h

Russia is afraid of new European division

23 September 2008

Russia is afraid of new European division

We were in the right but this isn't being recognised. So say leading Russian politicians, the army general staff and most Russians concerning the recent war with Georgia. Georgia started it, but Russia feels itself to have been put in the dock. And the Russians fear a new division of Europe, says SP Senator Tiny Kox, speaking from Moscow.

Kox is in Russia as part of a delegation from the Council of Europe. The delegation is on a fact-finding tour of Russia, Georgia and South Ossetia, where the August war was fought out. In discussions with members of the government and of parliament, military personnel and social organisations, the view was expressed on all sides that Georgia had begun the war but Russia was being treated as the guilty party. Senator Kox's view is that Georgia started an illegal war in the seceded province of South Ossetia. Georgia bombed the province's civilian population. Russia reacted to the attack on the region where the Russians have, for more than ten years, exercised a United Nations mandate to preserve the peace. Yet according to the Russians' own account attention is directed more towards the question of whether Russia presents a new threat to Europe. They fear that this reaction itself threatens to bring about a new division of the continent.

General Nogovitsyn explains
General Nogovitsyn of the general staff shows captured Georgian attack plans. General Nogovitsyn

Later this week the Georgians will have the chance to give the delegation their views. Amongst the questions which will be posed to them will be their reaction to Russian allegations that the United States, Israel and a number of NATO countries armed Georgia, trained its army and encouraged it in its failed military adventure.

Next week the Council of Europe will hold a debate on the consequences of the war.

You are here