Democracy Falls Apart in Georgia

The people in the country of Georgia have been living in a state of chaos and confusion since 2003. The nation has undergone 3 revolutions, which resulted from the different ideologies that were being pushed upon them by Russia, Europe, and America. In 2008, there was an attempted coup d’etat led by General Grigoryivich Makashvili after he had been unable to get the president Saakashvilli out for over a month. This coup failed because it did not receive enough support from either side of the political spectrum. However, later that year a military conflict was sparked by the Georgian government. The controversy over this conflict is still being argued today because not many people know what really happened to instigate it. While some believe that Russia started the war in order to have a better foothold for their expansionistic agenda, others feel as if Saakashvilli got carried away and did something stupid to make Russia attack Georgia. However, there is one clear answer that can be given for this conflict: both sides were at fault.

The government was at fault because they should have realized that the country of Georgia could not win a war against such a large nation as Russia. This belief came from the fact that “when Russia was on its knees, having lost wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya and suffering from a severe economic crisis, she had the moral right to restore order and re-assert her power” (Stent). Saakashvilli should have realized that he was standing on very thin ice with his own people because he had just recently been elected into office. Although he was backed by the United States, “the majority of Georgians are very pro-Russian” (Stent). Because Russia already had enough influence in Georgia to sway the vote, Saakashvilli should have come into his position with an open mind and realized that it would be better for him if he only made small changes in the country (Stent). However, Saakashvilli went ahead and implemented policies that were against Russia’s wishes, which was one of the main reasons why they wanted to gain control over Georgia.

On top of this, when Russia came out with their plan to restore peace in South Ossetia because of the fighting between the government and separatists, Saakashvilli should have seen what was coming. This is because “the economic crisis in Russia has resulted in a sharp decline in living standards for many Russians”-meaning that they could not afford to lose all of their assets (Stent). This caused the Russian people to start rioting and protesting on the streets because of their financial problems. With these issues at hand, Russia needed to get the Georgian government under control, which meant that they had to assert their power over Georgia once more. However, Saakashvilli should have realized that Russia was getting back on its feet and saw the opportunity for expansion in Georgia.

It is understood why some Georgians wanted to secede from Russia because “the Kremlin was making every effort to block their advance” (Stent). The problem with this is that Saakashvilli should have realized how much damage he could do if he went against the Russian government at this time. This is because “in order to regain lost status, Moscow has forced the West to recognize the independence of two Georgian separatist regions” (Stent). This is an example of how Russia was using Georgia against the world by saying, “If you don’t let us have our way with Georgia, we will become more aggressive with this country.” Once again, Saakashvilli should have seen what kind of position he