“This unfortunately, was a miscalculation”. Apart from being the understatement of the year, thus far, the so-called miscalculation has caused fear, almost mayhem and a diplomatic incident. It is yet another issue, between Russia and Georgia, who are at the best of times no more than very cool ex-partners.
The cause of the polemic is a TV programme that was broadcast showing the Russians just outside Tbilisi with their tanks; the commentary stated that there was a Russian incursion, an attack, a war situation. People who switched on part way through the programme were frightened witless. They would not have been party to the introduction about this being a scenario that was up for discussion on what could happen and how such an event might be handled by the State and individuals.
A Georgian diplomat was called by a friend to suggest he watched the programme. He initially considered returning to London to ‘continue his work’ and also grabbing arms. It then dawned on him that the pictures were showing the wrong season,it was clear that something didn’t compute. From the war scenes and commentary, the programme cut back to a studio audience to discuss the points arising. At this stage, the diplomat tried to contact his friends, only to find the cell phones were not working. It was not clear if the network had been cut or was simply overloaded with use. However, with a major contact network out of order, dreadful things could have happened. The reality is that there are Russian tanks some miles from Georgian capital city, but they are currently static, for the time being parked at peace.
The Russians do not believe that there could not have been Georgian Government complicity, that the programmers acted on their own and uncensored, unlike, it was said, the Russian Media that is totally controlled. (Opportunity for a dig). The TV company has breached Georgian broadcasting regulations and has to be punished, advised the diplomat.
When asked why they had not transmitted a message simultaneously with the scenario, stating, ‘THIS IS A SIMULATION’ the spokesman for the programmers/TV station replied, “This unfortunately, was a miscalculation”.