Any further expansion of Ossetian control, something that could only be achieved with the strength of Russian arms, would threaten Tbilisi even more directly. But as Shmulyevich notes, there is an even greater danger to Georgia in evidence, one that reflects the recent changes in Armenia.
That is in the Javakhetia region in southern Georgia, a region populated largely by ethnic Armenians and led by people who were closely associated with the ancient regime in Yerevan. They are thus more disposed to follow Moscow’s demands than the Pashinyan government and could be set against Tbilisi as well.
Were Moscow and its agents to stir up trouble in Javakhetia, Shmulyevich says, that would create a dagger from the south that would almost meet the Ossetian dagger from the north and cut the Republic of Georgia into two parts. Even the threat that Moscow could do that must be worrisome to Georgia and its supporters in the West.
Obviously, this is an argument based on capabilities rather than on knowledge of intentions; but it is not so far-fetched that it should be dismissed out of hand, as some may be inclined to do. Instead, it could become a scenario for yet another Putinist hybrid war and for the same purpose as in Ukraine, to block a country that wants to turn to the West from doing so.