It seems to me that the Georgians-as-victims narrative is, at some level, rather demeaning to actual inhabitants of places like Georgia. It leads people in the West to make grandiose pronouncements such as this one by Canadian columnist Andrew Coyne:
We can abandon any expansion of NATO beyond its present membership, as Russia demands. Or we can press on, understanding that we have a stake in the survival and success of democracy in the East, and that if we cannot democratize Russia we can at least contain its influence.*We, we, we, we, we . . . Do you suppose people who actually live in some of these places might be capable of looking after — negotiating — what’s in their own best interest? Consider my timeline history** of Georgia and the Ossetians. Russian interventions in the region have been going on for hundreds of years. Sometimes the Russians have intervened at the request of the locals. The long history of the region leads me to suspect the inhabitants of places like Georgia know more -- certainly more than "we" ever will -- about how to meet their needs.
* H/tip Sullivan
** I have recently improved the timeline history.