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Thursday, August 28, 2008
With time, we are finding out more and more about the events that led to the recent Russo-Georgian War in the Caucausus. Two very good recent accounts have been published in Der Spiegel's International Edition and in the Moscow Times.
Together, the articles show that the buildup to the war began well before August, and may have become inevitable after the NATO summit in March. As early as April, Der Spiegel writes, there may have been no turning back.
In another excellent Der Spiegel article, which looks at the days just before the war in Tskhinvali, there is a well-presented account of the war from the locals' (that is the Ossetians') point of view.
What few seem to remember is that the borders of present day Georgia were drawn by Soviet leader Stalin, a Georgian, and were no more respectful of local nationalities' interests than was, say, the British creation of Iraq.