Ossetians for the most part, want to be closer to and part of the Russian Federation. The Georgian leader, Mikheil Saakashvili, doesn't want that. He ostensibly acted to force unity with Ossetia by military means. I say ostensibly, because he knew Russia would attack and drive him out.
Only people living under rocks haven't been hearing Russia's talk about defending its alleged interests.
Now, the media in the West screams for action against Russia. However, when Serbia didn't want to part with Kosovo, the West was negatively critical of Serbia. The Serbs weren't to use the same force Georgia attempted to use. That's a double standard. It's called hypocrisy.
In Bolivia, we see the same process at work. The U.S. and Europe are funding an autonomy movement for the richest, Whitest region of the country.
However, wherever there are people who lean toward a more equitable standard and who want to split off from a larger political unit, the U.S. objects or barely murmurs.
This isn't democracy versus non-democracy. It isn't communism versus capitalism. All of the places where the U.S. takes sides are not reducible to those differences. It's Empire versus Empire and Empire versus everything else. It's called greed.