This seemed an unlikely thing to happen even several weeks ago. However, as it is evident now, conflict has its own dynamic, that is difficult to foresee.
I argued that the undefined status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia suited Russia best and that therefore Russians would try to retain it for as long as possible.
I think, this is still true, but the problem is Georgia and the US for some reason did not want the situation to stay unresolved. So the logic of loggerhead competition made Russia to decide that it should affirm its presence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia before it is pressed out from the region by diplomatic means.
It is clearly US diplomacy failure as they allowed Saakashvili to hijack US interests in the region and now America will have to stand by and various things that will further aggravate the situation, but are unlikely to improve America’s image either in the Caucasus or beyond. Everyone seems to be destined for losses in this conflict. I hope, major powers will be sensible enough to deescalate the situation and will not allow their respective military to correct diplomacy mistakes.
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