August 7, was the anniversary of the five-day Russo-Georgian War of 2008. Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president at that time, and the man who gave the order to fight Georgia was interviewed by TASS on the anniversary. Medvedev, who has been using the war in Ukraine to reinvent himself as a super hawk, who proclaims his hatred for Western "bastards" used the interview to tie the two wars together as part of a Western master plan to destabilize Russia. The only difference that Medvedev would admit to was that Europe's role was more positive back in 2008. Medvedev was certain that Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky would suffer the same fate as Georgia's Mikheil Saakashvili.
Western accounts of the connection between the 2008 war and the current war in Ukraine are understandably different and argue that Western acquiescence to Russia's manhandling of Georgia encouraged Putin to seek further gains, most notably in Ukraine.
Mark Galeotti, Honorary Professor at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies claims: “No one was willing to go to war for Georgia...This was a time in which no one really wanted to provoke Russia. [Dmitry] Medvedev was president, and particularly American policy was to essentially hope that this could be leveraged into something more positive. So…to a large extent, Georgia was left on its own.” 
Or take this passage from the Atlantic Council's Peter Dickinson on the August 2021 anniversary of the conflict:
"The international reaction to Russia's military campaign in Georgia was to prove remarkably muted, with Moscow suffering few negative consequences. On the contrary, EU leaders led calls for a ceasefire that appeared to favor Russian interests, while the US under the new Obama administration was soon calling for a reset in relations with the Kremlin.
Understandably, many in Moscow interpreted this accommodating approach as an informal invitation for further acts of aggression in Russia's traditional sphere of influence. Six years after the Russo-Georgian War, Russia embarked on a far more comprehensive military campaign against Ukraine, where Moscow continues to occupy Crimea and large swathes of eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region."
The interview with Medvedev follows below:
Medvedev in 2008 television appearance promises to defend the Russian citizens of South Ossetia (Zavtra.ru)
"Exactly 14 years ago, Georgian troops attacked South Ossetia and Russian peacekeepers stationed in the region, after which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced an operation to coerce peace on Georgia. The result was the military defeat of the Mikheil Saakashvili regime and Russian recognition for the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On the anniversary of the 2008 events, Medvedev, now serving as the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, commented on TASS' questions regarding the Western role in this story and the connections between the Georgian and Ukrainian conflicts, on attitudes towards the decisions adopted then, and on whether Georgia might try to take revenge."
Are the 2008 Georgian aggression and the Ukrainian conflict links in the same chain? Is it all part of the same geopolitical process, launched by the West?
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There is no doubt about it. It's a single process and a master plan directed against Russia, it consists of a Western effort, especially by the US and other Anglo-Saxon states, to destabilize the situation in our country. How, you ask? - Through our neighbours, in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders. The Americans were cynically engaged in the training of the Georgian Armed Forces, investing huge sums of money in this process. They sent there a large number of instructors, who mobilized the Georgian army. They stuffed them with arms. Essentially, they were simply encouraging the insane freak Saakashvili to unleash aggression against the civilian population of South Ossetia and the Russian peacekeepers, instead of persuading him to engage in the search for a peaceful solution to the highly complicated inter-ethnic conflict that had developed there. And he was seduced by it, that cardboard dummy....
I remember how his stance regarding the peace settlement in the summer of 2008 changed under the Americans' influence: from an ostentatious willingness to seek ways for settling the issue, to going "offline." By the end of July of that year, he cut off all communication channels. It was his fault that the difficult, constantly delayed process of conflict resolution, under the mediation of international organizations, was disrupted. At every stage of the negotiations, Russia was urging [the parties to the conflict] to abstain from use of force and appealing to the Georgian side to conclude the necessary agreements with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Unfortunately, these initiatives were ignored by official Tbilisi, by NATO, which was behind it and even by the UN.
The same provocative, let's call it bluntly, criminal policy is being aggressively pursued by the US in Ukraine. True, [this time] with much more active support by the EU, which has definitively lost its independence.
As in the Georgia case, the Americans deliberately strengthened the feeling of impunity in Kyiv, stuffed it with arms, [and] encouraged the killing of civilians in Donbass. And now they continue to practice [this policy] in Ukraine, whose fate they absolutely don't care about. Their goal, as previously, is to destroy Russia. This is the root cause of the extremely aggressive, Russophobic geopolitical process that the West has launched.
Our response is tough, but carefully thought out. Russia is engaged in a Special Military Operation in Ukraine [hereafter - SVO] and strives for peace on our terms. I stress, on our terms; we should be clear about that, not on the terms that our former international community “partners” (who thirst for Russia’s military defeat) are trying to impose on us. We have our own national interests, and we will pursue them by all available means.
Back in 2008, Russia immediately responded to the Georgian attack on the city of Tskhinvali, although at the time it recognized South Ossetia as part of Georgia. In 2014, when Ukraine launched an operation against Donbass, Russia participated in a political settlement, i.e. the Minsk process, but didn't enter the conflict until 2022. From today's vantage point, can you say which option is better: long negotiations or quick reaction?
If it's possible to settle the problem in a peaceful manner, at the negotiating table, we should do so. But when no other choice remains, we have to respond with force. Unfortunately, in both Georgia and Ukraine, these countries' authorities left Russia no choice but to disrupt the political settlement of these conflicts. And we consciously decided to intervene with militarily force.
Neither then, nor now, did I doubt the correctness of the decision I took to suppress the aggression by force and to send Russian troops into South Ossetian territory. The Georgian army had flagrantly violated international law and the mandates that the international community granted to Russia, which acted as a partner to the peaceful settlement. They opened fire on people, many of whom were Russian citizens.
The attack on Tskhinvali and other localities in the South Ossetia began unexpectedly and cravenly, with artillery shelling on residential buildings and civilian facilities, on hospitals and schools, and on Russian peacekeepers. In this way, the Washington-controlled puppet regime decided to impose on South Ossetia its understanding of "democracy" and "humanism," and to return it back to Georgia at the cost of the destruction of an entire people. Naturally, we were obliged to respond. We could not just wipe away our tears and bow our heads to the bloody jerk, throwing people to him to be devoured.
the entire course of events that followed confirmed that we acted correct correctly. This included the ignominious failure of the aggressive doctrines, which Georgian wretched chief tried with aplomb and pressure to enforce. A short time later he was rejected by his own people. However, he didn't enjoy idleness for long and happily sold himself out to the "Orange" actors in Ukraine. Today we able to observe the fruits of their Russophobic policies in this country.
Attempts to become an "operetta dictator" due to extreme nationalism always ends up that way. This is an example that all sorts of Zelenskys, who are so ardently supported by the Western world for selfish far removed from democracy and humanism, should learn from. Today's Malorossian [Ukrainian] authorities are responsible for the final derailment of the Minsk agreements, and the deaths of a huge number of civilians in Donbass. They will have to answer for this sooner or later."
Saakashvili (l) and Zelensky (Source: Gazeta.ru)
How would the world look now, had Russia not intervened in the conflict in 2008? Would Georgia already be in NATO? What about Ukraine? Would the return of Crimea have been possible in 2014? Do you believe that Georgia might seize the moment and one day try once again to restore control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
Russia couldn't help but intervene in this conflict. It was about protecting our country's citizens, who resided in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia. By shielding them from Saakashvili's aggression, we acquired the main thing - peace. This is why, I perceive subjunctive fantasies a la "what would have happened if we hadn’t…" to be senseless. The same is true for Crimea, when the Russian president took the only possible decision of restoring the peninsula to our country, which was supported, let me remind you, by the overwhelming majority of its residents in strict compliance with international law. We did everything right, we helped the people and strengthened our homeland, Russia.
Regarding the NATO, its sustained drive to expand near Russia's borders, like a cancerous tumor, has become a worldwide problem. It makes all reasonable people nauseous. Even famous rock musicians such as Roger Waters of Pink Floyd condemn it. However, the Alliance’s leadership is made up of spineless doctrinaires, they aren't total idiots. They realize that to carry such neglected countries, like Ukraine or Georgia (which are engaged in a territorial dispute with Russia) on their backs is even more expensive. The costs will be enormous.
Therefore, the Alliance's members are feigning innocence and issue hypocritical declarations saying: "our open-door policy towards these states remains unchanged." They are all obsequious and emphasize their partnership with them. To put it simply, they “bark like dogs”. And it seems that even the unshaven guy in a green T-shirt from Kyiv doesn’t believe in these promises anymore. In my opinion Ukraine and Georgia will never enter NATO or the EU, which can only be accessed through the narrow opening of NATO.
Regarding [your question about] new possible aggression by Georgia against its breakaway territories, I stress, this is impossible. For us, currently, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are independent states, with whom we have built friendly relations and where our military bases are located. And this is well understood by the current Georgian authorities. They won't try tempt fate once again by entering into a confrontation with such a power like Russia.