On the eighth of August, 2008, for the first time since the war in Afghanistan, in South Ossetia the blood of Russian soldiers and civilians was spilled with the involvement of the United States of America. American involvement on this occasion was obvious: in contrast to Afghan mujahideen in rags, the Georgian military were dressed in the latest "digital" American uniforms – the camouflage pattern on them was applied with pixels. The U.S. Marines had only changed over to this type of uniform by the end of 2004. Images on the world's leading television channels emphatically portrayed that there was a proxy war going on between the United States and Russia.
Even during the Cold War, the sides were careful to avoid armed conflict. How did war in South Ossetia come about under current conditions where, despite all the tense rhetoric, relations between Russia and America are still far from an open confrontation?
The French documentary film “États-Unis – À la conquête de l'Est” (“The United States – the Conquest of the East”, by Manon Loizeau, Marc Berdugo Production, CAPA & Canal + France, 2005) shows an intriguing incident. At an official reception in the Georgian capital, the first person that President Saakashvili shook hands with was Bruce Jackson. His name does not appear on the protocol list. For over twenty years Jackson served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, and in 1996 he founded the U.S. Committee to Expand NATO. The motto of the Committee is militarily short and to the point: “Strengthen America. Secure Europe. Defend Values. Expand NATO.” Jackson is easiest to find where a color revolution is being prepared – or the benefits of one are being reaped.
Mikhail Saakashvili said to the camera: "The need for Russian soldiers to leave their base in Georgia is obvious. However, it must be done in a civilized manner. We don't want to drive them out. Look, the Syrians left Lebanon in three weeks, despite the fact that there were four times as many of them as there are Russians in South Ossetia."
Bruce Jackson, who was standing right behind Saakashvili, listened attentively. Saakashvili turned towards him with an embarrassed smile and looking a little confused said:
"Did I say something wrong?"
"No, Mister President, please continue. Everything is fine," answered Jackson.
In addition to the United States, Georgia had another active ally in the Ossetian conflict against Russia: Ukrainian President, Viktor Yushchenko. Since his election in 2004, Saakashvili has supplied Yushchenko with tanks, helicopters and artillery systems. Over time, more and more emphasis has been placed on offensive weapons: modular Shkval systems, grenade launchers, cannons and machine guns. In anticipation of the August attack Yushchenko did not send surplus weapons to Georgia; he took weapon systems from line units: all told, Ukraine gave Georgia 7 battalions of Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems – half of the Ukrainian arsenal. Yushchenko sold Georgia weapons at prices reduced by 3 to 7 times. This was established by a Verkhovna Rada commission chaired by Deputy Valery Konovalyuk, who conducted an investigation into arms deliveries. Konovalyuk personally visited the large Ukrainian weapons depots at Lozovaya Station, where a fire at the end of August destroyed military property. According to Konovalyuk, the depots were burned to cover up traces of the deliveries.