This is IN THE NEWS in
VOA Special English.
Russia has come under
increasing international pressure in the week since it attacked Georgia. That
followed a Georgian attempt to take control of the capital of South Ossetia, a
The number of dead in
the conflict is disputed. But Georgia and Russia estimate that more than one
hundred thousand people have been displaced. International aid has reached some
areas but not many.
On Friday, Georgian
President Mikheil Saakashvili signed a cease-fire agreement negotiated by France.
At the same time, he criticized the West for not doing more to defend his
Georgia has been seeking
to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. President Saakashvili said
Russia had been planning its attack since NATO decided in April to delay action
on Georgian membership.
With him in Tbilisi was
American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She said the most urgent task now
is the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces.
In Paris, French
President Nicolas Sarkozy said the way is now open for a Security Council
resolution to end the crisis.
Russia and Georgia blame
each other for the hostilities and are considering ways to bring war crimes
charges against one another.
Georgia says it launched
an offensive against separatists in South Ossetia last week after coming under
Russian fire. Russia says it acted to protect its citizens in Ossetia. North
Ossetia was put within Russian borders after the Soviet Union collapsed in
The recent violence has
been the worst since South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in
nineteen ninety-two. The next year, pro-Russian separatists in another area,
Abkhazia, took control of most of that territory.
President George Bush
said the United States will use air and naval forces to deliver humanitarian
supplies to the Georgian people.
Also, the presidents of
Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia visited Tbilisi on Tuesday.
These countries and Georgia were all under Soviet control during the Cold War.
The Soviets also used force in Hungary in nineteen fifty-six and in
Czechoslovakia in sixty-eight.
Today, some experts
believe Russia, under former president and now prime minister Vladimir Putin,
may be moving in a similar direction.
American and many
European officials saw the Russian move in Georgia as an act of aggression
against a democratic country. But many experts say the ability of the West to
influence Russia is limited. The United States and the European Union still
need Russia's cooperation on international issues.
On Friday, President
Bush declared that "Moscow must honor its commitment to withdraw its
invading forces from all Georgian territory." He said Russia has damaged
its international relations. In his words: "The Cold War is over. The days
of satellite states and spheres of influence are behind us."
And that's IN THE NEWS
in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.
My name is Anatoly. I am from Russia. I like USA and people from USA. However I think West want new cold war. It is very pity. I think USA will protect own citizens too in any point on land! Why must Russian act differently?
— Anatoly Dobrynin, August 17, 3:42 pm
Hello VOA team. My name's Renat.I'm from Russia,Moscow. I've been listening to your specialenglish podcasts for about 4 months. Most of all I like to listen to Steve Amber. You all are doing a great job, thank you for it. But you've disappointed me when you released an article 'Georgia Attack Heightens Concerns About Wider Aims of Russia' I thought you are journalists not politicians. Shame on you!
— Renat, August 16, 8:12 am
I am a resident in UK and have been listeneing to the spin on this war the west has tried to put on.
do not condone war or violence. However the western propaganda includng
that of yours make it out as if West has never engaged in wars or as if
their hands are clean. I can cite Vietnam and Iraq as very recent
examples. Do not forget that time for colonialism (either directly or
indirectly through corrupt democratic regimes) is over and that deluded
posturing actually endangers civilian populations living all over the
There are hawks n washingon led by VP Dick Cheney who stand to gain by fighting wars.
Do not forget the sins of west. you have nomral authoriy o point fingers at others.
— Nalin Uduwawala, August 16, 4:35 am
Your company is spreading false rumors and very blatent lies about the conflict in Georgia.
"Russia has come under increasing international pressure in the week since it attacked Georgia."
I think you've forgotten the fact that Georgia attacked its own people due to their uprising nature and want to create their own state. You are warping the facts and creating your own version of reality.
You have some nerve to call your news corporation by this name with the libel about Russia you write.
— Shane Martin, August 16, 0:32 am