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Reuters Global News Blog - Was South Ossetia's Fate Sealed in Kosovo?
By Giles Elgood

Is Kosovo to blame for the fighting in South Ossetia?

When the Serbian province seceded from Belgrade in February, South Ossetia was quick to reassert its own claim to international recognition.


More from the 'No one could have predicted' department. Good to see someone in the press pick it up.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 09:32:45 AM EST
A monogram on Medvedev's Russia published by Limes in May (Progetto Russia) expected- rather than predicted- Russian military interventions not only there but elsewhere in the ex-USSR. The article by Vitalij Tret'jakov, "Project Russia: What Putin and Medvedev Want" argues that Russia will have to step up military pressure throughout the ex-republics to reaffirm its sovereignty and contrast American ambitions. It's realpolitik in its purest form.

Here is a brief English video with text on Russia's expected consolidation along its borders.

An article in Italian published nearly three weeks ago already discussed the possibility of Russian military activity in South Ossetia. One is tempted to wonder if Georgia and the US have secret accords.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 11:48:17 AM EST
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I'm sorry, but that bit in English makes it sound very much as though this is about Russia having imperialist ambitions and wanting to reconquer the areas it lost when the Soviet Union disintegrated.  Of course, I can't read the minds of those running Russia, know what their fantasies are.  That may very well be the plan.  But let's stick to what is actually occurring in reality, and leaving fortune telling to the fortune tellers.  What is happening in reality is wildly complicated, but South Ossetia appears to want complete freedom from Georgia.  So there is conflict between the Georgian gov't. and the separatists in South Ossetia.  Russia has agreed to defend the South Ossetians.  Out of the kindness of their hearts, or for personal gain?  I'm not aware of any country whose foreign policy is based on charity and not self-interest, but apparently this is expected of Russia.  Anyway, Russia said to Georgia, if you attack, we will retaliate.  But frankly, we'd prefer no war.  So, Georgia waited until they thought no one was looking, and attacked.  Russia responds, and suddenly Russia is painted as the aggressor.  That's just not entirely accurate, is it?  Regardless who stands to gain what, by all accounts, Georgia wanted this conflict more than Russia did.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:15:07 PM EST
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My comment refers to "No one could have predicted..."

Unfortunately the article I refer to is not available on line nor do I have a copy at hand. I will definitely reread it later at home.

The sequence of events as reported by Italian correspondents in Georgia lays the initiative of hostilites squarely on Georgia's shoulders- as if it were them who "waited for the Olympics." Russia has simply acted as expected, especially with the death of Russian citizens. But I suppose a debate on who started can go on til we're blue in the face.

The larger geopolitical scenario has Russia acting as any power who wishes to reassert its authority within its sphere of influence especially when another power on the world scene encroaches on its very borders. Russia cannot be expected to sit and wait while Saakashvili openly courts NATO. You needn't be a fortune teller to figure that out.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:46:17 PM EST
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