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Friday, August 08, 2008

The Only Excuse Russia Needs

This has the potential to get ugly, and fast:

Russia's defence ministry said Friday more than 10 of its troops deployed in South Ossetia have been killed amid a Georgian offensive in the breakaway region, Russian news agencies reported.

"Russian peacekeeping posts have come under fire from Georgian forces," Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the head of Russia's armed forces, was quoted as saying.

"As a result, more than 10 soldiers have been killed and around 30 injured," he said.
I wouldn't expect a Putin-controlled government to let that slide, whether the number killed or, hell, even the report itself is accurate or not. This will be all the excuse he needs to retaliate to whatever level he deems fit.

And, according to the NY Times, Putin says it's on:

As Georgian forces declared they had won control of the enclave’s capital, Tskhinvali, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin declared that “war has started” and President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia accused Russia of a "well-planned invasion," according to Bloomberg.

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