Georgia, Russia: Governments Unable to Protect Civilians

Global Voices Online
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ukrainian journalist Ihor Lutsenko - LJ user igordaily - has just returned from an assignment in Georgia. Below is one the latest posts on his blog (UKR):

[...] It was difficult to get back. Many of our journalists got stuck there, because there are no return tickets, and they can't [do their work], because the road to Gori is blocked.

The essence. I would like to talk about two wonderful governments.

The Georgian [government], for some reason, did not announce officially and in a way that's easy to understand that there was a need to evacuate residents of Gori and the nearby villages. It did not help with evacuation in a systematic way. Private "patriots" didn't help, either, the ones who [drive recklessly] around Tbilisi with [Georgian] flags on their cars, even though it's only an hour's ride to the crisis area. And today in my almost native village of Tkviavi looters have killed five people, according to a local [I spoke with on the phone].

The Russian government has deserted its citizens in Georgia. They are calling the embassy of [the Russian Federation] in Tbilisi, asking for help (because direct flights have been canceled) - but they are told, It's your problem, get out any way you wish, we here are [almost being bombed] ourselves. Back home, however, the media are writing that they are all but handcuffed [and being held hostage by Georgians] - even though not a single Georgian has said a harsh word to them.

[Vladimir Putin and Mikheil Saakashvili], I hope that one day you'll pay in full [for this].

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