Friday, August 15, 2008

Russians Loot Gori

Reports of Russians looting in Gori have been confirmed by closed circuit cameras. Euro News has a report.

The government’s accusations of looting in the deserted town have been backed up by closed-circuit television images.

For those left behind every day has brought news of another promised troop pull-out which has never materialised, while they have struggled without electricity, fuel or water.

Gori is the closest town to the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russia has stressed the need for it to be “secured”. Soldiers have been rounding up Georgian weapons.

In Tbilisi, refugees try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, at least temporarily, waiting until they can return home. But the future holds few guarantees.

“It’s all so difficult but our government is helping,” said one woman. “You know I am very ashamed. We don’t have any money left and I am so hungry.”
American relief forces had better get a move on. I would think the Black Sea ports of Georgia would be a good supply route.

In any case the losses for Russia keep coming. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko wishes to have a word or two with the Russians.
"I sent an urgent request to the Russian president through official channels to start negotiations... to regulate our relations during military actions like those seen at the start of August," Yushchenko said in a statement.

Yushchenko on Wednesday signed a decree imposing new restrictions on the Black Sea fleet, that was described by Russia's foreign ministry as an "anti-Russian step."

The decree included a requirement that the Black Sea fleet, which is based in the port of Sevastopol, seek the permission of Ukraine's armed forces "at least 72 hours prior to ships or aircraft crossing the Ukrainian border."

The announcement heightened fears that Ukraine, a close ally of Tbilisi, could be caught up in a conflict that has raged in recent days between Russia and Georgia.

On Thursday a Ukrainian official said the decree would require Moscow to ask permission before returning ships active off the coast of Georgia.
Ships without ports are like aircraft without airports. Eventually they run out of fuel. The Russians are not well known for their at sea replenishment. Something the American Navy is very good at. When I was being transferred to my ship, the USS Bainbridge, I was at sea for three days on an oiler. While at sea I was high lined over to my ship. Nothing like being in mid air with nothing but water below while traveling at about 10 knots. Bracing. The Bainbridge was a nuclear ship, but it carried oil to service the destroyers in the Enterprise task group. Before I went over oil was transferred from the oiler to the Bainbridge.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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