The president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvill said his nation was in effect now engaged in a war with Russia after troops from that nation crossed over into Georgia. Russian jets carried out bombing raids in South Ossetia and in Georgia supposedly hitting Georgian troops. There are reports two Russian jets were shot down. Georgian sources say 30 people were killed by the Russian bombardment while a minister in the separatist administration of South Ossetia says their capital has virtually been destroyed and more than 1400 people died as result of Georgian attacks. Mr. Saakashvill claimed his nation had gained control of the entire area which broke away and is now confronting Russian forces.
President Medvedev has promised to defend Russian “compatriots” and told the world “we will not allow their deaths to go unpunished.” Of course, the people of South Ossetia are not Russian, but some observers believe the strong Russian reaction stemmed from anger against the desire of Georgia to join NATO. Medvedev is taking the approach that Georgia launched an attack and Russia is merely going to the defense of the South Ossetians.
There is no doubt Russian tanks are in the country and they are attacking the Georgian army. The Georgian attack came after Mr. Saakashvill had declared a unilateral cease fire, but when South Ossetia refused to also agree to end fighting, the president sent in Georgian troops.
Ironically, Russia has been the main opponent of Kosovo because it allegedly opposes separatist movements to create independent nations. But, for some strange reason, it is now supporting a separatist movement to create an independent nation.