Russian Project: "Clear Field" in Tskhinvali region
05/12/2009 17:39
Giorgi Tsiklauri
"The club of experts"

Information gathered by "the Club of Experts" on demographic and socio-economic situation in Tskhinvali region was validated from unexpected side. Albert Jusoev, well-known Russian oligarch and the main political rival of the current puppet regime mentioned figures that are very close to ours. In an interview published in December 2nd issue of the newspaper "Vremya Novstei", he said that after the war in so-called South Ossetia, 92% of the inhabitants left the area. According to Jusoev now there are 16-18 thousand residents, not counting Russian military personnel and other staff that were sent from Russia, left in the occupied region. A reason for this is despair. The main member of the Ossetian opposition illustrates the situation on the example of Java district, which was practically unaffected by the military actions. "We have recently handed out flour in Java district. There are 2800 people left, - says Jusoev - And there used to be about 30 thousand."

Let us quote again a man who is openly struggling for power in so-called South Ossetia and must be speaking truth about well-known things, if only because that otherwise he would lose support among local population. "It's the second winter that people are spending on the street. Villages are destroyed. Even where houses remained untouched they are often empty as people have left. Mountainous villages are almost empty, they are dying... Everyone who could leave has already done so. The most tragic fact is that they are leaving for good – for the North Ossetia, or for other regions of Russia. Only few have returned ... Mass exodus began only after the war. People spent the winter in appalling conditions and in summer they saw that they were not wanted, that nothing had changed, that the money was stolen. Instead of working there was just a constant search for enemies going on there. And essentially the main obligation was to feed people, provide warmth, and put warm cabins, to bring electricity and gas. During the course of this time a man himself would have begun building a house".

We should remind ourselves that this is not Georgian propaganda. This was said by a man with a very high regard in Moscow that goes up to the Kremlin, and who recently "helped himself to" 16 Gazprom billions on construction of gas pipeline from Russia to Tskhinvali across the Caucasus Range. At the same time it confirms obvious envy felt by many Ossetians towards Georgians, who became refugees after the war: "Almost all of them were provided with cottages, land, work, and material aid. Whoever steals money allocated for this cause is immediately put behind bars". At the same time, Albert Jusoev performing duty of "an Ossetian and a patriot", calls Georgia enemy, speaks of "genocide" and concludes: "It is impossible to talk with Georgia about a common home. We can not live together." But then he contradicts himself: "Nearly 10 thousand residents of South Ossetia, of which not all Georgians - 30% of them are Ossetians - moved to Georgia. And now they live on the territory of Georgia. "And, we should add to that they live among Georgian refugees - Georgians, common house with whom is supposedly impossible, and that who got accommodation, land, jobs and other assistance as urgently as it was possible.

Jusoev sees a way out of plight facing South Ossetians in full opening of borders with Russia, attracting competent administrators from Russia and private investments, for which, we should note, not even absence of corruption, but at least minimum order and a clear, understandable rules of game in Tskhinvali region is needed. And this puppet regime can not provide it so Albert Jusoev indicates the Ossetian opposition as possible saviours. But questions immediately spring up. Why cannot Russia, which controls everything on the occupied territories, compel Eduard Kokoiti to take simple steps for the benefit of the region? Is the head of Tskhinvali regime so intractable? Is not the entire "government" filled with "Varyags" sent from Russia? Is it a case of a tail wagging the dog? Just imagine what a pleasant picture it would have been: a prosperous South Ossetia (even if not very prosperous, at least with an elementarily established life and without runaway population) under the protection of Russia - the savior of freedom-loving small nations! Would it not be easier for the Kremlin to push Kokoiti into making some administrative and political moves instead of paying millions to PR companies to create such virtual image that always crashes when colliding with harsh reality? Or just take him down and put the same old Jusoev on the throne of Tskhinvali - Jusoev who indeed knows how to do business and to find a common language with all kinds of businessmen.

However, Moscow is not doing that and all this despite the fact that "people are spending on the street for the second winter" and little more than fifteen thousand people are left in the region. Why is this happening? The only logical answer is that this situation suits Russia. It suits Russia to such extent that Moscow sacrifices those political dividends on the international arena for the sake of it – political dividends that would have been brought by PR campaign at least somewhat supported by at least minimally developed "South Ossetia" - a tiny bit of land , whitewashing of which can be done in no time. Georgia had done it before the war, had not it? And Georgian resources are in no comparison with Russian ones. All the more that, infrastructural and socio-economic projects in Georgian villages of Great and Small Liakhvi Gorges were not whitewashing projects, but quite real ones.

Why does Russia need deserted Tskhinvali region? The answer lies in the region, which is located right in the heart of Georgia, cutting it into two parts, in the vicinity of Tbilisi. By looking at the map even a non-specialist will understand that for occupants this is an ideal military springboard, not only in the context of Georgia, and the entire South Caucasus. From so-called South Ossetia, Russian army could strike in almost all directions, taking advantage of favorable terrain and existing roads (while West Georgia may be covered by troop grouping of Abkhazia). Virtually any goal is in several hours' drive of the tank column. But this bridgehead connects with Russia with a narrow Roki Tunnel. There are also mountain passes, but they are almost impassable for large numbers of troops even in summer. And in winter they are tightly closed by snow and bad weather. Avalanches often block the TransCaucasian highway even without outside intervention, so winters severely limit the factor of Roki Tunnel. Therefore, grouping of occupational forces in Tskhinvali region should be large, able to "defend" the occupied territories and to threaten internal parts of Georgia, even in the absence of direct communication with Russia. Another advantage is that there is no need for preliminary mobilization of forces in case of realization of military plans and thus not giving enemy intelligence information and time for taking counter measures.

All this is well understood in Moscow and they are actively working to create a military infrastructure in Tskhinvali region. Expertclub.Ge and other open sources have enough information about large-scale construction of military bases and settlements, and pace of militarization of the occupied territory. In fact, the region has turned into one big Russian military base. And why would they need unreliable Ossetians on the territory of this base? After all, whatever "Ossetian patriots" are saying there at the household level a large part of local Ossetians are quite loyal to Georgians, and Georgian special services have never had much trouble to keep abreast of all developments on the territory of South Ossetia, and to even influence them. Therefore, these "unreliables" should be rid of or at least to bring their number to manageable levels.

Vain are hopes of Albert Jusoev and the rest of the Ossetians, that Moscow will be interested in plans to establish life in Tskhinvali region. Ossetians, who have chosen to be Russia's outpost in the Caucasus, are used according to intended purpose – they are being sacrificed to military and strategic plans of the Empire. That's why the population of "South Ossetia" is decreasing while the number of Russian troops in the region is growing and has become equal (if not exceeded) with the remnants of those "under defence". Those who can not leave, get a unique chance to serve as attendants without rights at military facilities of Russia in their own home. What fighting was for? ... Just to compare: the victims of "Georgian genocide" are about 160 people, almost all of whom were militants killed with weapons in hand; and the area that has been deserted by 92% compared to before in the course of six months of living over the "other side of friendly bayonets" of Russia. Which of these outcomes more resembles a crude propaganda sham operation "Clear Field ", which does not even have adequate translation into Georgian language? However, "Clear Field" in Russian language is well suited to characterize processes in the Tskhinvali region. After all, it's so convenient to do business in an open field when wishing to be shielded from prying eyes...

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