russian-helicopterAs the world focuses on the imminent Russian annexation of Ukraine’s predominantly ethnic-Russian-populated Crimean Peninsula, Moscow has flexed its military muscle with jet fighter and helicopter flights over Georgia, a country with which Russia went to war in 2008.  The outcome of the five-day war resulted in Georgia’s two breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia ultimately being annexed by Russia and declared by Moscow to be independent countries. The two provinces still have a major concentration of Russian troops, tanks and ground-to air missiles. Moscow’s show of force over Georgia is to deflate any notion it still has of joining the West’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO has had an eastward policy that Russian President Vladimir Putin finds particularly threatening to Moscow’s sphere of influence. Informed sources say the flyovers also were meant to display displeasure with Georgia’s recent position on events in Ukraine. On March 6, the Georgian parliament condemned Russia’s effort to annex the Crimean Peninsula. MORE