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There's a war on in another of those distant places people in the United States don't know about and our government is, as usual, not an entirely disinterested bystander.
Some basics: the country of Georgia is one of the successor states that emerged out of the break up of the Soviet Union. This Southwest Asian Orthodox Christian statelet, located south of Russia between the Black Sea, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan, was absorbed by Tsarist Russia in the 19th century. In the communist era, it was a decidedly non-autonomous republic, most notable as the birthplace of Stalin.
Since becoming an independent republic after 1991, the state has been something of a protectorate of the United States. Our government has so far failed to persuade reluctant Europeans to bring Georgia into NATO. (Maybe someone knows enough not to embrace trouble they can't handle?) Georgia had the largest contingent of occupation troops in Iraq after the U.S. and Britain, though its government has rather desperately sought to bring them home to face the Russian army in the last few days.
South Ossetians are an ancient demographic group in Caucasus Mountain region, Orthodox Christians who speak an Iranian Indo-European language -- and who decidedly do not identify with the Georgians inside whose state they found themselves. Some 70-90 percent of them carry Russian passports. Since 1991, there's been a good deal of ethnic cleansing in the area, sending Georgians south and Ossetians north.
But Georgia, with U.S., European and U.N. support, has refused to recognize Ossetians separatist aspirations. Russia, never happy with being surrounded by U.S. supported statelets (however demographically distinct and historically ancient), has been propping up the South Ossetian separate entity. The President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, decided the opening day of the Olympics would be a great time to take back the disputed territory; the Russians threw their enormously superior force into the fight; and as of today the question has become, will the Russians carry the war into Georgia proper?
Then there is Abkhazia (see that map), where the Georgians claim the Russians are also attacking. Abkhazians speak Abkhaz, and comprise a large (how large is disputed) fraction of this bit of the state of Georgia. They accuse Georgians of attempting ethnic cleansing in the area -- and the Georgians respond that the Abkhazians were the aggressors. Interestingly, the area's economy consists of its desirability as a destination for Russian tourists. It's a resort. Russia has supported the separatist ambitions of the Abkhazians and 80 percent of them carry Russian passports.