This video is an interview with “Joe Mestas, American citizen living in South Ossetia, who witnessed everything that [was] happening in the region.”
From United States magazine Rolling Stone, reviewing the new album by Metallica:
Death Magnetic is the musical equivalent of Russia’s invasion of Georgia — a sudden act of aggression from a sleeping giant.
Well, I don’t intend to discuss Rolling Stone‘s views on music here.
Not even whether Russia committed “aggression” against Georgia. However, even people who consider that the Russian army did commit “aggression” will have to recognize it was not “sudden”.
As it was a reaction to the invasion by the army of Georgian president Saakashvili in South Ossetia; which killed and wounded thousands of Ossetian civilians and drove ten thousands of them across the North Ossetian border; which also killed Russian soldiers, in South Ossetia as peacekeepers according to a treaty signed by the Georgian government.
From Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, 11 September 2008, paper edition, page 4. Quoting a Russian soldier in South Ossetia:
“What an absurd war, really. Georgians and South Ossetians have always gotten along so well. Behind this fence, a Georgian-Ossetian couple has been living for years.” …
On the way back to Tschinvali we pass a burnt out customs office. “Here, we have been selling our products to the Georgians for years”, the very tall Zjota says … “It always went well. Until Saakashvili grabbed power, and immediately stopped that trade.”…
Then, his [Zjota’s] next door neighbour, Georgi Papashvili, comes out. He is a 63-year-old Georgian, married to an Ossetian. “No one here is against me”, he says. “Relationships between Georgians and South Ossetians in Tschinvali have always been good. I was born here and I want to get old here. I am only afraid because of my sister in Tblisi [capital of Georgia]. Because, if they will find out in Georgia that I have stayed here, they will take that out on her.”…
We drive out of the city in a western direction, to the village of Getagurova. It was along the way of the Georgian forces, who left a track of fire and destruction in all villages which they passed on their way to Tschinvali.
Four women are drinking coffee, sitting on stools along the road. “Here, eight people have been killed”, the least shy of them, Rita Bestajeva, says. “They shot my male next door neighbour’s head off”.
She takes us to the garden of a burnt out house and points out a bomb’s crater.
“There, we have buried a 75-year-old lady who lived next door. Her body was completely burnt. And in the garden on the other side, that nice man Pjotr Mamijev lies. Georgian soldiers had buried him in his cornfield”.
“Can NATO Survive Georgia?” -Immanuel Wallerstein.
Scandinavian countries respond to Russia-Georgia conflict: here.
DID SAAKASHVILI LIE? The West Begins to Doubt Georgian Leader: here.