Sunday, January 25, 2009

Understanding the Russian-Georgian War

The Hudson Institute has published an analysis (pdf) by Andrei Illarionov of the Russian-Georgian War of 2008. Among points raised in the document:

- Russia began to get ready for the war at the latest in the middle of 2001, when the preparations for mass distribution of the Russian passports for South Ossetians and Abkhaz started. But preparatory moves may even have been underway as early as 2000.

- The purpose of the war was political and economic regime change, and the division of Georgia into 7-9 smaller states, "that would eventually come under pressure and protection from the mighty neighbor. It would be the recreation to some extent of the situation in which Georgian kingdoms and principalities spent most of the 17th and 18th centuries."

- The correct name of the war is "The Russian-Georgian War", and not "The August War" or "The 5-Day War". The conflict lasted much longer than Russian media and government sources claimed.

(via Marko Mikhkelson,who also cites an Estonian study of the war published by the International Centre for Defence Studies in Tallinn)

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