19 August 2008


The crisis in Georgia becomes ever more depressing, with Russian troops stationed in Georgia and credible reports of thugs allowed into South Ossetia by the Russians engaging in pogroms.
David Miliband's piece in the Times today makes all the right points, but I'm currently more concerned by the unanswered questions about the events of the past fortnight. The most important surround what exactly happened immediately before the Russians moved in. Russia claims genocide by Georgia against its citizens in South Ossetia; Human Rights Watch numbers casualties as below 100. The Russians claim the Georgians shelled Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian county town; but was the attack on military targets or indiscriminate? Peter Wilby argued in the Guardian yesterday that Georgia has won the PR war with the Russians, but the extent to which Russia's invasion was planned has still not been properly investigated by the British press.

The trad British left has for the most part played a shameful role in all this, backing Russia because Georgia is in the western camp and has a leader who, though democratically elected, is a hothead. An utterly shameful collapse in the face of naked Russian imperialist aggression – but not for the first time.

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