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Putin Is Back, and Absorbing Away in South Ossetia

After playing hide-and-seek with the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be back in the land-grab business. This time, with Georgia's runaway region of South Ossetia.

Granted, the so-called Agreement on Alliance and Integration, signed on March 18, does not swallow South Ossetia in the same fashion as Crimea, which Moscow snatched from Ukraine a year ago.

Yet the Wednesday deal does merge certain parts of key institutions (de jure in Russia's case; de facto in South Ossetia's) -- namely, in the army, intelligence, law enforcement and customs.

South Ossetians long have been going around Moscow asking to be annexed (and united with neighboring North Ossetia), but the Kremlin has been rolling its eyes at the idea as “out of the question.”

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Putin Is Back, and Absorbing Away in South Ossetia

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