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By Ronald Asmus

The short warfare among Russia and Georgia in August 2008 looked as if it would many like an unforeseen shot abruptly that used to be long gone as fast because it got here. Former Assistant Deputy Secretary of kingdom Ronald Asmus contends that it was once a clash that used to be ready and deliberate for it slow by means of Moscow, a part of a broader technique to ship a message to the United States: that Russia goes to flex its muscle in the twenty-first century. a bit conflict that Shook the realm is an engaging examine the breakdown of kinfolk among Russia and the West, the decay and decline of the Western Alliance itself, and the destiny of jap Europe in a time of economic crisis.

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Additional resources for A Little War that Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West

Sample text

In reality, Moscow had long flouted these rules. These Russian troop reinforcements and movements were in violation of the existing agreements and therefore illegal. Saakashvili had been receiving intelligence throughout the day on August 7 about Russian and other units gathering both north of the Roki Tunnel and around the Ugardanta military base outside of Java in South Ossetia. That base was supposed to have been disbanded years earlier, but Moscow had instead renovated it over the previous year, and it was now capable of holding and staging much larger forces.

At times, Moscow even seemed to want to flaunt its breaking of the rules—for ex- 01 asmus text:Layout 1 9/8/09 11:45 AM Page 25 THE DECISION 25 ample, making no effort to hide from the Western media the illegal entry of Russian troops and armor into the separatist province in the early summer. In Georgian eyes what the Russians were planning was obvious. Moscow was trying to de facto annex these two disputed enclaves bit by bit in slow motion—testing to see if the West would protest and daring Tbilisi to try to stop them.

Although both ends of the Roki Tunnel are on Georgian territory, Moscow controlled it and had repeatedly refused to allow international monitors to observe who was passing through. Moscow would claim that its forces moved through the tunnel only on the afternoon of August 8. 8 They were, however, anything but peaceful. They were ideal for ethnic cleansing, which is what they would soon be used for. After the war was over, the Russian military paper Krasnaya Zvezda carried an article about a wounded Russian captain from the 135th Motorized Rifle Regiment who admitted that his battalion was already in South Ossetia on August 7 and was sent to Tskhinvali on August 8, where he was subsequently wounded in the fighting.

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