Framing of the Russia/Georgia Conflict

I am by no means clued up on the intricacies of the post-Soviet political situation within the Caucasus, but one thing that has seemed clear is that Georgia is making a deliberate attempt to present what is going on in terms of plucky little democracy struggling to stand up against the imperial aggression of a superpower. Hence Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili coming out with quotes like, “this is not about South Ossetia, this is not even about Abkhazia. It’s all about independence and democracy in Georgia. Putin is personally commanding this operation. The purpose is to depose the democratically elected government of Georgia.”

Whilst it may emerge that this whole episode was planned by Moscow to provoke Georgian action as the pretext for reasserting its authority in the region, and it is undeniably true that Russia has exploited the situation for all it is worth, it seems there is a danger that coverage of the conflict, coloured by fear of a resurgent Russian bear, may fall a little too neatly into line with the Georgian point of view. In such a situation, it should be remembered that it was Georgia who made the first move, militarily, and that ultimately it seems both sides have been reckless with regard to the welfare of the civilian population of the region in allowing the situation to develop as it has.

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~ by Steve on August 12, 2008.

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