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It takes a village

There are no winners in Georgia's crisis. It shows how great power games can easily get out of hand

By Thomas de Waal   September 2008

If all politics is local, then we need to know what happened in the Georgian villages of Avnevi, Tamarasheni and Kurta on the evening of 7th August, just before Georgia and Russia plunged the world into crisis.

Georgian officials say that these three villages of ethnic Georgians around the South Ossetian city of Tskhinvali came under sustained attack just after President Mikheil Saakashvili had announced a unilateral ceasefire in the local skirmishes between the two sides in South Ossetia. The Ossetian side says that the evening of 7th August was relatively quiet before Saakashvili launched a major assault, which then…

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