Anger focused on West
In much of the West, the conflict between Russia and Georgia has been portrayed as a case of Russian aggression against a small democratic state.
But in Russia, where television coverage hews close to the government line, almost all the opinion aired on blogs and online forums paints the United States and Georgia as the villains. Some samples:
“At last Russia showed its fangs! Enough humiliation! We are an empire still! And we will break the back of those who will challenge us. Georgia must have got a good lesson now that they can’t kill Russians. Blood for blood.”
“We completely lost the media war both in the West and at home. The statements of our diplomats and military quite adjustable for Western audiences were not promoted at all. The cartoons of the evil bear devouring the small and defenseless Georgia wouldn’t leave the pages of newspapers and magazines.
“The war in South Ossetia and the way it was reflected in the statements of Western leaders and the leading mass media publications exposed the genuine attitude of the West toward Russia. The opponents of our country took advantage of the humanitarian catastrophe in Ossetia to launch a massive anti-Russian campaign.”
“This is all a conspiracy against Russia. It became clear to me back on Aug. 8 that this is a war between Russia and the United States and that it will be very bloody. The U.S.A. incites other countries [into] making loud statements about Russia. They want to fool their countrymen who don’t like Russians and they want to rally more allies against Russia.”
“Russia ended up in a terrible international situation. I am sure that half the European countries if not more than that will support the U.S. government. And then it will be a real catastrophe. Americans are so sly. They make everybody dance to their trumpet. Oh God, why do people believe them?
“We need to behave like China and Iran. Total support inside the country and we should not give a damn about the world that is U.S. opinion. And do our business.”
Reporting and translation by Times staff writer Sergei Loiko in Moscow.