Skip navigation
No more
Know more

A map of the last time Russia invaded one of its neighbors

The worst of many worst-case scenarios for the current crisis in Ukraine is open warfare between the country’s military and invading Russian forces. That’s what happened six years ago in Georgia, as the map above shows. When Georgian troops tried to restore control over the de-facto-autonomous regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia intervened to defend their independence from Tbilisi. The Russians drove the Georgians back and were en route to the capital when French mediators negotiated a truce.

Now Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which defeated the Georgian navy in a battle on August 9, 2008, is blockading Ukrainian warships in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Yet it isn’t clear what Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks they’re doing there, exactly, and so far, the Ukrainian military has shown restraint. Only a few warning shots have been fired.

The Ukrainians clearly have no interest in war, and seem to be hoping that Putin will eventually give up and call his troops off. Russian commanding officers might not be spoiling for a fight, either. Ukraine’s armed forces are much more powerful than Georgia’s, and through Russia defeated Georgia, the conflict revealed embarrassing weaknesses in the Russian military.

Map by Andrei Nacu used under free documentation license. Click below for further analysis of the military situation.

Max Ehrenfreund | March 5 at 11:17 am
Know more: Three advantages Ukraine has over Russia
No more
Know more
A study says more Democrats believe in the paranormal, though Republicans are still more worried about Satan
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
ADVERTISEMENT
No more
Know more
Alcohol and homicide go hand in hand in Eastern Europe
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
After $7.6 billion in U.S. drug war spending, the Afghan poppy crop is bigger than ever
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
If black America were a country, its per capita GDP would rank 40 places behind the U.S.
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
This was Abraham Lincoln’s favorite infographic
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
The U.S. ranks with Thailand and India as one of the world’s most unequal countries
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
For most Americans, the Milky Way is vanishing
Ana Swanson