No. I read his comments after the violence started. He said something that sounded like he had a rather smug smile in his voice...something about how it was a brilliant idea for Russia to attack when all the world leaders were on holiday... Made me think he was being sarcastic or something--like HE was the brilliant one...and HE had orchestrated the incursion...but was turning it on Putie.
The way it seems is that Georgia sent the military to gain control over Tskhinvali - which is in the very south of South Ossetia. South Ossetia is part of Georgia, but has been fighting for independence. Russia has supported the separatists - certainly motivated by Georgia's orientation towards the West, its move towards membership in NATO and maybe even the European Union.
Russia has a "peacekeeping force" in South Ossetia. It has practically been giving away Russian passports to Ossetians, with a minimum of bureaucracy. As a consequence, about 90% of South Ossetians are now "Russian citizens".
Therefore, Russia is arguing that it is only protecting its citizens (while attacking Georgian military and civilians in Georgia), while Georgia is saying that it was only moving troops within its own country (while possibly violating a peace agreement concerning an autonomous region).
Depending on your point of view, both the South Ossetians and the Georgians could therefore claim "underdog status".
on the flag!!
No kidding. My first reaction was, "dude, that's quite a bit presumptuous..."