Every now and then, we post an exclusive translation from the RBK daily website, which puts up a pretense of being a legitimate business periodical but often tends to get carried away with its fawning sycophancy towards the power. We recently posted an excellent analysis by Neil Buckley entitled “The Three Unwritten Rules of Russian Television“. The first of these rules was “give only the Russian side of the story“. Well, it seems that this rule applies to other media as well, not just to television. Below is an article from RBK Daily about the South Ossetian conflict. If you don’t have any background knowledge, you would be forgiven if, as you read this article (especially the first paragraph), you came to the conclusion that it’s about the legitimate government of some faraway sovereign country you’ve never heard of that is being mercilessly attacked by the Republic of Georgia, which has even tried to install its own puppet on a sliver of territory it has managed to wrest from the control of the legitimate government in the capital of Tskhinvali.
That’s the Russian side of the story, which follows the standard Moscow tactic we’ve seen so often lately – if you repeat a lie often enough, eventually people will forget the real truth and start thinking that your lie is the truth.I’m not going to get into the historical origins and the ethnic and political subtleties of the South Ossetian conflict here. Goodness knows, the Caucasus is a fiendishly complicated part of the world. I’ll merely point out that, for better or worse, South Ossetia just happens to be internationally recognized as being an integral part of the territory of the Republic of Georgia, in spite of tha heroic efforts of RBK daily to say otherwise. I wonder why we don’t ever see RBK daily writing about the “Republic of Chechnya” being “occupied” by an “unlawful Russian administration” that is “attempting to undermine its legitimacy”? Probably because the Russian Federation is traditionally one of the world’s loudest voices supporting the sanctity of the territorial integrity of states, and everybody knows Chechnya is an integral part of the Russian state. Just like South Ossetia is an integral part of the Georgian state…This article is what Russian citizens read and hear and see in their mass media. And it is all they read and hear and see. If they have an old map of the USSR, they might notice that South Ossetia was a part of the Georgian SSR for the better part of the last century, but they do not question Moscow’s assertion that now, all of a sudden, there is some sort of entity called the RSO and that it has completely legitimate sovereignty and is being pestered by those nasty Georgians who want to occupy it for some inexplicable reason (how can you “occupy” territory that is yours to begin with?). Russian citizens are no doubt relieved to know that there are international (read: Russian) Joint Peace Keeping Forces in South Ossetia (when DID it become an independent state, anyway?) and that these are the only thing standing in the way of a Georgian blitzkrieg against the freedom-loving South Ossetians.Again, my purpose here is not to take sides in the South Ossetian conflict. It is merely to illustrate that ordinary Russians CAN’T take sides, even if they might want to, because they are fed only one side of the story by their country’s servile press.
Tbilisi “getting rid” of its ownAttempt on Georgian official committedThe situation in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict has once again intensified. This morning an attempt was committed on Dmitry Sanakoyev – head of the unlawful Georgian administration, situated on the Georgian-occupied part of South Ossetia. Until recent times, Tbilisi was putting its stake on Sanakoyev, attempting to undermine the legitimacy of the leadership of the Republic of South Ossetia (RSO). However after the failure of this idea the Tbilisian placeman started to become a burden for his “masters”. First they deprived him of the greater part of financing, and now they have tried to completely eliminate him, in order to throw the blame on official Tskhinvali.The automobile in which Dmitry Sanakoyev was ensuing from the Ossetian village of Kurta to Georgian Batumi to an international conference, tripped on a mine today at around six o’clock in the morning. According to preliminary data, the explosion was implemented with the help of a remote control panel on the bypass road «Pauk» not too far from a post of peacekeeping forces. Sanakoyev himself did not suffer, however as the result of the exchange of gunfire that followed after the explosion between unknowns and the security guards of the head of the Georgian administration in South Ossetia, three of Sanakoyev’s security guards were wounded. Based on the fact of the terrorist act, military observers from the Joint Peace Keeping Forces (JPKF) and the OSCE Mission as the result of monitoring established that “the action was planned and was carried out against a concrete person”.The Georgian side has already accused the Tskhinvali authorities of what has taken place. As is said in a report that the Georgian press-service of the temporary administration of Sanakoyev disseminated, the attempt on him was organized by South Ossetia. In the meantime, his removal was convenient only for one side – Georgia. Despite the fact that the project of the Sanakoyev administration was pondered from the very beginning by Tbilisi as an instrument to subvert the influence and legitimacy of the leadership of the RSO, he never did carry out his tasks. “We possess reliable information from sources deserving of trust in Tbilisi that for the last two months, the leadership of Georgia has gone along the path of winding down the project «Sanakoyev». The financing of the project was cut by 70%”, noted representative of the RSO in Russia Dmitry Medoyev in a conversation with RBK daily.For the official leadership of South Ossetia, the figure of Dmitry Sanakoyev does not represent any threat at all. “I do not notice this alternative government of Sanakoyev, and to discuss it makes absolutely no sense at all”, said president of the RSO Eduard Kokoity in recent days to RBK daily.IRINA TSAREGORODTSEVA03.07.2008