Our correspondent describes a tour led by Kremlin press attaché Sasha Mechevsky through Russian-controlled villages and the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.
Seizing on the conflict in Georgia, East European countries are pushing for strong measures against an aggressive Moscow they say they know all too well.
Oil-pipeline routes, market leverage make struggle a 'battle for energy.'
The US bid to promote a fourth round of sanctions may get lost amid sharp dispute over Russian military action in Georgia.
A key question: Will the conflict divert voters' attention from the economy this fall?
Moscow has gained leverage, threatened Georgia's pro-West leader, and bolstered national pride.
The war broadened Monday as Russian troops moved beyond rebel provinces into Georgia proper.
Georgian President Saakashvili called for international mediation over the breakaway region in a conflict some see as East vs. West.