(U.S.-Russia Relations: Quest for Stability) The Soviet collapse fueled violent separatism within Georgia. Two of its semi-autonomous regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, declared independence and successfully sought Moscow’s informal patronage. In 2003 Georgia saw the first post-Soviet “color revolution,” led by U.S.-educated Mikheil Saakashvili. In 2008, Russia and Georgia fought a brief war after Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia’s capital, Tskhinvali, according to an EU fact-finding mission. After routing Georgian forces, Moscow recognized the independence of the two breakaway regions, though few other nations have. Saakashvili has since lost power, but Georgia continues to aspire to join the EU and NATO.
Watch/Listen © U.S.-Russia Relations: Quest for Stability