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Tbilisi scared by "Smerch"08.12.2010 | 12:58
Georgian leaders are shaking in a new fit of hysteria. Tbilisi is seriously worried about a division of Smerch multiple rocket launchers at the Russian military base deployed in South Ossetia. As it is believed in Georgia, the deployment of a guard division of reactive artillery is an "asymmetric" response to peaceful statements made by Mikheil Saakashvili. What the republic plans to do now is complain to foreign ambassadors about Russia's actions.
"The deployment of Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems represents a follow-up to Russia's aggressive policy directed against the Georgian statehood, - Georgian diplomats state. - This poses a threat to peace and stability not only in the Caucasus but throughout the Black Sea Region as a whole". As Georgian ministry of foreign affairs highlights, a "military threat" from Russia grows and the international community must provide due assessment of the "provocative actions". It is expected that foreign ambassadors invited for a meeting in the ministry of foreign affairs will be updated on Russia's "atrocities", see the note of protest and be asked to give "due assessment".
As usual, the actions of the Georgian ministry of foreign affairs look like a children's performance. It is easy to guess who's a puppet master. Think for yourselves: it looks hardly believable that until yesterday Tbilisi was completely unaware of Smerch complexes. As we know, Georgian pilotless aircrafts make regular flights over "the occupied territories" collecting information, and no one would disguise rocket launchers as village huts in the middle of the military base. Most probably, Georgians were waiting for the right moment to present a tirade against the "external foe" that, as alleged, does not want peace even after all promises made by Mikheil Saakashvili.
By the way, the similar scenario was used in July when Georgia learned about Russian C-300 complexes allegedly deployed in Abkhazia. At that time Georgian strategists thought Moscow continued military build-up in the "occupied territories" as a result of which "inadequate people" might get "inadequate weapons". But let's not return to those who got the weapons in August 2008. Let's change the subject.
No doubt Smerch and C-300 complexes are impediments for unpredictable Georgian leaders. All this, however, could be avoided if the eccentric Georgian leader stopped clattering about peace in the region and confirmed his words with deeds by signing a non-use of force agreement with regard to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Alas, he does not do it for pride: like it's nonsense to sign an agreement with "satellites"!..
Yet, Tskhinval and Sukhum have no trust in Saakashvili's promises after bloody August 2008. The Transcaucasian republics need guarantees that the tragedy won't be repeated. "Saakashvili's verbal statements cost nothing", - RSO president Edward Kokoyty says, - As a rule, they are followed by armed assaults on our country". The president reminded that the similar story took place in 2004 and it was repeated in 2008. "Remarkably, Georgian troops started hurricane-like shelling of Tskhinval launching a swarm attack only 4 hours after Saakashvili's solemn ceasefire statements", - Kokoyty reminded adding that the Georgian president keeps nurturing revenge plans.
Konstantin Sivkov, first vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems explained the reason for deploying Smerch in South Ossetia and told GeorgiaTimes about special features of the complexes. He says Smerch complexes are not used in hostilities unlike tank troops or the infantry. Besides, the Russian contingent deployed in South Ossetia is very limited (nearly 2,000 soldiers) and it is simply unreal to start an offensive operation with a force like that. Smerch complexes can be made use of if Georgians attempt a new assault on Tskhinval", - Sivkov remarked.
He emphasized that this rocket launch system is neither offensive nor defensive. "Rocket range is nearly 70 km, so hitting targets deep in the territory of Georgia is out of question, - our interlocutor specifies. - Deployment of rockets is a response to rearmament going on in the Georgian army that has recently received modern armored equipment from the USA and Israel. This gives us grounds to believe that Georgia is planning to solve the Abkhaz and South Ossetian issue by force". Konstantin Sivkov thinks that enlargement of the contingent in order to prevent military aggression on the part of Saakashvili regime can be the only reaction of the Russian side.
With time emotions of Georgian diplomats will subside, no doubt. The best thing Tbilisi can get from the West under the circumstances is a declaration on necessity to comply with Medvedev-Sarkozy plan. Still, it is not at all impossible that Georgian president will start thinking about signing the notorious "non-aggression pact". As practice shows, only demonstration of force can shatter territorial fantasies Mikheil Nikolaevich is seized in.