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Russia Means ‘To Force Peace On Georgia’

From Russia’s RIA Novosti:

Medvedev tells Bush Russia aims to force Georgia to accept peace

09/ 08/ 2008

MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian president told his U.S. counterpart on Saturday that Russia’s ongoing military operation in Georgia’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia is aimed at forcing Georgia to accept peace.

Bush’s phone conversation with Dmitry Medvedev came after the U.S. leader called on Russia to stop bombing targets in Georgia, and voiced concern over the escalating violence.

Medvedev was quoted by the Kremlin as telling Bush: “Acting within our peacekeeping mission, and in line with the mandate issued by the international community, Russia is engaged in the task of forcing the Georgian side to accept peace, while defending the lives and property of its citizens, as is required under the Constitution and laws of the Russian Federation, and the legal standards of any civilized country.

Georgia, the main U.S. ally in the Caucasus Region, launched a major ground and air offensive to seize control of South Ossetia on Friday, prompting Russia to send in tanks and hundreds of troops. Georgia imposed martial law on Saturday after Russian warplanes began bombarding military bases.

Russia says 12 of its servicemen have been killed in the violence, and 2,000 civilians in South Ossetia have lost their lives. Around 30,000 refugees have flooded across the border into Russia to escape the violence since Friday morning.

A senior Russian diplomat said on Saturday that the country may ask the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights to investigate war crimes committed by Georgia.

“I do not rule out that the Hague and Strasbourg courts and institutions in other cities will be involved in investigating these crimes, and this inhuman drama that has been played out,” Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told news agencies in an interview broadcast on the Vesti-24 TV channel.

Russian peacekeepers “were killed by their own [Georgian] partners in the peacekeeping forces,” he said.

“There is a Russian battalion, an Ossetian battalion, and a Georgian battalion… and all of a sudden the Georgians, Georgian peacekeepers, begin shooting their Russian colleagues. This is of course a war crime,” Karasin said.

The ongoing conflict is the most severe since South Ossetia fought its way to independence from Georgia in 1992. The majority of the local population have Russian citizenship.

Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said earlier that Russian combat aircraft had bombed several Georgian military bases, one near the capital Tbilisi, as well as the Black Sea port city of Poti.

Georgian media also reported airstrikes on the city of Gori, and said several civilians had been killed.

However, Russian Deputy Air Force Commander Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn denied that warplanes had struck non-military targets.

“We are not fighting peaceful towns, and are not conducting military strikes against civilians. We are only seeking to ensure peace,” he said.

Georgia says it has shot down a total of 10 Russian combat aircraft, while Russia says it has lost two planes.

The Russian government has warned that a humanitarian disaster is developing as South Ossetians, many of them injured, flee across the border into Russia.

And here is how the Russia news outlet Kommersant puts it:

The First Peace-Keeping War

Russia and Georgia battle for South Ossetia

Aug. 09, 2008

Thursday night, a war started in South Ossetia. Tskhinvali, the capital, was bombed by the Georgian Air Force during almost the entire day. By the midday, as Tskhinvali had been destroyed completely, Russia’s troops entered the breakaway republic. According to the information of the South Ossetia’s authorities, thousands of people were killed during the hostilities.
War for peace

The day before there was no sign telling you that the war was imminent. After skirmishes, which lasted during the entire week, Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili called on the South Ossetian party to cease to fire and start talks about defining South Ossetia’s autonomous status. Mr Saakashvili, who made a TV address, stated that the negotiations would begin on Friday and that starting from 6 p.m. Thursday the Georgian party announced truce. However, after it firing continued, becoming even more intense, witnesses reported. South Ossetia’s Information and Press Committee spokesperson told Kommersant that the Georgian party was the first to open fire…

Some things never seem to change.

The Soviet Union Russia only wants “peace.” Except in Russian the word for peace is мир (mir), which also happens to be the same word for “world.”

So when we hear the Russians pronounce: “we want peace,” they could very well mean “we want the world.”

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, August 9th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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