President Dmitry Medvedev has declared that Russia formally recognizes the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The move follows a vote in both houses of parliament on Monday, which called on Moscow to recognize the regions.

Given the recent conflict and the bad blood involved, we are probably going to see massive migration from georgians south, out of the russian-friendly regions.

Amidst heavy western criticism, Russia clearly does not care:

Soaring oil and gas prices have put nearly $600 billion in its hard-currency reserves. Many Russians reckon that in the end the big European countries that matter will decide that they care more about trade ties and reliable energy supplies than they do about Georgia.

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