|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Georgia-Russia Stand-Off on Southwest Asia Periphery
Lyndon LaRouche replied to an e-mail query Oct. 2, concerning the Transcaucasus area (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan), in the northeast corner of Southwest Asia. LaRouche said: "The dispute between Russia and Georgia is part of the preliminary measures deployed in preparation for the intended U.S. destruction of Russia, China, India, and other targetted locations under the current policy of a single world empire, called "globalization."
On Oct. 2, Georgia handed over to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the four Russian officers it had detained for several days as "spies." But tension between Moscow and the Rose Revolution regime of Michael Saakashvili remained high, as President Vladimir Putin accused Georgia of engaging in "state terrorism," and warned that "foreign sponsors" were encouraging its "anti-Russian direction in foreign policy." Georgia's policies, he said, were like those of Lavrenti Beria, the Georgian-born head of Stalin's police-state apparatus.
In a 17-minute phone conversation with George Bush Oct. 2, Putin warned that Russia would not tolerate any actions by "third countries that Georgia's leadership could interpret as encouraging its destructive policy," according to the Kremlin's press service. Bush had called Putin to discuss the crisis with Georgia as well as the Iranian situation.
While the officers were held, Russia imposed an economic blockade on Georgia, and suspended all transportation and mail communication. Banking operations and money transfers were to be suspended as well, a sanction that is expected to have a big impact on Georgia's economy, and on the thousands of Georgians who work in Russia, and send money home to their families.
EIR's Warning of Cheney Nuclear Attack Threat Debated in Russia
"Is Desperate Cheney Scheming Nuclear Sneak Attack on Iran?", Jeffrey Steinberg's article in the Oct. 6 issue of EIR, began to circulate in Russian translation on Oct. 3. It appeared on the Ukrainian site politics.in.ua, under the headline, "Cheney Dive-bombs Iran. With nukes?" On economist Mikhail Khazin's widely-read worldcrisis.ru site, a staff member posted the entire article in the site forum, where an all-day debate took place Oct. 3, about an analysis that's circulating on the Internet, titled, "Puts forecast October surprise?" The "puts" article points to a large volume of put options for Oct. 6, saying that the same pattern preceded the Iraq invasion. The worldcrisis.ru staff member offered Steinberg's article as an explanation for the pattern.
Khazin added his own commentary to the posting, saying that "even if Bush and Cheney don't hit Iran, the existence of such well-founded concerns within the American Establishment sheds an entirely different light on the Russian-Georgian crisis, and the place of those provocations in U.S. plans." He painted a scenario, whereby Georgian President Saakashvili would lure Russia into a clash in the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia. With demonstrations against "Russian aggression towards defenseless little Georgia" going on throughout Europe, Georgia would appeal to the UN, Foreign Minister Lavrov would have to appear to defend Russian policy. "And under cover of this hullabaloo, the USA would 'merely' hit some targets in Iran with nuclear bunker busters." Khazin concluded with a remark that it was likely due to considerations such as these, that President Putin "looked pale" at the Oct. 1 Russian Security Council meeting.
From worldcrisis.ru, the Steinberg article is proliferating through Live Journal and other Russian blogs. Steinberg's Feb. 2, 2006 article, "Iran Showdown Is the Fuse for a Global Monetary Bomb," was extremely widely circulated in Russian translation last winter.
Lavrov Links Georgian Escalation to Saakashvili's U.S. Trip
Events around the seizure of Russian officers in Georgia suggest that the United States played a certain role in the latest escalation of Russian-Georgian relations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Oct 3. "The recent detention of Russian officers took place shortly after NATO took the decision to provide an intensified cooperation plan to Georgia, and followed the visit of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to Washington," the minister said at a press conference in Moscow. He added, "We take into consideration statements by our U.S. colleagues that they have urged and continue to urge moderation on the Georgian authorities. But from the chronological point of view, everything was as I said: the trip to Washington, the NATO decision, the hostage taking."
Russian Expert: USA Plots 'Orange Revolution' in Russia
A report titled "On the Likely Scenario for U.S. Actions with Regard to Russia in 2006-2008" made headlines in Moscow Sept. 21, with discussion continuing into October. The analysis made the case that the United States is plotting an "orange revolution," i.e., regime change, in the Russian Federation. The authors are Valentin Falin, who was Soviet Ambassador to West Germany in the 1970s (including at the time of the Brezhnev-Schmidt economic development-centered diplomacy), and Gennadi Yevstafyev, a retired general in Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SRV). It circulated especially in the halls of the Russian State Duma and Federation Council.
"Behind the threat is the U.S.A.'s refusal to tolerate Russia's growing role on world markets as a sovereign power center," the authors write. They muster evidence from U.S. media and think-tank reports, to back up their charge that, "The U.S.A. will attempt to initiate, using all the instruments and figures of influence accumulated back in the 1990s, a covert realignment of forces within the upper echelons of the Russian leadership and of the political and business elites, to pave the way to a 'quiet orange revolution, Russian-style.'"
Among the specific scenarios touted in the report are ex-Premier Mikhail Kasyanov in the role of a "pro-Western" figure, mistreated by the Kremlin, and the recruitment of a left-wing "stooge," who would run for the Presidency on an anti-corruption basis.