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South Ossetia: war and politics

Thomas de Waal
10 August 2008

The Caucasus is the kind of place where, when the guns start firing,
it's hard to stop them. That is the brutal reality of South Ossetia,
where a small conflict is beginning to spread exponentially.

Leave aside the geopolitics for the moment and have pity for the people who
will suffer most from this, the citizens - mostly ethnic Ossetians but
also Georgians - who have already died in their hundreds. It is a tiny
and vulnerable place, with no more than 75,000 inhabitants of both
nationalities mixed up in a patchwork of villages and one sleepy
provincial town in the foothills of the Caucasus.

(To read on, click here.... )

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