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of credibility for the EU and NATO today is to demand that Russia’s armed forces be immediately and unconditionally withdrawn.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.