The lessons of the 2008 Georgia conflict went unheeded by Washington and Kiev File photo: Georgian troops retreat towards Tbilisi, August 11, 2008. © Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
The West is treating Ukraine the same way it treated Georgia, as a proxy against Russia to be used and abandoned, Moscow’s deputy envoy to the UN Dmitry Polyansky has said.
August 8 is a “sad day in Georgian history,” Polyansky tweeted on the anniversary of the 2008 conflict. “It’s very hard to rectify the bloody mistakes of [the] Saakashvili regime which acted in 2008 as a puppet of the West. Now Saakashvili is in prison in Georgia but his poisonous legacy is still felt.”
The “Kiev regime is doing a far more nefarious mistake right now naively hoping that the West will not abandon it after NATO’s proxy war with Russia until the last Ukrainian,” Polyansky added. “And Washington and its allies are still bringing death and devastation to the post-Soviet space in their futile neo-colonial geopolitical crusade against Russia.”
Mikhail Saakashvili became the president of Georgia in the US-backed ‘Rose revolution’ in 2003. In August 2008, as the world’s attention was on the Beijing Olympics, he launched an attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia, hoping to overwhelm the Russian peacekeeping battalion stationed there since the 1990s.
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Moscow’s quick reaction surprised both Tbilisi and Washington. Georgia’s Western-trained military was dismantled within five days. Saakashvili lost the 2012 election and went to the US, then to Ukraine after the US-backed coup in Kiev.
Russia’s president at the time, Dmitry Medvedev, also commented on the anniversary of the conflict. In a Telegram post, he said that Saakashvili had been a proxy of the West, “which was trying to stir up the situation in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders even then.”
Washington and its vassals are “once again waging a criminal war by proxy” against Russia, Medvedev added. “Just like in August 2008, our enemies will be crushed, and Russia will achieve peace on its own terms.”
The US and NATO have sent over $100 billion worth of weapons, equipment and ammunition to Kiev, as well as cash to keep the Ukrainian government afloat, while insisting they were not a party to the conflict with Russia. Earlier this year, they supplied modern Western tanks to the Ukrainian military, with the expectation of a grand spring-summer offensive that would push the Russians into the sea.
Kiev launched the offensive in early June, but has achieved little while losing 5,000 vehicles and 43,000 soldiers, according to Russian Defense Ministry estimates. Earlier this week, senior US and Western officials told CNN that it was “extremely, highly unlikely” the Ukrainians could make progress on the battlefield that could change the balance of the conflict. (RT)