Day: August 21, 2008

Valeria Novodvorskaya: Succumbing to madness

Succumbing to madness

by Valeria Novodvorskaya

Valeria Novodvorskaya is a Russian politician and dissident, the founder and chairwoman of Russia’s “Democratic Union” party

The original Russian text of the article is here. The translation is my own.


The fact that we in Russia are being ruled by criminals (Chekists are not just a Camorra but something even worse, because they are zombies who climbed out of the grave of the Soviet Union) is not as frightening as the fact that they are unprofessional losers . The war with Georgia is not only a crime, it’s a mistake. I can’t explain the behaviour of Putin, Medvedev & Co. except by supposing that they have completely lost their marbles. To the question “What are we fighting for?” the answer this time can be: “I’ve left my peasant house and gone to fight in Georgia to get some land back for the Chekists. Farewell my family, farewell my friends! Lubyanka, Lubyanka, my Lubyanka!”

Mikheil Saakashvili was skilfully provoked, dragged into conflict, and brought to the point where he attacked Tskhinvali. And had he not done that, a sarcastic Georgian opposition would have wiped him out, as they once wiped out Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who tried to prevent the Mkhedrioni paramilitaries and other guerrilla groups from robbing and plundering in Samachablo, which is South Ossetia, and who granted Abkhazia the status of a constituent entity of the confederation. The Georgian parliament disagreed, and for supporting Abkhazia, after the ”clever” Shevardnadze had sent his troops there, both Zviad and his parliament, who had already been driven out of the country and into Chechnya by the Georgian “patriots”, or militarists, were excluded by the Union of Georgian Citizens from the body of the Georgian nation (sic!). And among the present opposition in Georgia there are people who have called directly for war to be declared against Russia. Handing power to them would mean to court disaster and possibly a nuclear Armageddon.

For too long did the Russian “peacekeepers” stir up war in South Ossetia in order to prevent it, and too zealously did the Russian air force bomb Georgian villages beyond the borders of Samachablo (South Ossetia) so that the poor Georgian president would not be exposed to danger. One might have thought that the public, completely open annexation of Samachablo by Russia would already be sufficient madness. But that was not enough for Putin. And immediately the command was given to Abkhazians, who had long ago lost their dignity and pride and become Russian mercenaries helping to occupy the Kodori Gorge and Pankisi.

When refugees cry from the television screen: “Help South Ossetia!” – one can sympathize with them, but when one hears the voices from the crowd of poor Ossetians: “Help Abkhazia!” (And who else besides? Transnistria? ) – one starts to think of a mob. It means that the Chekists want to grab Abkhazia in their paws. And not only Abkhazia. The Russian troops entered Georgia. Gori, Senaki, Poti and Tbilisi Airport (the compass locator has been destroyed, and only elderly Georgian pilots will risk take-offs and landings). In the port of Poti, which is under a 95-year lease to the investment authority of a sheikh in the United Arab Emirates (Russia is also going to be sued by him on an international level) there were no military vessels. They bombed the oil pipeline that circumvents Russia. Bandit troops, a bandit country. The “tough guys” in Russia have settled things for everyone and have decided that this is how it is going to be everywhere.

At the UN, Churkin says that Russia’s aim is to get rid of Saakashvili. The last time the world heard such a thing, it was from the Jesuit Fathers in the sixteenth century. The annihilation of “impious princes”. Religious fanatics killed Henry III and Henry IV. Since then, other killing has been done, but not out loud. Has the Kremlin decided to write its own Mein Kampf? Or have they all gone out of their minds? Georgia is being criss-crossed by ownerless columns of tanks full of Cossacks, “volunteers” and other marauding riff-raff. What are the Russian tanks doing in Gori? Gathering weapons? Or maybe it’s mushrooms and empty bottles?

These artificially created Russian citizens and this war that was launched as though to protect them — that is plain ordinary fascism. And were it not for America… It appears that George Bush has at last realized what kind of serpent the West has been clutching to its bosom, and has taken a decisive stand for Georgia and against Russia. The powerful hand of the United States has been placed on the chalice of freedom and western values. The humanitarian aid that is being brought on US naval vessels and air force transport planes is an attempt to stop the war. The globe is still turning, and it has not yet been necessary to use the nuclear potential. John McCain writes articles like a Russian dissident. The presidents of Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania and the prime minister of Latvia hold a rally, hand in hand, as on the Maidan in Kiev.

No one has supported us except Cuba and the patented tyrant Lukashenko. We have been thrown out of the G8 and from the civilized world into the cesspool of the outcast. And if South Ossetia and Abkhazia had simply wanted to secede, no one would have defended Saakashvili. The rights of a people take precedence over the rights of a state. But what they are seeking is not freedom but profitable slavery; they have not made passports of their own, but have been given Russian ones. . They are merely collaborators, not insurgents. Only the United States can save the Georgian people and the Russian recruits from mutual destruction. By now, I’m afraid that no one will save Russia. We shall be cursed and rejected by mankind.

Valeria Novodvorskaya

20.08.2008 12:39

Landsbergis: Russia is blowing up Europe

Vytautas Landsbergis is a Lithuanian conservative politician and Member of the European Parliament. He was Lithuania’s first head of state it declared independence from the Soviet Union in March 1990, and served as the Head of the Lithuanian Parliament.

The following is a linguistically edited version of the semi-machine-translated text which Professor Landsbergis distributed at the European Parliament yesterday.

Russia is blowing up Europe

The gloomiest premonitions are shortly about to come true. Europe is divided, and obsequious grovelling is finally yielding to Russian aggression. This was manifested by the EU leaders’ inability even to state the fact that a foreign power had crossed the frontiers and ravaged the social fabric of a sovereign country. Nor did the immobilized United Nations dare to demand that the armed forces of the invader, under the control of the supreme commander in chief in the Kremlin responsible for the ongoing violence and plunder, get out immediately. Calls to stop these crimes had no result, and neither did ineffective parlance about Russia’s ‘inappropriate methods’.

It was as if one were expected to believe that if the Russian bombers targeted fewer bombs on homes, blew up fewer bridges, sank only two offshore patrol boats, not three, killed not two pressmen in Gori, but only one instead, perhaps, those methods would appear acceptable.

The German proposals for the stabilization of the situation under Russian occupation were exactly similar. To those unaware of the importance of the wording, Moscow insisted on continuing the misconceived usage of ‘peacekeepers’ as a description of invaders. This was exacerbated by an empty, time-wasting disagreement about the future of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while the future of both Georgia and Europe remain at stake.

The only test of credibility for the EU and NATO today is to demand that Russia’s armed forces be immediately and unconditionally withdrawn. In order to prevent this, Russia simply denounced any full withdrawal. Shut your mouths, Europeans. Is that M. Sarkozy you’re addressing?

Anyone who fails to demand a complete unconditional withdrawal, not just a ‘pull-back’ of Russian forces, is actually justifying the incursion and the sea blockade, the looting, the rape, the total destruction of communications and economic infrastructure, if the Georgians are not pushed to guerrilla warfare in their own sovereign land, Russia will at least have succeeded in ‘balkanizing’ South Ossetia – village against village, so the destruction may now go deeper into Georgia. The new Georgian city of Akhalgori, is already occupied by ‘independent Ossetians.’ The mockery continues.

By their appeasement, Europe’s leaders are gradually becoming accomplices in total villainy.

Russia is quite content to reveal itself as a medieval conqueror state, to which all the goods seized from the defeated side belong. “These are our trophies,” it says. That is a quotation.

We have seen it all in Lithuania – the outright Soviet cynicism, the ideological demagoguery that is accompanied by the violence of the military and by Chekist atrocities.

They began by accusing Lithuania of being the aggressor in 1940; the occupation was followed by the Red Terror, and then, by the use of specially re-uniformed assault troopers, they waged total warfare against peasants who were thrown out of their homes and land for decades until Lithuania regained its independence on March 12 1990.

This is currently being done in Georgia, while terrorists brought in from North Caucasus are also allowed to demonstrate how impotent the Tbilisi government is. That government has agreed to not even undertake the responsibility of protecting its own people. Europe de facto approves of “free hands” in this “solution” and agreement. You will not resist, M. Sarkozy agreed. We won’t protect you either, just make statements. Let the Georgian forces retreat to the places of their deployment. As to the whereabouts of Russia’s units or the date by which they are supposed to leave – that has been left to be guessed. The Kremlin is free to tell lies every day. The Georgians will be told what to do, while the Russians will only be offered suggestions. In response, the Russians are already dictating conditions as victors.

There has been open hypocrisy: as if the bandits who followed the forces of the invaders did not belong to the Russian units. That is exactly how it was presented to us in 1991; the Soviet interior ministry OMON gangs were portrayed as ‘local forces’ assigned to protect the local Poles from the Lithuanians. A little later the whole of the so-called “Baltic regional military structure” (the Russian one, of course) was declared a “local public force” which was take part in determining the future “status” of the three Baltic States! But President Boris Yeltsin behaved honestly, so the menacing bubbles of the GRU bubbles proved to be empty in the end.

Before that, in Lithuania we saw the night of January 13 1991,a night which may be descending on Georgia presently. I can well remember the horrible sensation; we were being butchered, looted, exposed to anything they had on their minds while the whole world remained silent. Only Boris Yeltsin responded, as I later found out, by sternly warning Mr Gorbachev. But Gorbachev was by then already a hostage of the crime that had been perpetrated with his consent. And as the bloody morning drew closer, the West’s protests were already audible.

The Soviet generals were, however, prevented from “finishing the job”. It seems that things are similar around Tbilisi. The Russians are mocking President Sarkozy and Secretary of State Rice by withdrawing a little when they are in town, and coming back closer inr after the guests depart.

Georgia is not seeing the dawn, and Europe is allowing it to be so.

This may suggest that we are now at the beginning of the long-planned break-up of the European Union and the cataclysm of that ancient civilization. If we are honest we can see that morally Europe already capitulated way back in Chechnya. Any simplified, primitive and artificial justification for that punishing Chechen genocide, the second after the one inflicted by Stalin in 1944, was accepted. Now the berries are ripe.

Russian troops building illegal checkpoint on Poti-Senaki highway []

It has become known that the Russian Federation’s armed forces illegally stationed on the territory of Georgia are mounting yet another provocation. In particular, Russian servicemen with the use of appropriate equipment are building a fixed control checkpoint on the Senaki-Poti highway, in the vicinity of the entrance to Poti, on the so-called 7th kilometer.

The aforesaid fact indicates the Russian side’s yet another attempt to proceed with and further expand its military intervention in and occupation of the territory of Georgia. It needs to be noted that Poti is located approximately 30 kilometers from the conflict zone of Abkhazia and approximately 160 kilometers from the conflict zone of the Tskhinvali region.

Against the background of the Russian Federation’s statement made at the highest level, actual facts of withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Georgia point quite to the contrary.

We once again call on the international community to employ all resources at its disposal to put an end to Russian aggression.

Time to impose sanctions on Russia

Marko Mihkelson suggests that since Russia obviously intends to prolong and even perpetuate its military occupation of Georgia, and is doing its utmost to paralyse the economic life of the country, it’s time that Russia be given a taste of its own medicine. While Moscow can play on the dissensions between individual EU and NATO states regarding other types of response, a united stand on the matter of economic sanctions against Russia should not be too hard to achieve. And such sanctions could be quite effective. “After all, the oligarchs are human, too. Are they not?” Mihkelson asks.