The Bear Is Back on The Prowl

The U.S. warned its ally not to be drawn into a Russian trap. When the fighting started, Georgia didn't stand a chance

Gleb Garanich / Reuters

Georgian women cry as they leave their village near the town of Tskhinvali, some 100km (62 miles) from Tbilisi, August 10, 2008.

When Russian jets pounded Madonna Gavasheli's village of Knolevi on Aug. 9, she took her two children, ages 8 and 4, into the basement and spent the night cowering in fear. At dawn they joined a column of thousands of people streaming out of South Ossetia and the surrounding regions for Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. There the family staggered into an abandoned kindergarten. Back in Knolevi, Gavasheli's husband had vanished, along with their brand-new brick house. "There were many, many bombs," she says. "I do not even know how I got here."

She's not the only one. The short but...

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