Monday, September 29, 2008


The West's pillorying of Moscow over last month's invasion of Georgia has kindled a fierce Russian resentment that poses dangers for security in Europe and in trouble spots beyond.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lectured Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during a United Nations gathering in New York, telling him Russia was now isolated. Lavrov countered that his appointment book for the meeting had never been fuller.

Behind the studiedly gentle riposte lay a sense, echoed on the streets in Russia, that the West was not granting resurgent Russia the respect it feels it merits. Animosities ascribed in earlier times to ideological schism between communism and capitalism are proving hardier than many might have expected.

Russia's sense of grievance over the Georgian war stems from Western governments' unwillingness to acknowledge publicly what many say privately – that Tbilisi started the conflict.

Adding insult to injury for the Russians is strong Western support for Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili – loathed by Moscow – and Western media coverage which has overwhelmingly favored Georgia during the conflict.


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