UN Plaza: Georgia on Our Mind-from Blogging Heads
A Time for ‘War,’ and Also ‘Peace’
Eyewitness: Scenes of panic in Gori
War erupts in Georgia;
As Russian gets involved in the war with Georgia, the disposition of political forces within the Kremlin itself may shift. Russia’s prime minister Vladimir Putin, who is in China, indicated that Russia would retaliate against Georgia’s aggression. Mr Medvedev may not be best pleased to start his presidency with a war in Georgia: it suggests that he may have to submit to the wishes of the hard-line military and security services. But Mr Putin has a fierce dislike of Mr Saakashvili, Georgia’s maverick president, and seems determined to replace his government.
Mr Putin may also want to deal with Georgia in good time before Russia hosts 2014 winter Olympic games in Sochi, a Black-sea resort town only few miles from the Abkhaz border. A military conflict in Georgia will also derail for a long time Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO—something that Russian finds deeply unpalatable.