The crushing of an apparently legitimate election victory in South Ossetia, a key client state of Moscow, could bring a fresh wave of unwanted attention to Russia's own problematic democracy.
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.
It is responsible for economically troubled South Ossetia and may have spurred the European Union to seek alternative sources of energy.
Along the border with South Ossetia, villagers say Russian tanks have recently arrived – their barrels aimed squarely at Georgia.
Readers write about the need for US aid to reach South Ossetia as well as Georgia, mayoral term limits, and the importance of infrared emissions in cooling a home.
The residents of Akhalgori, a town located just 25 miles from Georgia's capital, say Russian troops are creating a new military supply route.