Charismatic Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili who swept to power in a bloodless revolt in Tbilisi and brought down Adzharia's rebellious leader Aslan Abashidze, has passed the peak of his political success and has started to lose. Disappointment is rising across Georgia. The arrested son-in-law of ex-President Eduard Shevardnadze paid a ransom to the authorities and was released as if it was hostage taking, not a judicial procedure. According to independent analysts, Georgia sees no fight against corruption but redistribution of property. Most Georgian democratic media which, backed Mikhail Saakashvili during the 'Revolution of Roses', are also disappointed. It turned out that it is necessary to speak the truth before the revolution and not after it.
The burden of unfulfilled obligations keeps growing. Adzharia's autonomy remains a phantom in spite of Tbilisi's promises. Georgia still lives on foreign doles. Mr. Saakashvili breaks his promises to Eduard Shevardnadze and Aslan Abashidze and this is unpopular in the Caucasus.
The process of Georgia's unification has slowed down and is escalating to an armed conflict. The new politically infantile leadership wants to solve the South Ossetian and Abkhazian problems as fast as that of Adzharia. However, there are differences. Adzhars never claimed independence seriously, while Ossetians and Abkhazians will rise in arms to defend their dream. That is why Russian peacekeepers were deployed in these regions long ago.
Warlike and self-confident statements by Georgian Interior Minister Irakly Okruashvili who does not take the South Ossetian uprising seriously can be explained by the same political infantilism. "They are not strong enough to stop the Georgian armed forces," the minister said. The Interior Minister should have known that in the Caucasus modern military hardware and well-armed people quickly emerge from nowhere.
Mikhail Saakashvili's gross blunder is that he seems to be deliberately marring relations with Russia. The ritual words of the Georgian leader that he hopes for Vladimir Putin's pragmatism can hardly make up for the Georgian actions against Russian peacekeepers and the whole country. At first Georgia stole some trucks with military hardware from Russian peacekeepers, thus violating all agreements within the framework of the mixed monitoring commission for the Georgian-Ossetian settlement. After that, it hampered humanitarian aid supplies (flour, infant food and medicines) to South Ossetia. Then the stolen hardware was placed by the headquarters of the Trans-Caucasian military district in Tbilisi, which did not take it. "They should take the property back to peacekeepers," a Russian serviceman told RIA Novosti.
The Russian Foreign Ministry seems to be sick and tired of reminding Tbilisi that Russia always came out for Georgia's territorial integrity and is ready to help Georgia but only by peaceful means, taking into account the interests of all sides.
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