Before Ukraine, there was Georgia: How Russia recycles its 2008 playbook

Russia’s blatant “recognition” of its own puppet enclaves in Ukraine’s Donbas bears a striking resemblance to the events of 2008, when the Kremlin tore off a part of Georgia and invented the “states” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In its ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, Moscow has so far followed its old textbook in almost every single detail.

All of what was seen in Donbas over the last few days — from the “threat to the civilian population” aggressively staged by propaganda media to local Russian-sponsored leaders making their “official requests of recognition” — has happened during the Russian-Georgian war in 2008.

Back then, Russia had openly invaded Georgia under the “humanitarian” pretext and installed its official military presence in the breakaway regions that it formally deems independent nations.

Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia turned the situation into a frozen conflict. More than 13 years later, nearly 20% of Georgia’s territory is still claimed by puppet enclaves recognized by no one by Russia, its client states, and other Kremlin-controlled quasi-states in the region.

Whether the Kremlin stops at this point again, under international pressure, without proceeding to an all-out war on Ukraine, remains to be seen in the coming days.

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