The Kremlin yesterday fuelled fears that it was bent on annexing Georgia's two contested provinces when President Dmitri Medvedev met the leaders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and pledged to support and guarantee any decision they took on their status.
Medvedev delivered a robust statement of support for the two rebel regions, while Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, flatly dismissed western insistence that Georgia's territorial integrity had to form the basis for any eventual settlement of the conflict.
And what can the US and Georgia actually do about this? In spite of all the sound and fury of this morning's "dog and pony show" press conference by Sakaashvili and Secretary Rice??
I think the two words "absolutely nothing" ring a bell here.
The people in these two republics of South Ossetia and Abkahzia are ethnically Russian, speak Russian, and hold Russian passports.
They should be able to decide with whom they want to align, and not have it forced down their throats at gunpoint, which is precisely what Georgia's Sakaashvili was attempting to do by invading South Ossetia.