Grigory Pasko: Russia Reacts to the War in Georgia

“Saakashvili is a puppet, while Europe is dependent on us…” What Russian people think about the Georgian-Russian conflict Grigory Pasko, journalist Если Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда. Ivan Mikhailovich, age 52, MVD retiree: “Russia acted correctly. Everything was started by the USA, this was to their benefit. Saakashvili – this is a puppet of the USA. Of course it’s bad that very few supported Russia. Even Byelorussia kept silent… And the countries of the former CIS are silent too. Apparently they’re watching and waiting for the USA, or they’re afraid of it…pens-2091008 Ivan Mikhailovich, pensioner (photo by Grigory Pasko) Yevgeny, age 35, shopping center security guard: “The Americans trained Georgia to attack the Ossetians. Russia was forced to intervene …

Kemal, age 32, watch repairman: “It makes no difference to me who is right and who’s at fault. What’s important to me is that there be no more war. The situation could repeat itself in Crimea. I myself am from Crimea by birth, a Crimean Tatar. I’ve got family there. And if Russia starts protecting Russians in Crimea, there will be war with Ukraine.“Vladimir Georgievich, age 61, pensioner: “Russia is getting up from its knees. It now doesn’t look back at the USA all the time. That nobody practically didn’t support Russia for now – this is temporary. All the more so since Europe is dependent on our energy sources.pens-1091008Vladimir Georgievich, pensioner (photo by Grigory Pasko)Igor, age 25, cellular communications company manager: “You know, I couldn’t care less what’s going on over there. As long as it doesn’t affect my salary. And to all my colleagues, it seems, all these events are of little interest. At any rate, we’ve never once discussed this in the smoking room…“Olga, age 24, seller of shopping center construction materials: “I consider that Saakashvili isn’t right. He provoked Russia to inappropriate actions. My dad and I discussed this situation, and he says that all the blame for victims lies on this person.“Andrei, age 30, supermarket handyman: “Gotta squeeze ‘em, those Georgians. By the way, our troops call ‘em rodents [Little more than a swap of vowels in Russian: from gruzin (“Georgian”) to gryzun (“rodent”)—Trans.]. We oughta stop deliveries of everything we supply ‘em with. Let Amerika feed ‘em.“Ruslan, age 24, IT company manager: “There aren’t all that many reliable sources of information to have a complete picture of what’s taking place. On one of the sites I read about how the fighters of president of unrecognized South Ossetia Kokoity had provoked Georgia to assaults on Tskhinvali. If this is so, then the position of the international community with respect to the conflict is completely understandable.From the author:In all around 20 people were polled by me. Of these, 6 persons said that they’re not interested at all in the situation around this conflict. Young people refused to be photographed, not explaining their refusal in any way. Nearly everybody said that they got and are getting information from federal television channels.And here’s the opinion of sociologists.51% of Russians are starting to transfer their negative attitude towards the Georgian leadership onto the Georgian people. Such a result based on the latest survey was received by sociologists of VTsIOM. Political scientists consider this change in social moods to be “consequences of war” and expect that to the extent of the normalization of official relations between Russia and Georgia the attitude towards the people in Russian society will normalize as well.However, half of the residents of the largest cities of Russia also consider right the decision of Moscow to support South Ossetia in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict and hope that the relations of the RF with the countries of the West will soon return to the former course. This is already the results of a survey by another sociological center – the “Levada-Center”. In so doing, 54% consider that Russian troops ought to continue the operation of “coercion to peace” until Georgia signs a legal peace treaty with South Ossetia.The famous humoristic personage of Russian literature Kozma Prutkov said: “Many people are like sausages: whatever you stuff them, that’s what they’ll carry inside themselves.” The Russian people – every man, woman, and child of them without exception – are being stuffed with the lies of the federal television channels and print mass information media. Some, it is true, “feed” on the Internet and are capable of soberly assessing the situation, including in relation to the Russian-Georgian conflict.And yet another observation. In the opinion of the newspaper Kommersant, the most obvious result of the recent international events is supposed to become the militarization of the economy and of all the public life of Russia. Dmitry Medvedev, awarding military people who had distinguished themselves in the Georgian operation, already promised, “not sparing funds”, to do everything possible for the equipping of the army with modern weaponry.On the one hand, this will inevitably lead to a sharp increase in defense expenditures to the detriment of the strictly peaceful items of the federal budget, including expenditures on the social sphere. On the other hand, Russian generals will no doubt try to make use of the course of the Kremlin for strengthening the armed forces for the return of previously lost positions, for example in the question of the term of draft service, which, in spite of the resistance of the generals, was recently reduced from two years to a year.