Thursday, August 21, 2008

Georgia and Russia: Thursday 2008-08-21 updates

It's been quite a week, what with the cease-fire, a supposed Russian withdrawal, sacking of Georgian military bases, warships steaming to and fro, bridges blowing up, SS-21 launchers hitting the highway, threats against Poland, Abkhazian diplomatic maneuvering, pissing matches with NATO, Russian grandstanding and so forth. And despite the energy cards that Russia still holds in its hands, other NATO members are making the sorts of statements that allies tend to make.

Unsurprisingly, the Russian military is still very Russian. Yah, lots of infantry and armor in close-quarters combat, and vulnerable but effective aircraft in the sky. No, no UAVs or modern stand-off capability. But the Russian soldiers on the ground are a largely professional volunteer force, unlike the demoralized conscripts from the Chechen wars.

If Putin wants a new cold war, he has one. The real question is what else Russia is going to do, since Europe and the US are on the receiving end this time.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Georgia and Russia: Thursday 2008-08-14 updates

Washington Post: Russian Troops Hold Key Georgian City

The Russians aren't going back, and they aren't letting go.

Following the events of the past week, "One can forget about any talk about Georgia's territorial integrity," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Associated Press reported from Moscow. "It is impossible to persuade South Ossetia and Abkhazia to agree with the logic that they can be forced back into the Georgian state."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met Thursday with leaders of the separatist movements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and pledged to support them in discussions about the future of the two disputed regions.

"We will support any decision made by the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia," Medvedev said, following a meeting in which the separatist leaders signed the French cease-fire plan in Moscow.

BBC: US forces to deliver Georgia aid

And the US is going in.

President George W Bush has said the US will use military aircraft and naval forces to deliver aid to Georgia following its conflict with Russia. Photo Essay: Russian Army in South Ossetia

from the new home of

No dramatic photo compositions here, just grim pictures of burnt-out tanks, spent RPGs, charred human remains and columns of Russian armored machinery on patrol in South Ossetia and Georgia.

Also check out their previous report on The CNN Effect: Georgia schools Russia in Information Warfare and The War Nerd's piece on South Ossetia, The War of My Dreams.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Coverage of Georgian situation

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up shop on following Russian hijacking of official Georgian websites, and is issuing press releases, official timelines of events, and schedules for conference calls and telephone briefings w/ Mikhail Saakashvili and the Georgian National Security Commission.

Blog that tracks Russian Business Network (RBN) activity, now providing technical details on "cyberwarfare" conducted by Russians against Georgian targets. Attacks originating from Russia have hijacked Internet (BGP) routing to Georgian netblocks, taken Georgian DNS servers offline and have exploited and taken control of web servers utilized by the Georgian government.