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Shocker: Russians Turn Back Aid Convoys

From an unfazed Associated Press:

Russia Turns Back Aid Convoy

September 8, 2008

KARALETI, Georgia — Russian soldiers turned back a United Nations convoy for no apparent reason Monday in a blunt demonstration of who is in charge in a tense zone around Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia…

The convoy of four vehicles from U.N. aid agencies waited for about an hour at the checkpoint in Karaleti, but it was turned away after a brief discussion with a Russian general who arrived to negotiate.

“We tried to do a preliminary humanitarian assessment mission. It didn’t work out today as we would have hoped, and we will make every effort to continue to conduct such missions in the future,” David Carden, who was leading the interagency mission by the World Food Program, UNICEF and the U.N. refugee agency, told The Associated Press.

The convoy — three aid agency SUVs and a World Food Program truck loaded with wheat flour, pasta, sugar and other staples — turned around on the road and drove off.

The Russian general left immediately after the exchange, and a serviceman at the checkpoint said he was unauthorized to comment on the reason for the refusal. Russian servicemen said the general was Maj. Gen. Marat Kulakhmetov, head of the Russian peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia.

A vehicle from CARE International on an assessment mission on behalf of several non-governmental aid agencies was also turned away Monday

Tamazi Kaidarashvili, an ethnic Georgian who is one of only a few dozen people remaining in his village north of the checkpoint, crossed through the checkpoint to visit his brother, who lost an arm and a leg when he stepped on a mine a week ago and is in a hospital in Gori…

“The Russians started this three centuries ago. They want us to become like them — pigs,” he said. “We are not like this.” Russian soldiers had been stopping at houses in the village to demand food and drink — asking the locals why they favor the U.S., not Russia, he said…

In case there was any doubt as to who is now running the place.

Brace yourself for the outpouring of international outrage.

Any minute now.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, September 8th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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