The conflict actually was touched off when Georgian troops launched an aerial bombardment and ground attack on its separatist province of South Ossetia last Thursday. The South Ossetians want to join up with their ethnic brethren in North Ossetia, an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation.
(The written story continues below.)
Seeing this as an act of aggression, Russia launched bombing raids against Georgia, vowing to protect South Ossetians, more than half of whom are said to have taken up Moscow's offer of a Russian passport.
Analyst Pepe Escobar says "the hypocrisy of the international community knows no bounds, for if the West forced the issue of Kosovar independence then the independence of South Ossetia should also be on the cards."
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