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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ossetia War - three contexts in pictures

Here's the first context - the Caucasus is a messy place, ethnicity-wise. Lots of different peoples living cheek by jowl:

Here's the second context. Let's call it the Russian version of events. The key to this map is to look a little to the right of the conflict zone in Ossetia. Yup, that really is Chechnya right next door:

One final context to this conflict. Let's call this the Georgian version of events. Key to reading this one is awareness that all other pipelines go through Russia to the West, with the obvious knock-on effects on Western Europe's energy security:

there are more interesting maps relating to the energy issue and the Georgian conflict from Nosemonkey, well worth reading on this issue.

1 comment:

FutureTaoiseach said...

First of all remember that in the case of the ethnic-map, that abopt 80% of the Georgians have been ethnically-cleansed from the northwestern separatist region of Abkhazia in the 1992-4 war, and that the same seems to be happening now in South Ossetia. The map does however serve a purpose in demonstrating the Janus-headed Russian attitude to separatism, which they crush within in their own borders but support in former Soviet states if it lets them keep troops and bases there. This discussion also underlines the strategic interest of the West in standing by Georgia. It seems strange that such a pro-oil admin as the Bush one didn't sent troops to secure that pipeline. Would McCain have done so?