The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili met the members of the Parliament bureau
First of all I want to express my gratitude for your exceptional and well organized activities and for your unity.
Our unity is a gallows for our enemy.
Here are the representatives of our opposition tonight. Yesterday I watched on TV how Giorgi Targamadze went to Gori. I am observing statements made on TV during these days. There is no need for the law on lustration any more. Just look at what was said and by whom if referring to politicians' statements.
Secondly, look, how the parliamentarians acted, how they acted with foreigners. Today we are in situation, when Georgia can be defeated only by one force - this force is Georgians.
No tanks will defeat us, if we stand united and firm.
The whole world stands beside us. Time is needed for everything - for assistance and for economic revival package as well.
Yesterday the Czech Republic started negotiations on a new Marshal Plan for Georgia. This is a plan that restored Europe after World War II.
On September 1 the emergency session of EU leaders will be held in Paris. I do not remember when this mechanism was last used. This is an initiative of the President of France.
The main program will be economic revival of Georgia.
Georgian economy will not only be saved, but will be extended in a very short period of time.
We will become a developed European country, if we don't hang ourselves before that. What were the factors that led us to these events? What was the scheme of our relationship with Russia and how could we manage to come to this point, where we are now?
The first official visit was held in Moscow in 2004.
I met the Russian President Putin, Maybe I was wrong, but I still believed that this was a very good meeting. We talked frankly. He expressed his will to develop relationship with Georgia. We told him that we were very flexible as well. The first thing what he asked me was to strengthen borders and support in operation that was planned in Northern-Caucasus.
He had pretensions to Eduard Shevardnadze, he told me that borders during Shevardnadze's time were open, the traffic of weapons was illegal in Pankisi, and they were not able to control the situation. He said that Russians were especially concerned about the situation in Pankisi gorge and about illegal cross-border movement at the Chechen section of border.
I want to acknowledge that we really helped Russians in this.
We started flights near the borders together with them, we stopped arms trafficking and illegal cross-border movements. We created a serious factor through which they managed to establish order. Then we had well known events in Ajara. Instead of coming to Tbilisi Ivanov's plane landed in Batumi. Ivanov was supposed to come to Tbilisi first, we would have given him warranties for Aslan Abashidze. They wanted to win the time. He called us from Batumi and directed us to go back and calm down. Igor Ivanov continued his activities. You remember people came out on the streets and Aslan Abashidze flew together with Ivanov in his plane.
In one word, the Russian General was in Batumi, and he helped Aslan Abashdze in everything.
They gave several tanks to Aslan Abashidze just for the masquerade, only for us to see, that Abashidze had tanks.
We all know how this all ended.
I phoned Vladimer Putin the next day. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs started to make cynical statements. They made the same statements during those days as well. I thought it was right to call Vladimer Putin.
I expressed my gratitude for understanding our situation. I remember that conversation very well; on my polite remarks, he responded roughly: ‘Now remember, we did not intervene into Adjara, but you won't have any gifts from us in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The series of provocations started after these events in Tskhinvali.
I made a decision to withdraw our military contingent using the other route. This was the moment, when Russians started to control Tskhinvali, not by the separatist forces, but by their own force. They turned out several members of the government, changed them with Russian Generals and strengthened military readiness. They were in direct control of the situation and were preventing any attempt of direct talks with the local community in South Ossetia. The leader of separatists of the 90ies Parastaev was released from the prison. He wished to hold negotiations with Georgians, he was arrested for it and was tortured brutally. The same happened with Sanakoev, Karkusov. The Secretary of the National Council was exploded in his house because he met the representatives of our government several times.
In 2004 there was less pressure on us, but after the Ukrainian revolution the Russian government saw what a real threat was. This is why they took an active participation in Abkhazian events.
The first major blow for Georgia came in January, 2006 when the power line and gas pipelines were exploded.
Before that in December the representatives of the Russian energy companies' were called to the Kremlin to question them on how they could switch off the electricity in Georgia from the technical point of view to? They said that this would harm Russian energy as well. In January in Caucasus several electricity transmitters and gas systems exploded. The terrorists were blamed for this then. The special plastic explosion material was indeed used for this explosion, which is used by Special Forces only. The Russian intelligence was counting on the following - people would come out on the street, the electricity will be off and the government would be replaced. Nothing like this happened. Our society was consolidated. We started to put investments in the energy sector. We became exporters of energy to Russia. This made us stronger. This was the first paragraph of our destabilization.
In 2006 Russian intelligence started getting very active. They started to develop some NGOs, financing Igor Giorgadze's groups, financing media-means.
The first terrorist act happened in 2006 - Gori police facility explosion. We arrested Russian Military intelligence officer Boiko. We had an evidence, Russians asked to release him, he was a real terrorist, but Russians did not make this fact public.
We handed him over to Russia hoping that Russia would have appreciated it, now I think it was a mistake. They released him; maybe he was awarded with an order, who knows? This was a good will gesture on our side. Their agents became one hundred times more active in the fall of 2006, we had to arrest their military intelligence agent publicly. Before that wine and production embargo was brought in. The flights were terminated with Moscow. We handed these officers back to them as well, we hoped we would keep our relations.
Series of provocations were taking place during this period. I want to remind you of a terrorist attack against Koba Davitashvili. Koba Davitashvili made a statement on TV, in his speech he criticized me and said that I could do whatever I wanted against him - I could even kill him if I wished. After that he said that a terrorist act was taken against him. The Minister of Internal Affairs came to my office several days later and told me that the terrorist act was really planned against Koba Davitashvili. An ethnic Ossetian Davitashvili living in Tserovani near the President's residency was watching Davitashvili. Koba Davitashvili's neighbor who had some personal problems thought that the man was watching him. He started to fight with him, shot the gun, injured him and in the pockets of this man found Koba's data and even his picture.
We followed his traces going to Moscow. We already had some video material and directly addressed the Russians. We told them this man intended to kill our opposition leader - Koba Davitashvili. Can you imagine what could have happened if Koba Davitashvili was killed? They would have said that - this bloody government killed Girgvliani, Davitashvili and let's overthrow them.
This was cheap but precise provocation. We prevented the assassination of the Georgian Intelligence Deputy Chief by the Russian intelligence. On the G7 Interior Ministers meeting, this case was studied like a classic case of new Russian techniques. Economic embargo could not work. People did not come out and did not overthrow the government.
Last year right before November events, according to the information of the Western intelligence, there were some "thieves in law" in Georgia and Armenia, namely - Ivankov - "Yaponchik", who is in good relations with the Russian government and if I am not mistaken Usoian. They were discussing different plans of overthrowing the Georgian government. When I heard this information it sounded unbelievable to me. I could not realize how someone "Yaponchik" could arrange a revolution in Georgia. I did not consider it serious. We had elections afterwards. Russians were not able to achieve results. Georgian economy increased by 10%, last year by 12%. The rate of this year could have been 11%, if we were not disrupted. It was the fastest growing economy in the world, except those countries which possessed gas and oil are not given account.
In 2006 when the embargo could not damage our economy, Russians started to think about a military intervention. We have several documents proving this fact. Russians went out of the agreement, according to which the military equipment was limited in Caucasus. Last year they started talking about it and in 2008 they left this agreement.
Three thousand armored vehicles entered the territory of Georgia. Russia had no right to do this until this year's agreement. We had 200 tanks, because we had no right to have more, Russia got reed of these obligations and had as much armored technique as they wanted. The fact, that Russia did not need so many tanks in Chechnya in 1997, was obvious.
I told our Western partners - Russians are concentrating their armored vehicles near the Georgian borders. Don't you consider this a signal, that they are getting ready for something serious?
You may remember, last year Putin was opening one of the military units in Dagestan and he asked - where does this road lead? He was told that this road was going to Georgia. He said repair this road immediately, we need to have one more road, which leads us to Georgia. Don't you think this sentence should have awakened the world? Why was he repairing roads to Georgia, for which military unit? When Larsi was already closed. The Russian television is controlled. When it was broadcasted, it meant that he wanted everyone to hear what he was saying, that he was thinking about this issue. Zero respond was given from the world to what Putin had said. He felt that nothing could really happen if he acted so.
I last met him in President's rank in February. When we came out, the Georgian Foreign Minister David Bakradze told me that they were threatening us with war.
Than there was April summit in Bucharest. A strategic mistake was made at this summit. Instead of giving us MAP they told us that they would come back to this issue in December, because we had conflict regions in our country.
Then Putin stated in his conversations with the Western leaders, that if Georgia and Ukraine received MAP, they would have war in these countries. What do you think our choice was? Had we any other resolution of this issue, even if we would not continue our integration process in NATO? We were observing the process of intervention during this period of time. First what happened in Abkhazia - the establishment of direct communication, the restoration of railway with the humanitarian purposes.
I have explained to the German Chancellor, to the President of United States, to the Secretary of State and to many other leaders in Europe, that it had no sense to restore the railway in empty Ochamchire and Gali, the railway would never have a civilian function there. The only function it could have was the intention that Russians wanted to bring their armored vehicles this way. They brought in their forces, they were not there to defend Gali. Their units were browsing around Tkvarcheli and were conducting reconnaissance, they were planning the attack on Kodori, because Kodori road can be closed in Tkvarcheli. This is why it looked like an attempt of taking away Kodori from us. They were conducting reconnaissance and were putting mines around Kodori. This was an obvious attempt of carrying out an attack on Kodori. I can say that I tried to talk to Russians. I did not make it public though, but now I am saying it. I wrote a letter to the Russian President, where I was asking him for negotiations. I told him, maybe we could get to some agreement - to bring our refugees back till the river Kodori first, place their peacekeepers at River Kodori and we would be ready to sign a new agreement, by which the territorial integrity of Georgia would be defended, we would have some sort of agreement with them and their interests would be envisaged as well. We would step by step bring our refugees to Abkhazia, and we could have seen how the conflict could be solved. If an agreement was a will of Russia and avoidance of war, this was practically the best proposal they could ever have got. They could defend their economic interests by this step, they could have legalizing themselves in the frames of the International Law. Secondly, we were starting economic development of this region and were trying to resolve this issue peacefully. I have sent this letter to Medvedev. I received a cynical respond from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation - it is very early to start thinking about the return of the refugees at this stage. I met President Medvedev in June, and it was a good meeting, we agreed to hold one more meeting in July and discuss all the issues.
In Astana I met with Medvedev again and his mood had already been changed. It was evident that some other forces had become active there. He distanced himself from the idea of meeting; began to set new conditions - he asked us to immediately withdraw our police forces from Kodori. In fact, withdrawal from Kodori voluntarily meant surrender of Upper Abkhazia without fighting.
It was evident that they did not want to negotiate. In July I already had a feeling that he knows something, what I do not know. In the end of July meeting with Steinmayer was planned; he was planning to arrive with his plan. Russians and Abkhazians wrecked the meeting; they said that the meeting was rescheduled by the end of August.
In May, one of the leading Russian military experts was assuming that attack on Georgia would take place in July of August. I was left with very heavy impressions after the brief relations with Medvedev. When President Nazarbayev saw me after the meeting, he mentioned that he had never seen me in such a bad mood. Indeed I had a bad mood, I had a feeling that they are not preparing for something good.
In the beginning of August they finished the restoration of railroad in Abkhazia. In July attacks on Sanakoyev had started. Our drone was shot down in Abkhazia, which was refused by Russians; they said that Georgians have imaginations. Later they admitted another fact of air space violation, and with that they were testing the reaction of the West. The EU needed six days to issue statement on this fact. Meanwhile, the content statement was the following: we call upon the both sides to abstain from provocations. This was the direct "invitation" for doing the subsequent things. In practical, international organizations declared that they were not intervening in this business. Russians evidently had a plan and they were exactly moving towards its execution.
We knew that in Abkhazia and North Ossetia there was quite a big concentration of forces. They were not hiding that. They conducted at the Georgian borders maneuvers for "peace and compulsory operation in Georgia." This was also done for the world's attention, but still nobody reacted to that. They were always interested about what reaction would NATO have on their this or that activity? would NATO threaten by bringing in forces? would they bring in vessels and airplanes? but in principle the reaction was zero.
On that I had talks with the Western leaders. But when I was telling them it was possible that Russia bombs us, they thought that I was exaggerating. In the beginning of August we already new that there had been a big concentration of forces. Important fact is that in the beginning of June they started to keep down the individuals in Northern Caucasus that had any contacts with Georgia.
They apprehended several individuals and declared that these people were Georgian spies. They expelled all individuals from their armed forces that had any kind of connections with Georgia. They tightened the border control over the Abkhazia part. All this looked like the preparation for the armed conflict. Such things generally happen, when huge campaigns are planned.
The situation was so tense in the Northern Caucasus that summer season failed in Sochi. In Abkhazia section everybody was waiting for the Russian-Georgian war. To be honest, we also were preparing for their assault on Abkhazia section. Why we did not think that they would attack us in Tskhinvali? Because disposition of forces there is like the chess board. Secondly, invasion in Tskhinvali would mean attack on Tbilisi. If they were planning to take risk they should have attached Tbilisi with very large force. To invade only Tskhinvali would have no military significance. We would have won this campaign in Tskhinvali. All genuine Ossetian separatists sided Georgia in this conflict: Sanakoyev, Parastayev, Karkusov. We built Kurta, Tamarasheni, we made this region unbelievably beautiful. We built the roads, raised salaries. More and more people started to visit Tbilisi from Tskhinvali. We opened Ossetian school in Tbilisi, brought in teachers.
Therefore, we thought that we should not have to worry about Tskhinvali. Whatever could happen in Tskhinvali, we were not reacting; we were assuming that these were just provocations. We thought that if something had started in Tskhinvali, it would have been the sign that they are starting something in Abkhazia and that we should have our forces mobilized towards Abkhazia direction.
Several days before the August 7, recruitment of Kazaks had been started in Northern Caucasus. They recruited also reserve pilots. They much more planes than pilots. One of the pilots that we shot down, did not fly for several years; so was another, which we apprehended. They also recruited pensioners. And this happened one week before the operation had started.
Every day situation was becoming worse and worse. I hoped that it would calm down. On 7th of August I was planning to depart for China to attend opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. First I was planning to depart on 12 o'clock, then on 7 o'clock. It was 20 minutes to 7, when the head of my protocol service told me that if we were planning to depart finally we should have notified Chinese side, since there was a line for planes to land in Beijing. I decided to stay.
First we decided that only one brigade approaches Tskhinvali, then we added another brigade. Main forces were standing in the Western Georgia. We left brigade in Senaki as well and did not summon brigade from Iraq. Even previously, when we had tense situations, we would always bring nearby brigades into readiness; I always believed that Russia would not start so large-scale provocation, despite the fact that they were shelling us from 120mm guns.
When I declared unilateral ceasefire, we had one soldier dead and 4 others wounded. David Kezerashvili (Defense Minister) bagged me to open artillery fire in order to free the road and take dead and wounded soldiers out. I replied to him that whatever happens we can not open fire; that we should endure little more. We started to call to Moscow; previous day we summoned Popov (Russia's Special Envoy), which refused to go to Tskhinvali. We then sent Temur Yakobashvili (Georgian State Minister for Reintegration) to Tskhinvali to calm the situation down. He saw there only Kulakhmetov (Commander of Russian Peacekeepers), who said that Ossetians were shooting.
Several days before Kokoiti was in Russia and concluded agreement on cultural cooperation with the Moscow District, and this is the totally made-up reason. In previous days entire Russian press was full of stories on Tskhinvali. Evacuation of population from Tskhinvali was started.
In the beginning when they started to evacuate people from Tskhinvali, our defense ministry said that this might be PR campaign and these people are taken to youth camps. But later, when we verified properly, it turned out that they were evacuating entire civilian population. They had never done such things before. And this was added by mobilization in Northern Caucasus and recruitment of pilots.
They offered to each recruited Kazak 10 000 Rubles for each operation. In fact, they were sent for robbery. All of our attempts to contact Russian leadership failed.
President Medvedev was on Volga for the vacation. Putin did not have desire to talk. High level officials at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were saying that they do not know anything; that Kokoiti no longer listens to them. In the meantime, we saw that there was mobilization in Russia. In the night of August 6, Russian border guard officers entered Georgia through Roki tunnel and declared that from now on Russian border guard forces would control the other side of the tunnel as well. This was a direct sign of the start of intervention.
In Java (South Ossetia) military base was under construction during an entire summer. Each worker received 1200 Euros a month, which is unbelievably high remuneration. They have built several such bases in Ochamchira and Gali (Abkhazia) and brought in enormous amount of fuel; this fuel could be designed for 100 000 people. When I asked Vano Merabishvili (Georgian Minister of Interior) why they needed so much fuel, he shrugged his shoulders and said that either they plan to bring in 100 000 troops or they are just planning to sell this fuel on black markets. Otherwise nobody would need such a big amount of fuel in Gali.
In the end of July we had information that 200 tanks with an inscription "Abkhazia" were loaded in Sochi. We verified that with our Western partners, who neither proved nor denied this information. In 2006, Putin told me: "we will arrange Northern Cyprus for you." I always was thinking about Northern Cyprus in terms of Abkhazia. I assumed that they would take the line on Enguri river and would enter with the large number of forces.
When I heard the news about 200 tanks, I reminded what Putin said to me in 2006; I asked to our military if we could deter these tanks? they said that if Russian outrun us, we should have advance plan for what we do with these tanks in Abkhazia. This would totally change the balance of disposition of forces. They needed to fortify Enguri river with these tanks, so that we would be deprived with the possibility to fortify Kodori; then they would cut the new road at the Tkvarcheli by landing force, would land force in Upper Kodori and cleanse the territory from our police and local population. They have implemented exactly this scenario with the addition that the first hit was on Tskhinvali.
On August 7 situation was escalated in several of our villages. They were shelled from village Khetagurovo and other points, from the Russian peacekeepers' sites, which is denied by Russians. But when we received information at night that military equipment was approaching Roki tunnel, then we took decision. We were in compliance with the peace agreement till the end; this could be our mistake. We did not have any heavy equipment and armament in Tamarasheni, Kurta and other villages, as it was established by the peace deal.
To bring in troops was impossible by this time, since they were already bombing the road. The only way to deter them from entering our undefended villages was to use medium artillery and blow up Didi Gupta bridge and Roki tunnel. As soon as they had passed these points, they would have entered Tamarasheni and Tskhinvali.
Therefore, when they started to enter, after several minutes we made decision to open fire towards enemy. Certainly, we were responding to Ossetian positions that were firing us - Tskhinvali center, government building and ministry of defense.
I instructed our troops very strictly to respond to fire, deter entrance of armored equipment, but at no circumstance bomb Tskhinvali from the air and hit civilian facilities.
I controlled compliance on these instructions very strictly and our soldiers indeed complied to them.
Our first flight took place early morning, at dawn towards the direction of Java and Roki.
Our pilots informed us that entire road was full of Russian military equipment and soldiers.
It is impossible to cover 120 kilometer distance in 2-3 hours, if you are not already there. If we compare the rate of their entrance with the rate of their withdrawal and estimate the processes with the same chronometry, it would be evident that they were definitely in before everything started; I am not saying anything about sources that we had there. Certainly, in Tskhinvali our intelligence was working properly.
Our artillery has destroyed the large portion of this equipment; our forth brigade and Kojori brigade have destroyed the several hundred invader soldiers; I have also to say that this does not make me happy.
Army General Khrulov, which previously served in South Ossetia as government official at so-called South Ossetia government, was wounded and left everything and together with his driver escaped to Vladikavkaz.
In the meantime, Putin arrives in Vladikavkaz, collects new force and in practical entire force they had there is directed towards Georgia. Only the large part of 58th Army was already out of order.
They made 200 combat flights - in fact entire their air force was flying; the major part of their Black See Fleet, as it was planned in advance, entered Ochamchira (Abkhazia).
By the way, I would like to underline, that clearing of Ochamichre port was started last December, 9 months ago. It immediately roused doubts that all this had been done for this; there was no other reason - the ships are not entering that port and accordingly, Russian military engineers would have no other reason to clear underwater space from water-plants.
In one world, this was many months ago planned military operation.
Let's go back to the latest developments - we stopped them on first day, second day, and third day and when they were unable to move forward another 500 tanks approached Larsi check-point.
I contacted immediately our people; Vano Merabishvili told me: "I'll go and try to deter them with my 200 soldiers, but I could not deter them for a long period". Though we have certain number of antitank armament, it would be difficult to deter 500 tanks going toward us with shooting - they will surround our army from the back side.
If we hadn't pulled back our army in that situation, they would have annihilated it totally; it meant not only total annihilation of our army, but destruction of all around villages, cities of Gori, Kaspi and Khashuri and all nearby places.
This decision was already to be made.
It was the time when world had waken and despite of Olympic Games and all other things, president Bush returned to the United States and Americans made most strict statements. President Sarkozy made very abrupt steps and statements when he arrived in Georgia.
Exactly on that day, when tanks moved in the direction of Tbilisi, Frenchmen warned us about it. There were talks that tanks were coming to topple the government - for destroying Georgia.
Lavrov even told to several his partners that their aim was Georgia's annihilation, destruction. He literary said this, nothing saying about Tskhinvali.
After one hour from President Bush's statement, tanks moving toward Tbilisi stopped and within next one hour they turned off the main road.
This was many months, and possibly years, ago planned military aggression and interventions.
The time was very precisely selected - the NATO Summit will take place in December; the US administration has to be changed, i.e. they think that present administration is unable to take decisions; by the end of the year US is going to reduce military contingent in Iraq, that means they will posses additional forces to dislocate in other region; it was necessary to attack in August, because it would have been very difficult to them to fight in Tskhinvali and Kodori by the end of October because of climatic conditions.
For such type of attack the August was ideal month, besides Olympic Games coincided to this, which should have fully covered these developments.
The first cliché was that Georgians destroyed 2000 people, while when we entered there were not 2000 people there at all - everybody was evacuated - there were only Russian soldiers; they also admitted that 50 Russian soldiers had died. But what did recruits need in Tskhinvali and why they where there at that time? They say nothing about that.
I think our army fought very well. Maybe there was done mistakes in planning process and all officers were not high level professionals, but they fought very bravely and unfortunately most of them died.
If not their three-day selflessness, the Russian army would demolish Tbilisi in such a manner, that when on the fourth day the world would woke, Tbilisi and Georgia would not exist; everybody would sigh and limit themselves by expressing condolences.
Georgia stood up to and declared war to if not the strongest, but the most ruthless and brutal military force in the world. Last time it was in 1939 when Finland did it. The Russian army practically entered Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Afghanistan without meeting of any resistance.
During these days they brought in Georgia 80 000 military servants and mercenaries - the same number that entered first in Afghanistan; a bit smaller number that entered Czechoslovakia and with which Stalin was fighting against Manneraheim - the first army, which entered this much bigger territory than Georgian, was counting about 120-130 military servants. Compare territory of Afghanistan with the territory of Georgia and then define what does it means for us 80 000 military servants and 3 000 armored technology.
If somebody thinks that Georgia provoked these events, let him count how it is possible to bring in such number of military technology in several hours if this was not the plan and scenario planned during many months and if they hadn't prepared this military technology.
Unfortunately now, when are telling to our western partners that they should have seen that thing was preparing, they respond that their attention was drawn to another place and that satellites were directed to Iraq.
In one word, it was serious failure of international intelligence. Had they know that, they wouldn't have concealed it from us. We were warning them that this would occur - we knew that 200 tanks approached Abkhazia, but they - did not.
What is the motivation of the Russian military aggression? No matter to what extend anyone wants to believe it, this motivation is not personal; it is nonsense that reason behind this aggression is said to be the fact that I have insulted Putin - they invented this themselves, they believed in this themselves and they want others to believe in this as well.
There was really nothing except polite and extremely favorable offer.
We were telling them that we are ready for any kind agreement, but don't fumble in our territory. According to their words first we should reform, behave in other manner and only after that they would talk to us.
That was really the theme of our conversation - first chicken or egg?
During all meetings we were underlying that neither United States nor Europe was important for us - the most important for us is Georgia!
The point is that Georgia created not only rhetoric, this was business of the previous government, but such model of country's development, that is fundamentally non-acceptable for Russia' s decision-making political class.
We created democratic system.
Our televisions were covering their intervention like televisions of the European democratic countries too.
We created a society, that didn't break down. They assumed that they will approach Tbilisi with tanks and as government fled in 1921, everybody will flee with their private planes and go for their hidden bank accounts in Switzerland. We have neither private planes (there is only one government plane), nor private accounts and what is most important, we do not have homeland to loose and to surrender to them.
They thought that Georgia would disintegrate into simple factors, rebellion would take place in Samegrelo and disorder would occur in different parts of Georgia; Rallies and demonstrations would take place in Javakheti, Marneuli and Adjara - that was their imagination.
Today there is unimaginable consolidation in Samegrelo, this is new Georgia statehood.
Several years ago Georgian police was unable to enter into Javakheti - there was dislocated Russian military unit and this territory was practically under occupation, nothing saying about local police - it was not obeying us at all.
In these days the first who deterred Russian tanks was special force, composed mostly by ethnical Armenian population of Akhalkalaki. They heroically stood in front of Russian army and didn't allow them to pass. This is new Georgia!
There was pressure on our neighbor countries in order to do something in this direction too, but they received flat refusal.
They cannot imagine that the Georgian police doesn't receive bribe anymore.
They had such propaganda - Georgians are dying of starvation, everything is destroyed, while showing the trenches they were commenting "look how awfully do they live, this is their revolution".
Later they were unable to say these things. I remember well that Anatoly Chubais said "we have to imitate Georgia's economic model but not Venezuela's". Chubais is not someone other, he is their representative. Many Russians were recognizing our fast development.
When I said that Batumi would be much better than Sochi, I was not exaggerating, it will be really so. During all this war the construction works was not suspended even for a day.
Why did they want especially to destroy police? The planes were reaching very closely the police units and stations and dropping the bombs there. They had particular hunting on the police. As soon as police had been non-functional, the looters would have got out in the streets and kill the people, the same situation as in 1992-93.
In these days crime rate in Georgia not have even risen, but have fallen. In Samegrelo, where Russians confiscated police arms, police managed to keep public order without arms. This is the reason of their upset. In Georgia was created real European society, real European State apparatus and real European political class.
In these days you were acting like European politicians act. They (Russians) cannot imagine that. In their view, this is the wild country, where it is enough to relax a little and everything will return to their initial positions. Suddenly they discovered that they invaded the developed, European country, where people are not shooting tommy guns, but do not obey to them; where people do not have fear in their eyes; where people say that we are a normal country and their place is not here.
You saw that entire Georgian society gathered in Tbilisi. During these days Russian embassy was carrying out public opinion polls (they ordered this to their agents, to get a real picture).
During the fourth day, they gathered and stated: "these Georgians are not humans; after all these they still support their government." Otherwise, so simply they would not go anywhere; According to their psychology, when they feel that you are scared, they scare you more.
Today in Georgia, European destiny is being decided.
World order is totally reversed. During the last decade Germany had most favorable attitude towards Russia. However, today, German press expresses so unanimous support towards Georgia that no country ever had such a support.
of the President of Georgia