Russia: August 18, 2004


Artillery fire in Georgia, Russia's neighbor to the south, left two Georgian soldiers dead overnight. Once a part of Russia, Georgia is south of Chechnya and has it's own problems with separatists. Two parts of the country, Abkazia and South Ossetia, organized heavily armed militias when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991 and successfully defended their independence, at least temporarily.  Russian peacekeepers were introduced to watch over this arrangement. But a newly elected  Georgian government is determined to regain control over the break away areas and this has caused independent hard line Georgian nationalist groups to attack the separatist areas. 


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