Two events in 2008 shaped the political map of the Caucasus: the West's decision on the independence of Kosovo and the Russo-Georgian War. First, on 17 February, Kosovo authorities unilaterally declared the independence of what was at the time a UN protectorate. This declaration enjoyed much support in the West, including near-immediate recognition by key states such as the US, Germany, France, the UK, and a dozen others. But it also faced strong opposition from Serbia and Russia and strong skepticism from prowestern countries such as Georgia. Russia opposed not only the Kosovo declaration itself but more importantly the western adoption of it. From the Russian perspective, by supporting Kosovo's accession to sovereignty western states were violating the rules set at the moment of collapse of the federal states of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union: to invite the former union republics to join the international clubs of sovereign states, but not extend such invitation to any other sub-units. In other words, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Kazakhstan, and Russia became members of the United Nations, but sub-entities like Chechnya, Kosovo, or Tatarstan did not receive the same recognition.