Georgia Blames Russia in Reported Shooting at Saakashvili Motorcade

After a reported shooting near a motorcade taking Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and visiting Polish President Lech Kaczynski to the Ossetian border, the Georgian government issued a statement claiming Russian soldiers fired the shots from 30 meters away.

President Saakashvili said the attack was aimed at the two leaders, and underscored the “unpredictable people” the Russian military has deployed to the border region. President Kaczynski confirmed the account, and used it as an excuse to hit out at the France-brokered truce between Russia and Georgia. Kaczynski also took the opportunity to accuse the Russian government of attempting to “rebuild the Soviet Empire” and urged NATO and the EU to take unified action before it is too late.

Journalists traveling in the motorcade reported hearing shots, but couldn’t confirm the official Georgian account of the incident. It is unclear how a Russian patrol could get through the buffer zone between Georgia and South Ossetia without EU monitors noticing. It is likewise unclear how a Russian military patrol a mere 30 meters from a motorcade could open fire and not hit anybody.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.