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Eyewitnesses Recount First Days of Russia-Georgia War

Georgia -- damaged residential section of Gori 20aug2008 (goriblog photo by Goga Aptsiauri)
(PRAGUE, Czech Republic) Eyewitness reports gathered by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) suggest that ethnic-Georgian villages came under heavy shell fire during the week leading up to the outbreak of hostilities on August 7. [Read the full story]

-- David Phillips, a scholar with the Atlantic Council, tells RFE/RL that "the events of August 7 and 8 did not occur in a vacuum. There was a consistent effort by Russia over several years to provoke an armed conflict with Georgia." [Read the full interview]

-- On a broader note, is there a new 'Russia Doctrine,' or guiding set of principles animating the actions of Putin and Medvedev? In an interview with The Economist, RFE/RL Senior Russia Analyst Viktor Yasmann thinks so. He worries that "these ideas may also prove appealing to corrupt authoritarian regimes elsewhere in the ex-Soviet world." [Read the article]