Em tempo de Jogos Olímpicos, a Geórgia e a Rússia entram em confronto sobre o futuro da Ossétia do Sul. Antigamente, os gregos paravam as guerras para dar lugar aos Jogos…
GEORGIAN soldiers, tanks and fighter-planes struck Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway (Russian-backed) region of South Ossetia, on Friday August 8th. Parts of the city were reported to be burning as Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, declared that his forces had “freed” much of the area from separatist control.
The immediate cause of the fighting is unclear as claim and counterclaim abound. But what is clear is that a conflict which has been simmering for years, has at last erupted. What happens next will depend almost entirely on Russia’s response: 150 Russian tanks were reported to be entering South Ossetia on Friday. Georgia’s government says that Russian planes have dropped bombs outside of South Ossetia including on the edge of Tblisi, the Georgian capital. Alexander Lomaia, the secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council, told The Economist on Friday that “this is an open military aggression and we are now at the state of undeclared war with Russia. What else could you call it?”. He also said that Georgia had announced a ceasefire in South Ossetia from 3pm on Friday.
On its own, South Ossetia is unlikely to last long. It is a tiny territory run by Russia’s security forces and a small and nasty clique of local thugs who live off smuggling goods and pocketing Russian aid money. According to a Georgian television channel, some 70% of Tskhinvali had been taken by government forces by the end of Friday morning.