This seems like some eminently reasonable conclusions:
A nine-month European Union investigation into the 2008 war in the Caucasus has concluded that Georgia triggered the conflict, but that Russia prepared the ground for war to break out and broke international law by invading Georgia as a whole.
Conclusions to the roughly 1,000 page report, released on Wednesday by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini, also found that Russia-backed South Ossetian militias committed atrocities and “ethnic cleansing” of Georgian villages during and since the war. It faulted Russian forces in control of the territory that either “would not or could not” control the South Ossetians.
The report found no evidence to back Russian claims that Georgia committed genocide on the night of Aug.7-8.
As you may recall, last August it immediately—and somewhat mysteriously—became dogma in American political and media circles that the conflict was a front-line struggle between freedom and dictatorship in which everyone was supposed to embrace Georgian nationalism as a core element of US grand strategy. The reality, as we can see in this report, is that Georgia very unwisely chose to launch a war with its obviously-much-larger neighbor. Sober-minded people criticized Russia for a response that swiftly went well beyond what international law permits, but it would be very unwise for the United States to take actions that encourage small friendly countries to think that they can roll the dice and be backstopped by the United States on fights about issues that, like control of South Ossetia, have nothing to do with our interests.