Moscow's motives in entering into a military confrontation with Georgia are obviously far more complex than what Russian officials claim -- a simple, humanitarian desire to rescue South Ossetian civilians from Georgian aggression.
On one level, I don't think Putin cares too much -- he goes by his gut and he considers himself a tough guy. But I think he is going to find it a little more rough going than he thought.Russia, humiliated by a decade of post-Soviet chaos and frustrated by what it perceives as the West's patronizing attitude, has signaled it will no longer shy away from using force to restore its superpower status.
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Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty