Georgia, Russia Trade Accusations as South Ossetia Tensions Flare

Russian DM Warns 2008 War Started in Similar Circumstances

One year after the Georgian Army shelled the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, sparking a brief war against Russia which led to the formal independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, tensions between the two nations are rising again, still over South Ossetia.

Russia’s Defense Ministry says that Georgia has launched a series of mortars and grenades at an observation post in South Ossetia, and likened it to the events that led to the 2008 war, warning its soldiers reserved the right to respond. Georgia denied this, and said the Russianv criticism showed it was a threat.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s Interior Ministry is accusing Russian troops to sneaking into the village of Kveshi and moving the South Ossetian border, drawn in the 1920’s, a few hundred meters in an attempt to gain a strategic advantage. EU monitors say there is no evidence that any such thing happened, though South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity has expressed hope that they could eventually claim some of that land as part of their territory.

Claims of provocation by one side or the other are common, such as last week when South Ossetia’s Interior Ministry claimed Georgian troops had kidnapped a policeman. But a year after the war as Georgia still hopes to reclaim South Ossetia and Abkhazia as its own, the prospects for renewed conflict seem to be growing, and at an alarming rate.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.