They aren’t as big, and their iconography is nowhere near Soviet-grade, but according to columnist Anne Penketh of London’s The Independent, the Russians’ Georgia invasion can only be seen as a rank humiliation of the West by a triumphant Vladimir Putin.
Ann Penketh in The Independent:
Russia is back. That is the indisputable result of the six-day war in the heart of Europe which may have changed the borders of a state for ever.
The conflict, conducted with brio by Vladimir Putin, who clearly remains the man in charge of the Kremlin, has ended on Russia’s terms, and there is nothing the West can do about it. Moscow has demonstrated that it is prepared to use military might to further its strategic goals, while the democracies of the West are not.
In the world of international power games, Mr Putin’s newly assertive Russia has chalked up a victory whose ripples will be felt for years to come. The US and Europe, dependent on Russian goodwill and gas, have been humbled. But the most chilling defeat is for Georgia, the former Soviet republic which dared to switch strategic allegiances and stand up to the Kremlin.