WikiLeaks: Georgia Didn’t Start The War With Russia

There is nothing new in the WikiLeaks material on Georgia. It only reconfirms the fact that Georgian military forces were mobilized late on August 7 in response to Russian aggression. There was no build up of Georgian forces before that time. In addition, Russia has been waging a covert war against Georgia since at least 2004.

Note this line by U.S. Ambassador to Georgia John Tefft: “From evidence available to us it appears the South Ossetians started today’s fighting.” This finding has been confirmed by subsequent inquiries into the war. Russia controlled and armed the separatists, who started the conflict by firing large caliber artillery weapons at Georgian villages.

“[Saakashvili’s spokesperson, Manana Manjgaladze] also commented briefly on the world’s current most topical issue that is Monday’s release by Wikileaks of classified information including recordings of secret conversations between world leaders, some of which referred to the events of August 2008. According to the materials released, the decision to open fire on so called South Ossetia was not made by the Georgian authorities and all responsible Georgian officials, who might have done so, were on vacation at that time. They were mobilized only on August 7. Manjgaladze said, “What has been released concerning Georgia, that we were not the initiators of the war, was well known by the world for a long time.” ”

‘Georgia backed by Wikileaks release’
http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2246_december_1_2010/2246_gvanca.html

“C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001336 SIPDIS DEPT FOR EUR/CARC E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/07/2018 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, RU, GG SUBJECT: SITREP 1: FIGHTING IN SOUTH OSSETIA ESCALATES Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). 1. (C)

3. (C) Comment: All the evidence available to the country team supports Saakashvili’s statement that this fight was not Georgia’s original intention. Key Georgian officials who would have had responsibility for an attack on South Ossetia have been on leave, and the Georgians only began mobilizing August 7 once the attack was well underway. As late as 2230 last night Georgian MOD and MFA officials were still hopeful that the unilateral cease-fire announced by President Saakashvili would hold. Only when the South Ossetians opened up with artillery on Georgian villages, did the offensive to take Tskhinvali begin. Post has eyes on the ground at the Ministry of Interior command post in Tbilisi and will continue to provide updates. The Embassy held an EAC and will hold another to reasses the situation by COB. We have issued a warden message and are looking at the situation very carefully. If the Georgians are right, and the fighting is mainly over, the real unknown is what the Russian role will be and whether there is potential for the conflict to expand. End comment.”

‘Wikileaks – War in Georgia: Fight was not Georgia’s original intention’
http://matiane.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/wikileaks-war-in-georgia-fight-was-not-georgia-s-intention/

“The cable dealing with the Russian-Georgian conflict sheds particular light on the origins of the 2008 war. At the time, some international observers accused Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili of provoking Russia, and sparking the war. Russian troops today remain in the Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But the cable shows that at least the U.S. ambassador in Tblisi believed Russia was conducting a war of its own against Georgia. In an interview, Giga Bokeria, Georgia’s national security adviser, declined to comment on the cable. However, he told The Washington Times that Russia’s covert war against his country has been under way since Georgia’s independence in 1991, and that the campaign intensified in 2004 when the pro-West Mr. Saakashvili became president.”

‘Russia waged covert war on Georgia starting in ’04’
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/2/russia-waged-covert-war-on-georgia-starting-in-04/

‘WikiLeaks cables claim Russia armed Georgian separatists’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-russia-georgian-separatists

WikiLeaks ‘Cablegate’
http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/

3 December, 2010

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