Ten years ago this month, war erupted between Russia and Georgia after Georgian troops attacked South Ossetia and shelled the town of Tskhinvali, in response to alleged Russian provocations.
Russia justified its military action based on countering Georgia’s aggression- President Medvedev’s called the attack an attempted “genocide” against innocent civilians. Seeking to discredit Georgia’s national sovereignty, Russia also portrayed the conflict as a proxy war against the U.S., the first of its kind since the end of the Cold War.
Russia blockaded the Georgian coast with its Black Sea Fleet, dispatched combat troops to Abkhazia to deter a Georgian attack, and conducted combat air missions against Georgian targets. Using a justification which would be repeated when Russia annexed Crimea, Medvedev claimed there were regions where Russia has “privileged interests” to defend the rights of