The echo of last August12.08.2009 | 17:30
A year has passed since the last August events. The only positive moment in the current relations between Georgia and Russia is that the canons are silent. Still, both Moscow and Tbilisi are talking about a new war from time to time. The world community has actually adopted a wait-and-see attitude despite its intermediary role in the Russia-Georgia-Abkhazia-South Ossetia square. For example, International Commission for Investigation of the August events has once again postponed its opinion. How are Russia and Georgia going to get along? The opinions are different on the matter.
The leading Western media have prepared some information by the last August events anniversary. For instance, the British The Financial Times tried to convince the readers that the August war was lost by all the parties.
"Georgia lost the war, and it also lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while the reputation of President Mikhail Saakashvili as a pro-Western democrat has been irreparably damaged", - the Georgian GHN is quoting the British periodical.
The Financial Times underlines sarcastically that as a result of the last year actions, Abkhazia changed "one master for another", and its independence was recognized only by Russia and Nicaragua. The periodical also notes that Abkhazia's budget is half-subsidized by Russia. As to South Ossetia, its leader wants his republic to become part of Russia but the money appropriated by Moscow is wasted away, having fallen into the "black hole of corruption", The Financial Times reports. "Moscow believes that this war has proven the fact of Russia dominating over the post-Soviet territory and that it has made an unambiguous sign to the neighboring countries wishing to join NATO", - the article says.
Meanwhile, right on the eve of the August events anniversary, the situation in the region has grown tenser. The countries had more than once accused each other of provocative acts, the boundaries shaking with the salvoes. The Time correspondent John Wendle went to the South Caucasus to see with his own eyes whether the relationship between the parties that had ended hostilities with armistice is strained again.
According to John Wendle, a tour of South Ossetia makes an impression of traveling about a Russian region. One can easily see that this independent territory is totally dependant on Russia, from military protection to reconstruction, the correspondent mentions ironically. The capital of the republic is ruined, the periodical reports. The Time correspondent visited one of the former Georgian villages, Eredvi, describing the same after-war ruin. Wendle has to admit that the people of the neighboring Ossetian village are pleased: earlier, they had to show documents in Eredvi and go through the Georgian post. As Teyran Bestaev, a local resident, says: "They have got Georgia, and we have got South Ossetia. That is the way it should be".
According to GHN, the Amnesty International human rights international organization has published a report by the August war anniversary: "Civilians and the consequences of the war: the Georgian-Russian conflict a year ago". According to the report, the situation in South Ossetia and the neighboring regions remains tense.
"The threat coming from the "explosive remnants of the war" is not yet eliminated; the regions of military operation are still being cleared of mines. The permanent tension and the feeling of insecurity prevent many people from returning to their dwellings and continuing their normal life. Many of those who have returned are facing new circumstances entailed by the conflict; they have to build everything anew with great difficulty in order to gain their means of living", - Amnesty International underlines.
Despite the fact that the Western media are lavishly criticizing Russia, one has to notice that the International Commission for Investigating the August events in Georgia has once again postponed its opinion. Former Head of the UN mission in Georgia Kheidi Talyavini was put in charge of the Commission. She is informed of all the events in the Georgian-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone firsthand. The former UN Ambassador has met with the Georgian government, as well as the government of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and visited the military action location.
Nevertheless, both she and her colleagues take their time to make conclusions. The investigation results announcement date has been postponed several times. At first, it was fixed for the end of May and then shifted towards the end of July. Now, the date is postponed for the end of September. There are rumors in the capital of Georgia that the final opinion should be expected by the end of December. Many people in Tbilisi think that members of the Commission are not adverse to play for time and see what shape the relationship between the West and Russia will take.