According to the former president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, the August 2008 war could have been avoided if Georgia had “remained a criminal, corrupt country to which Russia would do whatever it wanted at any time.”
According to Saakashvili, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, directly asked him to appoint their agents as the heads of the security forces.
“My answer to Ivanishvili’s talking heads! Could the war of 2008 have been avoided? Yes, it was possible. All we had to do was this:
1. Leave Aslan in Adjara and refuse to develop Batumi;
2. Appoint [Russian] agents as the heads of the security forces, as Putin directly requested;
3. Not have fought against corruption, because the Russian influence in Georgia was mainly based on this;
4. Not have carried out any reforms, since Russia considers reforms as dangerous precedents;
5. Not have moved towards the European Union and NATO;
6. Not have refused the Russian schemes in energy and, accordingly, should have left Georgia in the dark;
7. We should not have created the Georgian army and military production.
“In one word, we had to remain as a backward, devastated, corrupt country whose fate no-one in the world would be interested in, and to which Russia would do whatever it wanted at any time,” Saakashvili wrote on Facebook.
15 years have been passed since the August war when Russia invaded Georgia. As a result, 20% of the country’s territory remains occupied by Russia.