More Problems: Russia, Georgia

More stories from Taylor Gillen

Senior ToDo list
January 20, 2016
Livin’ Like Lavorata
January 12, 2016

In late January 2016, the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal authorized prosecutorsto probe alleged war crimes committed in 2008 by the Russian government and military. This is the first time that such a probe has been authorized outside of Africa. The allegations included “crimes against humanity, such as murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution, and war crimes, such as attacks against the civilian population, wilful killing.” (Yahoo News)

Since the war between Georgia and Russia ended in 2008, Russia has refused to let international visitors into South Ossetia and Abkhazia, violating a peace deal created at the end of the war between the two countries.

The country of Georgia has always had a relationship with Russia. Up until 1918 Georgia was part of the Russian Empire and from 1918-1921 the country had a short reign of freedom while it was independent.  Its independence only lasted for a short while before it was adopted as part of the Socialist Soviet Republic in 1921.  It persevered through its Soviet intervention and reemerged as an independent country 70 years later in 1991. Georgia and Russia have clearly had a rocky relationship for a long time.

South Ossetia broke away from the Georgia’s central government the same year it gained its independence.  Not only did one Province, South Ossetia, declare independence from Georgia but another resisting group, Abkhazia, did as well.  With two rebel Provinces within a country, it was hard to curb controversy.  While at war with its own people, Georgia was left unprepared for the invasion and impending war with long lost foe, Russia.

The war between Georgia and Russia lasted five days. South Ossetia was fighting with Georgian forces when their Ally for over a decade, Russia, invaded their small territory.  Georgia had agreed to station Russian troops within both provinces as peacekeepers for the previous 15 years.  Georgians and the rebels could not have imagined the betrayal after years of composure between the once rivaling countries.

Currently both provinces depend on Russia for economic survival and thousands of Russian troops occupy both provinces.