Mikheil Saakashvili

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Georgia's President Concedes Election

Businessman's opposition coalition set to take power

(Newser) - Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has conceded defeat in the parliamentary election and says the opposition now has the right to form a government. Speaking today on television, he said: "It's clear from the preliminary results that the opposition has the lead and it should form the government. And... More »

Onion Embarks on Quest to Snag Itself a Pulitzer

Push for respectability comes with publication's 1,000th issue

(Newser) - With its 1,000th issue (more or less) coming out this week, the Onion isn't just content to be America's top satirical newspaper: It wants a Pulitzer. It's not fussy at all about which Pulitzer—editors have submitted articles to the Pulitzer Board in categories like commentary... More »

Russia, Georgia Fund Dueling War Movies

Propaganda is the better part of valor

(Newser) - More than a year after they stopped shooting at each other, Russia and Georgia are still fighting—on movie screens. Each side is backing high-profile films sympathetic to their take on the war. Russia’s first effort, a documentary entitled Act of Betrayal, fell flat because its claims that Georgia... More »

Georgia Ends Coup, Russia Cries Foul

Government withdraws earlier claims of Moscow-backed coup

(Newser) - The Georgian government claims to have crushed an army mutiny at a base near the capital Tbilisi, but it backed away from earlier claims that Russia was backing a coup aimed at ousting or assassinating President Mikheil Saakashvili. The plot organizer has been arrested and several others remain at large.... More »

Bush Makes Last Calls to World Leaders

Round of goodbyes includes Putin, Brown, Saakashvili, Berlusconi

(Newser) - With just hours left in his presidency, President George W. Bush today made a round of phone calls to leaders around the globe. A National Security Council spokesman said the president was simply saying his goodbyes, thanking the leaders for the hospitality they had shown him and first lady Laura... More »

Georgia Prez Charges Russians Fired on Motorcade

Shots fired as Georgian leader travels with Polish president to refugee camp

(Newser) - Shots were fired close to a motorcade ferrying Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili and Polish President Lech Kaczynski  to a refugee camp in Georgia near the border with the breakaway region of South Ossetia, officials said. Saakashvili blamed Russian troops at a border checkpoint for the gunfire, reports Voice of America.... More »

Georgia Needs Our Help—Not a Seat at NATO

Investment, not guns, is the way to face down Russia: Kristof

(Newser) - Nicholas Kristof travels to Tbilisi, where ambitious, America-loving Georgians live in fear of a resurgent Russia. The United States needs to support this capitalist enclave in the Caucasus, writes the New York Times columnist—but not by letting it join NATO. The reason? President Mikheil Saakashvili may be brilliant and... More »

Putin Wanted to Hang Georgian President 'by the Balls'

Sarkozy's team leaks transcript pre-summit

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin would’ve had the Russian army destroy the Georgian government and hang President Mikhail Saakashvili “by the balls” if Nicolas Sarkozy hadn’t intervened, the Times of London reports. In a transcript of August’s cease-fire negotiations leaked by the French president’s office, Putin says he... More »

Report Rebuts Georgian Claims About Invasion

It suggests nation shelled S. Ossetia to provoke Russia

(Newser) - Independent military observers have published new accounts that contradict Georgia's claim that it was acting defensively against Russian aggression. The reports suggest instead that the small Georgian army moved into Tskhinvali unprovoked, unleashing artillery and rocket fire without discrimination at civilians and unarmed monitors. It also discounts the claim, made... More »

Russian Role in CIA Agent's Murder Probed

Questions linger over 1993 killing as Georgia's geopolitical significance surges

(Newser) - The first shot of a new cold war with Russia may have been fired into a CIA station chief's head in 1993, the Wall Street Journal reports. A vodka-swilling villager was swiftly jailed for the killing of Freddie Woodruff, the top US spy in newly independent Georgia, but that man,... More »

Rice: Russia Aimed for Georgia Overthrow

US broadside comes as Moscow refuses to allow observers into South Ossetia

(Newser) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice blasted Russia today as “increasingly authoritarian at home and aggressive abroad,” accusing Moscow of trying to overthrow the Georgian government during its recent invasion, the Guardian reports. The harshest US condemnation of Russia yet comes as Moscow refuses to allow European observers... More »

Cheney, in Georgia, Rips 'Illegitimate' Russian Action

Vice-president vows US will stand in solidarity with Georgia

(Newser) - Dick Cheney tore into Russia while speaking in Tbilisi today, Reuters reports, slamming its attempt to redraw Georgia's borders as a move that "cast grave doubt" on the reliability of Russia as an international partner. Cheney vowed the US would stand by Georgia, and the White House pledged $1... More »

Georgia Pushing to Rebuild Shattered Army Even Bigger

Nation hopes for US help in building modern military to face Russia threat

(Newser) - The dust has barely settled from the catastrophic clash with Russia but Georgia's leaders are already keen to start rebuilding the country's pulverized army, the New York Times reports. Ambitious plans are being made to remake the military bigger and better than before—with plenty of US help. But Western... More »

Seeing Red Over Russia, US May Cozy Up to China

Beijing may draw closer to DC: FT

(Newser) - Moscow may physically stand in between Beijing and Washington, but Russia’s aggressive behavior could bring the US and China closer together, Geoff Dyer argues in the Financial Times. The Kremlin’s interference in Georgia has Washington seething, and “a low-level confrontation in Georgia that pits Russia against the... More »

West to Put Screws to Russia

New fury at Russia's formal recognition of breakaway states

(Newser) - The West is preparing to crank up diplomatic pressure on Russia after its challenging move formally recognizing breakaway Ossetia and Abkhazia in the wake of its invasion of Georgia. The US, Europe and NATO have condemned the action, but Russia remains defiant. "We are not afraid of anything, including... More »

Russians Pull Back, But West Not Satisfied

'Peacekeeping' posts appear likely to remain on Georgian soil

(Newser) - Having withdrawn from the Georgian city of Gori, Russia said tonight it is in full compliance with a cease-fire agreement, the New York Times reports. Despite criticism from the US and France, nations that helped broker the deal, Moscow continues to occupy the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,... More »

Gorbachev: Blame Georgia

Former Soviet leader blasts one-sided America coverage

(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... More »

Shunning Won't Work: Invite Russia to Join NATO

Increased engagement with the bear will avert more crises: Meier

(Newser) - The kneejerk impulse to punish Russia for its Georgia incursion by withdrawing NATO civilities is exactly wrong, Andrew Meier writes in the Los Angeles Times. The only way the West can get leverage, given the case of nerves the Russians have over NATO’s expansion into former Soviet states, is... More »

Old Cold War Rhetoric Won't Work on the New Putin

He's not Hitler or Stalin; his is a 'subtler game'

(Newser) - Comparing Vladimir Putin to Hitler and Stalin may invoke nostalgia in aging Cold Warriors, argues David Remnick in the New Yorker, but it ignores the realities of contemporary Russia as well as Putin’s actual motives. The Russian leader has been awaiting the chance to vent his resentment of NATO... More »

Russia-Georgia Rules Sunday Talk Shows

People asking if 'Russia can be trusted,' Rice says

(Newser) - The Russia-Georgia conflict dominated discussion on Sunday morning talk shows today, Politico reports. "People are beginning to wonder whether Russia can be trusted," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Press. She also stated on Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation that... More »

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