Gorbachev: Blame Georgia
Former Soviet leader blasts one-sided America coverage
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2008 1:25 PM CDT
"Russia did not want this crisis. The Russian leadership is in a strong enough position domestically; it did not need a little victorious war," former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev writes.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It is important to remember that Georgia, not Russia, struck first in the conflict over South Ossetia, writes former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev for the New York Times. Russian leadership is strong domestically and did not need a victory to rally support—rather, Moscow “was dragged into the fray by the recklessness of the Georgian president.”

The US media seem almost unaware of the Georgian invasion of the breakaway enclave, and its “coverage” has often been an “embarrassing recitation of the Georgian leader’s deceptive statements.” In a region as complex and ethnically diverse as the Caucasus “all talk of ‘this is our land,’ ‘we are liberating our land,’ is meaningless.” The US needs to convince Georgia not to use force—instead of re-arming it while blaming Russia.