"President Dmitry Medvedev has declared that Russia formally recognises the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Mr Medvedev told the BBC Russia had tried to preserve Georgian unity for 17 years, but that the situation had changed after this month's violence.
He said Moscow now felt obliged to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as other countries had done with Kosovo.
The decree, in defiance of a plea from the US, has provoked a wave of protest.
Georgia accused Russia of an unconcealed annexation of its territory, and said the decrees had no legal force."
So Russia started a war in Georgia but blamed it on the Georgians, and now having invaded and agreed to pull-out they have "recognized the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia". The line in the BBC report that
"the US state department had warned that recognition of the two provinces' independence would be "a violation of Georgian territorial integrity" and "inconsistent with international law"."does not inspire me with much confidence.
Does anyone else have a feeling of dread about this? Where next for Putin? Ukraine, the Baltic states, Kazakhstan?
Poland in 1939, Eastern Germany in 1945, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, parts of Georgia in 2008. It's a long established pattern of behaviour, we just had a longer pause than normal recently.