18:20 Aug. 8, 2016
Ukraine will never recognize the Russian-backed puppet regimes of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Ukraine's leader says
Russian attack on Georgia in August 2008 whetted the Kremlin's appetite and started Russia's hostilities in other countries - including Ukraine, said President Petro Poroshenko.
"What was discerned only by the most perspicacious people eight years ago now is obvious to all: Russia's attack on Georgia was the prologue to the Russian war against Ukraine. The policy of appeasing an aggressor failed to function even in 2008. Moreover, it only fuelled the Kremlin's appetite. Then the transatlantic community could have joined their effort to isolate the predatory bear in its den. It was a lesson of history no one learnt in good time," Poroshenko wrote on Facebook regarding the 8th anniversary of the Russian-Georgian war.
The president stressed that currently Ukraine manage to courageously defend the eastern border of Europe.
"Rigorous trials enhanced friendship and solidarity between the Ukrainian and Georgian nations. We, unlike anyone else, sincerely and consistently support the restoration of Georgia's territorial integrity. It is obvious that we will never recognize the Russian-backed puppet regimes of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," said Poroshenko.
Back in August 2008, Moscow and Tbilisi fought a six-day war over the disputed Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, resulting in a collapse in diplomatic relations. Russia crushed Georgia's forces and still militarily occupies both territories today.
Russia seized Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and continues to deploy troops in the east of the country to support militants fighting the Ukrainian government. Other Russian-held statelets and exclaves in Europe include Moldovan region Transdniestria, which sits on the west Ukraine border, and former German territory Kaliningrad, which borders Poland and Lithuania.