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Comparisons Between The Russo Georgian War And The Ukrainian Crisis

1584 words - 7 pages

West versus East, the age-old battle of capitalism in opposition to communism, was the underlying factor of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, many former Russian controlled territories created their own countries and governments mirroring that of Russia’s. As the years passed, these countries are now finding themselves pulled between their historical Russian ties and European opportunities. This split had caused a lot of uproar in these countries on their future alliance, and has been the one of the lasting areas of conflict between the Russia and Europe. One conflict in particular, the Russo-Georgian War, rocked global politics for the five days that it lasted and demonstrated that these conflicts are still potentially volatile. Years have passed and now a new threat has arisen and the sharp rift between the West and Russia is apparent again. The Ukrainian Crisis, a conflict now reaching the stage of military intervention, has caught the world’s eye, and is showing very similar happenings that transpired to create the Russo-Georgian War, and it may likely end in a similar manner.
Many outside observers to the Russo-Georgian War believe it was a perfect example of Russian imperialism, a remnant of the Soviet past that still persists in the back of Russians' minds. The Russian public, however, denied this claim, some seeing this conflict as a proxy war with the US, like those fought within the Cold War. Putin’s regime however is highly supportive of this imperialistic agenda within the country. (“Shlapentokh”). The war began on August 7, 2008, a day before the start of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. (“Lašas”). It was spurred when Georgian forces responded to attacks by secessionists in South Ossetia, an ethnic enclave in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, by securing the area by force. Moscow had supported this area's government for years, and when the Russians received cries for help, they responded with a full invasion of the country. This war resulted in thousands of casualties and thousands of refugees in shelters all over region and Georgia losing a great portion of land. (“King”). This war brought tensions between Russia and the US to an all time high since the Cold War, and many of Russia’s fearful neighbors such as Poland and the Baltic states saw a renewed interest in NATO, The North Atlantic Trade Organization, which was set up after WWII to unite western countries. (“NATO”). Many western journalists compared this war to Hitler’s invasion of the Sudetenland. Russian journalists, however, provided very little real information about the war to the public and set up a lot of propaganda in their favor. Moscow neither sought out international support for their actions, apologized, or sought compromise with the Georgians. To this day, Georgia still maintains that Russian troops still occupy the territory. Russia’s public, however, felt great pride for their country with an 80% approval rating...

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