For those interested in watching Russia grind down the pretense of Georgian autonomy, there's a great timeline Over on Wikipedia.
One thing, by the way. Georgia shelling South Ossetia was a fantastically dumb move. Saakashvili was overreaching, and should have known there was no chance of meaningful American intervention. But that doesn't change the overall issue here. This isn't about South Ossetia, or Abkhazia, or even Georgia. It's about Russia, Putin, and his aspirations to regional control.