While Russia says it has deployed the S-300 interceptor systems in Abkhazia “not only to cover the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia but also to avert violations of their state borders in the air and destroy any vehicle illegally penetrating their air space, whatever the goal of its mission," (Gen. Zelin, via Reuters, Aug. 11), some analysts believe that the S-300 interceptor batteries have been placed in Abkhazia to block a possible Israeli air route to Iran.
On August 21 Russia will begin loading fuel into Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor.
In the Moscow Times, Yulia Latynina discusses a murder with no killer:
Imagine Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot gathering the relatives of a murder victim together to reveal the identity of the killer and saying, “You know, all of you are such complex people, and you’ve all committed so many misdeeds, that the person simply died as a result of your collective wrongdoing.” If a murder has been committed, there must be a killer.
How can a commission come to the unbelievable conclusion that a person was murdered as a result of collective responsibility? Here is how:
According to the report, Georgia claimed that it gave notice of a large-scale concentration of Russian forces on Georgian territory prior to Aug. 7, when the five-day war began. Russia denies Georgia’s allegation, and the Kremlin asserts that Russian forces entered South Ossetia well after Georgia started military operations in the breakaway republic.
Who is correct? It might strike you as funny, but the commission doesn’t know. It couldn’t confirm that Georgia’s assertions “are well-founded,” despite the significant number of “witnesses, including Russian” witnesses who confirmed it.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry condemned the decision by Venezuelan “dictator” Hugo Chavez to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “an extremely unfriendly” move and said it hoped Venezuela would retract its decision after a “democratically elected” government comes into power in that country.
A few hours after Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, made announcement about the recognition at a meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on September 10, the Georgian Foreign Ministry issued a statement which said that “such violation of norms and principles of international law will be counter-productive for Venezuela itself.”
The Foreign Ministry said Tbilisi was sure that the Venezuelan leader made such a decision in exchange for Moscow’s pledge to give Venezuela “hundreds of millions in credit and a great amount of armaments.”
“It is regrettable that Russia’s irresponsible authorities are wasting taxes paid by the population of the Russian Federation, which lives on the verge of poverty, on satisfying ephemeral foreign policy whims,” the statement reads.
The practice of accusing foreign states of “piracy” that is currently so popular among leaders of the Russian Federation seems to have acquired a new adherent. Via Civil Georgia:
Sokhumi will resort to “proportional measures” to protect vessels en route to Abkhazia if Tbilisi continues their detention, Abkhaz leader, Sergey Bagapsh, said in his appeal to UN, EU and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on August 18.
Georgian coast guard detained a Turkish cargo vessel carrying fuel to the breakaway region’s capital Sokhumi on August 17. The Georgian law on occupied territories bans economic activities in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia without Tbilisi’s authorization.
Sergey Bagapsh write in his appeal that the detention of the Turkish cargo vessel was “third case of Georgia’s piracy” this year.