I have to say that the latest news is not encouraging. Forced labor in South Ossetia? The Georgians claiming, among other accusations that Abkhazians have seized 13 villages and a hydroelectric plant in Georgia proper?

In other words, it ain’t over until the Red Army Choir sings.

On a lighter note, Pravda reports that Saakashvili “clearly” had a nervous breakdown on TV because he “ate his tie.”

Ahh, the influence of YouTube.

(Video below the fold; warning, you may need to manually advance the time slider.)

Despite such efforts, as Vadim Nikitin writes at the Russian Foreign Policy Blog, the Russians clearly “lost” the public-relations war (via Global Voices Online).

Whitmore Brian sums up the case for Russian having planned the conflict. I still think we don’t have enough to evidence to say one way or another, but it is worth a read.

The larger theme for this week is clearly “the Return of Great Power Politics.” But most of the people pushing this line are thinking about the Cold War, not the Concert of Europe or even the old “Great Game.”

The video (he appears to briefly munch on his tie at 1:00)