Historical tensions and overreaction on the part of both Russia and Georgia contributed to a five-day conflict between the two in 2008, a European Union fact-finding mission concluded in a report released Wednesday.
One year after Russian tanks rolled into the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the conflict that erupted over a breakaway territory continues to stoke tensions in the region, with repercussions around the world.
The former Soviet republic of Georgia and one of its breakaway territories, Russia-backed South Ossetia, accused each other of violating the cease-fire that ended last year's Russian-Georgian war, days before the conflict's anniversary.
The rift between Russia and Western powers over Georgia burst back into full view on the U.N. Security Council when Russia vetoed a resolution that would have extended the U.N. observer mission in Georgia.
Russian peacekeepers are withdrawing from five checkpoints in western Georgia where they have been since the conflict between the two countries broke out last month, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday, according to the Interfax news agency.
Moscow has agreed to withdraw its forces from Georgia outside of its two breakaway provinces within one month, the presidents of Russia and France said Monday following the latest efforts to end the region's territorial crisis.
It was against the terms of the Russia/Georgia cease-fire, brokered by France's President Nicolas Sarkozy. It was directly in contravention of the request not to do it from President George W. Bush of the United States. But Russia's President Dimitri Medvedev has gone and done it anyway. He has made Russia the first country to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russia's parliament voted unanimously Monday to urge the president to recognize the independence of Georgia's two breakaway regions, stoking further tensions between Moscow and the small Caucasus nation's Western allies
U.S. President George W. Bush has urged Russia not to recognize the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, saying he was "deeply concerned" by the Russian parliament's move toward recognition.
Though Russia says it will begin pulling back its troops from Georgia on Monday, it's unclear how long the redeployment will take, and a Russian lawmaker has compared the situation to the U.S. presence in Iraq.
Georgia accused the Russian army of destroying a key railway bridge Saturday and starting massive fires in the scenic Borjomi Gorge, in violation of a new cease-fire agreement between the two countries.
There has been no doubt of Europe's priority in the conflict between Georgia and Russia: Bringing about a ceasefire on both sides and minimizing further bloodshed. Beyond that, nothing in this conflict is simple.
As fighting continued Sunday between Russia and Georgia over the separatist province of South Ossetia, U.N. officials expressed concern about violence in another Russian-backed breakaway territory in Georgia.
Russian forces launched an airstrike against a military airfield near the Tbilisi International Airport early Sunday, despite international calls for Russia to stand down from the escalating conflict, Georgian officials told CNN.
Former Soviet state Georgia Wednesday accused Moscow of "harassment" for allegedly shooting down of one its spy planes, escalating tensions between the two countries ahead of a U.N. Security Council meeting.
Dr. David Olson has had patients in a remote region between Armenia and Azerbaijan. He has treated people in the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia near the Black Sea and in a gulag prison hospital in Siberia. He has had patients in a northwest Uganda town called Arua.