There are now reports that in addition to attacks on the Georgian cities of Poti and Gori, and the continuing fighting in South Ossetia, Russian troops are "invading" the other separatist province, Abhazia. If this is confirmed, then it is quite clear that we are not looking at a response to any Georgian moves in South Ossetia, but a much bigger operation: an attack on the territorial integrity of Georgia that must have been plned for some time.
Russia appears to be attacking its smaller neighbour on all fronts: In the separatist provinces, in Georgia proper and also it has launched large sale DoS attack against Georgian Internet addresses and websites (familiar as a tactic against the Estonians last year).
This is now an act of war, not only against Georgia- which has responded by declaring a state of war, and thus internationalising the conflict by bringing it under the purview of the United Nations- but also the West.
This is the "Rhineland" moment. Should what now appears to be a long planned Russian aggression against Georgia go unpunished, then Russia will feel that it may proceed with impunity against any other of its neighbours. This includes states protected under the North Atlantic Alliance. In short, unless the West intervenes now, we could be facing an all out conflict situation before too long, as Russia continues to proceed with its wilfully reckless and dangerous defiance of all norms of civilised behaviour. Russia refuses to respond to British pressure on the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. It continues to sanction extra-judicial murder of any citizen of any country that it deems to be hostile to its interests. It willfully breaks all treaties that it undertakes, including the international law of the sea.
Russia is a rogue state. Although I fear, as Edward Lucas does in today's Times that the West will fail in this challenge, the fact is that Russia is a threat to global peace and stability. If we do fail now, the consequences later could be even more serious- and bring us to the brink of a global war.