The clashes reflected long-simmering tensions between Russia and Georgia. A look at some key events in Russia-Georgia relations: 1801 — The Russian Empire moves to annex Georgia following centuries of Ottoman and Persian domination. Russian troops defeat the Persian army during an 1804-1813 war.
1918 — Georgia proclaims its independence after the fall of the Russian Empire. 1921 — The Red Army occupies Georgia, setting the stage for its incorporation into the Soviet Union. 1990 — Soviet troops brutally disperse a pro-independence protest in the Georgian capital, leaving 21 dead and hundreds injured.
1991 — Georgia regains independence amid the breakup of the Soviet Union. 1991-1992 — Georgia loses control over part of its province of South Ossetia following a separatist conflict. Russian peacekeepers are deployed to the region.
1992-1993 — Another Georgian province, Abkhazia, fights to secede from Georgia and becomes de-facto independent with Moscow's support. 2008 — Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili launches an offensive to restore Georgia's control over South Ossetia. Russia responds by sending troops which rout the Georgian military in five days of fighting. Moscow then recognizes both South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and sets up military bases there. Russia and Georgia cut diplomatic relations and their economic ties freeze.
2012 — The Georgian Dream party led by Georgian tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, who made his fortune in Russia, defeats Saakashvili's National Movement in parliamentary elections. The new Georgian government starts to gradually restore economic and other ties with Moscow.