The battle of words has replaced the battle of tanks and soldiers in the volatile area of South Ossetia and Georgia. Georgia charged there was a build up of Russian soldiers on its border while Russian sources claim the Georgians are responsible for any tension in the region. Georgian Interior Ministry spokesperson, Shota Utiashvli insisted, “during the last two weeks, 2,000 additional Russian troops have been deployed in South Ossetia,” and tanks are moving up to the border. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded by pointing out Russia is abiding by its promise to maintain a force of about 3,700 troops. He also claimed Georgia sent special forces into South Ossetia and expressed anger at the murder of the head of military intelligence by Georgia forces.
There is scant doubt rhetoric will die down any time in the near future. Each side is attempting to justify its behavior in recent events. Georgia will not admit it began the entire episode, and Russia will not admit it over-reacted to the entire situation.