Russian and Georgian military forces have engaged in full-blown battle in South Ossetia, a separatist region that is still technically part of Georgia. With more than a thousand people dead and multiple aircraft shot down under two days of combat, this has the potential to erupt into a full-scale war between Georgia and Russia. I do hope that Georgia hadn’t managed to secretly stash away a few nuclear weapons which could be used to start a nuclear war. (I doubt they managed to hold on to any, but it’s not impossible.)
The death and destruction from two days of combat is bad enough, but I hope hostilities cease real soon before things become even worse. While I knew about the existence of separatist elements in Georgia and the friction it caused with Russia, I didn’t even know the name of South Ossetia before this: it would be ignominious if World War III erupted from an unexpected corner of the world. Given the interests in the region by Russia, Europe, and the United States, it’s not inconceivable, and the precedent of World War I erupting from the assassination of an obscure political figure isn’t particularly reassuring.