Topic(s): Georgia | Comments Off on Rene — GEORGIAN REVOLUTION TURNS ANTI-RUSSIAN

Hard to find any article on Georgia that is really sharp, but this is interesting for its confusions – rg
RIA Novosti
17:29 | 06/ 11/ 2007
MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Yelena Shesternina)
The new Georgian revolution does not yet have an official name, but
unofficially it is called the “Revolution of Thorns” (a reference
to the previous “Rose Revolution”), the “Revolution of Nails” (the
authorities allegedly ordered nails to be thrown on the roads into
Tbilisi to stop “anti-government elements”) and the “White Revolution”
(the demonstrators are wearing white wrist bands and scarves).
The revolution, which began on the fourth anniversary of the “Rose
Revolution,” has found a new enemy – Russia. This is the only thing
on which the opponents, who have been rallying on Rustaveli Avenue
against Mikhail Saakashvili for more than four days, agree on with
their president.
On Tuesday, the opposition leaders unexpectedly sent part of the
protesters to the Russian embassy. They bore slogans saying, “Moscow,
you can have Saakashvili,” which is confusing because the opposition
knows that Moscow has no need for the Georgian leader.
Likewise, it is not clear what changed the protesters’ mood, as before
the demonstration the opposition had done its best to reconcile with
Moscow, promising it “improved relations” if it wins the elections.
Have they been influenced by the speech of Irakli Okruashvili, a
former Georgian Defense Minister facing several charges in Georgia,
who fled to Munich? He unexpectedly appeared on air on the TV channel
Imedi, which was broadcasted live on a large screen in the square,
and said that he intended to rejoin the opposition.
He denounced Saakashvili for the umpteenth time, calling him “a
modern-day Hitler,” but he did not as much as mention Russia, although
he had criticized it regularly when he was Defense Minister. Was it
his appearance on the screen that provoked the inexplicable behavior
of Moscow haters in Georgia?
The protesters also want Moscow to take back Kakha Bendukidze, the
State Minister Coordinator for Economic Reforms. They have accused
him of being a Kremlin agent because he “sold Georgia to [RAO UES
CEO Anatoly] Chubais.”
The march to the Russian embassy, which included no more than
20 people, was merely a side event for the opposition. But for
Saakashvili, Moscow is an enemy comparable to the opposition. He
blames everything that takes place in Georgia on Russia, claiming
that it supports the opposition and its oligarchs finance it.
Saakhashvili talked about Russia for nearly a half of his interview,
broadcast by all Georgian media (including the opposition TV company
Imedi, which did it at the request of the presidential press service).
“A lie factory is working to full capacity in Georgia. Those who
built it had a similar factory in Russia during the weak regime of
Boris Yeltsin,” Saakashvili said. “And now these people, the Russian
oligarchs, are building this factory in Georgia. They want to spread
the Russian disease to our country.”
It is clear that the Georgian president meant Badri
Patarkatsishvili. He forgot, though, that Russia has put
Patarkatsishvili, a close friend of Boris Berezovsky and the man
who financed the opposition demonstration, on the international
wanted list.
“You know why Russian TV channels broadcast the Georgian demonstrations
the president asked. “They know that Georgians have mustered the
courage to stand up against Russia’s aggressive policy.”
What about Western companies then, which begin their news shows with
broadcasts from Georgia?
“To suppress us, they [Russia] introduced the embargo and closed the
border,” Saakashvili went on to say, but did not bother to explain that
the embargo was introduced over the detaining of Russian officers on
trumped-up charges of espionage. “They want to show the CIS countries
what can happen to those who do not want to toe the Russian line.”
He also said, “There is an oligarchic force in Russia which coordinates
its actions with [the authorities of] a given country and political
forces… so as to destabilize the situation in Georgia ahead of the
elections in Russia.”
Saakashvili did not explain how events in Georgia could influence the
outcome of the parliamentary elections in Russia, which is apparent
to everyone.
When two people, or forces, cannot agree on something, they try to
shift the blame to a third party. This is the logic of the current
confrontation in Georgia, the fail-safe logic of the “external enemy.”
The Russian authorities have so far reacted only to the speeches made
by one of the two warring sides in Georgia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “We are concerned over the
developments in Georgia. I would not like to comment on the speeches
by that politician [Saakashvili]; the farce of his actions is obvious
to everyone.”
Let’s hope that the actions of the Georgian opposition will not
deteriorate into a farce.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not
necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.