What effect has the Georgia-Russia war had on Russia and the Kremlin's foreign policy? The conventional wisdom was that the fact that Russia could act without impunity against a strong ally of the west would embolden it to act even more aggressively in the future. But The Independent's Mary Dejevsky has the opposite take, and she makes a compelling argument:
Since Medvedev became president two years ago ... Russia has suffered two major shocks which may turn out to have been transformative, in the way the Chernobyl nuclear disaster or the Armenian earthquake accelerated change in the Soviet Union.
The first, only a couple of months after Medvedev was sworn in, was the Georgia war in August 2008. The common view is that Russia won. "Winning", however, brought home to the Kremlin some uncomfortable truths. Russia had no friends worth speaking of around the world. Its image as a bully, nostalgic for empire, was only reinforced, and its military capability was exposed as outdated and chaotic.
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