I haven’t written about the War for South Ossetia yet since, initially, the confliict seemed to be pretty minor and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. South Ossetia is, technically, part of Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state) though it declared independence in the early 1990s and has essentially operated independently since then, though no U.N. members have recognized South Ossetia as independent.
Neighboring North Ossetia is part of Russia, and Russia has (unofficially) supported South Ossetia and opposed Georgian influence in the region. The situation between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia began to spiral out of control last week. Georgia, claiming that seperatists in South Ossetia had initiated violence, sent troops into South Ossetia on Thursday. With surprising speed, Russian military forces amassed on the border and entered South Ossetia pushing Georgian troops out of the breakaway province.
If it had ended there, it would have been a non-story. But Russian forces continue to press into Georgia proper and bomb Georgian targets, and the Russian government has refused to accept a cease fire offered by Georgia. Russia has publicly issued an ultimatum to the Georgian government, demanding their complete withdrawal from South Ossetia and binding agreement to never reenter South Ossetia with military forces.
Some are beginning to suspect that Russia’s intentions may extend beyond securing South Ossetia to annexation of the province, and perhaps the entirety of Georgia, as Russian forces continue to invade sovereign Georgian territory without provocation.