Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has weighed in again about the recent bloody battles between Russia and Georgia, this time insisting in a New York Times Op-Ed piece that Russia was “dragged into the fray by the recklessness of the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili” and “did not need a little victorious war.”
Mikhail Gorbachev in The New York Times:
Russia did not want this crisis. The Russian leadership is in a strong enough position domestically; it did not need a little victorious war. Russia was dragged into the fray by the recklessness of the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili. He would not have dared to attack without outside support. Once he did, Russia could not afford inaction.
The decision by the Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, to now cease hostilities was the right move by a responsible leader. The Russian president acted calmly, confidently and firmly. Anyone who expected confusion in Moscow was disappointed.
The planners of this campaign clearly wanted to make sure that, whatever the outcome, Russia would be blamed for worsening the situation. The West then mounted a propaganda attack against Russia, with the American news media leading the way.