Russia-media has published an interesting - and chilling - interview with the "liberal" president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev´s way of describing his mentor (and boss) Vladmir Putin´s brute use of force in Chehncya, is revealing:
ALEXEI VENEDIKTOV: Allow me to speak bluntly then: How is Saakashvili’s action on Tskhinval different from what Russia was doing to Grozny back in 1999?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: This is a question I get to hear rather often. The difference is that Russia was not after the same objectives in Grozny as Georgia was in Tskhinval. We were pursuing a legitimate task of restoring order. We were not set on mass-killing our own people. We were fighting criminals: the people who defied a legitimate government, draping themselves with various slogans, from pseudo-Islamic notions to pure extremist propaganda. There was nothing of the kind in either South Ossetia or Abkhazia, since these two republics had long existed as self-proclaimed independent states which had their own governments and maintained some sort of law and order. These cases are essentially different.
Contrast this with what actually happened in Chechnya:
In 2004, the human rights group Memorial estimated the amount of civilian casualties of both wars at "more than 200,000" and the amount of Russian soldiers killed at 20,000 to 40,000
Earlier on in the interview Medvedev said this about the Georgian president:
Saakashvili had committed a crime against the Russian Federation and its nationals. Hundreds of our citizens were killed on his orders, including Russian peacekeepers.
When one of the journalists pressed Medvedev on the number of persons killed by Georgian troops in Tshkinval, suddenly the number of "our citzens" killed were of no importance:
EKATERINA KOTRIKADZE: Let us look at some of the numbers. In the wake of the war in 2008, Russian envoys and the representatives of South Ossetia’s de facto government argued that the fighting in Tskhinval had claimed 2,000 lives. That was the number that was announced. Later on, Russia’s Investigative Committee estimated the casualties at no more than 150 people. Meanwhile, it was this alleged toll of 2,000 that had served as one of the main reasons for launching the so-called peace enforcement operation. How would you account for this discrepancy now, three years after the war?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: I have explained my rationale for taking that decision on numerous occasions. You see, I didn’t look to any figures for motivation. This isn’t exactly a case for mathematics.
Read the entire Medvedev interview here
Vladimir Medvedev´s answers speak volumes about the mindset of this puppet of Putin, who for some difficult to understand reasons still is considered to be a "liberal" by many western political leaders. Medvedev has the temerity to claim that Russia´s well documented war crimes in Chechnya were just "a legitimate task of restoring order" while at the same time (falsely) alleging that Georgian troops were "set on mass killing our own people". Western leaders should understand that Russia´s only hope of moving towards a society based on the rule of law and respect of human rights is in replacing the corrupt Putin/Medvedev regime with a new generation of leaders who share western values.