The Russians take an offensive move, in more ways than one.
GORI, Georgia — Russian air attacks over northern Georgia intensified on Saturday morning, striking two apartment buildings in the city of Gori and clogging roads out of the area with fleeing refugees.The war was allegedly was started by the Georgians, who the Russians say were ethnically cleansing the ethnic Russians from South Ossetia, the disputed region. (South Ossetians wants independence from Georgia.) But the attack on Gori is more than standing up for one's tribe; it's punishment, and not just for the South Ossetia issue. It's not as if Georgia could go toe-to-toe with Russia.
Russian authorities said their forces had retaken the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, from Georgian control during the morning hours. They reported that 15 Russian peacekeepers and 1,500 civilians have been killed in the conflict.
NATO is calling for a cease-fire.
(Thanks to Ed Morrisey, who waits for certain people to criticize Russia for 'air-raiding villages and killing civilians.' )
UPDATE: Are the Ukrainians helping Georgia? I wouldn't doubt it. They hate their former masters as much as the Georgians do. (Recent reason for hate: many suspect that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned by Russia's FSB; he survived but his face bears the marks of some illness/ingestion.)
UPDATE: Joshua Trevino:
The real question for Georgia, then, is not whether is will win or lose — it has already lost — but how bad its loss will be. The worst case scenario is a Russian occupation and annexation. Fortunately for the Georgians, that’s also the least likely.Trevino places the blame mostly on the Georgian president. But the Russians aren't exactly faultless.
Russia has baited the hot-tempered Georgian leader with trade and travel embargoes as well as saber-rattling. Georgia has had to tolerate a few thousand Russian troops on its soil -- only Moscow recognizes the self-declared independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And in April, Russia downed a Georgian drone over Abkhaz -- that is, Georgian -- air space. Russia in recent years has also granted citizenship to the separatists.PREVIOUSLY: