South Ossetia

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South Ossetia a Cautionary Tale for Crimea

South Ossetians starting to get sick of Moscow

(Newser) - The ethnic Russians who make up most of Crimea's population are pretty excited about the reunion with the motherland , but a look at other regions reveals that the love from Moscow may not last long, the New York Times finds. In South Ossetia, recognized as an independent state by... More »

Russia, Georgia Fund Dueling War Movies

Propaganda is the better part of valor

(Newser) - More than a year after they stopped shooting at each other, Russia and Georgia are still fighting—on movie screens. Each side is backing high-profile films sympathetic to their take on the war. Russia’s first effort, a documentary entitled Act of Betrayal, fell flat because its claims that Georgia... More »

EU Report: Georgia Started War

But Russia broke international law, militia committed genocide

(Newser) - Georgia was responsible for triggering last summer’s war with Russia, a European Union investigation has concluded. But Russia was far from blameless, laying the foundation for the war and breaking international law by invading. The report, which was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, also accuses Russian-backed South Ossetian... More »

Chávez in Russia for Military Spending Spree

Venezuela recognizes breakaway republics ahead of arms deal talks

(Newser) - Hugo Chávez arrived in Moscow today, where the Venezuelan president is reportedly ready for an arms "shopping spree." Chávez is ready to buy at least 100 tanks for $500 million, reports the Times of London, and a Kremlin aide said Venezuela may get loans for helicopters,... More »

Georgia Prez Charges Russians Fired on Motorcade

Shots fired as Georgian leader travels with Polish president to refugee camp

(Newser) - Shots were fired close to a motorcade ferrying Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili and Polish President Lech Kaczynski  to a refugee camp in Georgia near the border with the breakaway region of South Ossetia, officials said. Saakashvili blamed Russian troops at a border checkpoint for the gunfire, reports Voice of America.... More »

Georgia Needs Our Help—Not a Seat at NATO

Investment, not guns, is the way to face down Russia: Kristof

(Newser) - Nicholas Kristof travels to Tbilisi, where ambitious, America-loving Georgians live in fear of a resurgent Russia. The United States needs to support this capitalist enclave in the Caucasus, writes the New York Times columnist—but not by letting it join NATO. The reason? President Mikheil Saakashvili may be brilliant and... More »

Report Rebuts Georgian Claims About Invasion

It suggests nation shelled S. Ossetia to provoke Russia

(Newser) - Independent military observers have published new accounts that contradict Georgia's claim that it was acting defensively against Russian aggression. The reports suggest instead that the small Georgian army moved into Tskhinvali unprovoked, unleashing artillery and rocket fire without discrimination at civilians and unarmed monitors. It also discounts the claim, made... More »

Russia-Georgia Talks Break Down

UN court tells nations not to target breakaway groups

(Newser) - Georgia-Russia peace talks broke down today when Russian officials skipped a plenary session, Reuters reports, and the two sides failed even to agree on whether to include officials from South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the closed-door meeting. Each side bitterly blamed the other amid continuing tensions emanating from the five-day... More »

Russian Army Leaves Georgian Buffer Zones

Troops will stay in breakaway regions; EU forces to remain

(Newser) - Russian troops have withdrawn from the “buffer zones” that separate the secessionist republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from the rest of Georgia ahead of Friday's deadline, the BBC reports. Though Russia plans to keep 7,600 troops inside the breakaway republics themselves, the move "paves the way... More »

Some Georgians Doubt Russia Means to Leave

Troops build military road even as Friday pullout deadline looms

(Newser) - The fact that Russian troops continue to upgrade a dirt road that connects a town near Georgia’s capital with the capital of the breakaway area of South Ossetia has many Georgians in the area believing Moscow isn’t serious about Friday’s deadline to withdraw troops, the Christian Science ... More »

7 Russian Soldiers Dead in South Ossetia Blast

Moscow silent amid fingerpointing as ceasefire is tested

(Newser) - A bomb that killed seven Russian soldiers today in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia is threatening the uneasy peace there, the Telegraph reports, though Moscow has thus far remained silent on the matter. The area was the focus of a 5-day war in August, and the rebels controlling... More »

Russia Lets EU Monitors Into Georgia Buffer Zone

Unarmed patrol allowed near, but not in South Ossetia

(Newser) - Russian troops allowed unarmed EU monitors into the buffer zone around South Ossetia for the first time today, after France helped negotiate a truce between Russia and Georgia. The blue-beret-sporting French troops spent 90 minutes touring the heavily guarded area, the Guardian reports. The EU will be sending its monitors... More »

Rice: Russia Aimed for Georgia Overthrow

US broadside comes as Moscow refuses to allow observers into South Ossetia

(Newser) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice blasted Russia today as “increasingly authoritarian at home and aggressive abroad,” accusing Moscow of trying to overthrow the Georgian government during its recent invasion, the Guardian reports. The harshest US condemnation of Russia yet comes as Moscow refuses to allow European observers... More »

Georgian Tapes Imply Russia Started War

Troops may have entered South Ossetia before Georgia attack

(Newser) - Although the bloodshed has ended, Georgia and Russia are still fighting—over which nation was the aggressor in last month's conflict. The Georgian government, which insists that Russia invaded its territory, has released tapes of intercepted phone calls implying that a Russian regiment entered South Ossetia 24 hours before Georgia... More »

Georgia Pushing to Rebuild Shattered Army Even Bigger

Nation hopes for US help in building modern military to face Russia threat

(Newser) - The dust has barely settled from the catastrophic clash with Russia but Georgia's leaders are already keen to start rebuilding the country's pulverized army, the New York Times reports. Ambitious plans are being made to remake the military bigger and better than before—with plenty of US help. But Western... More »

EU Snubs Talks on New Russia Pact

Retaliation for invasion of Georgia

(Newser) - Europe has backed out of talks on a new partnership agreement with Russia in the wake of the invasion of Georgia, the BBC reports.  The decision followed an emergency European summit in Brussels. The commission president said Europe could not continue with negotiations "as if nothing had happened.... More »

Georgia Cuts Diplomatic Ties With Moscow

Nation withdraws embassy staff from 'aggressor nation'

(Newser) - Georgia pulled its diplomats from Moscow today, charging that it cannot engage in diplomacy with an “aggressor country,” the AP reports. A spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the Georgians’ cutting of diplomatic ties would not benefit relations between the two countries. Russian troops remain in Georgia,... More »

Russia Will Absorb South Ossetia 'in Several Years'

'Separatist regimes ... cut off from reality,' Georgian official fires back

(Newser) - Russia intends to absorb Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia “in several years” or perhaps sooner, the speaker of the region’s parliament tells AP. In meetings this week in Moscow between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity, the intent was “firmly stated... More »

'Independent' South Ossetia Dreams Big

Locals want to make province into a tax haven, ski resort

(Newser) - When the Russian government recognized South Ossetia as an independent state last week, the international reaction was not only anger but incredulity. The breakaway Georgian province has only 70,000 citizens, and they have suffered both wretched poverty and years of fighting. But citizens insist that theirs is a viable... More »

Putin: US Sparked Georgia War

Part of plot to win votes for McCain, he claims

(Newser) - Invoking the era of Cold War conspiracies, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the US of sparking conflict in Georgia to give John McCain a campaign boost. “They need a small victorious war,” the told CNN. He insisted the US encouraged Georgia to attack their two breakaway... More »

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