Two sides to the story of Russia’s advance into Georgia: The East

Mikhail Gorbachev sees the Russian - Georgia conflict very differently, also writing in The Washington Post:

“The Georgian military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali with multiple rocket launchers designed to devastate large areas. Russia had to respond. … To accuse it of aggression against ‘small, defenseless Georgia’ is not just hypocritical but shows a lack of humanity.

“Mounting a military assault against innocents was a reckless decision. The Georgian leadership could do this only with the perceived support and encouragement of a much more powerful force. Georgian armed forces were trained by hundreds of U.S. instructors, and its sophisticated military equipment. This, coupled with the promise of NATO membership, emboldened Georgian leaders into thinking that they could get away with a "blitzkrieg" in South Ossetia.

“In other words, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was expecting unconditional support from the West. … Now that the Georgian military assault has been routed, both the Georgian government and its supporters should rethink their position.”

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