Former KGB Official Vladimir Putin and his successor in the seat of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev proved that what some might have thought was a new Russia is in fact the same ol’ Russia. A country with a government that suffers from the Big Bear Complex.
Russia invaded Georgia. For the first time in decades Russian soldiers entered the soil of an independent country. There have been analogies presented, saying that it is a lot like in 1968, i.e. forty years ago, when Soviet army invaded then-Czechoslovakia to stop the reforms that some “enlightened communists” were attempting to enforce.
Putin et al. claim, among other things, that the reason was to protect Russian citizens in the region [in Georgia].
Really? Considering the fact that Putin hates Shaakashvili and the fact that Putin did not do very well when handling Chechnya, it is hard to believe. Especially since Russian leaders are well-known for lying to their soldiers about the real nature of their missions, so why should Putin start telling the truth now?
If Putin thought that injustice is being done to the Russian minority in Georgia, there are diplomatic instruments on the international level that can be used. He hasn’t used them so far.
Georgia is a prospective NATO member country. NATO is not in principle against Russia any longer, but still, Putin can’t accept Georgia’s membership. Of course, what would one expect from a former KGB official stationed in East Germany.
So one of the possible explanations for Putin and Medvedev flipping out is that they smell a chance to get even with disobedient Shaakashvili and to tell NATO to back off a little at the same time.
As for the separatist provinces of the Caucasus region it is obvious that normal democratic instruments will never work there. Like a referendum… the fact that Putin and Medvedev get mad at the European Union when it attempts to suggest Western-style democratic instruments proves that Putin is NOT a democrat. His idea of strength of a coutry is the military-style.
Which of course means that the Russian leaders are, once again, doing their domestic policy abroad. Ordinary Russian would buy the idea of a strong president/prime minister re-establishing of what was once theirs.
BTW: some former Bosnian or Serbian military officials had been charged with war crimes for killing people based on their ethnicity. Putin and Medvedev ordered bombing of some places in Georgia… any similarity with the definition of war criminals? Just wondering…