This summer it has been 10 years ago the world was caught by surprise by the short intense Russian – Georgian war, seemingly “just” about a small Georgian separatist region of less than 50.000 people that not many had heard of: South Ossetia *). The full scale fighting started just hours before the opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, in the night of 7 to 8 August local time. Key developments in the last 24 hours led to the final escalation of violence with a Russian intervention as result. Although it took many by surprise, a direct Russian – Georgian war was in the making for quite some time, accelerated by key developments in 2008.
Western recognition of Kosovo in February of that year and the infamous NATO summit in Bucharest two months later, where Georgia and Ukraine got an open door invitation for a future membership, triggered the final acceleration to conflict and escalation of tensions. The Russian government felt strongly provoked by both steps led by the American President George W. Bush, and it used the Georgian South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions where it maintained a peacekeeping presence since the early 90s to provoke the Georgian government into a war, with the aim to neuter its NATO ambitions. Continue reading Russian – Georgian War 2008: The Prelude #1