What a kick!
It’s three paragraphs. The diplomat’s tire went flat, and brass and swords rattle.
“Trouble had been brewing in the disputed South Ossetian region for weeks as Moscow-backed militias skirmished with Georgian troops, yet Russian-brokered negotiations between the Georgian government and the separatists had continued.
“But the first substantial face-to-face talks on August 7 fell through after a farcical chain of events in which the top Russian diplomat claimed he was unable to attend the meeting in South Ossetia because his car tyre had run flat.
“Refusing to take his excuse at face value, the Georgian delegation then assumed they were being lured into a trap, and began the shelling that invited the Russian invasion.”