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A Russia-Georgia War? The Caucus Region “A Key Conduit For The Flow Of Oil From The Caspian Sea To World Markets.”

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The world will be very surprised to learn that a war is close to breaking out as the quadrennial party gets underway in Beijing.

Better inflate those tires asap. From the New York Times:

Georgian officials said their military had fired on Russian planes and that their aircraft had bombed a convoy of Russian tanks that moved into South Ossetia, the pro-Russian enclave that has enjoyed de facto autonomy from Georgia since 2004. A local Russian official said the convoy was humanitarian.

As Georgian forces besieged Tskhinvali, the capital of the enclave, President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia promised to “punish” those responsible for what he called “a deep violation of international law” by Georgia that he said had led to the deaths of Russian citizens and Russian peacekeepers stationed in Tskhinvali.[# More #]

“I am obligated to defend the lives and dignity of Russian citizens, wherever they are located,” he said in an address carried on Russian state television. “We will not allow the unpunished killing of our fellow citizens. Those who are guilty will suffer the punishment they deserve.”

Speaking in Beijing, where he traveled to attend the opening of the Olympic Games, Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said Georgia’s actions “will certainly lead to retaliatory actions.”

The fighting presented the most dangerous crisis in years in the Caucasus region, a key conduit for the flow of oil from the Caspian sea to world markets and an area where violent conflict has flared along the Russia’s outskirts for centuries, most recently in Chechnya.

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