Russia's Dmitry Medvedev announces an end to Georgia-Russia war

“I have reached a decision to halt the operation to force the Georgian authorities to peace,” Medvedev said. “The aggressor has been punished and has incurred very significant losses. Its armed forces are disorganized.” Despite the Russian president’s announcement, it is still unclear, whether this means an end to the war, or not. However, some conclusions can be drawn even today.
The cost of the 6 day war, that started with Georgia’s genocidal attack against the peaceful population of its breakaway South Ossetian region and ended with Russia’s response action followed by Russian intrusion into Georgian territory, blockade of Black See ports and opening of second front from Abkhazia, another breakaway region of Georgia, has been horrible for Georgia. According to Russian claims, there are 2,000 dead and over 30,000 refugees from the South Ossetian population of around 100,000 people. Georgian army and military infrustructure suffered a deadly blow from the Russians, whose massive “peace enforcement” campaign turned into a full scale invasion into Georgia, with conflicting reports of taking Gori, Zugdidi, Seneki, etc.
Even now it is hard to understand who were the conflicting sides? There are suggestions, that it was 1. Georgia, 2. Russia, 3. USA, 4. NATO, 5. South Ossetia and Abkhazia – sorted according to the degree of their involvement. At this point it is also hard to understand who won – Russia? The West? One thing is clear – peaceful population of South Ossetia were the ones who paid the horrible price for geopolitical ambitions and divisions of influence.  It is also beyond any doubts, that Georgia lost badly and the world has yet to study the lessons of the Georgia-Russia war, one lesson learnt is – Kosovo precedent has everything to do with the burning and frozen conflicts in the South Caucasus. Perhaps it is the right time to think about the consequencies for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Georgian students protested outside Russian Embassy. Authorities apparently very unhappy and they’ve been asked to leave.
    Details on my blog.

  2. It’s very devious of Russia to use Chechens in this campaign. The Russians show that they are masters at divide to rul.

  3. The title of this post is very funny. Do you really believe Medvedev himself declared the end of the war? Or does anybody believe that the cease-fire will last long? I don’t!

  4. Just spotted this, so I’m putting it here in case anyone is interested:
    Q&A on Georgia
    James Traub, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, is answering questions from readers about the Russian-Georgian conflict. Questions may be sent to [email protected].
    Here’s a link to the discussion session so far:

  5. Saakashvili still claims that S Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia.
    Georgians need to let it go. Give the people the right for self determination. If they don’t do that Russia will always find excuses to curb their (Georgian) rights to freedom in the same manner.
    What Saakashvili tried to do was extermination of Ossetian population. When he sees pictures of dead Georgian soldiers on streets does he give a thought that it could be him if Soros didn’t make him a president?

  6. An interesting piece: Georgian conflict leaves west reeling and Russia walking tall (

    Have you noticed that Serjik has once more sworn to Russia on unconditional service. He called to Medvedev and said that we can help to poor Osetians and no word about Georgia, even bad words.
    Also do you know Bush is sending so called humanitarian support to Georgia by military means.
    It smells World War 3 and to survive in this confrontation we need urgent change of power. Neither Serjik, nor Robik can find solution in this extremely complicated foreign policy issues.

  8. The way I see this is:
    a) Saakashvili is a lunatic idiot who should be taken to Haag tribunal.
    b) South Ossetians and Georgians – poor people who are suffering the consequences. And I want to express my respect to the Georgian nation, who are so proudly and uniformly standing up against the Russian aggression
    c) Russia’s counterattack was quite expected, but it has passed all limits already. On the other hand, considering the hypocritical politics the US and the ‘orange’ countries are leading in Georgia and internationally these days, leave Russians no choice, but to continue the military actions and keep talking from the force perspectives.
    d) US – the bastards! They are behind all this, they drove lunatic Saakashvili to believe, that the US might actually help, but they didn’t. And even today, if US was either more decisive in standing up to Russia or accepted that it can’t do anything and left Georgia alone, the military actions would end and people wouldn’t suffer anymore.
    e) EU – just trying to save their face.
    g) Armenia – this is one of the many cases, when pursuing ‘complimentary’ politics is leading to a deadlock and unavoidable mistakes. Still, it is clear, that there is no ‘complimentary’ politics in Armenia anymore – it is only ‘pro-Russian’ politics.

  9. I think we are going to face a huge crisis in the region and will not be avoid it. We must minimize the side effects of this crisis to Armenia.

  10. Observer, what happened to f)? 🙂
    Re a) though, if Saakashvili goes to the Hague then Putvedev is going to have to come along as well:
    Separatist fighters and Russian troops looted and set homes ablaze in Georgia on Wednesday amid mutual recriminations over breaches of a truce that ended five days of bitter conflict.

    Hundreds of South Ossetian rebels with some Russian army personnel went house-to-house in villages near Gori. They set houses ablaze and looted buildings, witnesses said.
    The body of a man, his mouth caked with blood, lay in a street in the village of Dzardzanis and nearby the body of a bearded man could be seen crushed under an overturned mini-van, an AFP journalist reported.
    Human Rights Watch said its researchers in South Ossetia had “witnessed terrifying scenes of destruction in four villages that used to be populated exclusively by ethnic Georgians.”

    Without getting out what really happened in Osetia Russia used OTCS (ODKB) to stress that the parliaments of the five countries of OTCS express their solidarity with Russia. And the outpost of Russia in Caucasus certainly could not refuse Russia while signing this statement… Hey, armenians, soon we will become pariah not in the region, but in the whole world! Wake up!

  12. This war shows that how vulnerable Armenia is. If we go with Russian we go against Georgians and vice-versa. The only way to come out of this situation is to be a neutral country. Caucasus is a very tense area, even tenser than Yugoslavia. Not only there are different nationalities, wrong boarders but also very powerful countries. Iran is a huge country, with big plans and claims all the S Caucasus as part of historical Iran (Persia), Russia – we know, Turkey – has the 2nd largest army in NATO. In the middle of that stands Armenia because we are exactly in the middle of the cross road. Everybody around wants a piece of us. Actually I think we have a very favorable geographic location. What we need is to turn that into our political advantage.
    We are very similar to Switzerland and should follow their footpath:
    direct democracy – establish fair elections and low that protect that, give more powers to hamayanks,
    strong and mobile army – instead of spending 2 years in doing nothing our soldiers need to be trained and know who does what,
    neutrality – have the Garabagh issue resolved ASAP even if we have to give Aghdam and some other surrounding regions back, the area between Artsakh and Armenia was populated by kurds and yezdy ( Red Kurdistan) we should encourage their return to those lands, remove the genocide recognition from official foreign policy, instead help diaspora culturally and logistically.

  13. No need to add that to achieve those the above the current regime should change because they do exactly the opposite.
    – Elections of SS is illegitimate I doubt that there is anybody out there who refutes this, teh same applys to teh Parliament.
    – The army is corrupt and dysfunctional, The only reason the Azeris don’t start war is because their army is even worse and Aliyev family is happy with the current situation.
    – the regime is a Russian puppet and the whole country became a Russian region. If 2 days ago it was very encouraging to listen to S Ohanyan’s words of not allowing Armenia based Russian army to attack Georgians, Today’s announcement by SS is the opposite ( These people didn’t even bother to come back to Armenia from China when just 150Km away there is a war.

  14. Երկու երկրների նախագահները պայմանավորվել են անհրաժեշտության դեպքում անցկացնել լրացուցիչ խորհրդատվություններ հետագա զարգացումների վերաբերյալ:

  15. Payqar – Red Kurdistan is a thing of the past. This artificial communist experiment was an assimilated part of Azerbaijan SSR for the last few decades of the soviet union. Any hopes/plans to give land back to
    I am also not sure how “very similar” we are to Switzerland. I think the reality on the ground in Armenia is quite different from your assessment. To be honest, I fail to see the logic supporting your hope for regime change in Armenia.

  16. AH, you fail to see a lot of things so don’t feel too bad.

  17. Nazarian I try to ignore AH.
    Just for once I will help him out:
    Red Kurdistan entity was created during the first decade of Soviet Union. I referred to that name to explain the location of the place.
    Switzerland went through very similar path as we and Georgians are going through. They were an entity that struggled against the surrounding kingdoms for 100s of years. As a result they became a neutral country after very well learning the value of peace and misery of war.

  18. Russians have now revised their claims re. deaths in South Ossetia to…
    Yes, less than a tenth of what they claimed until Human Rights Watch effectively accused them of lying.
    Still too many, but anyway.

  19. You’re being generous at that, Onnik. It’s more like one twentieth. Both sides are making it very difficult to know the totals, though:
    The death tolls do not appear to be what each side is claiming.
    Russia has said that 2,000 civilians were killed by Georgian troops. But in three hospitals visited by a reporter in Vladikavkaz, the Russian city that has taken most of the wounded, only 259 patients were being treated, suggesting a far lower death toll, since in most conflicts far more people are wounded than killed.
    Georgians are saying 213 soldiers and civilians were killed in the fighting. But Georgia has blocked access to morgues, a precaution to protect journalists from angry families, said Alexander Kvitashvili, the country’s health minister. The death count, he said, is expected to rise as access to Russian-controlled areas begins to increase.
    However many, it’s horrible and there should have been a way to prevent it.

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