By Barry Artiste
Well certainly after all is said and done, Russia has completed it's commitment and pulled out of South Ossetia.
While the Fat Lady is Now Singing, one wonders if the ethnic cleansing will stop, or continue in a "mop up" of Russian satiety, much like the North Ossetis restaurant patron in this photo seen, mopping up his ethnic plate of every last morsel of food?
(Photo Inset) Mikhail Metzel / AP A local man eating in a restaurant on the outskirts of the South Ossetian village of Dzhava as Russian armored vehicles move Saturday toward North Ossetia.
The Moscow Times » Issue 3973 » Frontpage
Top East-West Artery Reopens in Georgia
25 August 2008
By Nikolaus von Twickel / Staff Writer
TBILISI, Georgia -- Traffic gradually began to trickle along Georgia's main east-west highway over the weekend, after the departure of Russian troops who had been barring traffic on the road and, effectively, cutting the country in half.
A reporter traveling by car from the Black Sea port of Poti to Tbilisi saw that the last remaining checkpoints east and west of Gori on the highway, a lifeline for the South Caucasus, had been opened, after barring traffic along the road for almost a fortnight.
The crisis in Georgia continued to simmer over the weekend despite a significant reduction in the number of Russian troops and Moscow's announcement that it had fulfilled its obligations as spelled out in a cease-fire agreement.
Tbilisi and the West sharply criticized a Kremlin announcement that 2,500 soldiers would continue to man two buffer zones outside South Ossetia's and Abkhazia's borders with Georgia proper and demanded a complete withdrawal.
They accused Moscow of unilaterally taking control of a giant swath of western Georgia, far from the conflict zone in South Ossetia, and having prolonged its stranglehold on the country's economy with its continued control of the east-west highway.
Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov told President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday evening that Russian troops had completed their pullback and that Moscow had fulfilled its obligations under the cease-fire agreement brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a statement on the president's official web site said.