Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm a little disappointed...

in the Georgian military performance so far. According the Guardian, the attached photo is "on the road to Tbilisi".

The UK Telegraph says "Georgians were witnessed by the Telegraph in a full scale disorganised and panicked retreat from Gori." I hope that's Georgian civilians, but given reports that the Russians overran Senaki, which on the main rail line between the Georgian capital and the coast (I took an overnight train through Senaki from Tbilisi last October), it sounds like it could be the Georgian military that's in full retreat. The Associated Press says one of their film crews "saw Georgian tanks and military vehicles speeding along the road from Gori to Tbilisi. Firing began and people ran for cover. Cars could be seen in flames along the side of the road."

I took a day trip to Gori while I was in the country last autumn and I'm sorry to hear that the Russians bombed it and sorrier still to think that the Georgians may have abandoned it without much of a fight. That said, I can appreciate the importance to trying to set up a defensive line around the capital. I just think it is something of a propaganda coup for the Russians if they can go on the rampage in the rest of the country, destroy everything, and then pull back saying they are peace lovers because they didn't bear down on the capital.

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