September 1, 2008
Russia’s president said Sunday his country will give military aid to the two separatist regions at the center of the war with Georgia — signaling Moscow has no intention of backing down in the face of Western pressure.
Dmitry Medvedev also warned that American domination of world affairs is unacceptable, though he insisted that Russia did not want hostile relations with the United States and other Western nations.
Medvedev’s decision Tuesday to recognize the Georgian breakaway provinces South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent drew condemnation from the West. Though no other countries have followed Russia’s lead, Medvedev reaffirmed the decision on Sunday.
“We have made our decision, and it’s irreversible,” he said in a speech broadcast on Russian television.
The war began Aug. 7 when Georgian forces began heavy shelling of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, hoping to retake control of the province. Russian forces poured in, pushed the Georgians out in a matter of days and then drove deep into Georgia proper.