Russia, better known as Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, is the largest country in the world—spanning eleven time zones across tundra, grassland, mountains, coastline, and semi-desert.
Russia dates back to prehistoric times when nomadic tribes roamed the territory—and then Vikings, and then Slavs, and then Russians.
Georgia, better known as Sakartvelo, formed in the 11th century—which was precisely one century before the burgeoning territory was swallowed by the Russian Empire. Georgia tried independence again following the Russian Revolution of 1917—but the Red Army invaded a few years later, absorbing Georgia into the Soviet Union. This dance continued until the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, when Georgia struck out on its own again.
At first Russia liked having an independent Georgia, sitting there all pretty at Russia’s feet, acting as a buffer between Russia and those countries Russia feared—such as Turkey.
But there was one big problem, where one big problem equals two small territories: South Ossetia and Abkhazia:
South Ossetia and Abkhazia are two regions in Georgia with a small population of an ethnic group originally from Russia. These ethnic Georgians within South Ossentia and Abkhazia want to be independent from Georgia—just like their people who live over the Russian border in autonomous North Ossetia:
But the newly independent Georgia didn’t want the ethnic group within their borders and so tried to cleanse them away. And the ethnic group didn’t want Georgians within their territory and so tried to cleanse them away.
This went on for two years, and several uprisings killed thousands of people—so in 1994 Russia deployed a peacekeeping troop to Georgia to help, even though they kind of sided with the Ethnic Georgians.
And then in 2002, Georgia applied to join Nato, angering Russia who worried that it would encourage the spread of a pro-Western ring.
And in 2004, pro-Western Mikheil Saakashvili became President of Georgia, and the first thing on his agenda was regaining control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, further angering Russia.
Fast forward to now.
Last month Russia illegally flew over Georgian airspace, and then on August 7, Georgia launched forces against South Ossetia on the ground and in the air, and then Russia poured more troops into the area and launched bombs over other targets in Georgia, and then and then and then.
The President of Georgia argues the only reason Russia invaded his country is to gain control over the oil pipeline in the region, while leaders in Moscow state they continue to deploy forces in order to establish a demilitarized zone, while George Bush has pledged support and aid for Georgia, while Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin insists Russia is fully committed to the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and as Bossy types, Russian troops are advancing deeper into Georgian territory.
Bossy doesn’t know how this escalation will end, but she sure wishes the outcome was in the hands of Dr. Seuss: