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Russia-Georgia Afternoon Update

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Last post was getting a little clogged…

The NYT is reporting a bunch of interesting stuff, not least this:

The de facto government of pro-Russian Abkhazia asked United Nations peacekeepers to depart from their posts in the Kodori Gorge, a small mountainous area that Georgia had reclaimed by force in 2006. The peacekeepers withdrew, and aerial bombardments of the gorge began soon after, the official said.

…the 650 armored vehicles said to have transited from Russia to South Ossetia in the last 24 hours is roughly 3 times the total number of armored vehicles in the entire Georgian arsenal.

…Before Putin returned to Russia, he and Bush spoke at a luncheon hosted by Hu Jintao. Must have been awkward. I wonder if George still thinks Vlady has a “good soul”?

…the Washington Post appears to be incapable in thinking of any but the simplest strategic terms:

This is a grave challenge to the United States and Europe. Ideally, the U.N. Security Council would step in, authorizing a genuine peacekeeping force to replace the Russian one that has turned into a de facto occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But a Russian veto rules that out. Thus, the United States and its NATO allies must together impose a price on Russia if it does not promptly change course.

What price can NATO impose? The editorial has no answers, and offers no suggestions. Military action? Military assistance for Georgia? Sanctions against Russia? A strongly worded letter? Whoever started this thing, it’s clear that Russia has intentions that go beyond the acceptable, but bluster like this gets us exactly nowhere.

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