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‘U.S. may use Georgian air bases to strike at Iran’

‘U.S. may use Georgian air bases to strike at Iran’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws39iJS6rgA

Israel Was to Attack Iran from Georgia: Report
http://www.almanar.com.lb/N..etails.aspx?id=54573&language=en

Russian units raid Georgian airfields for use in Israeli strike against Iran – report
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5559

Russia to equip Iran with ‘game changer’?
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=70160&sectionid=351020104

US-Russian deal lets Iran’s nuclear bomb program off the hook
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5616

 



Evidence S. Ossetia Attack Was Planned a Year Ago

NATO Black Sea fleet build up coordinated in advance to coincide with Georgian attack on South Ossetia

DTN

August 29, 2008

MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) – Georgia planned the military operation against its breakaway republic of South Ossetia a year in advance, a source in one of Russia’s security bodies said Saturday.

The source also told RIA Novosti that the operation was coordinated with NATO’s plans to strengthen its naval presence in the Black Sea.

“The statements of some NATO representatives that the maneuvers of the alliance’s ships in the Black Sea were planned a year ago are evidence that attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia were planned earlier, maybe even last year,” the source said.

A NATO representative earlier said that the three-week deployment – which includes stops at Romanian and Bulgarian ports – was planned at least a year ago, well before the conflict in Georgia.

Already under strain due to NATO’s courting of Ukraine and Georgia, and over U.S. missile defense plans in Eastern Europe, relations between the alliance and Russia have frayed badly since Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia and Russia’s subsequent military operation.

In the opinion of the source, NATO’s buildup of naval force in the Black Sea under the cover of providing humanitarian aid to Georgia, sets a dangerous precedent and may sharply destabilize the situation in the region.

Speaking Friday at RIA Novosti news conference, the deputy chief of the Russian military’s general staff expressed doubts whether it is necessary to have NATO vessels in the Black Sea delivering humanitarian aid to Georgia.

“Now that the conflict [with South Ossetia] is exhausted, there are NATO vessels [in the Black Sea]. What for and with what aim?” Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn said.

He also said Russia would reply swiftly to all provocations against its Black Sea Fleet.

Source

A seperate Item quotes NATO’s web site.

NATO said the deployment had been planned for over a year, adding that Turkey had been notified of the requirement to transit the Bosporus strait in June, long before the conflict in Georgia.

It also said that, in accordance with the Montreux Convention, the ships would leave within 21 days of their arrival.

Source

 



Russia Cruiser To Test Weapons In Crowded Black Sea

Russia Cruiser To Test Weapons In Crowded Black Sea

Stuff
August 26, 2008

Russia’s flagship cruiser has re-entered the Black Sea for weapons tests hours after the Russian military complained about the presence of US and other Nato naval ships near the Georgian coast.

The ’Moskva’ had led a battle group of Russian naval vessels stationed off the coastline of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia during Russia’s recent conflict with Georgia and sank smaller Georgian craft.

The assistant to the Russian Navy’s commander-in-chief told Russian news agencies the cruiser had put to sea again two days after returning to its base at the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol.

“’Moskva’ has today departed toward the Black Sea Fleet’s naval training range to check its radio-controlled weapons and onboard communications systems,” Captain Igor Dygalo was quoted as saying by Interfax.

The Russian navy’s press office was unable to confirm his comments when contacted by Reuters.

The presence of so many ships from Nato countries earlier drew the ire of a Russian military spokesman during a daily media briefing on the conflict.

“The fact that there are nine Western warships in the Black Sea cannot but be a cause for concern. They include two US warships, one each from Spain and Poland, and four from Turkey,” Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of the Russian military’s General Staff said.

On Sunday, the US guided missile destroyer USS McFaul arrived with aid including camp beds, bedding, tents and mobile kitchen units, the US Defence Department spokesman Bryan. Whitman said.

Separately, the US Coast Guard cutter Dallas has been dispatched with aid, while a third vessel, the Navy command ship USS Mount Whitney, is being loaded in Italy with humanitarian supplies for Georgia, he said.

The Nato ships in the Black Sea are carrying more than 100 ’Tomahawk’ cruise missiles, with more than 50 onboard the USS McFaul alone that could hit ground targets, reported RIA news agency, quoting unnamed sources in Russian military intelligence.

 

Russia test-fires Topol missile

Pravda
August 28, 2008

Russia’s strategic and space troops successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile Topol (RS12M). The missile is designed to avoid detection by anti-missile defense systems. The launch was performed at 2:36 p.m. Moscow time from Plesetsk space port, RIA Novosti reports.
The missile successfully covered the distance of almost 6,000 kilometers and hit a hypothetical target on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

“The missile warhead accurately hit the hypothetical target, having thereby exercised its ability to strike pinpoint targets,” a senior spokesman for Russia’s strategic missile troops, Alexander Vovk said in a statement.

Russia previously tested the Topol (RS12M) ballistic missile on December 8, 2007.

The development of the Topol missile complex started in 1977, the first tests were carried out in 1983. The complex is capable of hitting targets at a distance of over 10,000 kilometers.

Read Full Article Here

U.S. & Russian Warships Line Up Over Georgia
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/27/georgia.russia1

US aid warships redirected from Russian-controlled Poti to Batumi
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5537

Russian admiral: Our Black Sea fleet can destroy NATO’s group in 20 minutes
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5541

Putin Talks Of Black Sea Confrontation
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4622422.ece

Russia’s Warships Arrived in Abkhazia
http://www.kommersant.com/p-13138/Abkhazia_warship/

 



Saakashvili Planned to Flee Georgia During Conflict

Saakashvili asked the U.S. to send him a plane in the heat of the conflict
It turns out Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili planned to leave the country

KP
August 21, 2008

The information barrier in Georgia has complicated the local population’s ability to understand how the events truly unfolded in South Ossetia. For over two weeks, the Georgian intelligence has maintained control over foreign news sources.

All Russian sites and “enemy TV” have been blocked. However, the government’s official propaganda was dealt a serious blow yesterday when the country’s only Russian-language newspaper Vecherniy Tbilisi published an interview with renowned political scientist Ramaz Klimiashvili.

Klimiashvili said that “based on information from the presidential chancellery and U.S. governmental structures, Mikhail Saakashvili requested that a plane be sent in for him when the threat neared of Russian forces taking Tbilisi.”

When the news began to spread, Klimiashvili writes, the opposition started to panic. Despite their many differences, Saakashvili was maintaining control over the situation and “without him at the helm the country would sink into chaos.”

The political scientist says Saakashvili wouldn’t have launched a full-scale military operation without U.S. consent.

“Was the U.S. really unaware that Russia would respond just like they did years back in Kosovo?” he asks. “I don’t exclude the possibility that to a large extent Bush was interested in seeing Russia’s reaction — whether the country was ready to utilize the Kosovo option. Russia was forced to act decisively to avoid looking helpless in the eyes of the Caucasus people.”

Klimiashvili believes that little good will come of the South Ossetian war.

“I don’t doubt the August affairs may one day be seen as more of a catastrophe than Georgia’s loss of Abkhazia in 1993,” he said. “We don’t yet know what is really going on… If the U.S. is involved here, then the guilt should be on their conscience.”

 



Putin Blames U.S. For Staging Georgian Conflict

Putin Blames U.S. For Staging Georgian Conflict

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
August 29, 2008

In an interview with CNN, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has stated that the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict may have been manufactured by the White House for domestic political reasons. Putin also says that preliminary reports show U.S. citizens may have been present in the combat zone.

“We have serious reason to believe that American citizens were right at the heart of the military action. This would have implications for American domestic policy.” Putin told CNN.

“If this is confirmed, then it raises the suspicion that someone in the US specially created this conflict to worsen the situation and create an advantage in the competitive struggle for one of the candidates for the post of president of the United States.” he continued.

“They needed a short, victorious war.”

“And if it didn’t work out, they could always put the blame on us, make us look like the enemy and against the background of this surge of patriotism, once more rally the country around a particular political force.” Putin explained.

Watch a Russia Today report on Putin’s comments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg-GX-XtRkY

In addition to the remarks broadcast by Russia Today, Putin charged that Americans on the ground in Georgia were “implementing orders” from their “leader” during the conflict.

“The fact is that US citizens were indeed in the area in conflict during the hostilities. It should be admitted that they would do so only following direct orders from their leaders,” Putin said.

“Therefore, they were acting in implementing those orders, doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader,” he added.

The comments come in the wake of news that a U.S. passport was found in a building in South Ossetia occupied by Georgian troops.

As we have documented, reports of American mercenaries being captured and found dead inside South Ossetia and Georgia circulated in the days after the conflict began.

Putin also told the CNN interviewer that the Georgian army was armed and trained for the conflict.

“Why hold years of difficult talks and seek complex compromise solutions in inter-ethnic conflicts? It’s easier to arm one side and push it into the murder of the other side, and it’s over,” he said.

“It seems like an easy solution. In reality it turns out that it’s not always so.”

Putin may have been referring to the military exercise Immediate Response 2008, which took place last month, involving no less than one thousand U.S. troops working with Georgian troops in a war game scenario. It was also well documented that Georgian troops were flown out of Iraq by the U.S. to join the conflict in South Ossetia. Aside from these facts, it is common knowledge that Washington provides training and equipment to the Georgian military, one of its coalition allies.

 

U.S. citizen was among Georgian commandos – Russian Military

Russia Today
August 29, 2008

A U.S. passport was found in a building in South Ossetia occupied by Georgian troops, a Russian military spokesperson revealed on Thursday. After Russian peacekeepers cleared the heavily defended building, a passport belonging to a Texan named Michael Lee White was discovered inside.

Deputy Chief of Russia’s General Staff Anatoly Nagovitsyn showed photocopies of the passport to media in a press briefing on Thursday.

“There is a building in Zemonekozi – a settlement to the south of Tskhinval that was fiercely defended by a Georgian special operations squad. Upon clearing the building, Russian peacekeepers recovered, among other documents, an American passport in the name of Michael Lee White of Texas,” said Nagovitsyn.

Neither the owner of the passport nor his remains were found at the scene, despite a thorough search.

“I do not know why he was there, but it is a fact that he was in the building, among Georgian special forces troops,” Nagovitsyn said.

The briefing was delivered on the same day Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told CNN, “We have serious reasons to believe that American citizens were right at the heart of the military action”. Putin said the conflict in South Ossetian may have been planned to benefit one of the U.S. presidential candidates.

 

Military help for Georgia is a ’declaration of war’, says Moscow

This is London
August 28, 2008

Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a “declaration of war” by Russia.

The extreme rhetoric from the Kremlin’s envoy to NATO came as President Dmitry Medvedev stressed he will make a military response to US missile defence installations in eastern Europe, sending new shudders across countries whose people were once blighted by the Iron Curtain.

And Moscow also emphasised it was closely monitoring what it claims is a build-up of NATO firepower in the Black Sea.

The incendiary warning on Western military involvement in Georgia – where NATO nations have long played a role in training and equipping the small state – came in an interview with Dmitry Rogozin, a former nationalist politician who is now ambassador to the North Atlantic Alliance.

“If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia,” he stated.

Read Full Article Here

U.S. Expects to Rebuild Georgian Army
http://www.moscowtimes.ru/articles/detail.php?ID=370267

Russia: NATO interference in the caucasus means war
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=67757&sectionid=351020602

Putin accuses U.S. of orchestrating Georgian war
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WO..ssia.georgia.cold.war/index.html

Russia threatens sale of offensive weapons to Israel’s enemies
http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtr..eu_russia0447_08_20.asp

 



Georgian President Vows to Overthrow South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Georgian President Vows to Overthrow South Ossetia and Abhkazia

NY Times
August 25, 2008

President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia said Sunday that he planned to rebuild his country’s shattered army, and that even after its decisive defeat in the war for control of one of Georgia’s two separatist enclaves he would continue to pursue a policy of uniting both under the Georgian flag.

“It will stay the same,” he said of his ambition to bring the enclaves, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, under Georgian control. “Now as ever.”

Both houses of Russia’s Parliament, meanwhile, voted unanimously Monday to ask President Dmitri A. Medvedev to recognize the enclaves’ independence. But the measure, which requires the president’s approval to take effect, was seen as symbolic.

Separately, the White House on Monday announced that Vice President Dick Cheney would visit the region from Sept. 2, stopping in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Italy to discuss the crisis.

Read Full Article Here

 



Russian Parliament Votes to Recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia
Russian Parliament Votes to Recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Bloomberg
August 25, 2008

Both houses of the Russian parliament called on President Dmitry Medvedev to recognize the independence of two breakaway Georgian regions that sparked Russia’s first foreign military incursion since the Soviet era.

“Today we are faced with, I’m not afraid to say, a historic decision, to call upon the president of the Russian Federation to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” Sergei Mironov, the speaker of the upper house, said in an address to lawmakers in Moscow today.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which broke away from Georgia in wars in the early 1990s, have cited Kosovo’s Feb. 17 declaration of independence from Serbia as a precedent for their aspirations. Medvedev — who alone can decide on whether to recognize the territories — has said previously that Russia supports the regions’ decisions on their future status, while stopping short of formally recognizing them. President George W. Bush has insisted the regions remain a part of Georgia.

Both the lower chamber, the state Duma, and the upper house, the Federation Council, voted unanimously in support of independence.

“Medvedev will recognize both regions,” said Alexander Rahr, a Russia expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. “There’s no way out,” he said. “This is a consequence of the recognition of Kosovo by the West and Western policy in the Balkans.”

 

Upper chamber backs independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Russia Today
August 25, 2008

Russia’s upper chamber of parliament has unanimously voted to ask the Russian President to recognise independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

As the emergency session of the Federation Council began in Moscow, the presidents of the two breakaway republics have once again said they will never agree to remain within Georgia.

In his speech, the President of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, said that both unrecognised states have more right to independence than Kosovo.

“As President of South Ossetia and on behalf of the South Ossetian parliament and its people, with all gratitude to the President of the Russian Federation I once again call for the recognition of South Ossetia as an independent state,” he said before the senators.

Abkhazian President Sergey Bagapsh, for his part, said neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia will live as one state with Georgia.

Meanwhile, the Parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma will most probably back the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, said Konstantin Zatulin, deputy head of the Duma Committee for International Affairs.

MPs have gathered to discuss draft appeals to the Russian President and the parliaments of UN member states in connection with Georgia’s military attack on South Ossetia.

In his address the Speaker of the Duma, Boris Gryzlov, called Georgia’s action a case of genocide and compared it to the aggression of Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union.

Even if Russia recognises Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the entire process will take a long time. There will be a need to decide what form their independence will take.

But if NATO makes a strong push to bring Georgia into the alliance, Russia will recognise both of them instantaneously, says RT’s political commentator Peter Lavelle.
Hard road to independence

South Ossetia, which borders Russia in the south Caucasus, and Abkhazia on the Black Sea had previously attempted to break away from Georgia following referendums which were overwhelmingly in favour of independence. The results were ignored by Tbilisi, which claimed the ethnic Georgians forced to flee the regions were not consulted. The recent conflict in South Ossetia has added further urgency to the demands for self-determination.

The roots of the current discord can be traced back to the divide and conquer policies of Joseph Stalin – himself half Georgian, half Ossetian. Before the 1917 revolution, the ethnic groups of the Caucasus all lived as separate subjects of the Russian empire. However, with the Bolsheviks came the redrawing of the map, with both South Ossetia and Abkhazia becoming parts of Georgia.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the then Georgian leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia advocated a nationalist “Georgia for the Georgians” policy, re-opening old wounds. Two military conflicts followed, leaving thousands dead and forcing many more to flee the conflict zones.

The ceasefire in the early 1990s brought de-facto independence to both regions with the shaky truce maintained by peacekeeping forces of mainly Russian troops.

Russia has never recognised the independence of either republic, although Georgia has repeatedly accused Moscow of trying to annex its territory.

Since becoming president in 2004, Mikhail Saakashvili has pledged to bring his country closer to the West, which has also motivated his drive to end the territorial disputes.

Ossetians and Georgians have lived side by side for centuries. The two groups share Soviet history and the Orthodox Christian religion and intermarriage is common. But the ties that once bound their cultures have been severely damaged in the trauma of the recent fighting. Kosovo’s self-declared independence in February, too, has boosted these regions’ ambitions.

Most Abkhazians and South Ossetians carry Russian passports and the only valid currency is the Russian rouble. In addition, both self-declared republics have presidents, flags, national anthems, armies and Moscow’s support.