(What was the reaction there?) I was in a Georgian village in South Ossetia which is now taken over by the Russians and now the South Ossetians, who are now firmly in control. my guide seemed very pleased, he said this was a national holiday. His colleagues had a noisy sound of celebration. (The Georgian government reaction is what?) They're curious, I'd say. They call this Soviet-style imperialism, that Russia is trying to shave off their territory in order to bring about Georgia's fury. Russia sees this differentlyï¿½they think the West has mistaken the victim for the aggressor in this conflict and that they're doing the right thing by their citizens in South Ossetia. (These two breakaway regions are not going to be part of Russia, but what does independence mean and are they a threat to Georgia?) They're not legally independent in the sense that they haven't been recognized as such by the U.N. Russia has just said it recognizes them as independent. So we're in a limbo between de facto independence and full independence. (Is diplomacy the only tool that Georgia has?) Georgia has little military power at the moment, so at the moment the Georgians are relying on support from the big powers like the U.S. The U.S. is backing up their support with more than words, and has sent a big military ship full of humanitarian aid which is a clear signal, as there are now U.S. Navy personnel in the area. (What does the guide expect will happen now?) I'm not sure what immediate effect it'll make because South Ossetia has run its own territory for the most part since the 1990s. but this will be a more stable or possibly stable or established way with the backing of the Russia.
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