It is just incredulous to hear from the current Kremlin's leadership (in a country without a real press freedom) that the democratically elected president of a neighboring country (Georgia) must step down! Since 1898 Fashoda incident no democracy has ever attacked other democracy in a modern era. It seems that Russia with its questionable behavior wants to officially disqualify itself from the honour to be called democracy for a foreseeable future!
Russian propaganda about the thousands of civilian casualties in the capital of South Ossetia Chinvali have not been proven by any other media channels except the Kremlin's controlled Russian ORT and RTR. Alexander Stubb confirmed that the Finnish president Tarja Halonen has negotiated with her Russian counterpart the right for Alexander Stubb to visit Vladikavkaz (North Ossetia) to asses the magnitude of the Kremlin's called civilian catastrophe. In the meantime Human rights watch, independent and other Russian media channels ask, where are those thousands of civilian casualties, that Kremlin controlled media has been blaming "the Georgian leadership of slaughtering" for days in a row now?
I just had to give an interview to the Latvian Public Radio and the correspondent asked me whether the Russian adventure might spill over to other areas of the former Soviet Union (Crimea in Ukraine, Northern Kazakhstan), and possibly Latvia? My answer was that although imminently unlikely it very much depends on Russian experience in Georgia, and that further actions of Kremlin's bosses will be determined by the outcome of its Caucasian adventure. To support their Georgian colleague in dire times Polish and Estonian presidents together with their Lithuanian and Ukrainian colleagues, and Latvian PM flew to Tbilisi, according to Postimees. In the meantime the French president should visit his Russian counterpart today, and later he should be in Georgia to meet president Mikhail Saakashvilli.
News just came in that the Russian president has ordered the Russian military to halt all military operations in Georgia, while the Georgian army has taken defensive positions around the capital city Tbilisi. It is a good news for an instant, while the military actions still take place in Kodori gorge in Abhasia!
It is really interesting how the mutually agreed position on conflict final resolution and future coexistence will be found, because Kremlin bosses have now publicly announced that they do not even want to speak with the current Georgian representatives?
French and Russian presidents should have a joint press conference any time soon. In the meantime there is a mass rally in Tbilisi. Whilst seeing the body language of public speeches and knowing the high number of ethnic Georgian refugees driven out from their homes in Abhasia and South Ossetia I feel that Kremlin has miscalculated again. With the latest adventure they have made their traditional and historic ally in Caucasus one of their staunchest foe for a long time.
Perhaps the peace will hold after all, and in the long run it will also settle the new development for the post-Soviet space. Rather ominously there were two looks into the future from the Baltic Sea area by Juka Rislaki and Ernests who published their latest cartoons in today's Diena.
Q: Is it a real end of the USSR?
(The Russian army is bombing Joseph Stalin's native town)
Medvedev&Putin: "We are the guarantors of peace and material abundance!"
Soviet ghost: "We feel sorry for the lost superpower"