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S.Ossetia's & Abkhazia's independence: World became
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: S.Ossetia's & Abkhazia's independence: World became
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Video-shock: the Georgian soldiers kill inhabitants of Tskhinvali as orks in a computer game:

http://www.vesti.ru/videos?vid=148484
 
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Nicaragua Recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia


Nicaragua on Wednesday became the first country after Russia to recognize the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Ekho Moskvy radio reported.

"The government of Nicaragua recognizes the independence of the republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and we fully agree with the Russian government's position that that conflict may end through dialogue with European countries," said President Daniel Ortega in a speech.

With Ortega's announcement on Thursday, Nicaragua became the second country to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia after Russia.

Last week, Russia had recoganized the independence of the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkazia, despite strong objections from the Western countries.
 
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Moscow sees no parallels between S. Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh - Lavrov
11:56 GMT, Sep 04, 2008

MOSCOW. Sept 4 (Interfax) - Moscow does not see any parallels
between the situation surrounding South Ossetia and Abkhazia and that in
Nagorno-Karabakh, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"There are no parallels between the situation surrounding South
Ossetia and Abkhazia on the one side and the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement
process on the other," Lavrov said at a press conference following a
CSTO ministerial meeting on Thursday.

"In the case of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the [Georgian President
Mikheil] Saakashvili regime was seeking to undermine all negotiating
formats and settlement mechanisms that had earlier been agreed upon
between the parties, regularly resorted to provocative acts against
civilians and peacekeepers, and was eager to change the situation in the
security zones that had been set up in the early 1990s," Lavrov said.

"Nothing of the sort is happening as regards Nagorno-Karabakh,"
Lavrov said.

"Neither party in this case is evading from the work within the
framework of the mechanism that was set up under the aegis of the OSCE
Minsk Group co-chairmen. This process is under way, and a significant
set of agreed-upon elements of an eventual settlement has been worked
out during it, and the work on the remaining problems is continuing," he
said.


The Armenian and Azeri presidents are maintaining regular dialogue,
Lavrov said. "The latest contact between the presidents took place in
St. Petersburg in early June this year," he said.

Russia will actively facilitate the resolution of the conflict in
line with principles approved by such organizations as the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Collective Security
Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS), Lavrov said.

http://www.interfax.com
 
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Russian Jewry supports international tribunal for South Ossetia
13:03 GMT, Sep 04, 2008

MOSCOW. Sept 4 (Interfax) - The World Congress of Russian Jewry has
urged the world to give an objective evaluation to the Georgian actions
in South Ossetia.

"We declare that evil must not go unpunished! The World Congress of
Russian Jewry supports the idea of an international tribunal, which
would impartially evaluate the actions of the Georgian administration
against civilians and their own people," says a statement by Congress
President Boris Spiegel received by Interfax on Thursday.

"The evil deeds of the Georgian administration must be given an
appropriate international evaluation," he said.

"The people who ordered the start of that war must bear
responsibility for their actions. Nothing of the sort can happen again
in the future."

The Jewish people have experienced genocide and they cannot ignore
the killing of innocent women, children and elderly people, the
statement said.

http://www.interfax.com
 
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What does Europe teach us? They face an even bigger problem.
   
   
Part 2   
   
Darya Aslamova in the center of Brussels. Brussels, the capital of the EU and NATO, took KP journalist Darya Aslamova by surprise. The city is bursting with contradictions   
   
Darya Aslamova    05.09.2008
   
Part 2   
   
A short description of our first installment: Ethnic battles are erupting in the heart of the EU. Belgium's Flemings and Walloons are fighting among themselves and hoping to split the country in two. At the same time, Arab emigrants are fleeing to Belgium en masse. Will Belgium face another Kosovo scenario?   

"The most popular child's name in Brussels and Antwerp is 'Mohammed,'" said Mia Doornaert, diplomatic editor at the Flemish paper Standaard. "I don't have anything against emigrants if they're willing to work and integrate into the local community. But that's not what's happening. We're being forced to feed them. Arab emigrants hide from the police in our churches, which in turn refuse to kick them out. That's just how things are here. Why don't they go and hide in their mosques? And it's impossible to print even one word about emigrants in the press without being called a racist."   

"It's hard to imagine that Belgian residents are ready to mix their ancient Christian blood with the Arabs," I said emotionally. "And your nation's heroes commanded the first and only successful Crusade and freed Jerusalem!"   

It turned out my passion was contagious. "You're absolutely right!" she said. "Europe shouldn't forget about its Christian history. I think the EU made an unforgivable mistake by removing the clause about our Christian roots in the Constitution. I always respected Pope John Paul II. He was a good person, but why did he decide to apologize for the Crusades! The Muslims started conquering our Christian shrines first. They captured Jerusalem and Constantinople a large Christian center. Europe didn't receive any apology from the Muslims for seizing our shrines. Why should the Christians feel guilty? In a global world where borders between peoples are being removed, it's important for people to know where they came from and where they are going. People need an identity. I'm Flemish and I'm proud of my people's history. The Walloons call our national feelings 'folklore.' But it's not folklore. It's our sense of self."

"Is it true that Walloon Socialist Parties do everything they can to encourage Arab emigration as they rely on this voter base?" I asked.   

"Without question! Arabs arriving from Morocco and Algeria, former French colonies, speak French and vote for French-speaking socialists who promise them a Socialist heaven," she said.   

There are numerous dubious politicians on Belgium's political scene who demand political correctness in emigrant issues. They are mostly activists of the French-speaking Walloon parties. I remember how surprised I was when I spoke with Olivier Mangan, president of the Democratic French-Speaking Front and one of the most colorful Walloon politicians. We were talking about Belgium's possible collapse and the irreconcilable differences between Walloons and Flemings.   

"The essence of the conflict is the following. First, the Flemish don't want to share their money with the Walloons," said Mangan. "The concept of solidarity is foreign to them. In addition, we have different views on immigration. The Flemings are a closed culture that doesn't love outsiders. For example, they refuse to give free social housing in Flanders to Arab emigrants who don't speak Dutch."

"Why should you give emigrants free housing?" I asked.   

"What do you mean?" he said. "They need somewhere to live!"   

"And you're surprised the Flemish authorities demand that the emigrants know their language if they want free housing? You mean to say that the authorities in Wallonia just hand out free apartments? Maybe the Arabs also take part in the elections without knowing the language?" I asked.
   
"Of course!" he said. "If someone has lived here for over three years, then he has the right to vote. It doesn't matter if he knows the language or not. Taking part in the elections helps first-generation emigrants integrate into our society. Their children will already be Belgians."   

"I think the Arabs will integrate you into their communities first," I said. "And what if they demand to build a mosque on your charming Gran-Plas square?"   

"I don't see anything wrong with that," he said. "We are an open, civilized society. We're not nationalists."

"You're giving up your country without a fight," I said. "If the Flemings refuse Brussels voluntarily, then are you prepared to split Belgium into two independent states?"   

"If we have Brussels, then yes," he said.   

If anyone can save Belgium from collapsing, it's going to be the Arab emigrants who are neither Walloon or Flemish and want to preserve the country's welfare system.   

"They just love the king," Doornaert said.   

"Maybe because the king is like an immigrant himself," I said. "He's not a Walloon or a Fleming. And he receives social welfare!"   

"It's seems so!" Mia said laughingly.

Arabs are the only people in the country who can be called genuine Belgians. It's just like in the popular Belgian anecdote. The commander tells his soldiers during the parade: "Flemings! To the left! Walloons! To the right!" But one lonely Arab was left standing in the middle. "Sergeant Mustafa! Why are you still standing there?" the commander screamed. "Well what should we do?" he asked. "We ordinary Belgians?"   

The new European nationalism

They're respectable, wealthy, well-raised and educated. They know history, speak different languages and travel. They hold high posts at banks, financial corporations and law offices. These are the new European nationalists. Their patriotism doesn't result in bloodshed. They believe wholeheartedly in democracy, honest contracts and legal methods of resolving conflicts, and they maintain relations with their radical Northern Irish and Basque neighbors.   

Nationalism is becoming a trendy doctrine in Europe as the middle classes react to globalization and political correctness. In a world where borders are being wiped clear and the Internet is available in every home, people have a greater longing to stick out in the crowd.   

The new nationalists are a chain of political parties that are interconnected and stretch throughout Europe. Northern Italy, Scotland, France, Austria and the Basques. For instance, I made contacts with the Flemish nationalists in Croatia.   

Flanders

I'm in Flanders the "clean" country, as poets have referred to the region. Flanders has Europe's most well-kept, ancient cities. Fat cows and wealthy farmers are everywhere. The soil is rich and managed by hard-working people.   

I was escorted to a small hole in the wall in a minuscule Flemish town by Paul and Peter Van Deer Moer. The father and son are ardent nationalists. The red-haired, handsome Peter is already vice president of the popular Flemish People's Movement despite his young age.   

We drank cherry beer and talked about everything under the sun that gets on my friends' nerves in Brussels. Mainly: the king who speaks Dutch incorrectly, the pompous French-speaking minority, the Flemish soldiers killed in the First World War because they didn't understand the orders of the French-speaking officers, the EU that mimics the U.S., and Arab expansionism and discrimination against Europeans.   

"When several Arabs beat a 50-year-old man to death on a bus the other day for sticking up for a young couple," Peter said, "the papers called the murder an 'incident.' Referring to the event as a 'murder' would have been politically incorrect."   

Peter is proud to be a nationalist. "People always mistakenly draw parallels between Nazism and nationalism," he said. "What's wrong with being proud of your roots? If I don't respect myself, how can I respect others? I want to hear songs in my country in my own language and not in French or in English. I want to sing about my homeland."   

Like many Flemings, Paul and Peter dream of a "Chocolate Revolution," hoping Flanders will one day peacefully gain independence. And judging from the other Flemings who I met on my travels through Belgium, they are certainly not alone in their desire.
   
      
 
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Israel says stopped arms supplies to Georgia prior to conflict
14:20 | 04/ 09/ 2008
   
MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) - Israel imposed an embargo on arms supplies to Tbilisi a week before Georgia attacked its breakaway region of South Ossetia, the Israeli ambassador to Russia said on Thursday. (Abandoned Georgian armor and artillery - Image gallery)   

Russia's Defense Ministry earlier said Israel had sold unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, and electronic artillery systems to Georgia and planned to supply armored vehicles and small arms. Some reports claimed that Israeli military experts had been training Georgian reconnaissance units since the fall of 2007.

"A week before the conflict we decided to halt all arms supplies to Georgia," Anna Azari said.

She also stressed that Israel previously supplied Georgia only with non-offensive weaponry and refused to sell heavy armor to Tbilisi despite Georgia's request.

"As an example, I can tell you that several months before the start of the conflict [in South Ossetia] the Georgian leadership insisted that we sell 300 Merkava tanks to Tbilisi, but we refused to do so," the Israeli diplomat said.

South Ossetia was attacked by Georgian forces on August 8. The majority of residents of South Ossetia hold Russian citizenship, and Moscow launched a massive operation to expel Georgian troops from the region and to reinforce its peacekeepers.

According to information provided last month by the Russian General Staff, since 2005, prior to August 8 Georgian tank numbers increased from 98 to 183, armored vehicles from 83 to 134, artillery weapons from 96 to 238, combat helicopters from three to nine, and warplanes from seven to nine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow would like to see an embargo on arms supplies to Georgia introduced until a change of leadership takes place in the Caucasus state.

http://en.rian.ru
 
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Israel refused to supply Merkava tanks to Georgia - ambassador
04.09.2008, 13.43

MOSCOW, September 4 (Itar-Tass) - Israel refused to sell its Merkava main battle tanks to Georgia despite strong pressures from Tbilisi, Israeli ambassador in Moscow, Anna Azari, said on Thursday.

Several months ago Georgia had approached the Israeli government with an urgent request for supplying 300 Merkava tanks, Azari said. Israel refused.

The Israeli ambassador also said there had been no supplies of offensive armaments to Georgia from her country.

Azari sees no negative aspects in Israeli-Russian relations.

A vast dialogue is on at the personal and inter-state levels, she said.

At the same time the ambassador acknowledged the two countries were divided in their evaluation of the Iranian nuclear potential.

At the same time she added Russia and Israel were unanimous that a nuclear Iran would pose a threat to world security.

ITAR-TASS. All rights reserved.
 
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Moscow deeply satisfied with Nicaragua's decision
06.09.2008, 12.22

MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow welcomes Nicaragua's decision to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday in connection with the decision of the Nicaraguan government.

Moscow is deeply satisfied with the decision taken in Nicaragua to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazian. It is not only an indication of the well-considered and deep approach of the Latin American country's leaders to present international realities, but it is also a serious contribution to the formation of the international system based on strict observance of the international law principles, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

ITAR-TASS. All rights reserved.
 
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Russian FSB warns of terrorist threat in Russia, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia
19:37 09/05/2008

Situation around South Ossetia may provoke increased activity of international terrorists in Russia, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. Chairman of National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC), Director of Russian FSB Alexander Bortnikov informed at a briefing in Volgograd, where exercises of SCO member countries' special forces took place.

Bortnikov already made similar statements before. Aug 28, REGNUM reported him to inform at a meeting with heads of regional anti-terrorist committees that international terrorists are indending to use the complicated situation in the North Caucasus to set up terrorist acts in Russia. We have a lot of concrete evidence indicating that international terrorist ofganizations attempt to penetrate territory of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the territory of the Russian Federation to set up these acts, Bortnikov announced.

Sep 4, a concluding stage of command and staff exercise Volgograd-Anti-Terror-2008 was held. Alexander Bortnikov positively assessed action of participants who were charged with liquidation of a group of fictitious terrorists. He said the exercises' plan was fulfilled and all participants managed to carry out their task. Experience gained in the exercises will be thoroughly analyzed. We have taken the right development course. Training and exercises of such format will help improve cooperation of all agents of anti-terrorist activity of SCO member countries and effective multilateral development, Bortnikov stated.

The day before, a summit of heads of anti-terrorist departments of security agencies and special forces of SCO member countries convened as part of the Volgograd-Anti-Terror-2008 exercises. Representatives of security and anti-terrorist agencies of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia attended the conference. Heads of security agencies of Pakistan, Iran, and Belarus participated the conference and exercises as observers.

The joint strategic operational command and staff exercise Volgograd-Anti-Terror-2008 was held in the territories of SCO member countries Aug 18-Sep 4, 2008. It was coordinated by the NAC.

REGNUM News Agency
 
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"What if they're showing us old ruins in Ossetia?"


Another generation of Ossetians faced ruins and war. But this time they won their independence. Foreign journalists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia couldn't believe their eyes
   
Artem Aninskin, Photo: Marina Volosevich 08.09.2008

All in all there were 60 of us journalists from Russia, France, the U.S., the UK, Japan, Italy, Portugal and Serbia. Last week, we were brought to Tskhinvali and Sukhumi to see how the residents in these two independent republics live. I must confess the reactions of our Western colleagues were shocking.

One big family

The foreigners asked our bus driver to slow down on our way to Tskhinvali. They snapped photographs of the remnants of the Georgian villages Chekh and Tamarasheni.   

"Poor Georgians..." I heard them say.   

We stopped near the burned government administration building in the South Ossetian capital. The republic's President Eduard Kokoyta walked over toward us together with his security guards. A journalist from the UK asked him the first question.   

Will you sign a military pact with Russia and station Russian bases on your territory? he asked.   

We will sign an agreement with Russia and we will station their bases, Kokoyta said.   

Will you become a part of Russia? he asked.   

The first stage is recognizing independence. The second stage is becoming a part of Russia, he said.   

Kokoyta tried to prove a number of points to the journalists, including genocide. They shook their heads in answer and asked about the military bases in Georgia.   

We were given a tour around the city. I noticed a French journalist who was trying to speak to a small Ossetian boy. I was asked to translate for him. Honestly speaking, I couldn't believe my ears.   

"Are these ruins from the August bombings? Or are they the remains of previous wars? he asked.   

The boy looked at us like at two idiots. Of course they're from the August bombings... What other bombings were there? The Frenchman didn't believe him.   

Why are you hesitant about believing him? I asked.   

What if they're old ruins? he asked. I get the impression they were blown up a second time, so they could say something happened. The journalist had a wild imagination. Needless to say, he didn't come with us the next day when we took our trip to Abkhazia. He must have gotten all the information he needed.

We walked around the center of Tskhinvali for 1.5 hours. All the journalists wandered off in different directions. The photographers ran after some South Ossetian boy. This was just what they had been waiting for. The photograph of a small boy on the backdrop of Tskhinvali's ruins and burned cars.

The South Ossetian children peformed on a small stage on the main square. They read their poems titled: Tskhinvali is my city, Ossetia is my country.   

"The truth is the first victim"

We traveled to Abkhazia the next day. The Russian journalists crossed the border without any problem. They only had to show their passports and the Customs officials waved them through. The foreigners had a tougher time. The local border guards wanted to stamp their passports as they were entering a foreign country. But the majority of the foreigners weren't sure they actually needed an Abkhaz visa. They were also afraid they wouldn't be allowed back into Georgia or their own countries if they received the stamp. They had a serious decision to make whether to recognize the country's independence in the course of several minutes on the border, or to turn back and go home. They thought long and hard. Regardless, some journalists managed to get cross without a visa.   

Meanwhile, we started speaking with the young Abkhaz border guards.   

A new life is starting for us now, they said. After the investments start pouring into the country, our tourist industry will begin developing.   

Will you ask to become a part of Russia? we said.   

Do you think that would be the right decision? they asked.   

What do we have to do with anything? we said. What do you think?   

We'd like to live this way for now independent, they said.   

What do you mean? we asked. You can't even go anywhere with an Abkhaz passport.

Yes, but we have Russian passports, they said. We can go wherever we want.   

I thought for a moment. The Abkhaz have certainly lived through a lot. But everything seemed to have worked out well in the end.   

In three hours we were in Sukhumi. We had another meeting this time with the Abkhaz president. Again, the questions started with military bases.   

Abkhazia did make a request about Russian bases, Sergey Bagapsh said. Now Russia must decide.   

Later we were given a spectacular lunch. It's hard to say if it was just traditional Abkhaz hospitality or they were trying to win over the foreigners.   

We need so little to be happy, said Henry, a journalist from the U.S. A restaurant on the Black Sea and we're already satisfied. They've never even dreamed of a place like this in Ossetia.

I nodded, remembering how difficult it had been to find a grocery store in Tskhinvali.   

The Abkhaz are extremely lucky, he continued. They have the sea and natural resources.

Do you think they'll become a part of Russia? I asked.   

The Abkhaz? No. They won't want to, he said. But it's only a question of time for the Ossetians. I think Russia made the right choice. I mean, I understand why Russia did what she did.   

I thought I misheard something.   

Please do explain, I said.   

I think Georgia was the first to start in South Ossetia, he said. Washington isn't even denying that. Russia was just waiting for this opportunity. It's hard to judge her. Everyone knows who had the most to win with Saakashvili's blitzkreig. The U.S. Georgia would solve it's territorial problems in an instant and the road to NATO would be wide open. Moscow just took advantage of the situation.   

It sounds nice, I said. But Western press doesn't have a clue.

Well, it's no accident that they say: 'The first victim of war is the truth.' There's no escaping that. And please, don't mention my last name.
      
      
 
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Czech president blames Georgia for military conflict in Caucasus


08.09.2008, 10.52

TOKYO, September 8 (Itar-Tass) - President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus has put the blame on Georgia for the military conflict in the Caucasus. He made this statement in an interview published by the Yomiuri newspaper on Monday.   

Georgia was the first to attack South Ossetia, stressed the Czech leader. He also called against presenting Russia negatively. It would be a tragic mistake to picture Russia as a villain and again divide the world in two, the Czech president stated. Russia is not the former Soviet Union, he added.   

Touching upon the recognition by Russia of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independents states Klaus noted that such Russias step was caused by the recognition of Kosovo by the West. If there had been no Kosovo, not independence recognition would have taken place, he noted.   

Vaclav Klaus is in the Japanese capital as a scientist-economist to participate in an international scientific forum conducted by the Yomiuri newspaper.   
   
ITAR-TASS all rights reserved.
 
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Belarus may recognise new republics after elections
September 8, 2008, 17:22

Russia's western neighbour Belarus will discuss the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after a new parliament is elected at the end of the month, according to its president Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Parliamentary elections are due to be held in Belarus, a close ally of Russia, on 27 September.

President Lukashenko added that Belarus has always had strong ties with Abkhazia, and pointed out that the links between the two countries were not simply an extension of good relations with Russia.

RussiaToday

 
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Russia confirms sending warships to the Atlantic, Caribbean
16:30 | 08/ 09/ 2008
   
MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian naval task force from the Northern Fleet will go on a tour of duty in the Atlantic Ocean and participate in joint naval drills with the Venezuelan navy in November, a Navy spokesman said on Monday. (Russian Navy modernized - Image gallery)

"In line with the 2008 training program and in order to expand military cooperation with foreign navies Russia will send in November a naval task force from the Northern Fleet, comprising nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy and support ships, to the Atlantic Ocean," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

During the tour of duty, the Russian warships will participate in joint naval exercises with the Venezuelan navy.

"The decision to conduct Russian-Venezuelan naval exercises was adopted at the meeting between presidents in July this year," Dygalo said.

"During the exercise, ships and naval aircraft will practice coordinated maneuvering, search-and-rescue, and communications," he said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez earlier said Venezuela would hold joint naval exercises with Russian warships in the Caribbean in late November-early December.

Russia announced last year that Russia's Navy had resumed, and would build up its continual presence in different regions of the world's oceans.

A naval task force from Russia's Northern Fleet, consisting of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, as well as auxiliary vessels, conducted from December 2007 to February 2008 a two-month tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic.

2008 RIA Novosti
 
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HELPING THE GEORGIAN POPULATION
Rome, 4 September 2008

The Orders Embassy and Polish Association provide medicines, food and equipment

Plans for the humanitarian mission of Order of Maltas embassy to Tbilisi are being finalized. By the end of this week Prof. Marcello Celestini, Minister Counsellor of our diplomatic mission in Georgia, will have provided for the financing of medicines, food and other essential items, thanks to donations made by the Orders Grand Magistry, Grand Priories and National Associations.

Over recent weeks, houses, schools, hospitals, roads and entire villages have been destroyed in Georgia, generating a massive exodus of over 100,000 refugees, forced to leave their houses to escape the violence of the war, and creating a serious humanitarian crisis.

The Order of Malta has been active in Georgia since 14 August, when the Polish Associations medical and humanitarian aid mission arrived in Tbilisi. Thanks to a special flight offered by the office of the President of Poland, our Association has been able to provide volunteers, food and medicines, baby food, defibrillators, glucometers, respirometers and surgical sets. For two weeks, the Orders team of eight doctors worked in six refugee camps around the city of Gori and then set up a clinic in a school close to the Order of Maltas embassy in Tbilisi. They carry out medical examinations and distribute basic necessities.
In cooperation with the Polish Airforce, many injured children have been evacuated from the mountain regions to be treated in Polish hospitals.

Further shipments of food and medicines are scheduled for 9 and 16 September.

Sovereign Order of Malta
 
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Member of European Parliament calls EU Council to provide explanations on Estonian volunteers in Georgia
01:05 09/10/2008

Member of the European Parliament Sahra Wagenknecht has tabled a question to the EU Council on the so-called Estonian volunteers to Georgia. Sahra Wagenknecht made the announcement to REGNUM on September 9.

As the MP noted, soon after the start of the military confrontation between Georgia and Russia, which was caused by the Georgian attack on the town of Zchinwali in South Ossetia, there was a call from the Estonian Reserve Officers Association for volunteers to be recruited for a mission to support Georgia in the war against Russia and also for uniforms to be worn on the mission. It was announced that the volunteers would be transported in a government plane which was to take humanitarian aid to Tbilisi and fly Estonian citizens out of Georgia. The call came, among others, from Priit Heinsalu, chair of the Estonian Reserve Officers Association, and Indrek Tarand, former diplomat and now director of the Laidon Museum. Some 50 people answered the call and flew to Tbilisi, although media reports stated that they did not fly in a government plane. The volunteers are said to have included members of the Estonian paramilitary armed forces, the Kaitseliit, as well as Estonian reservists, informed Sahra Wagenknecht.

In this connection, she posed the following questions to the Council of the EU:

1.      What does the Council know about this initiative involving Estonian volunteers? Does the Council know whether members of the Estonian armed forces or official Estonian security forces took part in this initiative, and if so, how many? Does the Council know whether any participants in this initiative are still in Georgia?

2.      As far as the Council is aware, did any Estonian citizens take part in the fighting between Georgia and Russia?

3.      What does the Council think of the fact that the call to take part in this initiative was made by former members of the Estonian armed forces and government?

4.      Has this initiative featured in discussions between the Council and the Estonian Government, and if so, what did this involve?

5.      Does the Council consider initiatives involving the sending of volunteers from a Member State to a conflict zone to be a suitable way of helping to reach a peaceful solution? If not, what measures has the Council taken in order to prevent such initiatives in the future?

As REGNUM reported earlier, on August 14, a group of volunteers from the Estonian Reserve Officers Association (EROK) arrived in Georgia. Head of the department for foreign relations and European integration of Georgia's Defense Ministry Nino Bakradze told reporters that the volunteers arrived to take part in defending the sovereignty of Georgia and actions to withdraw the Russian troops. She thanked the Estonian president, the government and the parliament for support. At the same time, the Georgian Defense Ministry insisted that the group of Estonian volunteers had brought humanitarian aid and was helping to hand it out and that it had no other tasks in the Georgian territory. It is worth mentioning, the chair of the Association, Vello Vainsalu, sent in his resignation after the scandal with the group of volunteers being sent to Georgia (before leaving to Georgia they were advised to take uniforms with them).

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US intelligence supports Russia
08:23 09/10/2008

Intelligence service of the USA confirms that the military action in South Ossetia was started by Georgia, that is why the position of Russia is correct, and the position of the USA is not. Such statement was made by Dana Rohrabacher, the deputy chairman of the International Organizations Committee of US the House of Representatives.

All intelligence sources which Ive talked with confirm that recent battle actions were started by Georgia, declared the congressman. According to him, as informs RSN, those were Georgians, but not Russians, who broke the ceasefire, and no talks about provocations and other things could change this fact.

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Western Sahara is going to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia
00:06 09/11/2008

Western Sahara (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, SADR) is going to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia before the end of 2008. According to a REGNUM source in the SADR Parliament Chairman Mahfoud Ali Beyba's encirclement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia is having intensive consultations with Parliament and the Polisario Front, SADR ruling party, about the procedure of recognition of this new country. Most likely that at the nearest congress the Front will recognize Abkhazia as a sovereign state and before the end of this year SADR will establish diplomatic relations with it.

As it was already reported by REGNUM, up to 90% of the territory of Western Sahara recognized by the United Nations and 80 countries in the world as independent country is currently annexed by the neighboring Kingdom of Morocco. The Foreign Ministry of Russia in its turn expects that Morocco will recognize Abkhazia. In this regard the REGNUM source in SADR noticed that Western Sahara representatives prefer to deal directly with the new countries, as they say. The next consultations round should be held this October in Spain. Also in the near future Polisario's representatives plan to establish work contacts with South Ossetia.

As REGNUM reported before, in early August 2008, the UN on the example of SADR practically abandoned the international law in resolving conflicts. In his interview to the Spanish Pais newspaper, UN Secretary Generals Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Peter van Walsum referring to the prospects for statehood of SADR protection from Morocco annexation said: It is necessary to comply with the international law, but also it is necessary consider political realities in this particular case Of course you can get a moral satisfaction from your support of those on whose side the law is, but you need understand that there you risk giving false hopes and prolonging the agony.

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North-Ossetian reporter: Information blockade needs to be broken to let the world know the truth on what happened in South Ossetia
13:00 09/11/2008

Residents of the South Ossetian settlement Satikari suffered as a result of the Georgian aggression. Houses are destroyed in the settlement, women, old men and children were killed, Tengiz Doguzov, a journalist from North Ossetia originated from Satikari, told a REGNUM correspondent on September, 11.

On August 9, 2008, the Georgian troops occupied my native village Satikari. Children, women and old men were forced to seek shelter in the forest. The Georgian aggressors opened massed fire on all escaping residents. My brother Leonid was killed while protecting them, Georgian soldiers slashed his body by submachine gun burst. Friends buried my brother in my parents vegetable garden in Satikari. Ten days later, he has been reinterred at the family cemetery. The house where my parents and brother with his family lived was strongly damaged during the massed fire. All houses were destroyed in the village. My parents took ill after the death of my brother, they have strong mental distress, said Tengiz Doguzov.

Today it hurts to see that many American and western mass media cover the tragic events in South Ossetia in a very biased and one-sided way. It hurt me when they kept silent when the Georgian military barbarously shot civilians and crashed our children, women and old men by tanks. And when Russia offered rebuff to the armed aggressor and started an operation on peace enforcement of Georgia, the western and American mass media raised a big smoke all over the world: Russia, they say, attacked a small democratic Georgia. What a lie! What hypocrisy! The western and American mass media were writing that the Russian Federation allegedly bombed Tskhinval, said the reporter.

According to Tengiz Doguzov, the task of all honest journalists is to breach the information blockade arranged by supporters of the Georgian president, to make the world know the truth about real events in South Ossetia.

On behalf of all suffered residents of South Ossetia I would like to sincerely thank the representatives of Ossetian national cultural centers and societies which helped to breach the information blockade and played an enormous role herein, reporting the objective information to their countries. I would like   also to sincerely thank my colleagues Russian journalists, which conducted big, difficult and even titanic work in order to collect information and documents proving the genocide and extermination of Ossetians took place, added the reporter suffering from the Georgian aggression.

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American analyst: Americans would have supported Abkhazia, if they had explained that Abkhazia is fighting for freedom


03:04 09/15/2008

I have always stood for the independence of Abkhazia, announced director of Russian and Asian programs of the Global Security Institute (USA) Nikolai Zlobin at a press conference in Moscow on September 14.

According to a REGNUM correspondent, the expert expressed hope that Abkhazia wont become a failed state and will be developing well. According to Zlobin, Abkhazia has a chance to build a democratic system. Abkhazia has all need prerequisites, American political suppose. Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh is the former anti-Kremlin candidate, he added.

South Ossetia has no such basis as Abkhazia does, constituent features are absent. Unlike with the Abkhazian case it's not obvious for the West, Zlobin notes. According to Zlobin, American people would have fully supported Abkhazians in the conflict with Georgia if it had been explained that the Abkhaz are fighting for their independence.

A different view was expressed by Ariel Cohen, Senior Research Fellow of the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Bagapsh said 50-60 thousands of Abkhaz live in Abkhazia now. Also there are 220 thousand of Georgian refugees who's under international law to return, he notes. Excuse the medical expression, this sort of tumor isn't recognized. If Abkhazia joins the Union State (of Russia and Belarus), the organization consisting of Russia, Belarus, Abkhazia and someone else will be very strange structure, said the expert. With regard to Mr. Kokoity, he initially explained the intention of South Ossetia to unite with North Ossetia, but just a half an hour later he was downed a peg. Kokoity is not considered as the head of an independent state, he's just an official for them, Cohen notes.

Anatol Lieven, terrorism and international relations research director, Kings College London (Britain), said in his turn that impossibility of the return of Abkhazia in Georgia is absolutely obvious. He also expressed doubt that return to Abkhazia of Georgian refugees is possible as the Abkhaz leadership will not allow the demographic threat.

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Gagauzia's Parliament recognizes Abkhazia and South Ossetia
16:14 09/19/2008

The People's Assembly of Gagauzia has recognized independence of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia at a session on September 19, 2008. The Gagauz Parliament also voiced its unconditional support for Russia's actions towards the republics, a source at the Assembly told a REGNUM correspondent.

Chair of the People's Assembly of the Gagauz Autonomy Anna Kharlamenko put for voting text of an address to the president and the parliament of Moldova calling to recognize the independence of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia saying the People's Assembly of Gagauzia recognized the independence of the republics. The address was adopted by a majority of 18 from 34 MPs. The decision was based on bilateral treaties signed by the self-determined Gagauz Republic with Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 1992-93.

Members of the ruling in Moldova Communist Party boycotted the session.

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