Regional Peacekeepers: The Paradox of Russian Peacekeeping

Regional Peacekeepers: The Paradox of Russian Peacekeeping

Regional Peacekeepers: The Paradox of Russian Peacekeeping

Regional Peacekeepers: The Paradox of Russian Peacekeeping

Synopsis

Despite the disintegration of the Soviet Union during the 1990s, Russia has continued to maintain its longstanding obligations and strategic interests in former Soviet territories. This publication examines Russia's military interventions in regional conflicts to determine whether its role has been genuinely peacekeeping or more a post-imperial presence that seeks to maintain former strategic interests. It includes first hand accounts of the CIS peacekeeping efforts in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Moldova, and Tajikistan, as well as contemporary assessments of Russian peacekeeping efforts alongside NATO forces, as well as in Chechnya.

Excerpt

This chapter describes two separate peacekeeping operations, one in South Ossetia, which deployed in July 1992, and one in Abkhazia, which deployed after the Moscow Agreement was signed in May 1994. Although these operations are distinct in their style, and in the train of local events that led to their deployment, the overarching circumstances of Georgia's decline are common to both of them. This chapter is therefore organized in three parts which recognize this common background. the first part is a generalist view of Georgia. It explains how the embryonic Black Sea nation acquired the attributes of statehood that in due course helped to hold it together, but at the same time how its society became deeply divided in a way that would tear it apart when the overarching structures of the communist regime were removed. the second part describes the peacekeeping operation in South Ossetia, and the final part details the peacekeeping operation in Abkhazia.

The collapsing Georgian state

Georgia claims a territorial and cultural identity that is as defined and longstanding as any successful European state. the Neolithic origins of its modern people can be traced as far back as the fifth millennium bc. Sited at the crossroads between several powerful empires, it was to be expected that the original Georgian tribes would be augmented by mi-

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