We occasionally receive contributions from Andrei Novikov, an opposition journalist and government critic who was once committed to involuntary psychiatric confinement by the authorities in response to some of his publications. Below Novikov shares his thoughts (and quite passionate opinons) on the war, and, as always, his article does not represent those of Robert Amsterdam, this blog, or its editors. His article was written before President Dmitry Medvedev extended official recognition to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. RUSSIAN AGGRESSION IN THE TRANS-CAUCASUS Andrey Novikov, independent journalist The Russian armed forces (bolstered by reinforcements: with the participation of the 58th army and strategic aviation), not having any mandate of the UNO or other international European organizations, have entered INTO THE TERRITORY of Georgia and are implementing aggression against the country’s sovereignty. International organizations of the European Union, NATO and the UNO must immediately send into the zone of conflict their international peacekeepers with the aim of preventing the further escalation thereof. Relations between Georgia and South Ossetia can be resolved only in a European international format, as the problem of Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia was resolved. As of today one ought to proceed from the following scheme: “South Ossetia – is the TERRITORY of Georgia, but an ETHNIC AUTONOMY within the framework of Georgia.” Linking the ethnic and territorial question is not exactly correct. (IMAGE: The Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse: Russia, Georgia, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. Source.)
To use in the capacity of peacekeepers the armed forces of a contiguous state, which potentially can participate in the ethnic conflict – this is the same thing as using dynamite in the capacity of tobacco for smoking. The decision of the UNO about the use of Russian, Georgian, and Ossetian peacekeepers in the zone of potential conflict was not right from the very start. And it led to what it led to. The 58th army is not a peacekeeping force and is implementing military operations, not associated with peacekeeping ones.Russian planes, bombing the Georgian cities of Gori, Poti, and the environs of Tbilisi, are not peacekeepers.This is aggression against Georgia. A sovereign state. Any aggression against a sovereign state, recognized by the UNO, is also aggression against the whole world community.The world community must protect the sovereignty of Georgia and prevent the escalation of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict.But the military operation by the armed forces of Russia has overstepped the bounds of the ethnic Georgian-Ossetian conflict and has transformed into full-scale military aggression against Georgia, with the use of strategic aviation.This is an assault on a sovereign state, and all western countries must do everything to prevent Russian aggression in the Trans-Caucasus, against the creation of a «trans-caucasian military district» and the transformation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia into a military staging area of Russia in the Trans-Caucasian region.Georgia must be rapidly introduced troops of NATO. They can implement, by a mandate of the UNO, peacekeeping operations as well in the zone of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict.A prediction: THE RUSSO-GEORGIAN WAR, IF IT IS NOT STOPPED RIGHT AWAY, MAY LEAD TO AN AMERICAN-RUSSIAN WAR AND A CONFRONTATION WITH THE WESTAfter the Russian military have accidentally killed the first American instructor consulting the Georgian army ( this can happen!), president Bush will give operative indications to the Central intelligence administration [as the CIA is known in Russian—Trans.] with respect to taking countermeasures to Russian aggression in the Trans-Caucasus and the protection of their citizens.After that will begin a lengthy confrontation between America and Russia. Onto the territory of Georgia may be introduced troops of the USA or NATO. If the Russian war machine does not stop, it will come into inevitable combat collision with the American war machine. A third stationary district will be activated in the Ukraine, which will appear on the side of the West. We will get ourselves an American-Russian war. And a confrontation with the West along the entire perimeter of the belt from the Black Sea to the Baltic. This is the Baltic States, Ukraine, the Trans-Caucasus. The war against Georgia will turn into a war against Russia. This – is only a prediction.The question remains: will Russia gain from this?In conditions when the Russian elite is holding its deposits in western banks and their young travel to western countries to rest, a full-scale confrontation with the West is impossible. The result will be a loss for Russia, such will be the price of the Putinite and Medvedevite gamble in the South Caucasus. In Russia itself the power of the siloviki will increase.INTERNAL RUSSIAN CONSEQUENCES OF THE SOUTH-CAUCASIAN WAR Russian society is not prepared for war in South Ossetia and the South Caucasus. And in this is the cardinal distinction from the atmosphere that existed during the time of the North Caucasus war. Then many Russia people supported the actions of Putin and saw enemies in the Chechens. Now nobody among sober-minded Russians sees enemies in the Georgians and nobody wants to go to war with them, with the exception of ethnic groups. Inside Russia, society is completely indifferent to the war. People do not understand why this war is needed and why they have to fight in this war.Nobody is supporting Putin any more. Therefore the advancing of Putin in connection with the Caucasian crisis does not rest upon the will of the people. More than that – even those who had once voted for Putin are experiencing greater irritation from his “GKChP-ization” ( and his advancement into the forefront in connection with the Caucasian crisis is analogous to the advancement of premier Pavlov in the year of ’91 during the time of the founding of the GKChP. In essence, this is a «conspiracy of the siloviki» and a not-allowing of the transformation of Medvedev into an independent figure).It can be supposed that any silovik-ization of life in Russia and «emergencization» will bring about rejection among the Russian people. Nobody of the Russian people, even died-in-the-wool Putinites, is going to go to this war.Therefore it is a losing proposition. And the beginning of the end of Vladimir Putin.CAN WE EXPECT GEORGIAN TERRORISM ON THE TERRITORY OF RUSSIA?A complex question. If the war in Georgia acquires a protracted and exacerbated character, then it will transform into a guerrilla war in Georgia against Russian aggression.However, the objective logic of any guerrilla war( especially on a limited theatre and against an enemy superior in strength) lies in at some moment tossing the ball over into the opponent’s territory.That is potentially a guerrilla and sabotage war on one’s own land turns into a sabotage war on the territory of the opponent, after a certain stage of development.Such is the logic of any conflict.However, this can be only under the most unfavorable confluence of circumstances. We hope that this will not happen.The mentality of the Georgians differs very much from the mentality of the Chechens. There will not be a repeat of the Chechen scenario.It ought to be noted that the strikes of Russian aviation on Georgian cities can be considered aviaterrorism. Terrorism can be considered also the salvo fire system strikes on Tskhenvali. In general any war – this is terrorism. Any ethnic war unavoidably turns into a war against the peaceful population.Theoretically upon severity it is very hard to separate, when purely military actions end and terrorist operations begin. The logic of the conflict gives impossible to separate military actions from terrorism. Every side decides by itself and for itself, at which stage it is implementing only military operations, and at which it oversteps the bounds of these operations. And implements guerrilla, sabotage or some kind of other operations within the framework of the overall context of the war.But the operative value of the Chechen terrorist war in Russia over the past decade – is zero. It has not given anything. I hope that the Georgians will avoid this scenario. However, the severity of military actions, bombings could give rise to critical questions about whether the war itself is not terrorism…CAN ONE GIVE OUT RUSSIAN PASSPORTS BEYOND THE CONFINES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, SO AS TO THEN PROTECT THEIR INTERESTS?Russia has committed an «aggression of passports». Comparable with the issuance of counterfeit money.It has create many pseudo-Russian people in the South Caucasus, after which it undertook to protect them with the help of tanks.With the same kind of success one can give out Russian passports to the inhabitants of New York, and then occupy New York with Russian landing forces in the interests of these same Russian citizens.Now head of the Investigative committee of the Procuracy-General Alexander Bastrykin is investigating the death of «Russian citizens» in South Ossetia, as if though this is the territory of Russia! In actuality, the death of any citizens on the territory of South Ossetia can be investigated only by the Procuracy-General of Georgia.COULD SOUTH OSSETIA AND ABKHAZIA ENTER INTO RUSSIA?Even if they do not enter into the composition of the Russian Federation, they have already been transformed into a Russian military staging area, properly speaking into a «trans-caucasian military district».It seems to me, the Abkhazian and South-Ossetian peoples and their governments are repeating the mistake of the Georgian kinks in the 17th century.In the XV11 century Georgia, saving itself from Turkish enslavement, entered into the composition of the Russian empire, the Moscow Tsardom.Today the Abkhazian and South-Ossetian peoples, saving themselves from Georgian occupation, are striving if to enter into the composition of Russia, then at the very least under its wing.This is a colossal mistake of the peoples of Abkhazia and South Ossetia – because Russian imperialism is not protecting their interests, but is resolving its own immanent interests. Abkhazia and South Ossetia will be transformed only into military staging areas of Russia an nothing more.The relations of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Georgia and Russia, may be resolved only in a European format.