South Ossetian separatist fighters celebrate Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s signing of a decree recognizing the independence of breakaway Georgian territories South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russia has formally recognized the independence of the two separatist Georgian states, prompting jeers abroad and cheers in the regions in question. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili rather theatrically compared the declaration to the conduct of Hitler and Stalin.
Mr Saakashvili described the declaration as “the first attempt in Europe after Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union to… change the borders of Europe by force”.
He then promised Georgians would “continue our struggle to restore peacefully our territorial integrity” and eventually “defeat the evil”.
In the South Ossetia and Abkhazia, however, Moscow’s move was warmly welcomed.