Revelations: Putin and Saakashvili
Russia’s invasion of Georgia is always on the agenda. Now at the fourth anniversary of the tragedy, Presidents Putin and Saakashvili have opened new details of the confrontation. Putin confessed that Russia according to his order has been preparing this plan more than a year in advance of the August events, whereas Saakashvili said that the NATO vessels entering Georgian ports brought not only humanitarian cargo. It appeared that before August 8 of 2008, the General Headquarters of the Russian Defense Ministry had prepared a plan of military action which was known to be the strategy against a possible attack of Tbilisi on South Ossetia.
According to the plan, Russia would train South Ossetian Armed Forces. This plan was confirmed at the beginning of 2007 by then President Putin. This revelation shed light on the fact that instead of carrying out the peacekeeping mission that was granted to Russia via the international mandate; they alternatively planned to train the separatist armed forces. Putin’s statement had a feeling of self-satisfaction on his side. Georgian officials immediately reacted, State Security Council Secretary Giga Bokeria called this an open and arrogant slip of the tongue and nobody has to doubt who the aggressor was. Deputy FM Sergi Kapanadze says that Putin’s words have shown that the Russian Federation violated all the international agreements and commitments.
Putin’s words were interpreted differently. The official opinion of the ruling party members was that from now on nobody should have any doubt as to who started the war. During his speech in Poti, President Saakashvili repeated these words. Moreover, he stated that Europe and America assisted Georgia during the war days adding that apart from the humanitarian cargo the ships were caring while entering Georgia’s ports, there was other more convincing equipment.
The analysts commenting on Tbilisi’s reaction suggested that Putin’s revelations added even more to the standpoint of the Georgian opposition saying that Georgia got trapped by Russian provocation. Indeed Russia had planned these provocations long ago, waited for the scenario and let the events happen in their desired manner. The Georgian leadership however, was unprepared for such developments and could not avoid the consequences. As for the revelations from Saakashvili side, some suggest they seriously undermine the reliability of the Georgian President from a NATO perspective.