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2 years ago
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Remembering Russia’s Unlucky Augusts

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As I write this article, I am aware, as I have been every day for the last year, that despite any number of Minsk agreements, we have reason to believe that the war in eastern Ukraine could suddenly intensify in scope and violence at any moment.In the first half of August, more than any other time of the year, the war in Ukraine recalls another — the war in Georgia, which began during the night on Aug. 7, 2008.The daily paper I was working for at the time came out the morning of Aug. 8 with a headline that had already been catastrophically contrary to fact for several hours by the time the issue hit newsstands: “Mikheil Saakashvili orders cease-fire.”When the issue was approved on the evening of Aug. 7, before we received information about the intensive artillery assault on Tskhinvali, I had every reason to mention in a headline the Georgian cease-fire proposal, which had been under discussion immediately prior to the war. This story of a journalist acting on the information available to him at the time of print reminds me of two important things.

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