I said this a little over a year ago:
Others echo her sentiment, blaming the war on Putin or "Russian politics." "Russian politics started this. The Russians are good people, but their politicians are bad, aggressive... The demonstrations [of early November] were Russian provocation," says Timur Kantaria, an ethnic Georgian reservist from Sukhumi who stayed in Gori during the bombing. Others go farther back: "The Russians began this in 1991," says an Informatics professor who asked not to be named.
Whether blaming the Russians or the Ossetians, or even, in rare cases, Saakashvili himself, residents of Gori and Tbilisi are clear on one thing: they do not hold a grudge against Ossetians or Russians as people. This is about great power politics, they say, not ethnic rivalries.
In December, I said this:
The ethnic Ossetians I talked to in Gori felt no fear of reprisals from Georgians; nor did the Georgians harbor malice toward the Ossetians.
A few days ago, EurasiaNet said this:
The repercussions of the military disaster have been far reaching, yet Georgians do no seem inclined to vent their frustrations on ethnic Russians living in Georgia.
"I don’t feel any sort of negativity. . . . I never have," said 64-year-old Viktoria Popova. "I am in love with this people. They are so kind."