August 23, 2008
By C. J. CHIVERS
KARALETI, Georgia — The Russian tank creaked and groaned at the checkpoint, its journey north across the new administrative boundary of South Ossetia almost complete. The driver’s face, grease-streaked and tired looking, jutted from the hatch.
A cigarette hung from his mouth.
He swore, uttering the single, unprintable syllable that is the most foul word in the Russian language.