Georgia debate continued …

So it turns out that Kirill, the juggling bartender pictured below, is from North Ossetia, the Russian counterpart to the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia. For him, the conflict has struck close to home, with bombs at one point falling a mere 15 kilometers from his parents’ house.

Nevertheless, his view on the situation was pragmatic: Let South Ossetia stay in Georgia, or at least not be absorbed into Russia, which South Ossetian officials have stated will be the province’s eventual fate (incidentally, this article’s headline, “Kremlin announces that South Ossetia will join ‘one united Russian state'”, is false and misleading; a South Ossetian official made this statement.  Let no one doubt that the American media can be quick to condemn Russia).

Kirill feels that with the Russian government already forced to shuffle large amounts of money and resources from rich urban areas to the poorer and sometimes conflict-ridden parts of the country (like the Caucuses), South Ossetia would only be a greater burden for Russia.

At a time of such fervent nationalism at home (in Russia, Georgia, America, South Ossetia and Abkhazia) and political brinksmanship on the international stage, a clearheaded analysis like this is refreshing. See fellow Russia blogger Siberian Light’s recent post for similarly practical observations.


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