Lite kaukasisk historia

Historiskt har Georgien varit lite av en lokal stormakt i Kaukasus-området med en lång rad av olika erövringståg och med förtryck av andra folk i regionen:

Eight hundred years of Caucasian history explain why Saakashvili has brought such destruction and ignominy on his countrymen over the past few days. Queen Tamar, the greatest of the Georgian sovereigns (1184-1213), is responsible for the habit Georgian rulers have displayed for the past millennium of treating neighboring Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ossetia and the Black Sea coast of Turkey as protectorates. But as Tamar also taught her countrymen, Georgian ambition always runs out of gas when the neighbors prove to be just as ambitious, richer or tougher.

Man har inte saknat konkurrenter om tronen som den lokala stormakten. Framförallt har kanske Armenien spelat en sådan roll historiskt. Samtidigt har Kaukasien länge legat mellan ett par rejäla stormakter, det osmanska riket i söder och Ryssland i norr. Numera har det Osmanska riket ersatts med NATO och USA inklusive Turkiet. Georgiens och de nadra smålädnernas strategiska position påminner därvidlag en hel del om Nordens läge. Men där vi har lärt oss att lösa det hela med förhandlingar och diplomati. Georgien och Saakasvili försökte med maktspråk istället, förmodligen uppbackade av USA. Med katastrofalt resultat.

Det finns också en annan mer modern historia och den handlar om Sovjet och Kaukasus. Efter bolsjekvikernas maktövertagande i den ryska revolutionen var situationen den att mensjevikerna dominerade Georgien, som i praktiken var en självständig republik fram till 1921. Samtidigt fanns det självständighetssträvanden i Syd-Ossetien:

The modern-day South Ossetia was annexed by Russia in 1801, along with Georgia proper, and absorbed into the Russian Empire. Following the Russian Revolution, South Ossetia became a part of the Menshevik Georgian Democratic Republic, while the north became a part of the Terek Soviet Republic. The area saw a series of Ossetian rebellions during which claims for independence were made. The Georgian government accused Ossetians of cooperating with Bolsheviks. According to Ossetian sources about 5,000 Ossetians were killed and more than 13,000 subsequently died from hunger and epidemics.[16]

The Soviet Georgian government established by the Russian 11th Red Army in 1921 created the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast (i.e., district) in April 1922. Although the Ossetians had their own language (Ossetian), Russian and Georgian[17] Under the rule of Georgia’s government during Soviet times, it enjoyed some degree of autonomy including speaking the Ossetian language and teaching it in schools.[17] were administrative/state languages.

Den bolsjevikiska erövringen av den georgiska republiken har också Karl Kautsky skrivit om:

In the first period of independent Georgia, its forces had been put to many hard tests. But its severest trial came last spring, as the result of the Bolshevist invasion by the strong Russian forces, simultaneously from the south, from the north, and from the east.

This treacherous invasion occurred without any declaration of war in the first half of February. The world first heard of it from the Georgian side. The Social-Democratic Party and the Trade Unions, as well as the Federal Socialist Party, announced positively, together with the Georgian Government, that Georgia had been invaded by Russian troops and was threatened to the utmost.

[…]

In order to be able to deny the invasion of Russian troops, it was first stated that some villages on the Georgian frontier had revolted, embittered by the tyranny of the, Georgians. Some Armenians on the southern border had given the signal, and then the rebellion spread to Signakh, which lies in the east of Georgia, towards Azerbaijan. Simultaneously, Abkhasia had risen in the extreme north-west, close to the Russian border.

It is a remarkable fact that the rebellions broke out precisely in those places, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Abkhasia, where large and constantly increasing masses of Russian troops had been quartered since November.

Förloppet uppvisar faktiskt en del likheter med vad som händer idag, men den stora skillnaden är att det denna gång var Georgien som försökte återta Syd-Ossetien, som ju praktiken varit självtändigt under ryskt beskydd en 1990-talet.

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