The Russians announced today that they had "Spheres of Priveleged Interest" on their peripheries, including (of course) the "independent" nations of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
This whole mess has got Eastern Europe scared stiff, and is raising tensions in the highly ethnically Russian Ukraine, which is poised to be accepted into NATO this fall. The Baltics, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, and many Slavs have no interest in returning to the "sphere of influence" that Russia held over them between 1945 and 1989.
In addition, the Georgia offensive is looking more and more like the Prague operation of 1964, just without the offense on the capital. Russia's reassertion of its "sphere of influence" using tanks and civilian terror is a strategy that worked when Russia was strong in 1964, but really: at this point, Europe needs to stand up to them, lest the Russians learn from all of this that they can get away with doing whatever they want.