Ever since South Ossetia split from Georgia in 2008, thousands of Russian soldiers have been guarding the demarcation line. Russia presents itself as the Ossetians’ protector. Georgians fear a creeping annexation by Moscow.
Ukraine says that German dance band Scooter broke the law when it performed in Russian-annexed Crimea. But is the concert one of many signs that Western Europe is accepting the status quo in the area?
Russia has paraded its warships and submarines off Saint Petersburg and enclaves such as Kaliningrad and Vladivostok. US troops are leading a joint military exercise in Georgia, which broke with Moscow in 2008.
Russia finds itself confronted with a widening of EU sanctions over the country's annexation of Crimea in 2014. The transfer of Siemens turbines to the peninsula triggered a fresh round of punitive measures.
Vice President Pence's visit to Estonia, Georgia and Montenegro is a new bid to try to calm the nerves of America’s European allies. In an ironic twist, the White House has hinted at the real reason for the trip.
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