Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
“Stop Russia,” says the first. The second is a quotation from British World War Two leader Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never give up.”
Together, they sum up a national mood of grim defiance in Georgia after a short, disastrous war with Russia, followed by the loss of two provinces that have been outside Tbilisi’s control since the early 1990s but have now cemented their split by getting Moscow to recognise them as independent states under its protection.
Sitting in front of a row of Georgian and European Union flags, Saakashvili projects remarkable energy for a man under intense strain, three weeks into a national crisis. ”The first couple of days he didn’t sleep, we were all worried about him,” says a staffer in the presidential building.
Tension is mounting around the Black Sea following Russia’s recognition of two Georgian regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as independent states.
Russia said its navy was monitoring ”the build-up of NATO forces in the Black Sea area” as the U.S. Navy shipped humanitarian supplies to Georgia on Wednesday.
The people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia were celebrating on Tuesday after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree recognising the independence of the two regions.
Western leaders responded with harsh words. U.S. President George W. Bush said it increased world tensions and Britain called for “the widest possible coalition against Russian aggression in Georgia,” where the two regions lie.
The temperature at the United Nations Security Council hasn’t been this high in years — and it’s not because the U.N. management raised the thermostat slightly to cut electricity costs. It’s due to the heated exchange of insults and accusations between Russia and the United States, which has reached a fever pitch reminiscent of the Cold War years.
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad accused Russia on Sunday of using the Georgian incursion into Georgia’s breakaway enclave of South Ossetia as an excuse for a massive military assault against its tiny pro-Western neighbor whose ultimate goal is “regime change” in Tbilisi. He also assailed Moscow for waging a “campaign of terror” against the civilian population of Georgia, a former Soviet republic.
Is Kosovo to blame for the fighting in South Ossetia?
As a spokeswoman for separatist leader Eduard Kokoity told Reuters at the time: “The Kosovo precedent has driven us to more actively seek our rights.”