Russia and Georgia have signed a cease-fire accord over the weekend, ending a nine-day conflict. But Russian troops won't leave Georgia easily.

Fighting in Georgia (pop. 4.5 million), one of 12 states in the Caucasus, began last Friday when Tbilisi launched a military incursion into South Ossetia (pop. 70,000) to rout separatist rebels.


Russia, which supports the separatists as many of them carry Russian passports, responded swiftly, sending tanks across the border into S. Ossetia. Fighting quickly spread to Abkhazia (pop. 100,000), another breakaway region.


Georgia's show of courage and righteousness was short lived. As Russian forces were 10 times its own, it soon turned to pleading for the U.S. and EU to intervene. Not that Georgia's 36-year-old U.S.-trained President Mikheil Saakashvili didn't know the consequences when he sent troops to encircle S. Ossetia, he needed it to boost his standing and advertise Russian sins.


French President Nicolas Sarkozy mediated the cease-fire deal and U.S. President Bush offered humanitarian support. An over-stretched America, militarily in Afghanistan and Iraq, and diplomatically in Iran and North Korea, is not ready to take on Russia over Georgia.


Georgia was annexed by Russia in 1801, and while independence was regained during the Russian Revolution, it became part of the Soviet Union after the Bolshevik Revolution. It became independent again after the fall of Soviet Union.


Most Abkhazians and S. Ossetians are ethnically distinct, with different languages from the Georgians, although they share much history and a common eastern Orthodox Christianity. They have always resented the decision of Stalin (a Georgian) to place them under Georgia's rule. It will probably be decades before they are fully absorbed into the Russian Federation.


The events of the past week have fundamentally re-drawn Georgia's borders and the West can't do anything about it. Welcoming the separatist leaders of the two regions in Moscow last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov advised reporters to "forget any talk about Georgia's territorial integrity." It would be "impossible to persuade South Ossetia and Abkhazia to agree with the logic that they can be forced back into the Georgian state."


President George W. Bush has accused Russia of "bullying and intimidation," saying it was an unacceptable "way to conduct foreign policy in the 21st Century." His Russian counterpart Medvedev retorted that Moscow is the "guarantor" of the interests and lives of those in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. International agreements signed in the early 1990s allow Russia to maintain peacekeepers in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.


Russia opposes the expansion of NATO. In the 1990s, it was too weak to resist. But today, as the world's largest oil exporter, it is eager to show its new power and send an unmistakable message: Georgia, or the much larger Ukraine, will never be allowed to join NATO.


But the United States and Poland announced on Thursday, Aug. 14, an agreement to deploy a battery of American missile interceptors in Poland, in the strongest reaction to Russia's military operation in Georgia. A day later, Ukraine announced its readiness to do the same after a long hesitation.


Such actions "cannot go unpunished," Moscow has warned.


The U.S. missile deals reflect a growing alarm about the intentions of a newly rich and powerful Russia. Negotiations for them dragged on for two years, but were completed only as old memories and new fears surfaced in recent days.


The missile pacts, not the split between Russia and United States over the problem of S. Ossetia, will have a greater impact on the growth in tensions in Russian-American relations. Remember Cuba.

Abkhazian : 阿布哈西亞人
absorbed : 專心一意的;全神貫注的
accused : 被控告的
advised : 熟慮的
annex : 附加,增添[(+to)]
Bolshevik : 布爾什維克黨的
boost : 提高;支援
breakaway : 分離
bullying : 恃強欺弱(行為)
Caucasus : 高加索山脈
Christianity : 基督教
conduct : 引導,帶領
conflict : 衝突,抵觸,不一致,分歧[(+between)]
consequence : 結果,後果[C][(+of)]
counterpart : 相對物
courage : 膽量,勇氣,英勇[U][+to-v]
deploy : 展開;部署
diplomatically : 外交上
distinct : 與其他不同的,有區別的[(+from)]
drag : 拖曳,拉;緩慢費力的行進[C][U]
eager : 熱心的,熱切的
encircle : 環繞;包圍
ethnically : 人種上;種族上
expansion : 擴展;擴張;膨脹[U]
federation : 聯邦政府;聯邦制度[C]
fundamentally : 基礎地;根本地;重要地
guarantor : 保證人
hesitation : 躊躇,猶豫
humanitarian : 人道主義者;慈善家[C]
incursion : 侵略;入侵
integrity : 完整性
intention : 意圖,意向,目的[C][U][(+of)][+to-v]
interceptor : 攔截者;攔截器;遮斷器
intervene : 插進;介入;介於中間[(+between)]
intimidation : 恫嚇,恐嚇;脅迫
mediate : 調停解決
NATO : North Atlantic Treaty Organization 北大西洋公約組織
negotiation : 談判,協商[P1][(+with)]
oppose : 反對;反抗;妨礙[+n/v-ing]
orthodox : 正統的;傳統的,習俗的;通常的
overstretch : 使過分伸張;跨越
pact : 契約;協定;條約[C]
peace-keeper : 和事佬
persuade : 說服,勸服[(+into/out of)][O2]
pleading : 辯護;答辯
reaction : 反應,感應[C][U][(+to)]
readiness : 準備就緒[(+for)]
rebel : 造反;反叛;反抗[(+against)]
redraw : 重畫;重起草;重抽取
regain : 取回,收回;收復,恢復
region : 地區,地帶;行政區域
resent : 憤慨;怨恨[+v-ing]
resist : 抵抗,反抗;抗拒
respond : 反應
retort : 反擊;就...進行報復
revolution : 革命,革命運動[C][U]
righteousness : 公正;正直;正當
rout : 潰敗,潰退[U][C]
separatist : 分離主義者
split : 被劈開,被切開;裂開;爆裂
spread : 使伸展,使延伸
swiftly : 迅速地,敏捷地
Tbilisi : 第比利斯(格魯吉亞共和國首都)
tension : 拉緊,繃緊[U]
territorial : 領土的
unacceptable : 不能接受的;不受歡迎的;不令人滿意
unmistakable : 不會弄錯的;清楚的;明顯的[Z]
unpunished : 未受處罰的
weak : 弱的,虛弱的;衰弱的

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