Posted by: Dark Defender | October 21, 2008

Russia plans to stay

Russian troops take up position in South Ossetia in August, note Putin propaganda already in place.

Russian troops take up position in South Ossetia in August, note Putin propaganda already in place.

This doesn’t exactly come as a suprise:

RUSSIA will establish permanent military bases in the Georgian separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abhazia next year, the chief of the Russian general staff said today.

“I think it will take us at least a year to set up these bases so that they fully meet our aims,” General Nikolai Makarov told the Interfax news agency.

He was speaking on his return from Helsinki where he had met his US counterpart Admiral Michael Mullen.

“I think their establishment will be completed in 2009,” he said.

He estimated that 3700 troops would be deployed in each of the two bases in the framework of the agreements with the two countries.

The bases “were aimed above all at defending our interests and those of these republics,” Mr Makarov said.

Russia recognised the two breakaway territories on August 26 after a brief war at the beginning of the month when Georgia tried to re-establish control over South Ossetia.

In September Moscow signed cooperation agreements with the two territories allowing it to set up military bases in them.

It had previously said it would station 3800 troops in each.

Under the cooperation and mutual assistance agreements with South Ossetia and Abkhazia Russia has undertaken to defend their borders with the rest of Georgia.

 

As I said not surprising but still significant, the Russian presence used to be in the form of temporarily permanently “peacekeeping”  mission which was established in the early 90s.  Now Russia is expressly basing its presence on the invitation of the two breakaway Republics and making no secret they plan to stay.

Thus the first partition of Georgia is now complete, the Russians are now permanently established within what used to be Georgian soil, rendering the rest of the country and its vital oil pipeline indefensible. 

I  think the  big Georgia question is now, how does Russia deal with the rump of Georgia? Will they confront the US and force Georgia into early vassal hood? Or will Putin take the slow safe road and use their political, military and economic leverage they have over the country to make continued defiance of Moscow prohibitively expensive and dangerous, thereby slowly forcing them into vassal hood.

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