Bad news everyone! Russia is back to it's bad old Soviet self. After about two decades of Glasnost induced hibernation, Putin and pals are back with a vengeance.
The invasion of oil-rich and democratically governed Georgia has netted the successful annexation of South Ossetia.
Tarzan Kokoity, the province’s Deputy Speaker of parliament, announced that South Ossetia would be absorbed into Russia soon so that its people could live in “one united Russian state” with their ethnic kin in North Ossetia.
To make matters worse, Georgian refugees are being blocked from returning to their homes.
Russian troops remaining in Georgian territory are effectively preventing Georgians from returning to their homes, a U.N. representative said Saturday.
Melita Sunjic, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees in Georgia, said that although it was not clear if Russian soldiers were actually preventing refugees from returning, the warnings by the troops effectively block them.
"If they say 'we can't guarantee your safety,' you don't go," she told The Associated Press.
Some 2,000 refugees are at UNHCR camps in Gori, and possibly thousands of others are in the region, hoping to return to villages that are in the so-called "security zones" that Russia has claimed for itself on Georgian territory.
The clampdown is tightening in the Motherland as well..
Police arrested Ingushetiya.ru owner Magomed Yevloyev on Sunday, taking him off a plane that had just landed in Ingushetia province near Chechnya, said the site's deputy editor, Ruslan Khautiyev.
Police whisked Yevloyev away in a car and later dumped him on the road with a gunshot wound in the head, Khautiyev said. He said Yevloyev died in a hospital shortly afterward.
However if Russia continues to lapse into rogue state status, it's probably going to cost them.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Monday if elected he would push to exclude Russia from the Group of Eight conclave of major industrial nations to punish Moscow for rolling back political freedoms.
"We need a new Western approach to this revanchist Russia," McCain wrote in a Foreign Affairs magazine article outlining his views on foreign policy looking ahead to the November 2008 election.
The EU isn't too pleased either.
The European Union will seek at an emergency summit on Monday to show a united front on Russia, but differences may emerge over whether Moscow should face consequences for its actions in Georgia.
"We need a strong and sensible European role to allow a return to reason and responsibility," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said of tensions between Moscow and the West.