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Medvedev on chronology of decisions in Caucasus2008-12-25 12:34
For the first time after events in August 2008 Dmitry Medvedev, the President of Russia, told about the chronology of decision-making, in particular, about the beginning of peace enforcement operation.gt-en-newsitem-inside
"It was around one in the morning when Defence Minister Serdyukov called me and said he had information that Georgia had declared war on South Ossetia, but at that point there was no action actually underway. I told him to monitor the situation, watch how events developed and report regularly, and this what happened over the next few hours. He called me every thirty minutes and told me what was going on, at what point tanks appeared, at what moment other vehicles carrying Georgian troops appeared. For a while we hoped that this was just some sort of provocation that would not actually be carried out. But when the artillery and tanks opened fire and I was informed of the deaths of our citizens, including our peacekeepers, I did not hesitate for an instant and gave the order to respond and return fire," the President said.
The President underlined that when making such decisions all the consequences must be weighted up, including the irreversibility of such orders.
"t is possible to back out up until a certain point, but once the decision has been made there is no going back. I understood this of course, and I hoped that common sense would prevail in the end", RIA-Novosti quotes Medvedev.
"This is a test for anyone, but I think that in these kinds of situations any responsible leader must know how to keep his head clear, weigh up all the arguments and make a carefully considered decision ", he noticed.
According to Medvedev's estimation, "the military campaign, which lasted only five days in all, showed that our measures were effective and demonstrated too the strength of our armed forces and the strong spirit of our citizens and our soldiers. They dealt a full and irreparable blow to the Georgian military machine with only minimum losses. Our action restored peace in the Caucasus and, most importantly of all, brought protection to the tens of thousands of people who were on the brink of extermination", he concluded.
According to Medvedev, the day when the decision to draw troops to South Ossetia to protect it from Georgian aggression was one of the most difficult in his life, but, as he highlighted, Russia could do in no other way. " Subsequent events proved that this was the right decision", Medvedev said.