Former Soviet and now Russian dissident (and certified chess genius) Garry Kasparov has written an Op-Ed in today's Wall Street Journal in which he justifiably derides the West for its coddling of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (don't tell me that that Dmitri Medvedeev is the President. We all know who is really running the show there.): http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121876037443642795.html?mod=djemEditorialPage.
What Kasparov rightly points out is that as is the case with so many other power-hungry dictators, Putin could have been stopped early on, had someone--ANYONE--just stood up to him. Now, it's certainly too late for Georgia, and the handwriting may be on the wall for other former Soviet republics such Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, etc., (and I would be more than a little nervous if I were a citizen of the Baltic states). For more on the return of the big bad Russian bear, go here: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1011999.html.