Breaking Away?

Russia seems intent on compounding its major strategic blunder of the Georgia conflict, recognizing S. Ossetia and Abkhazia, by signing security agreements with the two breakaway provinces that among other things establish permanent Russian bases. As I mentioned last week, this is the only way Russian forces could have remained in the provinces post-conflict, as the UN peacekeeping mandate was scheduled to expire next month. But it also very obviously underscores the two provinces’ dependence on Russia, undermining the claims of autonomy and independence that the intervention was meant to defend. Question: What happens to all the Russian passports handed out as a way to legitimize Russia’s right to intervene now that the two provinces are “countries”?

More World Politics Review