By Vasily Likhachev
The missile attacks on South Ossetian towns that Tbilisi started on Aug. 7 have had catastrophic consequences. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili showed the entire world his ruthless aggression and violence against the Ossetians. The Georgian government committed acts of genocide against civilians in South Ossetia, and it violated fundamental principles of human rights and international law.
This conflict is truly a tragedy -- not only for Ossetians but also for Georgia itself, which is desperately trying to find its place in the world. It has become clear from this war that Georgia is prepared to undertake any -- even illegitimate and illegal -- actions, as long as it has the moral and political support of those Western powers that see Georgia as one of their key outposts in the 21st-century Great Game for energy resources and geopolitical influence.
In addition, it is a tragedy for global cooperation on important issues, such as nuclear nonproliferation, the struggle against global terrorism, the environment, energy, industrial security and the fight against AIDS and infectious diseases. To effectively address these pressing issues, there must be an atmosphere of trust and cooperation. Tbilisi's unprovoked aggression last week is not conducive to this.