Friday, August 08, 2008

No Overlap At All: Russian Tanks Enter Georgian Ossetia

In my language and conlict website, I write about South Ossetia a little, as part of a larger discussion of post-Soviet conflicts.

If you get Russia Today(RT), the 24 hour English language news station from the Russian perspective, you definitely need to compare it to the story you might get from CNN.  There was no overlap in the facts of the case at all.  CNN has an exclusive interview with Saakashvili, and MSNBC and FOX are not covering the story at all.  The President of Georgia, definitely a U.S. rather than Russian ally, says they did nothing to provoke the Russian invasion, and they bravely have shot down two planes.  The Russian perspective, only available on Russia Today, says the Georgians fired artillery into North Ossetia (on the Russian side of the border), deny all reports of downed planes, and claim they are doing what they can to stabilize the situation.  CNN calls it an invasion, RT calls it Georgian provocation. 

Georgia, in this case, lacks a U.S. presence in the cable media, so outlets like CNN will have to do. 

Just as a reminder, Georgia has plenty of problems with Russia already.  Russia backs the de facto independent Georgian province of Abkhazia.

I made this map by eliminating lots of data from a CIA map.  The "R"s represent Russian population centers.

Ignoring the political perspective for a minute, only RT has footage of what is going on and discussions of what towns have been impacted and how.

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