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Deoccupation, the priority task for Georgia

By M. Alkhazashvili
Friday, August 29
Since the nineties of the last century Russia has maintained a dominant role in the separatist-controlled territories of Georgia by claiming to act as a “peacekeeper.” Now the Kremlin’s criminal duet, removing their last remaining veil of decency, is trying to legitimize its Imperial pretensions by recognizing the independence of the puppet regimes.

Hypocritical and self-satisfied as always, Russian politicians cynically state that Russia’s step by no means suggests that it wants to take over Georgian territory. Dimitry Ragozin tries to assure the world that by recognizing the independence of the breakaway regions Russia has proved that it is not annexing or occupying Georgian land. Luckily for us however the world has already understood that Russia is an aggressor, liar and occupier, an international criminal who should be wanted in every corner of the globe.

The trouble is, the criminal has not yet been isolated and continues committing its crimes. Moscow still occupies Georgian territory outside the conflict zone violating the Sarkozy-brokered ceasefire agreement. Russian occupation forces, including their Black Sea fleet, are stationed on what is still Georgian de jure territory. This absurd situation is aggravated by the fact that the citizens of several so-called “independent countries” in this region hold Russian passports. Their leaders are appointed and manipulated by the Kremlin. Thus the “independence” now recognized by Moscow is shown to be a disguised form of annexation and occupation, whatever other name Russia wishes to use for it.

There is no doubt that in the near future the two criminal entities Moscow calls “independent” will ask to be integrated into the Russian Federation. The only way to avoid this would be for the world to make an immediate and serious response to such claims.

The Georgian Parliament has adopted a new law about the occupied territories, which states that ensuring the regaining of these territories is the duty of every Georgian citizen. Until this is achieved the country has to methodically try to force the Kremlin to stop its aggression and occupation and to broadcast to the world the extent of Moscow’s criminal actions. Tbilisi is gathering proof that 120,000 people of mostly Georgian ethnicity were kicked out of their homes and tens of dozens were killed, raped and beaten up, their houses looted, demolished and burnt down. These violations of human decency are continuing, in spite of the world’s condemnation and widespread and very vocal appeals to Russia to stop them.

The situation must return to that of August 6, as determined in the Sarkozy plan. As a first step all the occupiers should immediately leave Georgian territory, as they are obliged to by the plan, which was signed by Medvedev as well as Saakashvili. An international contingent of peacekeepers should be introduced and the process of de-occupation should start. These steps should be taken promptly and seriously as the alternative is very clear.

The world’s democratic nations have to take significant and effective action to stop Moscow’s aggression and put a halt to its ambitions. Hitler was not stopped in the years leading up to World War II when it was already clear who he was and what he wanted. The price of this inaction was millions of deaths in World War II. Now Russia leads us all to World War III, the very thing everyone has spent decades ostensibly trying to avoid.

So far the “independence” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has been recognized by only two entities other than Russia: the Hamas and Hezbullah. This alone should be enough to make the world stop and think.