Remember Junior Sgt. Aleksandr Glukhov, the Russian soldier who sought asylum in Georgia, claiming that he had been mistreated and improperly nourished? And who was then ‘paraded around […] like a championship trophy’ by a Georgia eager to tip the balance on the PR scales following the war? That was six months ago, but Russia is apparently unwilling to let this one lie, and is now making a similar spectacle of Alik D. Bzhania, a Georgian soldier seeking political asylum in Russia in defiance of Saakashvili’s government (which continues to face a strong opposition). Despite the fact that he never actually fought in the war.
From the New York Times:
“I thought that after the August conflict, Saakashvili would come to his senses,” he said. “But there have been no changes. Reserves are being enlisted, and the army is being called up. I do not want to fight against Russia, so I left.”
In an interview with Echo Moskvy radio, Temuri Yakobashvili, Georgia’s minister of reintegration, called the affair “a very cheap provocation.”
He added, “The Georgian leadership laughs at these gimmicks by the Russian special services.”