It seems to be a very heavy burden for Georgia to get rid of the terrorists hiding in Pankisi Gorge. The Georgian mass media have already reported that the large-scale scouring operation held in the settlement of Khalatsani in the Pankisi Gorge last week failed because of non-coordination between the Georgian military and security structures
Georgia’s Tribuna informs that the leaders of the special operation thought that Khalatsani would be encircled early in the morning, which, by the way, was successfully done by Russian troops from the Defense Ministry and Ministry of National Security. However, as the newspaper informs, about 150 Georgian policemen were late: they arrived to the site after the suspects already left with their weapons. The article says: “150 fat Georgian policemen failed to cover a 12 kilometer night route. They left the bulk of their ammunition right on the path, and servicemen picked it up next day.” According to a source of the newspaper, for the operation, the Ministry for Internal Affairs detached policemen who specialize in arresting prostitutes.
Georgia certainly rejects these facts and blames Moscow for its failure. Wasn’t that the Georgian military structures that declared they could cope with the terrorists independently? They rejected any help from the USA and Russia at that. What are the results? Where are the terrorists who have turned Pankisi Gorge into a piratical Tortuga where life follows its own bandit laws. Where are they? The Georgian government evidently prefers talking to doing. Head of the Georgian Interior Ministry press-service Paata Gomelauri told Interfax that the information about the failure of the operation was false and an obvious provocation. He says, a great amount of ammunition and weaponry has been withdrawn during the operation in Khalatsani. Earlier, it was reported that 12 Chechens were detained during the operation. However, the people were released in two days, as they turned out to be ordinary refugees.
Georgia is good at pretending that it is taking necessary steps. Yesterday’s PACE resolution made Georgia even stronger, or more insolent, whatever you like. Yesterday, September 25, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly passed a resolution saying that PACE thinks Russia has no right to launch a preemptive blow against Georgian terrorists for the sake of self-defense. It was mentioned in the text of the resolution that “article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations, the UN Security Council resolution #1269 of 1999 on international terrorism, and the UN Security Council resolution #1368 of 2001 prohibit the Russian Federation or any other state from using military force on Georgian territory.”
Russia’s media inform that head of the Russian delegation in PACE, Dmitry Rogozin, called the document a pro-terrorist resolution. He added that “majority of the European parliament are psychologically ready to surrender even before a war is declared.” He thinks that Georgia is a state actively sponsoring terrorism. He stated that the people behind the resolution are incompetent. He pointed out the fact that “the 51 article of the Charter of the United Nations allows for self-defense if a state is suffering from aggression.”
The European parliamentarians let the Georgian leadership push them around, despite the fact that the other day OSCE observers had a run-in with the very same terrorists for whose protection they voted on. This obviously lacks any logic.
The OSCE observers were detained on Georgian territory, one kilometer to the south of Russia’s border, on September 20. The observers saw 12 heavily armed people and several foxholes there. They were released the same day and returned to their base. Soon after the incident, the OSCE mission stopped its work in Georgia.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/09/26/47613.html