Posts Tagged ‘looting’

The example set by the political class/elite and the riots in Britain

11 augusti, 2011

There is much to be said about the riots in Britain. And as usual most of it is not said in the mainstream media. So I thought I give you three pieces that are to the point and that give you some perspective of the latest riots. The focus is on the example and behaviour set by the political class/elites. And why we should not be surprised that “things” like these happen.

And I finish with medias role in this.

                                The Bullingdon Club

“Things got out of hand & we’d had a few drinks. We smashed the place up and Boris set fire to the toilets.”

David Cameron (Prime Minister and leader of the conservative party) recalls his time at Oxford  speaking in 1986. And the Boris Johnson he is talking about is the present Mayor of London.

Nice gang wouldn’t you say?

(My bold and underline)

An Open Letter to David Cameron’s Parents

http://nathanieltapley.com/2011/08/10/an-open-letter-to-david-camerons-parents/

“An Open Letter to David Cameron’s Parents

August 10, 2011

Dear Mr & Mrs Cameron,

Why did you never take the time to teach your child basic morality?

As a young man, he was in a gang that regularly smashed up private property. We know that you were absent parents who left your child to be brought up by a school rather than taking responsibility for his behaviour yourselves. The fact that he became a delinquent with no sense of respect for the property of others can only reflect that fact that you are terrible, lazy human beings who failed even in teaching your children the difference between right and wrong. I can only assume that his contempt for the small business owners of Oxford is indicative of his wider values.

Even worse, your neglect led him to fall in with a bad crowd.

There’s Michael Gove, whose wet-lipped rage was palpable on Newsnight last night. This is the Michael Gove who confused one of his houses with another of his houses in order to avail himself of £7,000 of the taxpayers’ money to which he was not entitled (or £13,000, depending on which house you think was which).

Or Hazel Blears, who was interviewed in full bristling peahen mode for almost all of last night. She once forgot which house she lived in, and benefited to the tune of £18,000. At the time she said it would take her reputation years to recover. Unfortunately not.

But, of course, this is different. This is just understandable confusion over the rules of how many houses you are meant to have as an MP. This doesn’t show the naked greed of people stealing plasma tellies.

Unless you’re Gerald Kaufman, who broke parliamentary rules to get £8,000 worth of 40-inch, flat screen, Bang and Olufsen TV out of the taxpayer.

Or Ed Vaizey, who got £2,000 in antique furniture ‘delivered to the wrong address’. Which is fortunate, because had that been the address they were intended for, that would have been fraud.

Or Jeremy Hunt, who broke the rules to the tune of almost £20,000 on one property and £2,000 on another. But it’s all right, because he agreed to pay half of the money back. Not the full amount, it would be absurd to expect him to pay back the entire sum that he took and to which he was not entitled. No, we’ll settle for half. And, as in any other field, what might have been considered embezzlement of £22,000 is overlooked. We know, after all, that David Cameron likes to give people second chances.

Fortunately, we have the Met Police to look after us. We’ll ignore the fact that two of its senior officers have had to resign in the last six weeks amid suspicions of widespread corruption within the force.

We’ll ignore Andy Hayman, who went for champagne dinners with those he was meant to be investigating, and then joined the company on leaving the Met.

Of course, Mr and Mrs Cameron, your son is right. There are parts of society that are not just broken, they are sick. Riddled with disease from top to bottom.

Just let me be clear about this (It’s a good phrase, Mr and Mrs Cameron, and one I looted from every sentence your son utters, just as he looted it from Tony Blair), I am not justifying or minimising in any way what has been done by the looters over the last few nights. What I am doing, however, is expressing shock and dismay that your son and his friends feel themselves in any way to be guardians of morality in this country.

Can they really, as 650 people who have shown themselves to be venal pygmies, moral dwarves at every opportunity over the last 20 years, bleat at others about ‘criminality’. Those who decided that when they broke the rules (the rules they themselves set) they, on the whole wouldn’t face the consequences of their actions?

Are they really surprised that this country’s culture is swamped in greed, in the acquisition of material things, in a lust for consumer goods of the most base kind? Really?

Let’s have a think back: cash-for-questions; Bernie Ecclestone; cash-for-access; Mandelson’s mortgage; the Hinduja passports; Blunkett’s alleged insider trading (and, by the way, when someone has had to resign in disgrace twice can we stop having them on television as a commentator, please?); the meetings on the yachts of oligarchs; the drafting of the Digital Economy Act with Lucian Grange; Byers’, Hewitt’s & Hoon’s desperation to prostitute themselves and their positions; the fact that Andrew Lansley (in charge of NHS reforms) has a wife who gives lobbying advice to the very companies hoping to benefit from the NHS reforms. And that list didn’t even take me very long to think of.

Our politicians are for sale and they do not care who knows it.

Oh yes, and then there’s the expenses thing. Widescale abuse of the very systems they designed, almost all of them grasping what they could while they remained MPs, to build their nest egg for the future at the public’s expense. They even now whine on Twitter about having their expenses claims for getting back to Parliament while much of the country is on fire subject to any examination. True public servants.

The last few days have revealed some truths, and some heartening truths. The fact that the #riotcleanup crews had organised themselves before David Cameron even made time for a public statement is heartening. The fact that local communities came together to keep their neighbourhoods safe when the police failed is heartening. The fact that there were peace vigils being organised (even as the police tried to dissuade people) is heartening.

There is hope for this country. But we must stop looking upwards for it. The politicians are the ones leading the charge into the gutter.

David Cameron was entirely right when he said: “It is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to think that the world owes them something, that their rights outweigh their responsibilities, and that their actions do not have consequences.”

He was more right than he knew.

And I blame the parents.”

Cartoon by Peter Nicholson Source: The Australian

British rioters the spawn of a bankrupt ruling elite

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/british-rioters-the-spawn-of-a-bankrupt-ruling-elite/story-e6frg6zo-1226112640970

 “British rioters the spawn of a bankrupt ruling elite

Theodore Dalrymple,August 11, 201112:00AM

THE riots in London and elsewhere in Britain are a backhanded tribute to the long-term intellectual torpor, moral cowardice, incompetence and careerist opportunism of the British political and intellectual class.

They have somehow managed not to notice what has long been apparent to anyone who has taken a short walk with his eyes open down any frequentedBritish street: that a considerable proportion of the country’s young population (a proportion that is declining) is ugly, aggressive, vicious, badly educated, uncouth and criminally inclined.

Unfortunately, while it is totally lacking in self-respect, it is full of self-esteem: that is to say, it believes itself entitled to a high standard of living, and other things, without any effort on its own part.

Consider for a moment the following: although youth unemployment in Britainis very high, that is to say about 20 per cent of those aged under 25, the country has had to import young foreign labour for a long time, even for unskilled work in the service sector.

The reasons for this seeming paradox are obvious to anyone who knows young Britons as I do.

No sensible employer in a service industry would choose a young Briton if he could have a young Pole; the young Pole is not only likely to have a good work ethic and refined manners, he is likely to be able to add up and — most humiliating of all — to speak better English than the Briton, at least if by that we mean the standard variety of the language. He may not be more fluent but his English will be more correct and his accent easier to understand.

This is not an exaggeration. After compulsory education (or perhaps I should say intermittent attendance at school) up to the age of 16 costing $80,000 a head, about one-quarter of British children cannot read with facility or do simple arithmetic. It makes you proud to be a British taxpayer.

I think I can say with a fair degree of certainty, from my experience as a doctor in one of the areas in which a police station has just been burned down, that half of those rioting would reply to the question, ”Can you do arithmetic?” by answering, ”What is arithmetic?”

British youth leads the Western world in almost all aspects of social pathology, from teenage pregnancy to drug taking, from drunkenness to violent criminality. There is no form of bad behaviour that our version of the welfare state has not sought out and subsidised.

British children are much likelier to have a television in their bedroom than a father living at home. One-third of them never eat a meal at a table with another member of their household — family is not the word for the social arrangements of the people in the areas from which the rioters mainly come. They are therefore radically unsocialised and deeply egotistical, viewing relations with other human beings in the same way as Lenin: Who whom, who does what to whom. By the time they grow up, they are destined not only for unemployment but unemployability.

For young women in much ofBritain, dependence does not mean dependence on the government: that, for them, is independence. Dependence means any kind of reliance on the men who have impregnated them who, of course, regard their own subventions from the state as pocket money, to be supplemented by a little light trafficking. (According to his brother, Mark Duggan, the man whose death at the hands of the probably incompetent police allegedly sparked the riots, ”was involved in things”, which things being delicately left to the imagination of his interlocutor.)

Relatively poor as the rioting sector of society is, it nevertheless possesses all the electronic equipment necessary for the prosecution of the main business of life; that is to say, entertainment by popular culture. And what a culture British popular culture is!

Perhaps Amy Winehouse was its finest flower and its truest representative in her militant and ideological vulgarity, her stupid taste, her vile personal conduct and preposterous self-pity.

Her sordid life was a long bath in vomitus, literal and metaphorical, for which the exercise of her very minor talent was no excuse or explanation. Yet not a peep of dissent from our intelllectual class was heard after her near canonisation after her death, that class having long had the backbone of a mollusc.

Criminality is scarcely repressed any more in Britain. The last lord chief justice but two thought that burglary was a minor offence, not worthy of imprisonment, and the next chief justice agreed with him.

By the age of 12, an ordinary slum-dweller has learned he has nothing to fear from the law and the only people to fear are those who are stronger or more ruthless than he.

Punishments are derisory; the police are simultaneously bullying but ineffectual and incompetent, increasingly dressed in paraphernalia that makes them look more like the occupiers of Afghanistan than the force imagined by Robert Peel. The people who most fear our police are the innocent.

Of course, none of this reduces the personal responsibility of the rioters. But the riots are a manifestation of a society in full decomposition, of a people with neither leaders nor followers but composed only of egotists.”

Corrupt and decaying from top to bottom

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/08/corrupt-and-decaying-from-top-to-bottom.html

August 10, 2011

“Well, I think we can finally say that social welfarism has utterly failed as a project. The case made to me was that welfare, if nothing else, stopped the great unwashed rioting and looting on the streets. This week demonstrates fairly well that it doesn’t even do that.

We have a state school system producing kids who couldn’t and won’t get a job and a wider population who thinks the Easter Bunny will pay for their retirement, housing and day to day needs. Meanwhile, thanks to the cultural gas chambers we laughingly call schools, British business would rather not employ Brits if there is an alternative.

We have a justice system that serves only itself and its welfare clients, while occasionally slapping down the odd tax payer to ensure their obedience to the state. It is a system that works for the perpetrator, not the victim.

And who are these kids tearing down our cities? It is said they are the disenfranchised who have no stake in ”our society”. Kids who feel there is no reason to comply with the basic rules of civil society because it does not pay dividends. Their obedience is required, but for what?

There’s a kid I know who has not had a proper job in over ten year years. I say kid because, for all that he is a grown man, he has remained kid by way of remaining a client of the state. Cosseted with a head full of silly notions about where money comes from, and all that he is ”entitled” to. The reason I continue to help him is because he has not yet given up. He still wants a job and has not resorted to criminality.

He is one of the rare ones who, every week, goes walking round the industrial estates asking for work, applying for anything he can find. But he has no skills. He has nothing to offer them. He has no work experience of value, no qualifications of value and very little natural ability.

What makes him different from the rest of his generation is his willingness to find work. I think most by now would have quit looking and found a way onto the incapacity benefit system. And after ten years of ceaseless heartbreak, I wouldn’t blame him, and I would actually support such a move.

The continual humiliation of going round and round inside the welfare system, a mere statistic in a creaking bureaucracy, fighting for a pittance that makes the difference between starving or not, erodes the soul. To be routinely told you have nothing of value to offer, even if that’s true, cannot be good.

And what has government done in this regard. They have fed him on false hopes. He has been round the system, on this or that training course and placement scheme. His list of ”qualifications” is now longer than some graduates I know. But these ”qualifications” are a contrivance of government, neither useful to, nor demanded by business.

The kid has what is known as a European ”Computer Driving Licence” without possessing any marketable computer skills. The course is useless, the material is easy and all that is served by it is a fat cheque from the government to the public and private bodies who award such junk.

This all at a time when public spending was at an all time high. We have to face the simple fact that it doesn’t work. Throwing money at the problem simply perpetuates it.

Abandoned by his parents and abandoned by the school system to become just another human life on the scrapheap before it has even begun. I have done what I can to help with remedial education but you can’t deprogramme all that sense of entitlement. That lesson has to be taught first hand. But it will probably never happen for him.

You could certainly say he has no stake in society. He is certainly ”disenfranchised”. Thanks to the mechanisms of the state and his background (generational welfare), his fate was sealed early on. He has every right to be angry and frustrated, which indeed he is, but he is not out looting this week.

He has always, with the intervention of friends and distant family, known the difference between right and wrong. He has been known to shoplift the odd tin of beans on the odd occasion when a giro has not gone as far as feeding him. Anyone who has been on the dole long enough, with no family to speak of, would probably confess to likewise. Who of us would not?

What keeps him from rioting is the hope that eventually something will come up, that he will get a break in life. He is perhaps more optimistic than I would be. All evidence suggest that he will not. Especially not now we’re looking down the barrel of a global market meltdown.

But for every one of him who does know the difference between right and wrong, there is evidently a legion that does not. Or maybe does, but does not care. Obedience will bring them nothing but a miserable, unhealthy, unproductive life. One could even say my young friend is dumb, expecting that he will get somewhere pegging his hopes on the system he finds himself in.

We have just enjoyed ten years of unprecedented wealth and opportunity, but for most of these kids, those opportunities weren’t available to them, not speaking Polish being one of the many reasons. All we have done by maintaining a welfare underclass is subsidise a pressure cooker that is now blowing its top. Much like the banking crisis, we have thrown money at a problem to delay the inevitable, only to feel the consequences much harder later on.

After decades learning bit by bit that petty crime is tolerated and they can get away with it, that underclass is now probing the system to see what else they can get away with. The answer is: a lot. This is simply all our chickens coming home to roost. Welfarism, a useless police force, a court system whose moral compass is spinning round faster than ride at Alton Towers, and state school system which at its very best is unfit for purpose.

While that is obvious to most, the statists are fighting for their agenda. They cannot allow the liberation of the poor. The poor are their livelihoods, their clients, their power base. And so the Left must present it in terms of social division. There are vested interests who, once again are trying to make this about race.

We must not allow them to succeed. These are black and white and Asian kids. They are all victims of the state welfare system. If we allow this to become a race debate as we have the last few times, we will simply get more of the same: more red tape for the police, more equality surveys, more outreach workers and more ghettoisation.

The race riots of decades past are no different to these riots in some senses. They are also the result of state mechanisms not only allowing, but facilitating ghettoisation of society, if not by race and faith, then by class. I have always said that if you subsidise poverty, you will always have poverty. We need to stop it. Welfare at best needs to be a temporary lifeline, not a lifetime habit.

But in amongst the disorder, we also see mass larceny by people with full time jobs. Opportunistic theft by supposedly respectable people. Are we a society in moral decline? Were we ever of high moral fibre? We like to think we are more civilised than other countries because of the values we teach. But we’re not. Order is kept because most people live under the illusion that they will be caught if they do bad things. Now they’ve worked out they won’t be. This theft is brazen and is done with impunity.

We know from experience the police will not investigate, let alone catch thieves on a day to day basis. There is no reason to think this will be any different when the lid has blown off the pressure cooker. There was a time when the police would come to a crime scene and take fingerprints (this was my earliest memory of a police encounter), this in the days before super computers.

Now, for all the police resources they will simply turn up, give you a crime number and refer you to your insurance company. Consequently insurance premiums drive up costs for everyone.

The police have largely abdicated from routine police work. They have virtually given up on enforcing narcotics laws. Whatever your views on drugs, the law is the law. But now we have police making their own minds up about which laws to enforce. The law is so out of step with the people, and so unpopular, that if the police want to maintain a level of order, they have to decide which laws to uphold and which to ignore.

The law has made a mockery of itself. We have a law engine spewing out law after contradictory law. Not knowing which way to turn, enforcement becomes neglected in populist areas and so a quota or a crackdown to suit the political zeitgeist is launched resulting in knee-jerk unpopular policing. That is how we arrive here.

So again we draw the same conclusion: this is a crisis of politics. An establishment that does not know what it is for. But that is hardly surprising when that same establishment has abdicated government to other powers. The rot starts at the top. Our government is dysfunctional, without direction, without ambition, without guiding principles and is mired in the institutional larceny of the parasite class.

The immigration system is creaking, the roads are broken, our armed forces in complete disarray, the DVLA has lost the plot, Social Services are bandits, the welfare system is swamped and our energy grid is rapidly running toward rolling blackouts while parasitic corporates asset strip the country for everything it’s worth. And what do we see in government? Children with their infantile preoccupations following one media bandwagon to the next, fire-hosing more borrowed money at problems they created.

Now the streets are littered with broken glass, and the burnt out husks of buildings still smoulder, we again ask what can government do? The answer is nothing. It has demonstrated beyond any doubt that it is incapable of taking grown-up, difficult decisions. Again, that is reflected in the wider population.

We are flat broke and yet we march to stop cuts. We praise the bravery of the police when they stand idly by while the criminals wreck our cities. We are a nation of infants under the illusion that only government can, or should, come to our aid.

Until we reject this notion, put government back in its place and ask the question of what government is actually for, we will be back here again and again. Government is not a creator of jobs or wealth. And nor should it be. In recent years it has been the biggest obstacle to jobs and wealth.

The only way the bulk of our youth can have a stake in society is if we create opportunities for them. We will not give them opportunities by confiscating wealth and redirecting it to the many foreign corporates who build government-mandated projects. Wealth must be left in the hands of those who earn it, to spend as they see fit and to care for those they find deserving.

But while our masters get fat off the proceeds of big government, it is not in their interests to introduce any meaningful reform. They need to subsidize the poor to secure their power base. If we want significant change we must throw the scraps from their table back at them, boycott government involvement in our lives and starve the beast. We must rid ourselves of them and start doing things for ourselves.

They do this to us because we let them.

And this piece which in all its glaring clarity shows the absurdity of the mainstream media and their total PC view of the world. That is that certain facts, figures, etc. should never, ever be allowed to be mentioned or published, regardless of the circumstances.

And this has nothing to do if it’s black, white, yellow, pink, green or whatever “color”, race or sex, etc. it is. It is about the utter betrayal by journalists and the mainstream old media of their journalistic role, and of all that good and independent journalism was supposed to be.

Instead, the journalist and the media are pushing their political and social agenda.

We have seen this so many times, again and again. On this blog, I have written extensively about press and mass media and their role in this the greatest scientific and political scandal of modern times – the Global Warming Hysteria. And their willing participation in driving and promoting this hysteria.

AT THE SAME TIME, AS THESE MEDIA HAVE TAKEN AN ACTIVE PART in SUPPRESSING FACTS and IS CENSORING AND INTIMIDATING EVERYONE WHO HAS OPPOSED THIS HYSTERIA.

A truly “worthy” goal for the organizations and companies whose goal was supposed to protect and enhance freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100100339/what-will-happen-to-the-convicted-rioters/

“Funniest interview ever on Sky. Female Sky reporter interviewing a white guy who has had his shops burned. He said to her , the arsonists/looters were all black. She said to him , you can’t say that , there must have been white guys there as well. He thought about and then said , ok they were not all black , i was the only white guy there. Is that ok to say ?

This guy states this with a totally dead pan face without a hint of the pc faux pas.

She again corrects him and states nervously you just cant say they were all black , he responds , but they were i was there.

Unbelievable. The interview describes the state of our society in a nut shell.”

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Russia’s War in Georgia and the background chronology to it

3 september, 2008

Som ett komplement till mina tidigare inlägg Russia’s Disinformation Campaign over South Ossetia och Before the Gunfire, Cyberattacks against Georgia kommer här en mycket intressant kronologi over händelseutvecklingen som lede fram till Rysslands invasion av Georgien från Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.

Som jag konstaterat tidigare så visar även denna kronologi på de långtgående ryska förberedelserna långt innan kriget. Och att den ryska planeringen var att ”göra något” i början/mitten av augusti. Vilket ju också skede.

De ryska styrkorna var förbereda och hade satt sig i rörelse före den 7-8 augusti då Georgien gick in i Tschinvali.

Här är en bra karta som visar de olika styrkornas utgångsläge och det inledande förloppet.

http://kommersant.ru/%5CISSUES.PHOTO%5CDAILY%5C2008%5C140%5C_2008140-01-01.jpg

           Klicka på kartan så blir den större/Click on the map

In August 2008, Russia launched an invasion of Georgia that sent shock waves reverberating – first across the post-Soviet space, but then also into the rest of Europe and the world, as the magnitude of the invasion and its implications became clear.

This invasion took the world by surprise. But what should have been surprising about it was perhaps the extent of Russia’s willingness to employ crude military force against a neighboring state, not that it happened. Indeed, Russia had for several years pursued increasingly aggressive and interventionist policies in Georgia, and had employed an array of instruments that included military means, albeit at a smaller scale. In the several months that preceded the invasion, Moscow‘s increasingly blatant provocations against Georgia led to a growing fear in the analytic community that it was seeking a military confrontation. Yet western reactions to this aggressive behavior remained declaratory and cautious in nature, and failed to attach cost to Russia for its behavior.

After invading Georgia on August 8, Russia did score some initial successes in portraying the invasion as a response to a Georgian decision to militarily enter Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia. Yet a growing body of evidence rapidly emerged, implying that Russia’s invasion was premeditated, not reactive – or in the words of a leading Russian military analyst, planned, not spontaneous.

Indeed, as the chronology included in this paper shows, Russia had been meticulously preparing an invasion of Georgia through the substantial massing and preparation of forces in the country’s immediate vicinity. Scholars will debate whether Russian tanks were already advancing inside Georgian territory when Georgian forces launched their attack on Tskhinvali; yet there seems little doubt that they were at least on the move toward the border. And the scope of the Russian attack leave little doubt: it immediately broadened from the conflict zone of South Ossetia, to the opening of a second front in Abkhazia and systematic attacks on military and economic infrastructure across Georgia’s territory. Within days, tens of thousands of Russian troops and hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles roamed Georgian roads.

Russia’s subsequent decisions to ignore the terms of a cease-fire agreement it signed, and to recognize the independence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, all complete the picture of long-hatched plan. The purpose was not merely related to South Ossetia or even Abkhazia: it served to punish Georgia and expose the inability of the west to prevent Russia from moving aggressively to restore its primacy over the former Soviet Union’s territory, irrespective of the wishes of the governments and populations of the sovereign countries on that area. It is indeed the predetermined nature of this war that makes its implications so far-reaching. It constituted Moscow’s first military aggression against a neighboring state since the invasion of Afghanistan in 1978; and it took place, this time, against a member state of European institutions such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe, and to that a country on track to integration with NATO.

As such, political leaders and analyst soon understood that it formed the largest crisis to date in Russia’s relationship with the West; some have even come to realize that the Georgian war of 2008 may be the most significant challenge to European Security since the Cold War’s end. It is therefore of particular importance to document, already at this stage, how this war started and draw some preliminary conclusions regarding what it means for Georgia, the post-Soviet space, and Europe and the United States. The following pages propose to do so by providing a chronology of events before, during, and immediately after the war; as well as to propose some initial conclusions that could be drawn from this chronology, as well as regarding its implications.

This chronology has been assembled to the extent possible based on multiple and independent sources, as well as on the personal notes of the authors, including experiences on the ground during the conflict. Given the recent nature of the events, however, it is possible that some information reflected here will need correction as more solid evidence emerges. The authors express their gratitude to David J. Smith and Jonathan Kulick for their comments on the chronology. The authors will be grateful to receive additional suggestions for corrections or additions

                  Russian invasion routes and forces

   Klicka på kartorna så blir den större/Click on the maps

           Russian-claimed security zone, South Ossetia

                 Russian bombing targets in Georgia

Summer 2004

Following an operation launched by the Georgian governments to curtail  rampant smuggling across South Ossetia, clashes between Georgian forces and South Ossetian separatists take place as Georgia sought to restory authority, with numerous deaths on both sides.

Winter 2005

Sergey Bagapsh assumes the de facto presidency of Abkhazia, following an election in which Moscow backed his opponent, Raul Khadzhimba. Bagapsh’s electoral victory led to strong Russian pressure on the de facto leadership, which forced Bagapsh to include Khadzhimba into his government as Vice President and hand him control of security and defense affairs.

Subsequently, serving Russian security and military officials are appointed to leading positions in the de facto governments of the unrecognized republics. Hence Russian general Soltan Soslaniev served as Abkhazia’s defense minister, while Anatoly Zaitsev became the de facto republic’s chief of staff. Likewise, South Ossetia‘s prime minister, Yuri Morozov, and security chief, Anatoly Barankevich, were among several Russian officers in the South Ossetian de facto government.

President Saakashvili presents peace plans to both Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are rejected.

January 2006

Explosions occur on the Russian side of the Georgian-Russian border, damaging a gas pipeline and an electricity transmission line and cutting gas and electricity supplies to Georgia. These explosions occur days after Russia cut energy supplies to Ukraine, and are blamed on unidentified terrorists.

Spring 2006

Russia introduces an import ban on Georgian wine and mineral water, Georgia’s most lucrative export products, citing health and quality concerns.

Spring 2006

Russia builds a military base in the district of Java, north of Tskhinvali in South Ossetia, an area off limits to international observers. The base includes substantial refueling capabilities for tanks and armored vehicles.

July 2006

Under what is officially a law enforcement operation, Georgia takes control of the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia, previously run by a local (Georgian) warlord. The Georgian Government-in-Exile for Abkhazia is installed in the Gorge. Georgia also intensifies efforts to internationalize the Russian-led peacekeeping formats in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

September-October 2006

Georgia expels six Russian intelligence agents accused of espionage. Russia responds with a full economic embargo of Georgia, including the severance of all transportation and communication links, including rail, road, sea, air, postal, and banking ties. Russian law enforcement raids Georgian businesses in Russia and begins deporting Georgian citizens.

March 11, 2007

Georgian-controlled villages in the Kodori Gorge are attacked by ground-to ground rocket fire, likely from territory controlled by the Abkhaz de facto authorities. The attack is supported by Russian military helicopters, a fact obliquely confirmed by a subsequent report of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG). Western leaders fail to react to the UNOMIG report.

May 2007

After elections held in parallel with elections for the Tskhinvali authorities, Georgia introduces a provisional administration in the parts of South Ossetia it controlled since the cease-fire of 1992, under the leadership of Dmitri Sanakoyev, a former high official in the separatist government.

August 6, 2007

A missile dropped by an aircraft lands undetonated near a Georgian radar in Tsitelubani in close proximity of South Ossetia, recently upgraded to NATO standards. Two teams of European and American experts conclude that the action must have been performed by the Russian Air Force. A Russian team of experts instead argues the incident had been staged by Georgia to create an impression of Russian aggression against the country.

February 17, 2008

Kosovo declares independence. President Putin claims Kosovo’s independence, if recognized by western states, will set a precedent with consequences for Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A few weeks later, in an interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Konstantin Zatulin, Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS and Compatriot Affairs, suggests the draft presidential decree may be just the first step toward Russian recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It is important to move now, says Zatulin, while Kosovo is still a fresh issue and well before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. ( For full details and documents, see the October 2007 Silk Road Paper published by the Joint Center, The August 6 Bombing Incident in Georgia: Implications for the Euro-Atlantic Region, by Svante E. Cornell, David J. Smith, and S. Frederick Starr).

March 5, 2008

Tbilisi withdraws from the Joint Control Commission overseeing negotiations over South Ossetia. It instead proposes a format which, apart from Georgia, South Ossetia and Russia, also envisages active roles for the EU, OSCE and the Sanakoyev administration.

March 6, 2008

Russia announces its withdrawal from the 1996 CIS sanctions treaty, which banned trade, economic, financial, transport and other links with Abkhazia.

March 28, 2008

President Mikheil Saakashvili outlines a new peace initiative for Abkhazia, including the establishment of a free economic zone, representation at all levels of the Georgian government, and far-reaching autonomy for Abkhazia.

April 3, 2008

At the NATO summit in Bucharest, Georgia is denied a Membership Action Plan. Georgia and Ukraine are nevertheless assured they will be offered NATO membership at an unspecified point in the future. German chancellor Angel Merkel stresses that a country with unresolved conflicts can nevertheless not join NATO.

April 16, 2008

A Russian presidential decree signed by outgoing President Vladimir Putin instructs the Russian government, as well as Russian regions, to open political, social, and economic relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The decree in many ways establishes relations between Moscow and the two territories that approximate relations between Moscow and its federal subjects. This is interpreted in Tbilisi as a move to legalize a Russian annexation of the two regions.

April 18, 2008

Abkhazia claims Georgia is reinforcing its troops along the cease-fire line and in the Kodori Gorge. UNOMIG nevertheless states that no troop increases have taken place.

April 21, 2008

An unarmed Georgian UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is downed over Abkhazia. Citing footage from the UAV’s camera capturing its own destruction by a MiG-29 aircraft as well as radar recordings showing an aircraft taking off from the Gudauta airbase in Abkhazia and departing into Russian airspace, Georgia accuses the Russian Air Force of downing the UAV. This triggers a diplomatic row, as Tbilisi claims Russia is engaging in military action in Abkhazia, while Russia denies responsibility, claiming the plane was shot down by the Abkhaz air defenses. A UNOMIG investigation subsequently concludes in May that the aircraft was Russian.

April 24, 2008

At the UN, the U.S., UK, France and Germany, all members of the Group of Friends of the Secretary General for Georgia, express concern over Russia’s policy toward Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and President Saakashvili calls for talks on internationalizing the peacekeeping missions in the two regions.

April 29, 2008

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims Georgia has reinforced its military presence in the Kodori Gorge, preparing for an invasion of Abkhazia. Russia confirms it is reinforcing its peacekeeping contingent in Abkhazia, and setting up several new checkpoints along the Inguri River. UNOMIG subsequently denies any troop buildup in the Kodori Gorge or along the cease-fire line.

May 8, 2008

Russia confirms having increased its peacekeeping contingent in Abkhazia from 1997 to 2542 soldiers.

May 14, 2008

Abkhazia’s leader Sergey Bagapsh requests permanent Russian military presence in Abkhazia. Such plans are later denied by the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. Georgian officials say a war between Georgia and Russia has been avoided due to French mediation.

May 16, 2008

The UN General Assembly passes a resolution tabled by Georgia on the right of return of all IDPs to Abkhazia. The U.S. votes for the resolution, Russia against; most western European states abstain.

May 21, 2008

Georgia holds parliamentary elections. Two buses intended for transporting Georgians in the Gali region to polling stations are blown up in Khurcha, just across the border in Georgia, injuring four. Tbilisi claims the Abkhaz side is responsible. Later reports by UN observers suggest the incident was staged by Georgian officials.

May 31, 2008

The Russian Ministry of Defense sends about 400 troops from the Russian Defense Ministry Railway Forces to rehabilitate Abkhazian railways. Tbilisi accuses Russia of improving the infrastructure in Abkhazia in preparation for a military intervention.

June 16, 2008

One person is killed and four injured in a skirmish between Georgian and South Ossetian forces in the outskirts of Tskhinvali. Georgian forces confiscate heavy equipment including anti-tank missiles from Russian peacekeepers on the Georgian side of the Georgian-Abkhaz administrative border – weaponry that, according to the agreement on peacekeeping, required notification of Georgian authorities.

June 21, 2008

In an interview with the Georgian newspaper Rezonansi, respected Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer stated that a political decision to start a war in Georgia had been taken in Moscow as early as April. He predicted that a war would start in Abkhazia no later than the middle of August.

July 1, 2008

Sukhumi closes Abkhazia’s de facto border with Georgia.

July 3-4, 2008

An explosion in the South Ossetian village of Dmenisi kills a South Ossetian police chief. Later the same day, a mine attack on a convoy carrying Dmitri Sanakoyev injures three Georgian policemen near Tskhinvali. The attack is followed by an exchange of fire between Sanakoyev’s security personnel and unknown gunmen. At least two people die in shellings in Tskhinvali and surrounding villages.

July 5, 2008

The information services of the North Caucasian Islamic resistance publish an article on their website, Kavkaz-Center, stating that Russia will wage a war in Georgia in August, but placing it in Abkhazia.

July 8, 2008

The Georgian MOD reports the intrusion of four Russian aircraft over South Ossetia. Russia confirms its aircraft entered Georgian airspace to ”cool hotheads”, marking the first instance of a violation of airspace not denied by Russia.

July 15, 2008

Russia launches a large-scale military exercise, ”Kavkaz-2008”, in 11 regions in the vicinity of the Georgian border. Approximately 8,000 army servicemen participate in the training, which engages paratroopers, the Pskov Airborne division and the Black Sea Fleet. 700 combat vehicles and 20 aircraft are activated and undergo readiness inspections. The Russian authorities refer to the exercise as a pre-planned counter-terrorism operation, but states also that it aims to prepare the troops for involvement in special peacekeeping operations, due to the latest developments in the region.

July 30, 2008

The Russian Ministry of Defense announces the completion of the repair of the 54-kilometer railway linking the Abkhazian capital of Sukhumi with the region of Ochamchire in the Abkhazian conflict zone.

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