VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia, (Reuters/AFP) - A year after Russia defeated neighbour Georgias military bid to retake a pro-Moscow region from rebels, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday the war had redrawn the map of the Caucasus for good. He warned that Georgias leadership would face retribution for last years war in South Ossetia, as the pro-Russian rebel region marked the first anniversary of the conflict. At a ceremony to decorate officers and soldiers who took part in the five-day conflict, Medvedev said the 58th army had prevented the extermination of South Ossetians, who broke from Georgian rule in the 1990s. Russia recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a breakaway Georgian region on the Black Sea, as independent states after the conflict and has guaranteed their security. Last years events have finally redrawn the political map of the Caucasus, Medvedev told the 58th Army, which spearheaded Russias riposte, in the North Ossetian capital Vladikavkaz. The recognition of South Ossetias and Abkhazias independence was the only possible solution, he said. This decision will not be reviewed, he added. I am certain that, in time, just and severe punishment, severe retribution, will come to those people who issued the criminal orders, to attack the breakaway Georgian region, Medvedev said in remarks broadcast on Russian state television. Medvedev also warned a new conflict in the volatile Caucasus region could not be ruled out due to Georgias recent actions and implicitly accused the US of ratcheting up tensions with its aid to Tbilisi. It is well known who armed and who, unfortunately, is continuing to arm the Tbilisi regime, he said, a clear reference to the US, which provided military training and equipment to Georgia before last years war. Medvedev issued his warning as he visited a military base near border with Georgia where he decorated troops. The brief war rattled Western confidence in oil and gas routes running through Georgia and skirting S.Ossetia. A year later, ties are back on and Medvedev said the conflict had not damaged relations. The peace enforcement operation (by Russian troops in South Ossetia) has not complicated our relations with the international community, he said. No matter who says what, ours is the right cause. The Russian President said French President Nicolas Sarkozy personally played a big role in ending Russias brief war with its ex-Soviet neighbour Georgia last year.