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S. Ossetia conflict casts shadow over Russia-West ties
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The conflict that erupted overnight on Aug. 8 in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, not only caused great damage to ties between Russia and Georgia, but also cast a shadow over Russia's relations with the West.

With some western nations criticizing Russia for failing to live up to its ceasefire agreement with Georgia, analysts remain skeptical about whether the lingering Russia-West rift would heal anytime soon.

Great damage

Georgia launched attacks against South Ossetia in an attempt to regain control of the breakaway region bordering Russia. In retaliation, Moscow sent in troops that drove Georgian forces out of the region and took over parts of Georgian territory.

Russia declared a halt to its military offensive in Georgia on Aug. 12 after days of conflict in the region. Later, Moscow said it had fulfilled the promise made in a French-brokered peace plan to withdraw its troops from Georgia as of last Friday.

Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, said 64 Russian service personnel had been killed and 323 others injured in the hostilities, while Givi Targamadze, head of the Georgian parliament's defense and security committee, said his country lost 215 citizens, including 13 policemen, 133 military personnel and 69 civilians.

South Ossetian authorities estimate that Georgia's recent military operation in the region cost them some 100 billion rubles (4.1 billion U.S. dollars) in damages.

The conflict destroyed around 70 percent of the buildings in Tskhinvali, capital of South Ossetia, while gas and electricity lines were cut off. The city's water supply utilities were also disrupted, leaving locals without drinking water.

Early estimates by the authorities showed 1,492 residents had died in the attack, and some 37,000 had fled into Russia.

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