The US Senate this week called on Russia to stop its 'occupation' of two breakaway enclaves that were once part of Georgia. But both sides appear to be hardening their positions.
A lack of economic progress may help account for mounting protests against Georgian President Mikhael Saakashvili. On Sunday, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a mostly peaceful rally. A 'day of rage' is slated for May 25.
The commemoration of the Katyn massacre was meant to be a key 'forgive and forget' moment for Poland and Russia. It may now be overshadowed by the tragic death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, riding in a Russian-built aircraft.
Nino Burdzhanadze told the Monitor she believes that Saakashvili ordered the Russian invasion hoax to sow anti-Russia panic and tar Georgia's opposition, which has been calling for his resignation for more than a year.
A fake TV report in Georgia that claimed a Russian invasion was in progress and that President Mikhael Saakashvili had been killed has drawn fury from citizens and the political opposition.
Signs of a thaw between Russia and Georgia include the reopening of one border post on the major Caucasus highway and a possible move to resume direct air links. Relations between Russia and Georgia behave been in a freeze since last year's war over breakaway Georgian territories.
Tensions are spiking again, creating concerns about another conflict.
Although both countries claim the military exercises are simply for practice, some wonder if the old dispute is again flaring.
Could this be the end of the brief thaw between Russia and NATO?