Media Blog

How Russians Shop for New Cars in Georgia

Here’s an update to the “Reporter Season” post below from today’s WSJ:

GORI, Georgia — A stocky man in camouflage fatigues who walked from behind a Russian tank seemed like any other Russian soldier at the main military checkpoint just inside this occupied Georgian city. Then, he pulled out a pistol, stuck it into the thigh of a United Nations official and demanded the keys to a gleaming SUV parked nearby.

Seconds later, he pointed the gun at the feet of another international official, collected another pair of car keys, and — unleashing a volley of obscenities — fired two shots in the air. Suddenly, dozens of journalists, aid workers and diplomats rushed to their cars as Russian troops sat atop several tanks, watching the mayhem around them with amused detachment.

Three staffers of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, their vehicle seized at gunpoint, sought refuge in the back of a speeding Wall Street Journal car, breaking a window as they jumped inside. “This is not a very safe place,” exhaled Nikolai Vanchev, the UNHCR field-safety adviser, as he tried to relay a protest to the Russian Embassy. Mr. Vanchev, a Bulgarian citizen, said his agency lost two sport-utility vehicles to the marauders at the Gori checkpoint.

The gunman’s thin white armband meant he was almost certainly a member of Russian-backed fighters from South Ossetia, the breakaway province of Georgia where fighting first erupted a week ago.

His brazen behavior belied a series of claims made at the very same checkpoint by the top Russian commander in Gori, Gen. Vyacheslav Borisov — who assured reporters Wednesday night that there are no Ossetian irregulars in the city and that his soldiers would execute anyone found looting or marauding.

Most Popular

PC Culture

‘White Women’ Becomes a Disparaging Term

Using “white men” as a putdown is no longer extreme enough for the Left. Now it is moving on to doing the same for “white women.” How rapidly this transpired. It was less than two years ago that the approximately 98.7 percent of white women working in media who were openly rooting for Hillary Clinton ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World Keeps Not Ending

We were not supposed to have made it this far. George Orwell saw night descending on us in 1984. Orwell was, on paper, a radical, but in his heart he was an old-fashioned English liberal. He dreamed of socialism but feared socialists. He feared them because he knew them. I was in the sixth grade in 1984, but I ... Read More
Culture

A Free People Must Be Virtuous

Dear Reader (Even those of you who didn’t seem to notice or care that I failed to file this “news”letter on Friday), So I’m sitting here at Gate C6 at O’Hare waiting for my flight home. I am weary, pressed for time, in desperate need of a shower, and filled with a great sense of dread for the work ... Read More