Clash in the Caucasus: Georgia, Russia, and the Fate of South Ossetia.

Author:Cotter, Michael W.

Clash in the Caucasus: Georgia, Russia, and the Fate of South Ossetia

By Stephen F. Jones, Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies, Mount Holyoke College

Reviewed by Ambassador (ret.) Michael W. Cotter

As a counterpoint to the recent remarks by the former speaker of the Georgian parliament, covered in our Spoken Word section, we suggest this article, which appeared in the November issue of Origins, a monthly "eHistory" project of the History Department of The Ohio State University. The author, described as one of the foremost specialists on Georgia, provides a broad perspective of the August "war" between Russia and Georgia.

He begins with an overview of the factual record, by now fairly common knowledge. It is what follows that overview that makes the essay particularly valuable. Professor Jones next describes the repercussions of the conflict for Russia's relations with the West, for the other former Soviet republics, and for both Russia's and Georgia's internal politics.

He then turns to the meat of his exposition: the history of Georgian-Ossetian relations, particularly the ethnic conflict issue. He argues that inter-ethnic problems between the two are of long standing, but required a...

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