Georgian forces pulled out of the breakaway South Ossetia region on Sunday after three days of fighting and Russian troops took most of the capital.
Here is a chronology of events in South Ossetia:
November 1989 - South Ossetia declares autonomy from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, triggering three months of fighting.
December 1990 - Georgia and South Ossetia begin a new armed conflict which lasts until 1992.
June 1992 - Russian, Georgian and South Ossetian leaders meet in Sochi, sign an armistice and agree the creation of a tripartite peacekeeping force of 500 soldiers from each entity.
November 1993 - South Ossetia drafts its own constitution.
November 1996 - South Ossetia elects its first president.
December 2001 - South Ossetia elects Eduard Kokoity as president. In 2002 he asks Moscow to recognize the republic's independence and absorb it into Russia.
January 2005 - Russia gives guarded approval to Georgia's plan to grant broad autonomy to South Ossetia in exchange for dropping its bid for independence.
November 2006 - South Ossetia overwhelmingly endorses its split with Tbilisi in a referendum. Georgia's prime minister says this is part of a Russian campaign to stoke a war.
April 2007 - Georgia's parliament approves a law to create a temporary administration in South Ossetia, raising tension with Russia.
June 2007 - South Ossetian separatists say Georgia attacked Tskhinvali with mortar and sniper fire. Tbilisi denies this.
October 2007 - Talks hosted by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe between Georgia and South Ossetia break down.
March 2008 - South Ossetia asks the world to recognize its independence from Georgia following the West's support for Kosovo's secession from Serbia.
March 2008 - Georgia's bid to join NATO, though unsuccessful, prompts Russia's parliament to urge the Kremlin to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
April 2008 - South Ossetia rejects a Georgian power-sharing deal, insists on full independence.
August 2008 - Georgian forces attack South Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali to re-take the breakaway region. Russia says its troops were responding to the assault and Georgia's Saakashvili says the two countries were at war.
-- Georgian forces pull out after three days of fighting. Russia says its troops control most of Tskhinvali.
-- Russia bombs a military airfield outside Tbilisi.
-- Russia says that the death toll in fighting stands at 2,000. Georgia said on Friday that it had lost up to 300 people killed, mainly civilians.