Georgia-Russia face-off

This item appears on page 21 of the October 2008 issue.

On Aug. 8, Georgian troops entered South Ossetia and the Ab­khazia regions in an attempt to reclaim the regions that broke away from Georgian control after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Although Russia has formally acknowledged the two regions as being independent nations, the rest of the international community has not. Russia sent in troops to reinforce their peacekeeping force, and fighting broke out. 

A cease-fire was agreed to on Aug. 12, and Russian and Georgian forces were pulled back. However, Russian troops remain in some parts of the country near Poti, Zugidi and Senaki as well as in the conflict zones.

On Aug. 25, the Russian parliament formally recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy for Georgia resumed visa services on Aug. 27. The Department of State urges travelers in Georgia to exercise caution and, given the recent upheaval, to take precautions in case of an increase in violent crime.