Rethinking the Russia-Georgia War

The more the EU digs into the outbreak of last August’s Russia-Georgia War, the worse things look for Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. According to Der Spiegel, the paper trail seems to be leading back to Order No. 2, from Aug. 7, which the Russians claim to have intercepted, and which allegedly spoke of re-establishing “constitutional order” in the region. The formula was repeated word for word by a Georgian general, also on Aug. 7. Georgia, meanwhile, refuses to turn over the document in question, calling it a “state secret.”

Meanwhile, a few weeks back I wondered whether the lack of any resistance within South Ossetia to Russia’s de facto annexation of the province amounted to legitimation. Der Spiegel also reports that the situation in the province is deteriorating towards social unrest. The cause is actually the Ossetian regime more than Russia per se, but the effect — as well as potential spillover into Ingushetia and other restive autonomous republics in the Caucacus– could soon have Moscow wondering whether the whole enterprise was worth it.