Fernandez suggests that by way of strategy, Georgia might choose to sacrifice much of its territory, retreating to defensive positions behind the Lesser Caucacses (map). Fernandez continues:
. . .the Russians have repeatedly failed to “bag” or encircle the Georgian Army, whose losses appear to be relatively light. The Georgians may have decided to avoid a ruinous battle for Gori, preserve their army and keep their state alive — even at the cost of abandoning their Black Sea ports and Kolkhida Lowland — in favor of a withdrawal behind the second of their major mountain ranges: the Lesser Caucasus. . .Map: Global Geographia
The Georgian strategy is born of military necessity. They appear to have chosen to abandon a major part of their country in order to stay together as a nation. . . .
The Georgian refusal to surrender and fallback to their south potentially means they are raising the stakes. If the Russians continue to pursue, they will inevitably risk crossing the Turkish and Armenian borders. But those possibilities are in the future.