It is early morning at the new Russian peacekeeping post at Karaleti, a few kilometers north of Gori, and one senior Russian officer is feeling philosophical. "The war is over," he tells a group of foreign journalists with a wry grin. "Now, it's time for the information war to begin."
As in the fighting that raged between Georgian and Russian and Ossetian forces from August 8 to August 12, this is a war with no rules. But, unlike the lopsided military phase of the conflict, the balance of forces in the propaganda fight is more or less even.
Information blockades on both sides constrain the field of battle. Within Georgia, access to Russian television news and web sites remains blocked. Within Russia, information about the war is so tightly controlled that even Russian journalists in Tskhinvali express genuine befuddlement about why ordinary Georgians would fear Russian troops.
To read the full story
Elizabeth Owen is EurasiaNet.org's Caucasus news editor in Tbilisi. Sophia Mizante is a freelance photographer also based in Tbilisi.