initiatives would be influential for recreating a positive Russian image in Caucasus, which was seriously damaged after Russian Army’s maneuvers in Gori and other Georgian cities and opened serious wounds among Georgians.

· Opening new areas of dispute in Eastern Europe like missile shield program in Poland would not contribute for a peaceful solution in Caucasus. In fact, this would cause a more aggressive stance to be taken by Russia.

· EU should pursue a more active role for the solution of the crisis. Due to legacies of Cold War era Russia and the US have prejudices regarding each other. In the environment of the crisis, the EU can play a role of mediator.

· French Presidency in the EU is a nice coincidence since a country like France can play an important role as a country that is experienced in diplomacy and strong enough to make the EU mechanisms to function.

· Turkey’s role should not be underestimated. It is a country that has good relations with the West and Russia. Moreover, it has a good understanding of the dynamics of Caucasus. A country like Turkey that works for a resolution with the EU can help a long lasting solution in the region.

Russia-NATO ties sour over Georgia

Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW: Russia may complete its withdrawal from Georgia in three to four days if Georgia complies with the terms of the ceasefire agreement, said Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday. He rejected as “biased” a NATO statement on the conflict.

“The pullback of Russian forces will depend on how fast Georgian troops return to their barracks as per the peace plan and on progress in setting up new security zones for Russian peacekeepers,” said Mr. Lavrov, adding: “I think it may take 3-4 days.”

He described as “biased and one-sided” the statement adopted by NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels on Tuesday. “NATO has sought to make the aggressor look like a victim,” said Mr. Lavrov. “Instead of trying to restrain Mr. Saakashvili, NATO lets him dictate to the alliance what it should do to meet his ambitions,” he added.

He also rejected NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer’s warning of “consequences” for Russia over the South Ossetia crisis. He suggested NATO would face consequences for supporting the aggressor.
“I fully agree with Mr. Scheffer that ‘business as usual’ between Russia and NATO is no longer possible,” said Mr. Lavrov, adding: “We will draw our conclusions.” Analysts said Russia could stop providing a transport corridor and planes to airlift NATO supplies to Afghanistan. Russian transport aircraft at present ferry about 30 per cent of such shipments. This threat stopped the NATO Foreign Ministers from supporting a U.S. demand for suspending all ties with Russia, including cooperation on counter-terrorism.</b>

Russia and Georgia exchanged 20 prisoners of war (POWs) in a gesture of goodwill on Tuesday — five Russian POWs were swapped for 15 Georgian POWs. A Russian military spokesman said Georgia was not fulfilling its obligation to return its troops to their bases. “Everyday, we detain groups of armed Georgian soldiers roaming about [on Georgian territory] without orders,” said Deputy Chief of the General Staff, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, on Tuesday.
“Yesterday we disarmed 20 Georgian troops, including three ethnic Arabs, who were driving in five Hummers armed with automatic rifles and grenade launchers,</b>” he added. He said Russian peacekeepers would set up additional posts in the security zone between Georgia and South Ossetia before completing its troop pullback from Georgia and South Ossetia.
Is Georgia the October Surprise? Looks like Obama has to do something to regain the momentum.
Georgia is backed by US, ever since US suddenly discovered (a use for) the <i>other</i> Georgia. And as everyone knows US and media aren't known for telling the unadulterated truth if they can possibly slip in some lies.
While Russia isn't always the most confidence-inducing side either, the situation is a bit more complicated than pedestrian news reports about "Russia invaded Georgia" would have some believe.

Georgians were being nasty to S Ossetia which was mostly-independent since 1990s. A significant portion of S Ossetia's population are Russians (not Georgian but Slavic), these Ossetians identify with Russia and are Russian citizens and carry Russian passports. Russia has for some time kept army posts in Ossetia.

Russia accused Georgia of ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia - and there are numerous Ossetian deaths to back up this part of the Russian turn of events - and countered Georgia. Georgia has long accused Russia of uninvited meddling in Georgia-Ossetia affairs, and I don't think Georgians are making things up either.

(Note that historically, Ossetia was neither Russian nor Georgian. Ossetic was an Iranian language and the Ossetians were Iranians of a Sarmatian tribe.)

What's disturbing is not who invaded who (anyone wanting to sift through the accusations and counter-accusations is welcome to figure out the order in which all this unwanted 'attention' took place), but the fact that the Orthodox christian Georgians would side with the western christoterrorist US - of all the horrible decisions they could have made - is beyond me. Then again, particularly Soviet Russia did take over Georgian land and oppress them; but for Georgia to then go 180 and join the scary US of all things...
"My what sharp teeth you have, christoterrorism." Particularly catholic and protestant christoterrorism.

Meanwhile, of course, poor little US had been chummying up to Georgia in recent times only because it wants the natural resources in this space, including better control on the access to the nearby <i>Key</i> oil reserve. (Move down from Georgia into Kurdistan to get to the large concentration of oil: Kurdistan is next to Iraq/Turkey/Iran/Armenia/Georgia. US invaders are already occupying Iraq.)

Meanwhile part 2, Russians are used to playing bad guys really well and at other times being made into the baddies, so they don't care about the addition of the villain's twirling moustache in their routine. Georgians may slowly be realising what many another country already knows: the US is a friend of absolutely no one, crowned Most Unreliable each time. Sad that Russians and Georgians (and whatever Ossetians are) are dying for American politics. But can't argue with christomath: 1 American life is worth hundreds of non-American christians' lives. And if America can control natural resources belonging to other countries/people by covert meddling, open war-mongering and outright invading, then it's worth all of Asia. Naturally.

From the link to follow:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thus a sixth rule of conduct is one of political realism, and explains rule five. It was expressed by Henry Kissinger: “Great powers do not commit suicide for allies.” (Least of all small and unimportant allies.)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Politically-politely phrased summary of why America can only ever be a Good Weather pseudo-'friend', if that.

This is a good quote though:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>NATO, Georgia and the Ready-Made War</b>

Posted on Aug 12, 2008
By William Pfaff

<b>British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery was the man who said the first three rules of warfare are “Do not invade Russia,” repeated three times.</b> A footnote to that rule would be that while the disputed Georgian districts of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are not parts of Russia today, they were yesterday, and probably will again be tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. Most of their present populations carry Russian passports, and there are Russian troops in both provinces.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->America committed the Even Greater Blunder not once but <i>Twice</i>: it broke Vizzini's #1 Rule of Foolishness "Never get involved in a landwar in Asia". (Vietnam, Korea)
Some support for the stuff I wrote above. But watch out for some of the very predictably BBC way of 'reporting' news:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Russian tanks enter South Ossetia</b>
"Russian tanks have entered Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, says Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili."

Georgia has been fighting separatists with ties to Russia in order to regain control of the province, which has had de facto independence since the 1990s.

Russian troops in the South Ossetian capital said their artillery had begun firing at Georgian forces, Russian news agencies reported.

Russia's president earlier promised to defend his citizens in South Ossetia.

Moscow's defence ministry said more than 10 of its peacekeeping troops in South Ossetia had been killed and 30 wounded in the Georgian offensive. At least 15 civilians are also reported dead.

<b>'Clear intrusion' </b>

Amid international calls for restraint, Georgia's president said 150 Russian tanks and other vehicles had entered South Ossetia.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says he is willing to agree an immediate ceasefire
He told CNN: "Russia is fighting a war with us in our own territory."

Mr Saakashvili, who has called on reservists to sign up for duty, said: "This is a clear intrusion on another country's territory.

"We have Russian tanks on our territory, jets on our territory in broad daylight," Reuters new agency quoted him as saying.

Later, Moscow's foreign ministry told media that Russian tanks had reached the northern outskirts of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.

The Georgian interior ministry said Russian jets had killed three Georgian soldiers at an airbase outside the capital, Tbilisi, during a bombing raid on Friday, Reuters news agency reported.

"I must protect the life and dignity of Russian citizens wherever they are. We will not allow their deaths to go unpunished
Dmitry Medvedev
Russian President"

Russia denied any of its fighters had entered its neighbour's airspace.

Moscow's defence ministry said reinforcements for Russian peacekeepers had been sent to South Ossetia "to help end bloodshed".

Amid reports of Russian deaths, President Dmitry Medvedev said: "I must protect the life and dignity of Russian citizens wherever they are," Interfax news agency reported.

"We will not allow their deaths to go unpunished. Those responsible will receive a deserved punishment."

<b>'Ethnic cleansing'</b>

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was receiving reports that villages in South Ossetia were being ethnically cleansed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Mr Lavrov added in televised remarks: "The number of refugees is growing. A humanitarian crisis is looming."

Russia said it would cut all air links with Georgia from midnight on Friday.

Meanwhile Interfax quoted South Ossetian rebel leader Eduard Kokoity as saying there were "hundreds of dead civilians" in Tskhinvali.

Witnesses said the regional capital was devastated.

Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, told AP news agency: "I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars. It's impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged."

US President George W Bush spoke with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin about the crisis while they attended the Beijing Olympics.

Later, the US voiced support for Georgia's territorial integrity and its state department said it would send an envoy to the region.

Nato said it was seriously concerned about the situation, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on all sides to show restraint.

The European security organisation, the OSCE, warned that the fighting risked escalating into a full-scale war.

Georgian Foreign Minister Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili told the BBC it wanted to ensure that any civilians who wanted to leave the conflict zone could do so safely.

International Red Cross spokeswoman Anna Nelson said it had received reports that hospitals in Tskhinvali were having trouble coping with the influx of casualties and ambulances were having trouble reaching the injured.

Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said Georgia had simply run out of patience with attacks by separatist militias in recent days and had had to move in to restore peace in South Ossetia.

<b>Truce plea</b>

Georgia accuses Russia of arming the separatists. Moscow denies the claim.

Russia earlier called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to respond to the crisis, but members failed to agree on a Russian statement calling on both sides to renounce the use of force.

The BBC's James Rodgers in Moscow says Russia has always said it supports the territorial integrity of Georgia but also that it would defend its citizens. Many South Ossetians hold Russian passports.

Hundreds of fighters from Russia and Georgia's other breakaway region of Abkhazia were reportedly heading to aid the separatist troops.


1991-92 S Ossetia fights war to break away from newly independent Georgia; Russia enforces truce
2004 Mikhail Saakashvili elected Georgian president, promising to recover lost territories
2006 S Ossetians vote for independence in unofficial referendum
April 2008 Russia steps up ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia
July 2008 Russia admits flying jets over S Ossetia; Russia and Georgia accuse each other of military build-up
7 August 2008 After escalating Georgian-Ossetian clashes, sides agree to ceasefire
8 August 2008 Heavy fighting erupts overnight, Georgian forces close on Tskhinvali<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
One may initially wonder about the christohypocrisy of the American government, why christo America - itself illegally occupying land that belongs (and always will) to native Americans - would be supporting Georgia and not the Ossetian independence all while it had pushed for islamiterrorist Albanians' 'independence' by letting the invader islamists run off with Serbia's Kosovo, and continues to keep yelling for plebiscite for islamiterrorists in Kashmir who ethnically cleansed the indigenous Dharmics. (Complete with Times and CNN depicting Kashmir as independent.)

It's because, from Russia to Georgia, including Ossetia, people are <i>orthodox</i> christians. To western christos (protestants inherited this subconscious auto-disdain from catholics among whom the anti-orthodox hatred is conscious), Orthodox christians are children of a lesser god, and orthodox countries don't count. Also US has always wanted to break Russia, plus there's the oil. Hence America will play the biggest supporter of Georgia - of course, Georgia shouldn't actually expect America to *do* anything to prove it, the way Russia always springs in for Serbia and other Orthodox Slavic nations.
If it wasn't for the oil (and Russia factor) America wouldn't care about Orthodox Ossetia - while it certainly cares about jihadising (and christianising) India starting with Kashmir, and jihadising Serbia.

It is easy to forget the entire picture and narrowly view the situation from the present perspective only and thus trivially conclude the situation of Ossetia as being similar to Kashmir.
Kashmir is Dharmic land that was invaded by islamania. As always, islam terrorised, genocided and converted-with-scimitar even as it settled its poison in Hindu land. Later on it ethnically cleansed much of the remaining Hindus and Sikhs out of Dharmic land. Now the converted islamaniacs think that "therefore" Kashmir belongs to them (and they're naturally supported in this 'logic' by the US, since the US similarly follows The Law of Thieves and Murderers: native American land -> christosettlers genocided native Americans, "hence land belongs to christo settlers". Christoislamic logic.)
<b>A harsh world for Russia’s neighbours</b>

Published: August 22 2008 19:25 | Last updated: August 22 2008 19:25

The Georgian crisis has shown President Dmitry Medvedev’s Russia for what it is – an aggressive authoritarian power. The slim hope that he might soften the tough line set by his ex-KGB predecessor, Vladimir Putin, is gone. Prime minister Putin is the master and President Medvedev does his bidding.

The main foreign policy aim is to restore Russia’s lost superpower status: by recovering its dominance in the ex-Soviet Union, exploiting its role as an energy supplier and boosting its say in world affairs.

The Georgian adventure has been a great success. Moscow has punished pro-west Tbilisi for trying to join Nato and humiliatingly exposed the limits of the west’s support for allies in the post-Soviet region. It has developed a tool – support for embattled ethnic minorities – which can be used elsewhere. The next target could be pro-west Ukraine’s Crimea, with its ethnic Russian majority and a Russian outpost in the leased naval port of Sevastopol. Even Belarus, the most pro-Moscow ex-Soviet state, is worried. So are Nato’s east European members like Poland, which has quickly signed a US missile defence deal.

The post-1989 opening of the ex-Communist world to western values and interests has suffered a big defeat. But all is not lost. First, the gains made in reducing Russian dominance are huge, with a swathe of new European Union and Nato members. Next, while oil-rich Russia is wealthy, it has deep-seated problems, not least a declining population. Finally, despite Georgia, the world is not yet in a new cold war. There is scope for co-operating with Russia, as well as containing its aggressive intentions.

The long list of issues for collaboration ranges from energy to nuclear non-proliferation. But the desire to work with Moscow must be matched by a clear response to Russian aggression. Nato’s mutual defence pledges should be backed by actions, such as building new forward bases in frontline countries, notably the Baltic states, and doing more to promote energy security.

But the alliance must take greater care over any further eastward expansion. Until now, the west has forced Russia to accept enlargement, betting (correctly) that Moscow was too weak to respond. Russia has shown that is no longer the case. The west should accept future new members, including Georgia and Ukraine, only if they are really ready to join and if Nato can really defend them. It cannot absorb states with violent internal conflicts (Georgia) or with deep splits over Nato (Ukraine).

This must not give Russia a veto over neighbours’ sovereign rights. Nor must it divide the region into spheres of influence. But countries that want to ally with the west will have to work harder to resist Russian pressure. And they can expect less western support than before. That is the painful reality, post Georgia.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
Georgian Crisis Is a Trap for U.S. Leadership
21 August 2008By Fyodor Lukyanov
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The fighting between Georgia and Russia has resulted in a serious political crisis in U.S.-Russian relations. It seems as if both sides have gone back to the sharp Cold War rhetoric of the early 1980s.

But apart from the combative tone, the current conflict has nothing in common with the Cold War standoffs because the ideological element is absent in both Russian and U.S. foreign policies today.

This may sound strange, since most people consider U.S. President George W. Bush's foreign policy to be extremely ideological. After all, the global advancement of democracy has been his principal credo for nearly eight years. In practice, however, exporting democracy is less an ideology than it is realpolitik at its core -- an instrument for attaining geopolitical dominance around the globe.

The United States had to immediately adjust to the burden of global leadership after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when it declared itself the victor in the Cold War -- a victory that it was not entirely ready for.

In the course of a decade, from the Soviet collapse to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. foreign policy ideology was transformed into an overly ambitious plan to reshape global affairs with Washington sitting in the driver's seat. The United States was transformed into a truly international superpower, sincerely convinced of its own global responsibility as a guarantor of peace and democracy.

After Sept. 11, 2001, the fact that U.S. territory could be threatened from remote regions of the world forced a reassessment of Washington's security policy. As a result, the entire planet became a sphere of vital U.S. interests.

Since the United States considers democracy to be the most effective, progressive and nonaggressive form of governance, it feels that it can guarantee its own security by advancing democracy everywhere. As Bush has said repeatedly, "Democracies don't fight other democracies." The main problem with this simplistic formula is that building new democracies from scratch is a long and difficult process. Creating a stable democracy is only possible in countries that are already developed both politically and economically.

The era when a holistic outlook on global leadership was formed in the United States, a period when Washington could act without taking the interests of others into account, is over. And the attempt to implement this established policy led to a series of failures and to a new level of global fragmentation. It also demonstrated the limitations of the United States' ability to influence global affairs unilaterally.

At that moment, Russia, after recovering from the geopolitical and economic crises of the 1990s, tried to win back what had been lost during the first post-Soviet decade. Moscow's quest to regain its sphere of influence was understood in Washington.
Russia is irritated the most when the United States interferes in those areas that Moscow believes Washington has no strategic interests. And the United States exacerbates this irritation when it opposes any issue that strengthens Russia's position in any way. Moreover, Washington is not prepared to impose limitations on itself, squeezing everyone else wherever it can. The traditional rule of realpolitik -- taking into account the interests of others to the extent that they do not contravene one's own interests -- is being violated.
Russia is a global power with regional ambitions and interests. Moscow possesses well-defined levers in different parts of the world -- from Latin America to Africa, from the Middle East to the Far East. With the help of these instruments, Russia will pursue its strategic interests in Europe and Asia. Alliances in Syria and Venezuela are needed in order to gain bargaining chips in the game against rivals. This helps counterbalance U.S. expansion in countries that used to be Soviet republics. Yet Moscow does not rule out the exchange of minor ambitions for major ones.

And here we come to the conceptual reason for the worsening of U.S.-Russian relations. The United States is a global power with global ambitions and interests. From the U.S. point of view, it has no interests that it would be willing to sacrifice. Regions that Moscow sees as secondary to U.S. interests have become necessary components of the complex U.S. structure known as American leadership.

With the Russia-Georgia military conflict, the United States clearly fell into a dangerous trap. The Bush administration was not in a position to back up the implied promises and guarantees that it had given to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The United States has supported pro-U.S. regimes all along Russia's borders. It hoped that its expansion in Russia's backyard would go smoothly and not be very costly from a geopolitical point of view. But the United States did not seriously consider the consequences of defending these new allies -- both politically and militarily. And it turned out that at the critical moment, the United States was not in a position to give substantive support to its ally Georgia. It was even unable to prevent Georgia from making fatal mistakes.

The position of global leader is dangerous in that it won't allow for even the most minor defeats. Indeed, the result the Georgia conflict may not simply be the decline of U.S. influence in that country (which in and of itself is not a catastrophe), but that other young, emerging democracies will be skeptical about the dependability of U.S. promises of support.

To stop a domino effect in which nations en masse start losing faith in U.S. leadership, it won't be enough if Washington adopts an even tougher stance toward Moscow. It's possible that it will try once again to give direct guarantees for the security of countries like Georgia or Ukraine -- especially since NATO's ability to act is now in doubt. Western Europe will probably halt its expansion into the former Soviet republics. And relatively new NATO members, such as Poland, are doubting NATO's credibility. If these countries earlier thought that NATO and the United States were virtually one and the same, this is no longer the case. Indeed, Poland has approached the United States directly, bypassing NATO, for security guarantees to protect it against what it perceives to be a threat from Russia.

This has increased U.S.-Russian tensions even more. Moscow considers direct U.S. military guarantees to Kiev and Tbilisi as an even greater provocation than NATO membership in and of itself. But, as the Georgian and South Ossetian conflict clearly demonstrated, it is doubtful that Washington has the ability to back up these guarantees.

Because of its weakened position, the United States will be forced to rethink its fundamental role as a global leader. The United States and Russia both need to fully understand whether their strategic goals are realistically achievable or not.

Fyodor Lukyanov is editor of Russia in Global Affairs.
1. au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/5212203/russia-retakes-georgia-border-village/
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Russia retakes Georgia border village</b>
December 13, 2008, 9:34 pm

Boxer Klitschko dispatches Rahman in the seventh December 14, 2008, 10:25 am
Turkmens vote in election with little choice December 14, 2008, 10:54 am
TBILISI (Reuters) - Russian troops returned on Saturday to a disputed Georgian village they vacated a day earlier near breakaway South Ossetia, pushing back Georgian security forces.

Georgian police said between 500 and 600 Russian soldiers were in the village of Perevi, close to the de facto border with South Ossetia.

Russian forces pulled back in October from a buffer zone adjacent to South Ossetia after a five-day war in August, but kept soldiers in Perevi, which sits on the Georgian side of the de facto border.

The troops pulled out of the village on Friday. Georgian police moved in behind them, but the Russians were back by nightfall. Television pictures showed Russian soldiers unloading sandbags from a truck.

Georgia has condemned the Russian presence in Perevi as a violation of the cease-fire brokered by the European Union after the war, when Russia intervened in its former Soviet neighbour to halt a Georgian assault on pro-Russian South Ossetia.

EU cease-fire monitors, who took credit on Friday for the Russian withdrawal, confirmed Russian forces were in the village on Saturday, but could not say how many.

Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said police had withdrawn. "The Russians kicked the police out of Perevi this morning," he said.

South Ossetia accused Georgia of violating the cease-fire by deploying special forces to the boundary.

"About 60 special forces soldiers were deployed to the village of Perevi directly on the border with South Ossetia," Interfax news agency quoted a South Ossetian defence ministry official as saying. "EU monitors are turning a blind eye."

Pro-Western Georgia welcomed news that the Russian troops had moved 3 km (1.8 miles) east across the boundary on Friday. The village sits on a small mountain road entering South Ossetia from the west. Some of its 1,100 residents had left.

South Ossetia claims the village as its own. But the EU monitors say it clearly lies outside South Ossetia's de facto borders. The monitors said Friday's pullback followed discussions with the Russian foreign ministry and military.

Utiashvili said a delegation of European diplomats visiting the area on Saturday was barred from entering the village.

Russia has recognised South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, as independent states backed by Russian military protection. The two regions threw off Tbilisi's rule in the early 1990s.

Russia said it intervened in Georgia to save civilians from a Georgian military bid to retake South Ossetia after months of skirmishes and Georgian allegations of Russian provocation. The West condemned Moscow's response as disproportionate.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

2. au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/5212504/kasparov-forms-opposition-group-dismantle-putin-regime/
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Kasparov forms opposition group to 'dismantle' Putin regime</b>
December 14, 2008, 8:50 am

KHIMKI, Russia (AFP) - Kremlin critics led by former world chess champion Garry Kasparov launched Saturday a new opposition group called Solidarity, vowing to "dismantle" the regime of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

In a hand vote, about 100 delegates agreed in a hotel in a Moscow suburb to form Solidarnost (Solidarity), using the same name as the Polish union movement that pushed Poland's communist government to hold free elections in 1989..
(The dawaganda of using names, words, language that have established meaning to people, used on purpose to ride on their existing wave of popularity, to auto-inherit approval in the public consciousness by association.
The world already has enough doublespeak promising "equality, brotherhood, religion of love, religion of peace", but I guess that's not enough. And now recycling a significant Polish org's name to get maximum effect.)

"It is impossible to reform this regime," said Kasparov, one of the most high-profile critics of Putin, who became prime minister earlier this year after Dmitry Medvedev was elected to succeed him as president.

"Our first goal is to dismantle Putin's regime. This is the only way to restore <b>freedom</b> and political competition in the country," he said to applause at the new group's congress.

In another wink to the 1980s anti-Soviet movements, the new opposition group chose as its anthem the song "We're Waiting For Changes" by Russian rock icon Viktor Tsoi, whose tune was a favourite of young Russians during Perestroika.

On Friday, Kasparov had warned that Russia was "on the edge of catastrophe."

"This regime has a very short life expectancy and at the end of next year there will be tremors in Russia . We need ahead of this moment to create a powerful democratic coalition," he told a news conference.

The new opposition group includes an eclectic mix of political forces, including the former SPS liberal party, members of the RNDS party of former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who did not attend the congress, and human rights activists.

While Kasparov said he was "very optimistic" about the movement, at least one delegate was more cautious about its future.

"It does not please many people here, but we must participate because there is nothing else. If you consider yourself a democrat, you must be here," Ivan Fedorenko, an RNDS representative from Saint Petersburg, told AFP.

Fedorenko noted that the opposition hopes it can seize on the economic crisis, with Russia officially in recession, to gain ground.

"Many believe that the crisis opens a window of opportunity, that people will be unhappy because of the economy and that democratic organisations will be able to defend the economic interests and become as popular as the Polish Solidarnost," he said.

Other figures at the conference included Boris Nemtsov, a liberal who served as deputy prime minister in the 1990s.

But many leading Kremlin critics did not attend the congress, reflecting the long-running disunity of Russia's opposition.

Outside, pro-Kremlin youth activists -- who consistently disrupt opposition events in Russia -- protested, including some who wore monkey masks and threw bananas.

Shortly after his speech about 30 activists from Young Russia , a pro-Kremlin youth movement, rallied outside the conference hall, setting off smoke bombs and waving Russian flags and a banner that said "Enough lies".

Three of them wore monkey masks and tossed around bananas and leaflets saying "the monkeys are telling lies."

When the opposition opened its first congress Friday, delegates were greeted by the bizarre sight of a busload of dead or wounded sheep being dumped outside their conference centre.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Nothing to do with India.


Quote:Yanuckovich Wins in Ukraine

Victor Yanuckovich has won the Ukrainian elections, returning that country to a pro-Russian stance, and the Atlanticists are outraged. The Moscow Times, a Chindu-like anti-Russian newspaper, openly wails that this is all the fault of allowing the poor to vote. Taste the bile.

Posted by san at 2/09/2010 03:22:00 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Labels: atlanticism, euro-centrism, europe, indian media, Psychology, russia

Good for Ukraine - and Russia. Not going to be puppeted forever. And their people are far more aware of what's really going on and how foreign powers seek to control them.

If one could but say the same of remote-controlled India.

If only India's alien undemocratic (and undemocratically "democratically" installed) puppet christogovt could be removed from power. But then the system is too well set up for that: rigged EVMs and strategically Manufacturing Consent using the local christomedia and keeping the Indian populace drugged on psecularism is all that's required to keep the puppet christogovt in power (or set up another one).

It's like the christoBritish left leaving their half-native children in charge who carry out their christowestern sires' long-distance orders.
<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' /> VLADIMIR PUTIN: If you want to become an Islamic fundamentalist and be circumcised, come to Moscow. We are multiconfessional. We have very good specialists. I can recommend one for the operation. He'll make sure nothing grows back.

He may be called an extremist. But in times like these it's better to be one rather than hold meaningless candles and keep counting body bags of those whose protection was your duty. http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com...eader-like

[url=""][url="http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-Russia-sign-two-nuclear-pacts-boost-ties/H1-Article1-518303.aspx"]India, Russia sign nuclear pacts, Gorshkov deal[/url][/url]

Quote:Indo-Asian News ServiceNew Delhi, March 12, 2010India and Russia on Friday invigorated their time-tested ties by signing a slew of pacts, including two nuclear accords, and sealed the price of refitted Soviet-era aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, ending a minor irritant in their bilateral ties.

Ending years of stagnation in their economic ties, the two sides decided to take their ties beyond defence purchases by signing pacts on oil exploration, trade in diamonds and import of fertilizers.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks for around two hours with Russian Premier Vladimir Putin, who is on a 22-hour visit to India, to accelerate their cooperation across a range of areas spanning civil nuclear energy, space, high-technology to defence, hydrocarbons, trade and telecommunications.

"I convey to Prime Minister Putin that relations with Russia are a key pillar of our foreign policy and [size="4"]we regard Russia as a [color="#0000ff"]trusted and reliable strategic partner[/color][/size]," Manmohan Singh said at a joint press conference with Putin.

Besides reviewing bilateral ties, the two sides also discussed a cluster of regional and global issues, including counter-terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the upcoming Nuclear Summit in Washington, and the international financial crisis.

The two sides inked five agreements in the presence of the two leaders. Several other agreements were inked on the sidelines of the talks.

The signing of the umbrella nuclear pact, initialled during Manmohan Singh's trip to Moscow in December last year, and another one laying out a roadmap for the serial construction of Russian design reactors are set to open more avenues of nuclear cooperation between the two countries.

A separate commercial contract between India's public sector nuclear monopoly NPCIL and Russia's Atomstroy Export was also signed for building two more civil nuclear reactors of 1,000 MW each at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

Russia is already building two reactors at this site. India has allocated another site for Russian nuclear reactors at Haripur in West Bengal. "This is one of our major, far-reaching, promising areas of interaction," Putin said while talking with Indian businessman in Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi through video-conferencing.

Cooperation with India in nuclear energy will include not only building reactors and supply of the fuel, [color="#0000ff"]but also waste disposal[/color], he said.

Marking a new high in their high-tech cooperation, the [color="#0000ff"]Indian Space Research Organisation and the Russian space agency inked a pact on civilian application of the Russia Glonass (the Global Navigation Satellite System),[/color] the Russian equivalent of the US Global Positioning System.

The sealing of the long-delayed renegotiated deal for Admiral Gorshkov, renamed by India as INS Vikramaditya, fixing the price at $2.35 billion has removed an irritant in bilateral ties that had tended to cloud the decades-long defence ties between the two countries. Fourteen supplementary agreements were signed for finalisation of cost and other technical aspects of the carrier.

Despite new players like France, Israel and the US supplying military hardware, Russia continues to account for 60 to 70 percent of total Indian defence purchase, making it the largest supplier of military hardware to India.

The two sides also inked a deal for development of multi-role transport aircraft.

The big breakthrough, however, came in a slew of steps aimed at scaling up their current $7.5 billion bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2015. The economic ties have not matched the level of political trust and strategic partnership the two countries have enjoyed since the Soviet era due to a host of issues.

The two sides have identified IT and telecommunications as focus areas fOr future economic cooperation, Manmohan Singh said.

Besides two pacts on import of potash and mineral fertilizers, Russian state diamond monopoly AlRosa and Diamond India Ltd signed three more pacts. Two more pacts were signed between private diamond trading companies.

Russian state monopoly Gazprom also inked a pact with India's ONGC on oil exploration in Russia.

"There is the political will on both sides, but we need support from the captains of industry," Putin said. "We should think about the future," Putin said, adding that commercial ties must expand into areas such as energy, banking and IT.
[size="4"][color="blue"][/color][/size][url="http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/13/stories/2010031356740100.htm"][size="4"][color="blue"]India and Russia identify new areas for partnership [/color][/size][/url]

Quote:Sandeep Dikshit Agreements sealed in defence and strategic spheres [size="-2"] — Photo: V.V. Krishnan [/size]

NEW DELHI: India and Russia on Friday sealed agreements in the defence and strategic spheres besides taking steps to extend their partnership in new areas such as energy, mining and fertilizers. Both sides also [color="#0000ff"]had detailed discussions on regional and global issues and agreed to intensify consultations on Afghanistan and the challenges posed by terrorism and extremism in the region[/color].

“In the run-up to, and during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit, we have finalised several important and long-pending defence cooperation projects which will deepen our longstanding partnership in this vital sector. We have signed the Inter-Governmental Agreement on Cooperation in Atomic Energy and agreed upon a Roadmap for construction of nuclear power plants.

A [color="#0000ff"]Memorandum of Understanding for bilateral cooperation in Russia's satellite navigation system has been agreed upon[/color],'' Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a statement shortly after concluding delegation-level talks with Mr. Putin. Dr. Singh also referred to the agreement on strengthening cooperation in hydrocarbons through greater collaboration between the oil and gas companies of Russia and India. Agreements have been signed in the areas of fertilizers.

“We have identified information technology and telecommunications as focus areas for our future economic cooperation,'' he added.

Exhaustive discussions between officials from both sides basically attempted to close deals pending for months and years, identifying new areas of cooperation and narrowing varying views on sectors such as the time schedule for putting up new nuclear plants.

“We should not see this visit as a one-off affair. Rather, the discussions today are a continuation of the dialogue that has been taking place nearly every month between specialised delegations. So, on one hand we have several military agreements that have been in the pipeline for a long time. We also had talks on energy that takes discussions on this subject forward. Space and nuclear cooperation are the other areas where, like energy, there has been steady progress,'' said officials associated with the talks.

Describing Mr. Putin as the “architect'' of the strategic partnership between India and Russia, Dr. Singh said India owed a “deep sense of gratitude” to him for bringing the two countries so close to each other. Mr. Putin made the first of his five visits to the country a decade ago and since then has been the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade in 2007. On his visit to Moscow in December last year, Dr. Singh had been closeted with the former two-term Russian President during which both sides discussed ironing out the wrinkles from the bilateral relationship.
[url="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g_9mcBnSXwPM4sqgAwywqSgfV9rAD9EO62Q80"]Double suicide bombings kill 35 on Moscow subway‎ [/url]

Double suicide bombings kill 35 on Moscow subway

By DAVID NOWAK (AP) – 1 hour ago

MOSCOW — Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow's subway system as it was jam-packed with rush-hour passengers Monday, killing at least 35 people and wounding 38, the city's mayor and other officials said.

Emergency Ministry spokeswoman Svetlana Chumikova said 23 people were killed in an explosion shortly before 8 a.m. at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow. The station is underneath the building that houses the main offices of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the KGB's main successor agency.

A second explosion hit the Park Kultury station about 45 minutes later. Chumikova said at least 12 were dead there. The ministry later said 38 people were injured.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said both explosions were believed to have been set off on the trains.

"The first data that the FSB has given us is that there were two female suicide bombers," Luzhkov told reporters at the Park Kultury site.

The blasts practically paralyzed movement in the city center as emergency vehicles sped to the stations.

In the Park Kultury blast, the bomber was wearing a belt packed with plastic explosive and set it off as the train's doors opened, said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's top investigative body. The woman has not been identified, he told reporters.

The last confirmed terrorist attack in Moscow was in August 2004, when a suicide bomber blew herself up outside a city subway station, killing 10 people.

Responsibility for that blast was claimed by Chechen rebels and suspicion in Monday's explosions is likely to focus on them and other separatist groups in the restive North Caucasus region.

In February, Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov warned in an interview on a rebel-affiliated Website that "the zone of military operations will be extended to the territory of Russia ... the war is coming to their cities."

Umarov also claimed his fighters were responsible for the November bombing of the Nevsky Express passenger train that killed 26 people en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

The Moscow subway system is one of the world's busiest, carrying around 7 million passengers on an average workday, and is a key element in running the sprawling and traffic-choked city.

Helicopters hovered over the Park Kultury station area, which is near the renowned Gorky Park.

Passengers, many of them in tears, streamed out of the station, one man exclaiming over and over "This is how we live!"
[url="http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=14970184&PageNum=0"] Moscow mourns for metro bomb blasts' victims‎[/url]

MOSCOW, March 30 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow has declared Tuesday, March 30, a day of mourning for the dozens of victims who died in Monday morning’s bomb blasts at Moscow’s Lubyanka and Park Kultury metro stations.

State and city flags fly at half-mast, and all entertainment events have been cancelled at all city’s public cultural establishments. Entertainment programs will be withdrawn from city television, and some channels will ban commercials. Some Moscow clubs and restaurants have also corrected their traditional night programs.

Already late on Monday dozens of Muscovites and guests of the Russian capital began bringing flowers and lighting candles at the two stations. Tables had been brought in for people to put flowers, icons and crucifixes. People stand in silence unable to find words. According to updated reports, the suicide bomb attacks killed 38 innocent people.

President Dmitry Medvedev also visited the Lubyanka metro station on Monday to put flowers at the site of the tragedy. The Russian president vowed that the masterminds of the blasts would be found and destroyed.

“These are animals. Irrespective of their motives, what they do is a crime by any law and any moral standards,” Medvedev said after visiting the Lubyanka metro station where one of the explosions occurred in the morning.

The escalator took the president downstairs to the platform where he laid flowers at the scene of the tragedy.

“I have no doubt that we will find and destroy them all,” he said.

City medics say they still need donor blood. The youth movement Nashi (Ours) has organized a mobile station for blood donors.

Two female suicide bombers set off explosive devices during the morning rush-hour at two stations of the Sokolniki (Red) line. One explosion occurred at 07:57 Moscow time, and the other, at 08:37 Moscow time.

There is a link between all these happenings though I am not able to put my finger on it
[url="http://www.thehindu.com/2006/03/12/stories/2006031205080900.htm"]The Hindu : National : Foreign militants creating mayhem in ...[/url]

ISLAMABAD: A dinner hosted by Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri for participants of the Pugwash-sponsored International Conference on Kashmir on Friday degenerated into a shouting match between National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and a few Pakistani journalists, much to the embarrassment of the host.

Killings in the name of religion

The bone of contention was the supposed role of foreign militants in bringing a bad name to Kashmir. A charged Mr. Abdullah remarked that foreign militants, who had nothing to do with Kashmir, were engaged in reckless killings and mayhem in the name of religion.

It prompted a journalist to ask Mr. Abdullah whether he implied that "80,000 graves of martyrs in Kashmir consisted of Chechens, Afghans and Arabs." An angry Mr. Abdullah appealed to the press not to distort his comments and asserted that he never talked about militants of Kashmir origin.

My point is that these Chechen's have been active in Kashmir too.
Thought there was another Russia thread... But what I wanted to post has nothing to do with "India and Russia", but E Europe and former USSR nations.

Let's bring in India by inserting an off-topic (and off-forum) item first.


where the Russian Vera Brezhneva and the Romanian Balan sing together: despite being duet (yes, I too tend to cringe in anticipation whenever I heard the word) it's in Russian which, being a beautiful language and great to sing in, balances it out. And the forced tie-in with India is that Vera Brezhneva is like the Russian version of [color="#0000FF"]Priyanka Chopra[/color] (ok, from the little I've seen of PC), which is clearest in this video-clip (though elsewhere she had a few brief moments looking a lot like Aishwarya Rai). Plus she does a nice headflick-and-rebound thereafter, no doubt familiar to [color="#0000FF"]bollywho fans[/color]. And IIRC, Vera also did a video-clip in .... oh dear was it [color="#0000FF"]Nepal[/color]? <- See. It's all "very relevant" to India.

Anyway (now that I've scared off any serious people :heheheSmile -

[color="#0000FF"]The actual news:[/color]


Quote:Putin says new 'Eurasion Union' idea is no USSR

By Andrea Warmington

7:01 PM Wednesday Oct 5, 2011

[photo caption:]Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Photo / AP

In what is sure to be seen as a bid to rebuild the Soviet Union, [color="#0000FF"]Vladimir Putin has floated the idea of a "Eurasion Union".

Putin, who recently announced he will be running for president, said the union - made up of former Soviet states - would be similar to the European Union.

Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan were already going ahead with economic integration and will introduce unified market rules and regulations at the start of 2012, according to the Russian Prime Minister.

But Putin quickly deflected suggestions the union would be an attempt to rebuild the USSR.

"There is no talk about rebuilding the USSR in one way or another," he told a Russian newspaper.

"It would be naive to try to restore or copy something that belongs to the past, but a close integration based on new values and economic and political foundation is a demand of the present time."

Putin said the Eurasion Union would instead "build on the experience of the European Union and other regional coalitions".

He believes this would "create real conditions to change the geopolitical and geoeconomic configuration of the entire continent and have an undoubtedly positive global effect".[/color]

Although Russia has called for more co-operation with ex-Soviet states in the past, many of these countries have remained suspicious of Moscow's intentions.

By Andrea Warmington

Good for them.

Russia has lots of moolah and resources/wealth, it has lots of potential and promise (and doesn't squander it), has manpower. Like E Europe, it has brains, talent, creativity, genius. And if they play their cards right - or even market themselves well* (they certainly consistently look better than the W-European colonies; they should *use* it) - the countries historically connected to them or who otherwise have some shared history - either through ethnicity by being Slavic or through European orthodox christianism - will naturally want to join.

[* I mean, consider the power of bollywho: how there are scary TSP-ers arguing for TSP to "rejoin" with India because of the supposed "shared composite culture" of bollywho (wasn't it Tasleema Nasrin's rebellious Pakistani son - still an islamic but his "rebellion" is that he is a bollywho fan - who threatened something of this nature: "look, we can peacefully intermarry with the kaffiri women bollywho-style and bring them into islam that way"). In contrast, the nations formerly allied to Russia don't have islamania to fear from the prospect of close cooperation, the way Dharmics of the Indian subcontinent have to from even the more "secular" TSPers looking India's way.

Wassn't bollywho called the "softpower" of secularism and christoislamism?

Such things need not always be means given over to subversionists. In Russia's case at least, these things can be harnassed for productive purposes: Russia should project their own softpower.]

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