View Full Version : Georgian troops 'launch mutiny'

Magda Hassan
05-05-2009, 11:41 AM
Georgian troops 'launch mutiny'

Georgia's Shota Utiashvili: 'There is a strong link to the Russian Special Services'

A tank battalion has mutinied at a military base near Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, the government has said.
Some 30 tanks and armoured personnel carriers were sent to the Mukhrovani military base, eyewitnesses said.
A top official later told Reuters the mutiny was over. Tbilisi said it was part of a Russia-linked coup attempt to kill President Mikhail Saakashvili.
Russia's envoy to Nato described the charges as "mad". The trouble comes a day before Nato exercises in Georgia.
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has condemned Nato for planning military exercises in a country "where there was just a war".
Georgia and Russia have poisonous relations, and fought a war over Georgia's breakaway territory of South Ossetia last August.
In a separate development, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he would not attend a planned meeting of the Nato-Russia Council later this month following the alliance's expulsion of two Russian diplomats last week.
They were expelled reportedly in retaliation for a spy scandal involving an Estonian official.
'Plotter at large'
The mutiny at the Mukhrovani base, some 30km (20 miles) from Tbilisi, erupted on Tuesday morning, when soldiers began disobeying orders, Georgian officials said.
The soldiers were aiming at "disrupting Nato exercises and overturning the authorities militarily", Georgian Defence Minister David Sikharulidze told Georgian television.
It was not immediately known how many soldiers were taking part in the mutiny.
"The rebellion continues. Law enforcement agents are on the scene," Mr Sikharulidze said.
The mutiny broke out as the government announced it had disrupted a coup plot.
The interior ministry told the BBC that the plotters wanted to destabilise Georgia and assassinate President Saakashvili.
Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said one of the suspected coup leaders - former special forces commander Georgy Gvaladze - was arrested. But he an alleged co-plotter - former chief of special forces Koba Otanadze - was still at large.
The spokesman said the government had been aware of the plot for two months.
The rebellion appeared to be "co-ordinated with Russia", the interior ministry said.
But Dmitry Rogozin, Moscow's ambassador at military alliance, said the mutiny in Georgia was the result of "crazy politics of President Saakashvili".
In a separate development, opposition protests are continuing in Tbilisi.
The demonstrators say they plan to bloc three main roads into the capital later on Tuesday.


David Guyatt
05-06-2009, 08:36 AM

Nato to begin Georgia exercises
By Tom Esslemont
BBC News, Tbilisi


Nato is to start a series of military exercises in Georgia, a day after the government thwarted an attempt by its own soldiers to stage a mutiny.

Soldiers from 18 countries are taking part in the drills at a Georgian army base close to the capital, Tbilisi.

But Russia has said the exercises amount to a provocation.

They come just nine months after Russia's short war with Georgia and are taking place close to areas where Russian troops are stationed.

More than 1,000 soldiers will take part in the exercises over a period of more than three weeks.

For Georgia, which has been promised eventual Nato membership, they are a sign that, despite doubts over its candidate status after last year's war with Russia, it has not been forgotten.

Russia views the exercises as a provocation and has turned down an invitation to send observers.

In recent days its security forces have officially begun patrolling the border between South Ossetia, the epicentre of last summer's conflict, and Georgia.

The Georgian government has repeatedly said Russia's actions are to blame for raising tension in the region.

It also accuses Moscow of backing the mutiny at an army base on Tuesday and supporting an alleged coup plot. Russia has denied the allegations.

The Georgian government is hopeful that the Nato exercises will give it a chance to prove to its Western allies that it can host an important international event without further disturbances.

Magda Hassan
05-06-2009, 08:42 AM
Very provocative. Armenia has withdrawn from the 'exercises' because of the mutiny. As has Serbia though for other reasons (Russian support over the Kosovo Anschluss) Maybe others will follow. Imagine if they made a war and no one came?

David Guyatt
05-06-2009, 11:35 AM
Imagine if they made a war and no one came?
Er, sorry, Mein General, but I have a prior appointment with my Scottish interior designer.

Bruce Clemens
05-07-2009, 03:39 AM
It's more than just "Peace keeping practice".

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7557049.stm

A cluster of major pipelines pass through Georgia...
...the existing Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline (BTE) carries some six billion cubic metres of gas a year (bcm/y) to Turkey, some of which is then forwarded to Greece.
The European Union is also backing proposals for development of essentially parallel lines to carry as much as a further 30 bcm/y of gas from Turkmenistan, and perhaps Kazakhstan.

Because transit through such a corridor bypasses Russia, it offers advantages to both Caspian producers and European consumers.

From http://newenergynews.blogspot.com/2008/08/georgias-pipelines-and-europes-choice.html

The South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) is a natural gas line running along the same route as the BTC from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey. Controlled by a non-Russian consortium, it represents a crucial circumvention of Russia as Europe’s natural gas supplier. ...Germany, as one example, gets 40% of the natural gas it depends on for warmth in the winter through the SCP...

From http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/2524629/Georgia-pays-price-for-its-Nato-ambitions.html

...membership of the Atlantic Alliance for both Georgia and Ukraine was not a matter of "if" but "when"...
Georgia's fate is about the future world order...

From http://www.jcm.org.uk/blog/?p=1822

...the proposed route of the Nabucco pipeline, designed pretty much exclusively to prevent Russia from being able to play politics with European energy supply, as has already happened in Ukraine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E2%80%93Ukraine_gas_dispute) and elsewhere - including, ahem… Georgia... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4637034.stm) For more on Nabucco’s significance, check out this handy report (http://portal.wko.at/?335382) (warning, PDF), ... demonstrating how Nabucco is intended to be “the missing link” between the giant gas sources of Central Asia and the dwindling gas supplies/rising demand of Europe.

And so it should all begin to come clear. The West wants Georgia for its strategic value as one of the links in the Caucasian energy chain - the only route from Central Asia to Europe that doesn’t involve passing through less than reliable countries like Russia or Iran. The only supply route for non-European natural gas that will not be under Russian control... and a direct competitor to Russia’s own planned Blue Stream pipeline (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Stream).

Peter Presland
05-09-2009, 06:41 AM
From Rick Rozoff at Global research:

NATO War Games In Georgia: Threat Of New Caucasus War (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ROZ20090508&articleId=13547)

Good article with the following snippet very telling indeed:

That the last two series of planning exercises and war games have been scheduled in the South Caucasus, and the current one in a nation that not only borders Russia but fought a five-day war with it only nine months ago, and that the military bloc running the exercises and its main member, the US, armed and trained Georgia before and have continued to do so after last August's war make Cooperative Longbow 09/Cooperative Lancer 09 anything but an innocuous occurrence.

Yearly multinational military drills in Russia's neighborhood by an alliance that is an effective belligerent once removed are events that are taken for granted by the West, though to gain an appreciation of how they appear from the other side imagine this scenario: During the Cold War era the Soviet Union initiated a series of annual military exercises in Central America with members of the Warsaw Pact and prospective members from three continents and every Central American nation.

The latest of those war games was held in Mexico in close proximity to the US border. A few years before Russia had covertly sponsored the overthrow of Mexico's elected president and had supported his replacement by someone who earlier had received a grant from the Soviet Foreign Ministry to study in Moscow and after completing his degree and practicing law there returned to his homeland.

The USSR then immediately deployed its special forces and other military units to Mexico to revamp its armed forces, training and arming them to be interoperable with Warsaw Pact nations for combat missions both at home and abroad.

Over several years the Soviet-trained Mexican army and special forces launched regular gunfire and artillery attacks across its border resulting in the deaths of dozens of civilians with US citizenship.

Then nine months before the latest Warsaw Pact war games in the country Mexico launched an armed assault against contested border areas, killing some 1,600 US nationals, displacing 100,000 more and precipitating an American intervention in which 64 US soldiers were killed and 283 wounded.

If the expression turnabout is fair play has any meaning, this imaginary reversal of events is a fair representation of how Russia is forced to view the current situation in the South Caucasus.

And that is precisely how matters are interpreted in Russia. Before the beginning of the exercises in Georgia Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that, "NATO's plans to hold exercises in Georgia...are an open provocation. Exercises must not be held there where a war has been fought," and referred to the Alliance's behavior as "muscle-flexing."

The Russian ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Anvar Azimov, said on May 8 that "NATO's ongoing exercise in Georgia is a downright provocation, since it is held in a region where a war was fought just months ago and where blood was spilt and civilians died." [1]

On May 5 the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that meetings of the Russia-NATO Council would be postponed indefinitely primarily because of the Alliance's exercises in Georgia.

Magda Hassan
05-09-2009, 06:43 AM
The shoe always feels so different on the other foot doesn't it?