Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Monday, 18 August 2008 16:55 UK

Your views from the Caucuses

Russian troops in Gori, 17 August

Russia has started to withdraw its troops from Georgia, says Moscow's general staff.

The move comes in accordance with a ceasefire brokered by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

BBC News readers in Russia and Georgia have been emailing their views to the BBC website. Here is a selection of their comments.


I think it is the nationalists on all sides that are to blame for this war. Those who shout "Russia for Russians" as well as those who scream "Ossetia for Ossetians" or "Georgia for Georgians". Russia's relations with the West will continue to deteriorate until it learns to stop calls for violence against other ethnic groups. Russia should make itself trustworthy. Russia was right to bring in troops to protect civilians, but if ceasefire has been signed, they should immediately make clear the schedule for the withdrawal of their troops.
Maksim, St Petersburg, Russia

What is the solution to this conflict? The way forward proposed by Russia and France will lead to a new war. The most reliable way forward would be to take some steps backwards: return Kosovo to Serbia, leave South Ossetia and Abkhazia as Georgian territories and return to the world security system established after World War Two. But to do this America's pride would have to be curbed and that's not easy to do. So this is really an impasse and we are doomed to have another war soon.
Ruslan, Moscow, Russia

This conflict has changed relations between Georgia and Ossetia forever
Andrey, St Petersburg

The conflict in Ossetia has shown that Georgia is like a woman without any principles, like the Old World. They have bombed Yugoslavia, they have divided Serbia in a bloody conflict. And yet they have the guts to lecture Russia about Chechnya. Europe, you are too arrogant!
Yevgeny, Monino, Russia

Now comrade Putin has shown us his real face: we shall drive over those who want to be part of Europe in tanks. A pretext for that can always be found, as long as we have plenty of tanks. I wonder what comrade Putin has in store for Ukraine.
Vlad, Russia

Washington has show us its real face. We had already started seeing some of its traits in Kosovo and Iraq. How we can see the whole picture, with all its ugliness and lies, double standards and support for leaders killing off their own people? Such a state cannot act as a world policeman. After several years of its hegemony we've got wars and bloodshed all over the world. This conflict has changed relations between Georgia and Ossetia forever. They will no longer be able to live together.
Andrey, St Petersburg, Russia

Why did Georgia attack in August? It's very simple. Elections are coming up in the Unites States. The Republican who favours Cold War is losing. To support him a conflict is needed. President Saakashvili started the conflict because the US wanted it. So he is putting his nation under fire for the sake of the US Republican party. Poland and Czech Republic are accommodating the missile defence system also for the sake of USA. Ukraine and the Baltics are the next in line to be used by the States. And the US don't care these countries' own interests.
Andrey, Yekaterinburg, Russia


When your villages are targeted from dusk till dawn, when your people are pleading for help, it is very hard to do nothing. Russia wanted a war and it got what it wanted. President Saakashvili was short-sighted in a sense that he failed to bow to Russia and turn the other cheek. Then he could have avoided being dragged into the war by Russia. Saakashvili failed to resist this to the end. He didn't have the nerve to resist (no wonder as he is no KGB man).
Irakli, Tbilisi, Georgia

While those two giants are figuring it out between themselves, innocent people are suffering
Nonna, Sukhumi, Abkhazia

Russians, wake up! Your government is chasing the country back behind the Iron Curtain. How can you talk about defending Ossetians, when Putin, your president with Napoleonic ambitions, used tanks against the school in (North Ossetia's) Beslan where children were held hostage by Chechen rebels.
David Gochashvili, Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia as a nation has a very clear aim - we need to break free from the Russian influence. We do not want to live under a regime whose actions defy common sense, which is corrupt and which has always been run by "siloviki" [security services and the army]. Russia was never a democracy, its ruling principles have always been based on bullying.
Georgi, Tbilisi, Georgia


Russia's aggression against Georgia will have a negative impact on the Russian-US relations. But while those two giants are figuring it out between themselves, innocent people are suffering. What is Europe thinking? While is the whole civilized world ignoring this? How can the Russian intelligentsia keep silent at such a time? Is the "Russian democracy" a myth - just like the "Georgian threat"?
Nonna, Sukhumi, Abkhazia

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