Drawing parallels between the cases of South Ossetia and the Kosovo may be illuminating, if it is being conducted to explain the differences. The more illuminating historical comparison is made by last weeks Economist. A telling comparison between Russians past and Soviet posture and its recent intervention in Georgia is more to the mark: "But what Russia may come to regret losing most is something Mr Putin longs for: the opportunity to become an accepted European power. He likes to skip over communism's mistakes and dwell on Russia's tsarist grandeur. But what did for both was imperial overstretch, a rotten economy and like Russia's today, a mostly unaccountable ruling caste that led a proud country to disaster."
It is regrettable that the Kremlin doesn't pay for good historians, otherwise they would not have taken their tit for tat policy to the next level and deployed their Soviet-era Tupolev strategic bombers to Venezuela. With gas exploration reaching its peak in Russia, the country is now reasserting its place on the world stage, although it, like their Tupolevs in Venezuela, began with their initial descent.