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Saturday, August 09, 2008 

You know the Cold War is returning...

When you see how Russia is declaring war on Georgia, and causing massive casualties:
OUTSIDE TSKHINVALI, Georgia - Russian tanks and troops rumbled into the separatist province of South Ossetia and Russian aircraft bombed a Georgian town Saturday in a major escalation of the conflict that has left hundreds of civilians dead and wounded.

Russia, which has close ties to the province and posts peacekeepers there, sent in the armed convoys and combat aircraft to prevent Georgia from retaking control of its breakaway region. The military convoys included volunteers from around Russia's North Caucasus.

Georgia, a U.S. ally whose troops have been trained by American soldiers, launched a major offensive overnight Friday. Heavy rocket and artillery fire pounded the provincial capital, Tskhinvali, leaving much of the city in ruins.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Moscow on Saturday that some 1,500 people have been killed in South Ossetia, with the death toll rising.

The figures could not be independently confirmed. But Tskhinvali residents who survived the bombardment by hiding in basements and later fled the city estimated that hundreds of civilians had died. They said bodies were lying everywhere.

The risk of the conflict setting off a wider war increased Saturday when Russian-supported separatists in another breakaway region, Abkhazia, launched air and artillery strikes to drive Georgian troops from their bridgehead.

Georgia, which borders the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia, was ruled by Moscow for most of the two centuries preceding the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Now, if Russia has their way, Georgia could find itself back in neo-soviet hands again, and that could be real soon, unless democratic forces come to their aid. But who knows if they will?
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that Moscow sent troops into South Ossetia to force Georgia into a cease-fire. Saakashvili said he has proposed a cease-fire, but Medvedev's office said Saturday evening that Russia had not received his proposal.

Saakashvili, a U.S.-educated lawyer, long has pledged to restore Georgia's rule over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Georgia has angered Russia by seeking NATO membership — a bid Moscow regards as part of a Western effort to weaken its influence in the region.
An evil influence, that is, and one that needs to be brought down. Because it's clear that one way or another, Russia is reverting to totalitarianism again.

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