The military actions in South Ossetia are not just a confrontation between Georgia and its breakaway republic, says Viktor Mizin, a political analyst from the Institute of Strategic Assessment in Moscow. “What we see here is not just a confrontation of minor republics but probably the confrontation between, I am sorry to say that, Moscow and the entire West because now Russia is basically protecting its clients and its own citizens. Up to 80 per cent of South Ossetian population have Russian passports,” Mizin says.
Aleksandr Pikaev, a political analyst from the Committee of Scientists for Global Security, says since Russian peacekeepers were killed in Georgia’s attack against South Ossetia, it is an attack against Russia as well. “Several Russian peacekeepers have been killed and that has greatly increased the stakes in the conflict because, a few weeks ago, President Medvedev personally called Mikhail Saakashvili and asked him to refrain from using force against Russian peacekeepers, and the worst has happened. The Georgians killed Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia – and it is an attack not only against South Ossetia. It’s an attack against Russia,” Pikaev said.
Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, linked Georgia's onslaught into South Ossetia to the support given to Saakashvili at the recent NATO summit in Bucharest. At the meeting, Rogozin says, it “was hinted Georgia has prospects in NATO.”