Former Envoy: Georgia Started War With Russia

In comments today Georgia’s former ambassador to Russia Erosi Kitsmarishvili said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was ‘itching’ to do battle over South Ossetia, and blamed the nation for sparking a brief August war with Russia that ended in the destruction of much of Georgia’s military and Russia officially recognizing the independence of the separatist enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Ambassador Kitsmarishvili did give Russia some share of the blame for encouraging Saakashvili to embark on the disastrous course, but squarely labeled Georgia the aggressor, saying that some Georgian leaders had gotten the impression from a meeting between President Saakashvili and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the United States had given the green light for the assault of South Ossetia, and had promised to back the nation.

During testimony to a Georgian parliamentary commission (during which he was assaulted by an MP) Kitsmarishvili also says Saakashvili told him of a plan to reoccupy Abkhazia and move Georgia’s capital to the Abkhaz capital city of Sukhumi. Georgia has condemned the former ambassador’s comments as “irresponsible.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of