Friday, August 08, 2008

Russia and Georgia at war

CIA version of Georgia map from

Update: Via Sullivan, a good summary of what's going on and why from James Joyner.

I had heard about this conflict, but didn't know it was so close to open warfare. Now we're talking about planes and tanks and thousands of troops. US is calling for restraint. The dispute is over South Ossetia, which as I understand it wants to break away from Georgia and has Russian support for doing so. From

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said ``war has started'' over the breakaway region of South Ossetia as Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili accused its neighbor of a ``well-planned invasion.''

Saakashvili said in a Bloomberg Television interview that his nation of 4.6 million people is ``fighting to secure its borders'' amid a ``full-blown military aggression'' involving thousands of Russian troops. Aerial bombings and wide-spread fighting in and around the region killed an unknown number of civilians and wounded ``scores'' more, Saakashvili said.

Putin earlier today told U.S. President George W. Bush in Beijing that ``volunteers'' were pouring over the border to help defend South Ossetia from Georgian forces, according to Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. ``War started today in South Ossetia'' when Georgia attacked Russian peacekeepers in the disputed region, Putin said. The Defense Ministry later said it deployed ``reinforcements'' in the region.


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