Georgia regrets the loss of lands while it has lost the nations’ trust12.05.2009 | 20:21
What was the main purpose of the country leadership before the war with South Ossetia? What are the president's opponents now blaming him for? What is it that the Georgians cannot forgive Saakashvili? The only answer is the loss of territory. The Georgian people seem not to care a bit about the problems of those, who live there.
"Georgia will never allow any loss of territories", - President Mikhail Saakashvili has sworn in June 2008 in his speech broadcasted by Rustavi-2. "Russia's latest moves are aimed at initiating conflicts, and it is approaching a dangerous stage. Now we are facing annexation of territory and the beginning of intervention. I hope it won't last", - the President said, already nourishing the idea of attacking Tskhinval. And now, according to the polls, the Georgian people cannot forgive Mikhail Saakashvili only one thing, that is, the loss of territories. The pollees addressed by newspaper "Kviris Palitra" at the end of 2008 named the August war, which led to the recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to be the greatest defeat of the current Georgian authorities.
The whole of political agitation both on the part of the government and the opposition is built upon the slogans of resuming Sukhum and Tskinval. "Saakashvili's biggest mistake is breaking a war in the Tskhinvalski region and ignoring recommendations given by the international organizations in relation to the amicable settling of conflicts there", - leader of the Way of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili says, who is taking part in the oppositional "monthly campaign" for the president's resignation. "The loss of territories is the main reason why Saakashvili has to leave", - GHN is quoting her. Movement for Fair Georgia at the rally in Tbilisi has also stessed the mistake made by the existing authorities: "Saakashvili's rule is a war game, it is the loss of territories, playing chief and authoritarianism, the terror of business, illegal convicts". This grave accusation of having lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia is making the round of the ward-cages inhabitants at Rustaveli avenue.
The authorities' agitators are answering back. Leader of Georgian Policy Gochi Pipia reminds: "The majority of these political groups were the direct players and provokers in the affair with the loss of territories".
The main originator of the events that happened is still trying to regain his positions by promising to recover the lost property. During the ceremony of awarding Commander of the Joint Armed Forces Headquarters Devi Chankotadze and Air Force Commander David Nairashvili, Mikhail Saakashvili declared that the government will never put up with the loss of its original territories, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. "Our current priority is peaceful development, and may it lead us to victory", - the Head of State said, fixing the Order of St. George on the uniform coats of the Tskhinval massacre "heroes".
The same contradiction could be seen in the words of Reintegration Minister Temur Yakobashvili, when in his interview to UANIAN he spoke of restoring Georgia's military power and a peaceful regaining of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He believes "the Abkhazians to be mentally much more close to the Georgians than to the Russians". "We have been somehow living side by side for many centuries. We may quarrel, but we find a way to make peace. These things happen in every family", - Yakobashvili states. But the point is that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are no longer satisfied with a "somehow". It was in 2006, when no one thought about a war in Tskhinval, that the Independent Analytical Survey already noted: "The main problem in Georgia is not that it is going to confront the forces that are much superior but that it has already lost the war being unable to persuade the Abkhazians and Ossetians into a peaceful and friendly co-existence in one single state".
In Sukhum and Tskinval they think that imperial ambitions, of which Georgia is constantly accusing Russia, are have been much stronger in Tbilisi. According to Abkhazia.org web-site, in the Soviet years, the government was able to perform a true demographic revolution by way of the mass resettlement of the Georgians to Abkhazia, which led to reduction of the number of Abkhazians by 17 percent. All the Abkhazian schools in the republic were turned into the Georgian schools. The Ossetians were also subject to active assimilation both in South Ossetia and within the "inner" Georgian territories. According to Nodar Kaberty, a Ph.D in Economics, in 1959-1989 the registered increase in the Ossetian population was twice less than the demographic calculations. The scientist stresses the policy of changing the endings of the Ossetian second names in the Georgian manner, thus concluding that every year about one thousand Ossetians assimilated with the titular ethnic group. Naturally, as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed, those nations that had gradually lost their self-identification in Georgia refused to surrender to the nationally-minded Georgian politicians. The more so, as the first President of a post-Soviet Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia openly pronounced that "Georgia is for the Georgians". Tbilisi announced those, who were against it, to be the "separatists" and tried to suppress them by force, thus creating an impassable gulf between the nations. It would take many years for the Georgians to regain trust, the Abkhazian and Ossetian leaders are warning.
However, the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia seem to be the last, whom the Georgian authorities would care about. The only politician to touch upon this matter is Reintegration Minister Temur Yakobashvili. But that is his official responsibility.