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The war of 08.08.08: Pain, anger, despair2012-08-08 16:18
Exactly four years ago, so-called August was, or Five-day war happened. Both Georgia and South Ossetia have remembered forever the black August of 2008. What has changed in the attitudes of Georgians for the past time? What did the common people feel that time? What trace has the conflict of August 2008 left inside the Georgians? Gela Nikolaishvili (Georgia) told GTimes about this.
Gela Nikolaishvili, Georgian lawyer, human rights activist.
"Almost the whole of Georgia recalls the war of August 2008 with the pain. Now the Georgian society is distressed. The war was not justified in any way, and for Georgia it has resulted nothing good. It has caused only grief.
I want to say that our authorities today less and less talk about the ways for the settlement of this long-running conflict. I think this is due to the fact that the Georgian authorities have nothing more to say. Previously, the Georgian authorities spoke a lot about this settlement. Saakashvili told the citizens of Georgia, that he was able to restore the territorial integrity of the country in a short time. Now he claims not so categorically, he says that "Abkhazia and South Ossetia will sooner or later become again the part of Georgia". He does not specify how this will happen. Empty rhetoric Saakashvili suppresses the Georgian people. Georgians understand day by day that you cannot believe Saakashvili.
We understand, that if you don't look for ways of peaceful solution of the issue, the problem remains forever. The gap between Georgians and Ossetians, Georgians and Abkhazians, Georgians and Russians will increase. In Abkhazia and South Ossetia there has grown a whole generation of people, who have nothing to do with the confrontation with the Georgians, but feel hatred towards them. They live in such a propaganda environment, where they are tought that Georgia and all Georgians are enemies, peaceful life next to which is impossible. In Georgia they know about this attitude. This confrontation suppresses people, and the prospect of the peace is, unfortunately, invisible.
Against this background, NATO forces are being deployed in Georgia. Foreign domination in Georgia is interpreted by the Georgian leadership as a desire for the restoration of the territorial integrity of the country. In almost every official statement Saakashvili and Merabishvili say that "only NATO will save Georgia". They promise that NATO membership will enable Georgia to bring back Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and peace reigns in the Caucasus. For me it's hard to believe in it.
What did I feel four years ago? I almost immediately realized the true value of this bloody adventure. That time, however as usual, Saakashvili spoke a lot of big words. He promised that our troops would be in Tskhinval in just a couple of days, that Georgia would win and become united. Me, as well as other Georgians, saw it was a bluff. Propaganda pressure was so strong in Georgia, that many believed Saakashvili's words. Many believed that victory was near. The propaganda lied to us that Tskhinval was about to fall, Ossetians fled, and that the Georgian army was about to cross the border with Russia.
Then it turned out that our troops have not reached the border with Russia, they have not even reached Java. They have not reached even Tskhinval. Moreover, our troops left the peaceful Georgian population of South Ossetia to the mercy of fate, and the higher command of the Georgian Army left privates and sergeants, because they had fled to Georgia.
I knew that our propaganda lied. I was hurt by this lie. I felt the pain, disappointment, frustration. I saw that the war of August 2008 pushed the solution of the problem of South Ossetia for many years back. But I still believe that this problem can be solved peacefully. But only the people's diplomacy and dialogue between ordinary people can settle it".