Georgia, Russia: More Reports On the Conflict From Russophone Bloggers

See Global Voices special coverage page on the South Ossetia crisis.

Blogging from Poti, a Georgian port city whose “oil terminal, port facilities and a nearby railroad junction” were attacked by Russian fighter jets shortly after midnight Saturday, 27-year-old LJ user pepsikolka, an ethnic Russian citizen of Georgia, posted these hurried reports (RUS) on Aug. 8 and 9:

Aug. 8, 2008 – 1:23 PM

My colleagues have been drafted, some of them early in the morning, I'm shocked, can't understand what's going on and where to look for the truth – Georgian channels say one thing, Russian say something else, what's going to happen???

***

Aug. 9, 2008 – 12:50 AM:

The port has been bombed, we're sitting in the street, scared, they say some people have been wounded. Pray for us.

[…]

alchutoff:

[…] That's ours [Russians] who are bombing you, right?

pepsikolka:

Oh God. I don't know, but that's what they are saying.

***

Aug. 9, 2008 – 1:07 AM:

They are done bombing the port, we're out in the street, God save us.

***

Aug. 9, 2008 – 11:48 AM:

It was quiet during the night, but no one went to bed. There's no TV, we're reading the news from our phones. Scary. My friend, a colleague, has been wounded, and there are the dead ones, seven people from the port, they say, and there are also the dead among those mobilized after the bombing. I've no reason to lie, and those commenters who have doubts just don't know anything about me, I am Russian myself, and that's why I'm writing about facts here, so that you knew, we are alive, but scared. I want peace and this is all.

***

Aug. 9, 2008 – 2:20 PM:

[…] The city is nearly empty, I've stayed, [because] I've got my pets, and mama doesn't want to go anywhere. We are home. There's not a single drop of gasoline in the city. Panic. Ships are honking often. […]

[…]

antifalsehood:

[…] You were the ones who got yourselves involved in the slaughter, you trust your [Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili] and his circle, and here's what you get. Of course, I don't believe that everyone is as much of a bastard as your [Saakashvili] is, but you'll sure answer for the thousands of dead Ossetians. Watch your asses since you've got no souls anymore.

night_the_only:

Do you understand what you are saying and to whom?

pepsikolka:

I didn't want to get into it, as I feel I'll get a full load for it, but still, I'll say it – why do you assume that we support Saakashvili and do not condemn what's been done in Tskhinvali? Here're the people sitting here, some of them support [Saakashvili], others don't, but the bomb sees no difference between those who supported him and those who didn't.

(A more detailed post by LJ user pepsikolka, written on Aug. 10, will be translated later tonight.)

Oleg Panfilov – LJ user oleg_panfilov, director of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations – happened to be spending his vacation in Georgia. He posted this comment (RUS) about air strikes on the Georgian town of Gori, carried out by the Russian forces on Saturday morning:

A few hours after I had passed Gori, the “peacekeepers’ fighter jets” hit the town. One plane was downed – one pilot died, the other was arrested and is being interrogated.

It's hard to understand what they are trying to achieve by hitting [outside of] South Ossetia, but it looks like Russia is becoming more and more like the Soviet Union…

If someone in the Kremlin hopes that this will split Georgia and the Georgian society, they are deeply mistaken – all the opposition leaders announced their support for [Mikheil Saakashvili]. Even [Irakli Okruashvili], the [dismissed former] minister of defense, said he was ready to go to South Ossetia as an ordinary soldier.

[…]

There is no panic in Tbilisi, but many friends are calling me, incredulous – they [knew Russia was capable of a lot], but [to act like this]… […]

A day earlier, on Aug. 8, LJ user tanelorn asked a question (RUS) about the situation in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, in the tbiliseli LJ community, set up for “all those who consider [Tbilisi their native city]:

Are things quiet in Tbilisi? How does it all reflect on the life in the city?

Here are some responses:

le_petit_tank:

It was quiet during the day, although, of course, people do worry. They are listening to all newscasts on all available channels – Russian and Georgian. And in between the news, we were watching the opening of the Olympics. They say they were catching people right in the street and sending them to draft centers. But I won't risk asserting that this is actually so…

satis_fiction:

My brother called me and said that they'd announced mobilization. He went to sign up, there were many like him there, who came by themselves.

[…]

vtar_vtar:

I don't think it has [affected life in the city] in any way. Of course, it was somewhat strange to see how in small open-air cafes they were playing news on TV instead of [pop music] videos. And, of course, those families that had their boys drafted are worried. Otherwise, nothing special.

28-year-old Tbilisi-based LJ user shupaka wrote (RUS) about an unpleasant sense of déjà vu, brought about by the announcement of mobilization of the troops in Georgia; the current situation has reminded her of the conflicts that Georgia had found itself in in the early 1990s:

…and one more observation, totally silly: the word “mobilization” inspires the same disgust in me as it did when I was a child. Doesn't matter if you're 13 or 28.

North Ossetia-based LJ user alan-tskhurbaev wrote (RUS) about a mobilization of a different kind, supposedly taking place in South Ossetia now:

[North Ossetian] volunteers in [South Ossetia].

There are many of them. And I have to admit that I was mistaken, thinking that in case of a war only a few would show up. A friend has just returned from the border […], says many people are crowding there, arriving in their own cars. They are letting everyone in, at their own risk. At least one car goes through every few minutes, he says. He even said that some guys went there in their new BMW X5. Ossetians have not deserted each other. Turns out that in peaceful times we dislike each other, act arrogantly towards some, make fun of others. But as soon as a war begins (and Ossetians have probably lost count of all their wars by now) – we are together. […]

Elsewhere in the Russophone blogosphere, there seems to be plenty of confusion about what's actually going on in South Ossetia and Georgia now. Take, for example, this post from last night (RUS) in the ru_politics LJ community, by LJ user er_v, and some of the comments it generated:

Can anyone tell me whether there are Russian troops in [Tskhinvali] or not?

***

mr_quietest:

Judging by everything, no.

[…]

beekjuffer:

Judging by what?

deneb_altay:

There are, don't worry.

nurmanov:

[Judging] by many things: the lack of pictures, the demands of the Russian journalists to allow them safe passage out of Tskhinval…

[…]

er_v:

No, but if we took Tskhinvali, they would definitely show it on the news. […]

beekjuffer:

We already took it. Then Georgians took something, too. Then we were pushing them out. Judging by everything, it will continue like this for a long time.

[…]

elf_ociten:

And the Roksky Pass [on the Trans-Caucasus Highway] has been blown up, too :)

mr_quietest:

Not sure.

[…]

Regarding the alleged destruction of the Roksky Pass, LJ user som, a Russia-based Georgian, posted this item (RUS) last night:

URGENT

ON SATURDAY EVENING, AUGUST 9, GEORGIAN TROOPS BLEW UP ROKSKY PASS, THROUGH WHICH HUMAN PERSONNEL AND MILITARY EQUIPMENT WERE BEING SENT FROM RUSSIA TO THE FIGHTING ZONE IN TSKHINVALI REGION.

Some two hours and about 50 comments later, however, LJ user som admitted (RUS) that there had been no confirmation of this report and that this could be part of the “information war.”

29 comments

  • Branislav

    Ivan Completely support, your opinion. Mr. Saakashvili is responsible for tragedy which happens in Georgia and he should be prosecuted in the Hag, together with all Georgian leadership for all victims there, not only Osetins, but also Georgians. He was paid by who? to test Russian power. Ok he tested Russia and now he should take responsibilities for their steps.

  • […] Iedere minuut passeert er een auto met vrijwillige Noord-Osseetse strijders de grens, ze komen zelfs in hun BMW X5… Maar ook een etnische Rus in de Georgische havenstad Poti wordt geciteerd, hij realiseert zich dat […]

  • Jacquelyn B.D.

    Reading this, I am just sorry for all the innocents, we ordinary citizens who must flee any war, any bombing, anywhere in the world. I think of those with children, the elderly, those who are ill or infirm, in wheelchairs, or those whose minds no longer understand the world, and what of them, what do they do to avoid all this mayhem in the world? Those who just want to live and work at what they love and send their children to school each day and that our grandparents may have good memory of life to share. I just want peace, peace everywhere for a few hours and days, all over the world, without the stress and hatred, without the politics and government, without the greed and corporations and those who use power and force.
    I’m sorry for everyone in this mess and I wish I could wave a wand and end the warfare now, that humans could live in peace.
    Peace – an endangered quality on the Earth we share.
    This from one middle-aged American woman living in Oregon, USA, who is sad by this war and all the other wars…

  • Ivan

    There are new photos from Osetia… very cruel photos… be carefull to see it…. ((
    http://tskhinvali.org/photogallery.html

    Photos show HOW georgians do their business … This is a real GENOCIDE of Osetians.
    just look and try to say something against it…

    Is any georgian town destroyed like Tshinvali (the capital of S.Osetia) ????

  • Ivan

    American hackers cracked this site…
    So try to find photos from OSETIA by yourself…

  • vacantsoul666

    the funniest thing is, EVERYONE everywhere that takes part in our active PRESENT made a HUMAN CHOICE. thats what put us all here…. the only person you can blame is yourselfs we all made our choices, and chose to be right where we are at…the thing we seem to forget most is I as a western AM consisted of the same few things just like anyone and everyone.flesh/blood my body is not constucted no different than anyone elses anywhere!!!!and in the mix of materials I LIVE as well as you all, i was givin the gift of life to experience, interact,and choice…to point a finger is speculation to listen to another is also, you know what is real by what you see, allowing another to change your choice, you yourself have just chosen to take a diffrent path…..forgive them for they know not what they do,…time and time again we will destroy others with the pointing of our fingers….a note not to forget is those givin power use that power, those with power hate to lose that power….I AM HUMAN…..OURS as our SELFS chose to prevail, two minds think better than one, three better than two. THe Earths People will change as a whole by working as a whole, we have obviously made a choice at some point in time of our current state of consciousness, to work seperately and experience seperation, to add context to who i am you have seperated me but at the same time seperated your SELF a hard and lonely journey for the ultimate survival of a living creature…WHY must a scientist dig in the ground to try and FIGURE out WHO WE ARE…what makes US look up into the dark sky at night and makes us wonder/question, why as a species of animal/mammal/living entity would i FORGET who I AM to continually slow myself down?????….things in our reality dont make sense because we chose not to admit our own choices, speculation and seperation, weaken who we are ALLOWING others to make our choices giving our freedoms… as a sole “russian” could you yourself stand in front of the “russian” ~soldier who moved into the land of another man and said “ichose for you to stop”would he have stopped. an “american” as a sole Have stopped the invasion of the “iraq land mass by the “americans” no but i see as a whole there would have been no america china,russia,canada,france,germany, jew, muslim,buddist,black,white,brown. you all sound scared if a world war 3 would happen but it is what we are all waiting to see is it not that strikes fear in all of mans gut we wrote it in our books in the past so we can try and remember it in the future that we have made a single choice as a group to push ourselfs to this always fringing thought of our own end….alone we are weak anyways……..sadly no matter what everyone knowsit is inevitable we have created/manifested the tools the seperations we wrote it down to warn ourselfs and we can NOW no longer Lie to our own selfs that we made this happen……….The One And Only THing Though That can save us after our manifestion has happened is hopefully a choice{learn from this and these experiences now and interact together to make a choice that is for the whole of the human race so we can survive to be alive to even have that choice}……..the future is never set that is important to know anything can happen again its what we decide to do….and we can change our choices to completely remove ones that we have previously and are making………eliminate Your OWn Individuality of being different and or seperate and remove all the choices,we have made to make this sad scary present perseption of life and reality destroying the tools and lines that bind us to right nows inevitable future for a united together we will stand unstoppable peserving each others exsistance forward……i`d personally like to visit other planets in the amazing universe we live in and do it with other humans and enjoy living,exploring,learning,and GROWING……..Earth cannot Mother Life Forever…theres more important things at hand that we cant control id like to feel i was a sophisticated animal that was ever persistant in my quest to get to the top of the things i wish i knew,instead of believed were real/truth……….

  • Alvin

    I agree. Georgia chose to suckle up to some countries and antagonise its huge neighbore. She then foolishly attacked her own citizens to provide others with a reason to invade. SO STUPID!!

    The world is like an organization. Make friends, not enemies, especially with powerful people.

  • […] – Samira Kuznetsova, a resident of [Poti], whose other posts have been featured on Global Voices here and here – wrote this (RUS) about her recent experience at the Russian-language social networking […]

  • RBG

    Russia-vs-Georgia.com – visitor can vote there for one of the conflict sides. Now Russia leading – only 20% of visitors support Georgia.

    And there is more then 2000 comments about war in South Osetia – interesting to read opposite opinions –

    http://www.russia-vs-georgia.com/

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