Medvedev on the possible incorporation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia into Russia
To annex Georgian territories to Russia
Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has published an article in the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper entitled “Unlearned Lessons” in which he calls Georgia an “aggressor” and says that Moscow “will not hesitate” and is ready to annex Abkhazia and South Ossetia to Russia.
After the Georgian-Abkhazian armed conflict in 1992-1993, a collective CIS peacekeeping force fully manned by Russian servicemen was deployed in the conflict zone. After the 5-day Georgian-Russian war in August 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries.
Georgia considers these territories occupied by Russia; there are no diplomatic relations between the two countries. The independence status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has been recognised by Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria. The UN and the rest of the international community considers Abkhazia and South Ossetia as separatist regions of Georgia.
“Of course, it is better when such events serve as a good lesson for hostile observers. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. And with a persistence worthy of much better use, the Western world is stepping on the same rake time after time. With invariable and well-predictable results.
The bloody war that NATO is now waging against us in Ukraine by the hands of the Kiev regime, and in which our enemies are bogged down up to their ears, confirms this with all clarity. It is clear already now how it will end: with Kiev’s ignominious defeat, just as the Georgian aggressors did in their time.
And in the future – quite likely – the disappearance of the state of Ukraine, artificially created on the wreckage of the USSR, from the political map of the world. […]
It seems that for the United States and its henchmen the territory of the former Soviet Union is a “country of unlearned lessons”.
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- “Saakashvili wanted to begin with Abkhazia” – Opinion on the August 2008 War
- August, 2008. Chronology of the war over South Ossetia in facts and photos
Medvedev writes insults against Mikhail Saakashvili, who was president of Georgia during the period when the August 2008 war took place. “I believe that 15 years ago there would not have been any war if not for the irresponsible, criminal behaviour of Saakashvili and those who supported him.”
Medvedev also writes half a page of insults against Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
“Russophobes in Tbilisi”
“Recent speeches of Russophobes in Georgia show that this public still counts on revenge. Although […] the majority of Georgian residents are much more comfortable living in peace with our state. Russia is next door, America is across the ocean. For Georgia, a country with a rich culture, linked to Russia by thousands of threads, Russophobia is nonsense, ugliness, a serious disease,” Medvedev writes.
And adds: “This disease, fortunately, is quite curable.”
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How Medvedev sees a solution to the conflicts in Georgia
According to Medvedev, Georgia has been “carrying out a blatant genocide of the Ossetian people” for many years. Medvedev blames the Georgian side for the events of 2008, saying that Tbilisi “committed aggression with the aim of returning unruly South Ossetia to the borders of a hostile state.”
“The Georgian army, despite all the ‘modernisation’, during the days of fighting showed its complete lack of capacity and was absolutely demoralised.”
And he offers a way to resolve conflicts:
“We do not need a repetition of the history of 2008. We are still ready to solve problems at the negotiating table in the spirit of the UN Charter. But if our concerns take real shape, we will not hesitate.
In Abkhazia and South Ossetia the idea of joining Russia is still popular. And it may well be realized if there are good reasons for it.”
Not everyone in South Ossetia agrees with the intention to abandon the idea of independence and become part of Russia, but they are a clear minority. Referenda on this topic have been tried several times, in 1992, 2014, 2017 and 2022.
In Abkhazia, the idea of abandoning independence has so far been viewed negatively by a majority of the population.