Georgian president Mikheil "Misha" Saakashvili finds himself ostracized by his western allies and facing demands to resign following a disastrous war with Russia.
With exclusive access to Saakashvili, his inner-circle and his most vocal critics MISHA VERSUS MOSCOW asks whether Saakashvili can regain his crown as the darling of international politics or whether the war has torpedoed for good any chance of peace in the region.
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Saakashvili exploded onto the world stage five years ago, swept to power during a peaceful uprising known as the Rose Revolution. The Bush administration promoted Georgia as a “beacon of liberty”, but the honeymoon didn’t last long. In November 2007 Saakashvili shut down an independent television station and ordered riot police to disperse street protestors. His critics began calling him oppressive and authoritarian.
Then came August 2008, when separatist tensions that have simmered since Georgia gained independence from the Soviet Union finally exploded. Acting on reports that Russian troops were advancing into Georgia’s Moscow-backed breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Saakashvili ordered his military to attack. Russia retaliated on South Ossetia’s and Abkhazia’s behalf. With little support from the Bush administration, NATO or the European Union, Georgia suffered a humiliating defeat. And the world wondered whether it was time for Saakashvili to go.
MISHA VERSUS MOSCOW features interviews with Saakashvili, Georgia's former president Eduard Shevardnadze, Russia’s ambassador to Washington Vitaly Churkin and the former US State Department’s head of Eurasian Affairs, Matthew Bryza, among others.