This article was reported by Andrew E. Kramer, Anne Barnard and C. J. Chivers, and written by Ms. Barnard.
♣ August 2008
Historical Iberia’s and Kolkhida’s Territories Annexation
by Russians, Ossetians and Absua separatists
RUSSIA & GEORGIA at WAR! Aug. 8, 2008. (part 1/10)
Al Jazeera – Russia VS Georgia war (1/2)
Russian troops withdraw from Georgia_August 19 2008
Грузинские врачи vs российские солдаты
Российские Грады бомбят грузинские села
Russian KGB(now FSB) tortures Georgian solders
Russian Prisoner, Georgia
Видео с телефона грузинского солдата
грузия. первая встреча грузинов vs федеральные войска.
Грузия.Останки уничтоженной колонны 58-й русской армии
Russian army of looters. War in Georgia. Part 1
Russian army of looters. War in Georgia. Part 2
Russian army is looting in georgia
Russian jets attack Georgian town
Saturday, 9 August 2008 16:32 UK
Russian jets have bombed a Georgian town amid a deepening crisis over the breakaway South Ossetia region.
Georgia says 60 people died in Gori when the bombs hit residential buildings as well as military targets.
Russian officials say hundreds of civilians have been killed in South Ossetia. Georgia denies the figure, which cannot be independently verified.
Reports say Russian PM Vladimir Putin has stopped in Russia’s North Ossetia region on his return from the Olympics.
He arrived in the capital Vladikavkaz to discuss the influx of refugees from the conflict in South Ossetia, Russian media said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier that his country was seeking “to force the Georgian side to peace”.
Russia’s ambassador to Nato, Dmitry Rogozin, said there could be no “consultations” with Georgia until Georgian forces returned to their positions and re-established “the status quo”.
Accounts differ over who controls South Ossetia’s capital, with Moscow saying it has “liberated” Tskhinvali.
In another development, separatists in Abkhazia – Georgia’s other breakaway region – said they had launched air and artillery strikes on Georgian forces in the Kodori Gorge.
The crisis began spiralling when Georgian forces launched a surprise attack on Thursday night to regain control of South Ossetia, which has had de facto independence since the end of a civil war in 1992.
The move followed days of exchanges of heavy fire with the Russian-backed separatists.
In response to the Georgian crackdown, Moscow sent armoured units across the border into South Ossetia.
The Georgian parliament has approved a presidential decree declaring a state of war for 15 days.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has denounced Russian reports of a high civilian death toll from his forces as an “egregious lie”.
Mr Saakashvili said he had decided to declare that Georgia was in a state of war because it was “under a state of total [Russian] military aggression”.
Georgia is withdrawing its entire contingent of 2,000 troops from Iraq to help deal with the crisis.
US President George W Bush said the Russian attacks outside South Ossetia marked a “dangerous escalation in the crisis” and said Georgia’s territorial integrity had to be respected.
“The attacks are occurring in regions of Georgia far from the zone of conflict in South Ossetia,” he said while attending the Olympics.
“The violence is endangering regional peace.”
Fighting continued around Tskhinvali overnight and into Saturday morning, although not at the same intensity as on Friday, Russian media reported.
Russia said Tskhinvali had been “liberated” from the Georgian military
Later, the Russian Army’s Ground Forces commander, Gen Vladimir Boldyrev, said his troops had “fully liberated” the city and were pushing Georgian forces back.
But the secretary of the Georgian National Security Council, Khakha Lomaia, insisted that the city remained “under the complete control of our troops”.
Russian commanders, who said reinforcements were being sent to the region, confirmed that two Russian jets had been shot down over Georgia.
Speaking to Russian news agency Interfax, Russia’s ambassador to Georgia, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, said on Saturday that 2,000 civilians and 13 Russian peacekeepers had been killed in Tskhinvali.
“The city of Tskhinvali no longer exists,” he said. “It is gone. The Georgian military has destroyed it.”
The International Red Cross (ICRC) said it had received reports that hospitals in the city were “overflowing” with casualties.
In Gori, Russian aircraft bombed mostly military targets, where Georgian troops had been massing to support their forces engaged in South Ossetia.
The BBC’s Richard Galpin in Gori heard loud explosions and saw large plumes of smoke rising into the sky; soldiers and civilians were seen running through the streets.
Injured civilians were being pulled from the buildings, which were on fire.
The Georgian foreign ministry said the Black Sea port of Poti, the site of a major oil shipment facility, had been “devastated” by a Russian air raid.
Meanwhile Georgian TV reported that the Georgian-controlled section of the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia was under fire, blaming the bombardment on Russian forces.
The foreign minister in Abkhazia’s self-declared government, Sergei Shamba, said Abkhaz forces had launched an attack aimed at driving Georgian forces out of the gorge.
It was not clear whether planes used in the attack on the gorge belonged to Russia or to the Abkhaz separatists.
Russia has a peacekeeping force in Abkhazia under an agreement made following civil wars in the 1990s, when the region declared independence and formed links with Moscow.
President Medvedev said Russia’s military aim in South Ossetia was to force the Georgians to stop fighting.
Russian minister defends action
“Our peacekeepers and the units attached to them are currently carrying out an operation to force the Georgian side to [agree to] peace,” he said.
“They also bear the responsibility for protecting the population.”
Speaking to the BBC, the Russian foreign minister insisted his country did not want all-out war with Georgia, but was prepared to do whatever was necessary to restore the situation in South Ossetia and to defend its civilian population, most of whom have been given Russian citizenship.
“Mr Saakashvili keeps saying that we want to chop off a part of Georgian territory,” Mr Lavrov said.
“He’s also saying that this is not just about Georgia, this is about the future of Europe because he says Russia is also making territorial claims to other [countries], including the Baltic states, which is rubbish.”Mr Lavrov said Georgia had violated a peace deal under which Georgia had agreed not to use force in the South Ossetian dispute.
The BBC’s James Rodgers in Moscow says diplomatic initiatives to end the fighting have so far proved fruitless.
On Friday evening, the UN Security Council failed to agree on the wording of a statement calling for a ceasefire.
The UK, the US and France, are pinpointing what they say is Russia’s aggression as the key factor in the slide towards war, while Moscow insists Georgia is to blame.
Russians Push Past Separatist Area to Assault Central Georgia
Russian ground forces on Sunday passed a car with a South Ossetian license plate near the town of Dzhava in South Ossetia. More Photos >
The maneuver — along with bombing of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi — seemed to suggest that Russia’s aims in the conflict had gone beyond securing the pro-Russian enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to weakening the armed forces of Georgia, a former Soviet republic and an ally of the United States whose Western leanings have long irritated the Kremlin.
Russia’s moves, which came after Georgia offered a cease-fire and said it had pulled its troops out of South Ossetia, caused widespread international alarm and anger and set the stage for an intense diplomatic confrontation with the United States.
Two senior Western officials said that it was unclear whether Russia intended a full invasion of Georgia, but that its aims could go as far as destroying its armed forces or overthrowing Georgia’s pro-Western president, Mikheil Saakashvili.
“They seem to have gone beyond the logical stopping point,” one senior Western diplomat said, speaking anonymously under normal diplomatic protocol.
The escalation of fighting raised tensions between Russia and its former cold war foes to their highest level in decades. President Bush has promoted Georgia as a bastion of democracy, helped strengthen its military and urged that NATO admit the country to membership. Georgia serves as a major conduit for oil flowing from Russia and Central Asia to the West.
But Russia, emboldened by windfall profits from oil exports, is showing a resolve to reassert its dominance in a region it has always considered its “near abroad.”
The military action, which has involved air, naval and missile attacks, is the largest engagement by Russian forces outside its borders since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Russia escalated its assault on Sunday despite strong diplomatic warnings from Mr. Bush and European leaders, underscoring the limits of Western influence over Russia at a time when the rest of Europe depends heavily on Russia for natural gas and the United States needs Moscow’s cooperation if it hopes to curtail what it believes is a nuclear weapons threat from Iran.
President Bush, in Beijing for the Olympics, strongly criticized the Russian attacks, especially those outside South Ossetia, and urged an immediate cease-fire.
Earlier, Vice President Dick Cheney expressed a strong warning for Russia. In a telephone conversation with the Georgian president, he said “that Russian aggression must not go unanswered, and that its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community,” a spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, said in a statement released by the White House.
Russian officials say Georgia provoked the assault by attacking South Ossetia last week, causing heavy civilian casualties. But Western diplomats and military officials said they worried that Russia’s decision to extend the fighting and open a second front in Abkhazia indicated that it had sought to use a relatively low-level conflict in a conflict-prone part of the Caucasus region to extend its influence over a much broader area.
On Sunday, Russian artillery shells slammed the city of Gori, a major military installation and transportation hub in Georgia. In the separatist region of Abkhazia, Russian paratroopers and their Abkhaz allies battled Georgian special forces and tried to cross the boundary into undisputed Georgian territory, Georgian officials said.
Russia dropped a bomb on Tbilisi’s international airport shortly before Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner of France, who was sent by the European Union to try to mediate, was due to land, Georgian officials said. It twice bombed an aviation factory on the outskirts of the capital. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet patrolled the coast of Abkhazia, and its Defense Ministry said Russian warships had sunk a Georgian gunboat that fired on them.
The Kremlin declined to say whether its troops had entered Georgia proper but said all its actions were intended to strike at Georgian military forces that had fired on its peacekeeping troops in South Ossetia.
A senior Russian defense official, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said early Sunday that Russia did not intend to “break into” Georgian territory.
The Bush administration said it would seek a resolution from the United Nations Security Council condemning Russian military actions in Georgia.
He charged that Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, had said as much Sunday morning in a telephone conversation with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, telling her “that the democratically elected president of Georgia ‘must go,’ ” Mr. Khalilzad said. Mr. Khalilzad said the comment was “completely unacceptable.”
In Washington, American officials said that Georgian troops had tried to disengage but that the Russians had not allowed them to.
Georgia: Gori evacuated as fears of Russian advance into Georgia grow
A full-scale evacuation of the Georgian city of Gori has started as fears rose that Russia would soon advance its troops across the border from the breakaway republic of South Ossetia into the main body of Georgia itself.
By Adrian Blomfield and Damien McElroy in Georgia, Toby Harnden in Washington and Robert Winnett in London
Published: 9:28PM BST 10 Aug 2008
Any such incursion would be a dangerous escalation of a conflict that has already reportedly claimed thousands of lives and displaced thousands more. Russia regained total control of Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, and Georgia offered a unilateral ceasefire as it withdrew all its troops.
International opinion hardened against Russia, which has been roundly accused of a “disproportionate reaction” to Georgia’s move into South Ossetia last week. Jim Jeffrey, the US’s deputy National Security Advisor, told reporters: “We have made it clear to the Russians that if the disproportionate and dangerous escalation on the Russian side continues, that this will have a significant long-term impact on US-Russian relations.”
But American diplomats conceded that the US had few options and ruled out military intervention on behalf of Georgia. “We have no good options,” a US National Security Council official told The Daily Telegraph. “We need Russia’s co-operation over Iran and derailing that over a localised conflict in Georgia makes no sense. We just have to hope that diplomacy prevails. The next necessary step is for Russia to respond positively to Georgia’s ceasefire declaration.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia, “must go”. Mr Lavrov said Russia would continue its military action in South Ossetia due to the “continuing direct threat to Russian citizens”.
The few Georgians left in South Ossetia were fleeing from the Russian advance. In spite of the evacuation of Gori, the town near the separatist republic which is Stalin’s birthplace, it seemed last night as if Russian troops were for now sticking to their side of the border. However small arms fire was heard deep inside Georgian territory, suggesting Russian special forces had made a preliminary advance.
But the conflict was meanwhile increasing in scope. Russian aircraft have already bombed a number of targets inside Georgia including a strike, said the Georgians, on the civilian airport of Tbilisi, the capital. Abkhazia, a larger breakaway Georgian republic, is now a second front in the battle. Russian troops were reported to be advancing on the Kodori Gorge, a foothold of ethnic Georgians in the region.
Top officials in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, appeared resigned to Russia establishing full control over both Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “We won’t win a military confrontation,” Georgian Vice-Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze said. “Any face to face confrontation has been in Russia’s interest. We don’t want to do that any more.”
Russia’s navy was also involved, deploying a flotilla off Georgia’s Black Sea coast. The navy said the ships later put into a Russian Black Sea port, though there were reports that a Georgian boat carrying missile launchers had been sunk.
Georgia’s President Saakashvili called on the world to “speak with a united voice, and the united voice should [say that] Georgia’s territorial integrity should be safeguarded”. There was a huge rally last night in Tbilisi, the capital of the country, in a demonstration of support. “We just want to rally our president,” said one Georgian. “Somehow this has brought us together.”
The US was last night drafting a UN Security Council resolution condemning the “military assault” by Russia. Ms Rice is planning to send an envoy to mediation talks brokered by the European Union and the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The OSCE is responsible for monitoring the 16-year ceasefire that had prevailed in South Ossetia since the republic became a semi-autonomous region within Georgia.
The French President Nicolas Sarkozy voiced the hope that there could be a quick end to the conflict following the retreat of Georgian troops. Downing Street urged Russia and Georgia to agree to an “immediate” ceasefire.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin cut short his visit to the Olympics and flew on Saturday to a field hospital in North Ossetia, part of Russia on the other side of the border of South Ossetia. Mr Putin denounced what he termed Georgia’s “crimes against its own people”. US President George W Bush was still in Beijing yesterday watching the Olympics.
Russia moves towards Gori
War … a Russian soldier runs past the body of a Georgian soldier in Tskhinvali outskirts
What’s current conflict about?
WAR broke out between Russia and Georgia at the weekend – but what’s behind the conflict?
Here The Sun explains:
Q: Where is Georgia? Georgia straddles Asia and Europe, between Turkey and southern Russia.
Q: What is South Ossetia? Officially part of Georgia, the breakaway territory runs its own affairs. The size of Suffolk, it has a population of 70,000 – most of them hold Russian passports.
Q: Why is there a conflict? The South Ossetians want full independence from Georgia but the government wants it to remain part of Georgia. The two went to war in 1991-92 before peacekeepers were sent in. But fighting has continued between separatists and the Georgians.
Q: How did this new war start? Separatists allegedly fired at Georgian peacekeepers. Georgia started to bomb Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia on Friday. Russia responded by sending in tanks and bombing parts of Georgia.
Q: Why does it matter to us? Georgia is pro-Western and has troops in Iraq. The Ј2billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and gas pipeline passes through Georgia on its way to supplying the West.
Q: What happens next? Georgia say they have pulled their troops out of South Ossetia and Western leaders want the Russians to do the same. But the conflict could spread to another Georgian region, the larger Abkhazia, which also has Russian-backed separatists.
GEORGIA’S president says Russia’s troops have effectively cut the country in half by seizing the city of Gori.
President Mikhail Saakashvili made the statement an hour after officials claimed Russian troops had captured Gori, about 60 miles west of the capital Tbilisi.
The news agency Interfax cited a Russian Defense Ministry official as denying the reports of the seizure.
But a top official at the Georgian embassy in Moscow, Givi Shugarov, said Russian troops appeared to be moving toward Tbilisi and he alleged Russia’s goal was “complete liquidation” of the Georgian government.
Georgian troops have been seen retreating to Tbilisi reportedly in preparation for a Russian attack.
Russia today moved out of breakaway provinces and sent armoured vehicles into Georgia.
Opening up a second front of fighting the superpower has captured a military base in the country’s west.
Armoured personnel carriers rolled into the Georgian base in Senaki about 30km inland from the Black Sea earlier on today.
Russian forces have also moved into the town of Zugdidi where they seized government buildings.
The moves came despite intense pressure from diplomats and world leaders on Russia to accept a ceasefire.
Gordon Brown tonight warned Russia there was “no justification” for its military action in Georgia and urged Moscow to order a ceasefire.
The new forays into Georgia come after Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili signed a cease-fire pledge.
The move also came just hours after Russian deputy chief of General Staff Anatoly Nogovitsyn said that he wasn’t planning any offensive.
This show of aggression shows Russian determination to subdue the small, US-backed country, which has been pressing for NATO membership.
Both countries have accused each other committing atrocities and breaking ceasefire.
Russian Maj-Gen Marat Kulakhmetov said that Georgian forces continued shelling Russian positions overnight.
Georgian forces are reported to have resumed “intense” shelling in South Ossetia today despite reports that Russia have total control of the breakaway region.
In response Russian bombs hit a radar on the outskirts of the Georgian capital, bombed an airfield and also targeted the Black Sea port of Poti, inflicting no casualties, Georgian officials said.
Russian officials said the air raids targeted supply lines and military facilities and were not directed at civilians.
The bombings came as a senior Russian General said Georgian troops in and around breakaway province Abkhazia should disarm or face Russian forces.
Reports said Gen Sergei Chaban, in charge of Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia, issued an ultimatum to Georgian forces to pull out of Abkhazia’s Kodori Gorge or Russia would invade.
Reports from Moscow said 9,000 Russian troops were being sent to Abkhazia, Georgia’s second breakaway province.
Abkhazia declared their independance in 1999 after breaking away from Georgia in the1992-1993 war.
Georgia though continues to regard it as a breakaway region of its country and seized the strategic Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia in 2006.
Blaze … woods engulfed near Gori
On Sunday, separatist leaders in Abkhazia announced a full mobilisation in order to drive Georgian troops from part of the region, and gave them a deadline to leave.
If conflict broke out it would be a major escalation in the war and could be catastrophic for Georgia.
With most of their forces concentrated on repelling Russian attacks in the breakaway province of South Ossetia, where the fighting began, it would be very hard for Georgia to stop any attack on Abkhazian.
International envoys flew into the region yesterday in an effort to end the conflict.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says he met with President Saakashvili and found him “determined to make peace.”
Russia though are thought to have nearly secured South Ossetia and are concentrating their forces on Abkhazia.
US President George Bush today criticised Moscow’s strikes on Georgia, saying the violence is unacceptable and Russia’s response is disproportionate.
“I’ve expressed my grave concern about the disproportionate response of Russia and that we strongly condemn the bombing outside of South Ossetia,” Bush said in a television interview.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin hit back during yesterdays debates at the UN Security Council saying: “We know they haven’t left and are continuing to shoot at our peacekeepers.”
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said more than 2,000 people had been killed in South Ossetia since Friday.
The figures could not be confirmed, but refugees who fled the city said hundreds were killed.
Mr Bush has spoken to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev. He plans to talk with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently heads the EU.
Mr Sarkozy is set to fly to Russia to help broker a peace deal. A spokesman said that since the Georgian withdrawal “the President believes that there now exists a real chance of quickly finding a way out of the crisis”.
But Mr Putin said Georgia had lost the right to rule the breakaway province – an indication Moscow could be ready to absorb it.
A Downing Street spokesman said PM Gordon Brown had held “detailed discussions” with Mr Sarkozy and had spoken to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
The Foreign Office believe there are around 200 Britons living in Georgia and advised all Brits to leave. It was not known if any were among the dead or injured.
The Sun yesterday saw carnage in Gori after Russian bombs aimed at a police HQ fell 300 yards short – destroying a row of stone cottages and killing eight civilians, including a boy aged three.
Despite the threat of more raids, a dozen men refused to leave. Emzar Sakhvadze, 33, said: “We cannot go until we have given them proper burials.”
Gori, with a population of 50,000, is 20 miles from Tskhinvali and became a fall-back position for Georgian troops.
A senior Georgian official said fierce fighting had seen 50 ambulances ferrying wounded Georgian soldiers from the city’s military hospital to Tbilisi.
But Kakha Lomaia declared proudly: “Our troops are fighting, still fighting. They are not letting Russian troops in.”
of civilians fled the city in wheezing minibuses, heading for Tbilisi where they hope to be safe.
However, tensions were spilling outwards. The Ukraine – where many Russian ships are based and, like Georgia, friendly to the West – threatened to block the Russian navy from returning. And Georgia claimed more than 4,000 Russian troops have moved into the larger disputed region of Abkhazia and lined up in the Kodori Gorge.
Russian-backed separatists yesterday launched air and artillery strikes while others were concentrating on the border near Georgia’s Zugdidi region.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband expressed fears the conflict was spreading and said Britain was ready to send humanitarian aid.
Gori: Blood, smoke, destruction tell war’s tale
August 12, 2008
OUTSIDE TBILISI, Georgia (CNN) — Evidence of the fighting is everywhere in the Georgian city of Gori — blood on the ground, the smell of smoke in the air, and wrecked cars in the street, according to a CNN crew that drove through the area.
“We were not undertaking any strikes there,” said Colonel-General Anatoly Nagovitsin, deputy head of the general staff. “There are no drafted troops in the region, only professionals.”
He added that Russian troops entered the conflict last week, because “it was crucial to weaken the military potential of the aggressor, so that it could never think about repetition of this.”
Nagovitsin was referring to the Georgian incursion into the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, which preceded the Russian involvement.
The attacks in Gori, about 50 miles northwest of the capital Tbilisi, occurred before Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a plan late in the day for ending the conflict in Georgia.
A Dutch cameraman was killed and a correspondent wounded in a military incident Tuesday morning, the Dutch Foreign Ministry confirmed. Their blood could be seen staining the ground where they fell.
By midday, an apartment building was still burning from a Russian rocket that had exploded in the air, sending fiery shrapnel shooting into the structure and the ground, witnesses said.
A woman who lives in the building was in tears as she showed a CNN crew pieces of what she said were Russian military munitions.
Rockets made craters in Gori’s central square, shop windows were blown out from the force of explosions, and many storefronts were pocked by bullet holes, CNN Producer Mike Sefanov said.
The fighting has caused many of the residents to flee. Some have gone to Tbilisi and others to Mtskheta, just north of the capital; others have gone to centers for the internally displaced or found shelter elsewhere.
Georgians say there is still sporadic fighting happening in South Ossetia, but that is difficult to confirm. The drivers of the few cars that met the CNN crew on the road into South Ossetia gave a mixed report about safety up ahead.
One man warned of looting in the South Ossetian village up the road.
On the other side of Gori, on the way to Tbilisi, there was evidence that Georgian fighters apparently had failed to fend off attacks. A tank and other Georgian military vehicles were abandoned along the road; some had been blown up.
In the sky overhead, the CNN crew saw helicopters firing flares into the Georgian countryside. It was difficult to tell whose choppers they were — though the markings didn’t look Georgian — and precisely what they were doing in the air over Georgia.
‘I don’t know which side to blame’
As the civilians of Gori count the dead and assess the damage, they are left to wonder why they became Moscow’s target
Tuesday 12 August 2008 19.07 BST
The bomb fell without warning, landing across the road from Tamaz Beruashvili’s home. It narrowly missed Gori’s town hall and the giant statue of Stalin. But it hit Misha’s friend Gocha Sekhniashvili. He had been standing in the main square.”The bomb came down suddenly. Our windows blew in. Everyone’s windows shattered. People were screaming, and dying. Others were hiding,” Tamaz, 47, said. “I grabbed our bags and ran. I saw Gocha lying face down in the rubble.”
Russian fighter jets pounded Gori again this morning for the fifth day in a row. Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev said that the “aggressor” Georgia had now been “punished”. But it wasn’t clear what Gocha had done to deserve his fate.
The strike killed at least five civilians. They included a Dutch TV journalist, Stan Storimans, 39, who had been working near the square’s grandiose Stalin museum — built next to the modest two-room wooden home where the dictator grew up.
These latest civilian deaths happened just before president Medvedev appeared on TV, announcing that Russian forces were halting military operations. Their advance deep into Georgia’s west and centre was over, he suggested.
On the ground it didn’t feel much like that. As Medvedev spoke, a Russian helicopter gunship loomed in the white sky near the village of Nasreti, 8 miles outside Gori, and close to South Ossetia, the rebel statelet seized and abandoned on Sunday by Georgian forces.
The gunship loosed off several orange-fizzing rockets. They plunged into a line of tall electricity pylons, sending a plume rising across the main highway, and along the shimmering mountain valley that links the east and west of Georgia.
Along the road were signs of the Georgian army’s panicked and ignominious retreat early Monday evening — after Russian troops rolled in from South Ossetia to the edge of Gori. An incinerated Georgian tank lay on a verge. Its roof had been sliced off.
Other Georgian military vehicles appeared to have merely conked out during their hapless retreat. One tank had two flat back tyres; its crew had left behind their apples next to the gun turret. A pair of military trucks had concertina-ed head-on. Nearby a piece of artillery had been dumped.
Villagers on the frontline were left bewildered today at Russia’s war with Georgia. “I don’t know which side to blame. I don’t even know why this has happened,” Olya Tvauri, 73, from Nasreti, said.
Olya and the other women and children had spent the night in a neighbour’s cellar. The men had fled to the mountains, concealing themselves among the fir trees. The Russian bombers turned up at 2am — pounding Gori’s post office and military hospital, and killing its doctor.
Olya returned to her house covered in vines — with its chickens, plum trees, and courgettes bursting into bright yellow flower. “I’m an Ossetian. But I prefer to live here,” she said.
Others were trudging on foot towards Tbilisi. Russia’s feared advance on the Georgian capital hadn’t happened. But most residents living along the road had taken no chances. They fled. “The soldiers told us to go and hide,” Natela Tlasadze, 41, said, lugging her possessions to the neighbouring village.
The cost of Georgia’s ill-fated adventure against Vladimir Putin was beginning to sink in. Many blamed Georgia’s president Mikhail Saakashvili — querying why he had taken on mighty Moscow given Georgia’s military inferiority and the improbability of US intervention.
“Saakashvili has to resign. There is no other way,” Misha Iashvili said, stopping to mend his truck next to a roadside café. Its owners had gone, locking up and leaving behind their neat dahlia garden. He added: “Russia had been close to us for years. It will defend us. The US and Europe won’t.”
By this afternoon the Russian ceasefire appeared to be holding — with the bombardment of Gori apparently over. A dead dog lay in the road; in the blown-out square a wrecked red Golf sat amid glass and debris. Stalin’s statue appeared supernaturally undamaged; the Georgian flag hung from the unoccupied municipal hall.
Back in Tbilisi, Saakashvili defiantly addressed several thousand supporters who gathered this afternoon outside the parliament building. They cheered him and the Georgian national anthem, waving flags and marching down the road to Freedom Square. One placard showed Putin with the slogan: “Wanted: crimes against humanity and the world.”
But among many the mood was sceptical. Georgia had taken on the Russian war machine — and lost. “Why did [Saakashvili] take on Russia with 10,000 soldiers? Maybe he was thinking somebody would help us. But nobody did help us,” Bacho Janashia, a 24-year-old student said. “We hope Saakashvili disappears from Georgia. He’s a bastard.”
As dusk fell on Gori, two old ladies were trying to hitch a ride out; a fleet of fire engines arrived. “I don’t know whether Gocha lived or died,” Tamaz Beruashvili said. “He was covered in blood. There was no time to find out. But he wasn’t moving.”
War in Georgia: Power Vacuum in Gori
It is very difficult to understand exactly what is happening in Gori but it is clear that it is bad and getting worse.
The BBC is there and, looking at their reports (also this link) it seems clear that the civil authorities have fled and that people are being murdered and robbed. My suspicion is that, apart from the usual criminal elements who take advantage of power vacuums, it is probably Ossetians seeking revenge.
On the Russian side, Interfax reports:
“Deputy chief of the headquarters of the peacekeeping force Maj. Gen. Borisov today travelled to Gori especially to discuss questions of Georgian troop withdrawal with the local administration and law enforcers. Unfortunately, he did not discover any local leaders in the city”.
It also quotes Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying that “Russian peacekeepers in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone have been ordered to apply wartime laws to looters” but also reports “Lavrov said he had talked to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who told him that looters had appeared in Gori and its environs, illegal groupings were robbing Gori and Russian forces were doing nothing to stop them.”
Is Rice saying that Washington wants the Russian Armed Forces to take control of Gori and restore order? Surely not: just a few hours ago Washington was complaining that Moscow had occupied Gori.
There’s a power vacuum in Gori and a nightmare for its citizens.
It is for Tbilisi, not Moscow, to restore order there. Gori is in Georgia. Where are Gori’s “local administration and law enforcers”?
The very latest news is that Russian forces will hand over to Georgian police tomorrow. Let us hope that that happens. But it will be a terrible night for the residents of Gori.
Patrick Armstrong received a PhD from Kings College, University of London, England in 1976 and retired in 2008 after 30 years as an analyst for the Canadian government. He was Political Counsellor for the Canadian Embassy in Moscow from 1993 to 1996. He has been a frequent speaker at the Wilton Park conferences in the UK.
Gay Georgian Leader’s Photos from Gori War Zone
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Russia Pulls Back But Flexes Muscle
NATO Demands Immediate Withdrawal From Georgia; U.N. Security Council Meets
(CBS/AP) Russia took the first steps toward a troop pullback from Georgia on Tuesday but at the same time paraded blindfolded and bound Georgian prisoners on armored vehicles and seized four U.S. Humvees.
The mixed signals came as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her 25 NATO counterparts met in emergency session in Belgium and demanded Russia fulfill its promise to withdraw its forces from the small former Soviet republic.
“The Russian president hasn’t kept his promise to abide by the terms of the ceasefire,” Rice told CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan in an exclusive interview in Brussels.
“What is clearly happening now is that Russia’s reputation as a responsible actor in international politics – a Russia, by the way, that is a member of the Security Council, is behaving in wholly irresponsible ways,” Rice said.
Within hours, the U.N. Security Council held emergency consultations, demanding an immediate Russian withdrawal, Logan reports.
“Russia is very clearly isolating itself, it’s becoming more and more the outlaw in this conflict,” Rice said.
A small Russian column including three tanks, three trucks, five armored personnel carriers and a rocket-launcher left Gori, the central city that straddles a vital east-west highway. A Russian officer said they were headed for South Ossetia, the disputed province at the heart of the conflict, then home to Russia.
The move toward withdrawal came on the same day as a powerful image of Russia’s grip over Georgia: Russian trucks and armored vehicles carrying about 20 Georgian men, blindfolded, handcuffed and held at gunpoint.
They were taken from the western city of Poti to the nearby, Russian-controlled military base in Senaki, according to Poti’s mayor, who said he had been told they would be released on Wednesday.
Mayor Vano Taginadze said the men, Georgian military and police troops, had been taken captive because the Georgians refused to let Russian armored vehicles into the port of Poti, along Georgia’s Black Sea coast.
A Georgian defense spokeswoman said eight servicemen detained while trying to guard the port were among those held.
Also in Poti, Russian soldiers commandeered four Humvees that had been used in U.S.-Georgian military exercises and were destined to be shipped back to the United States.
The Pentagon said it was looking into the theft. Georgian Deputy Defense Minister Batu Kutelia said Russian forces seized the vehicles.
Russian forces in Poti also blocked access to the city’s naval and commercial ports on Tuesday morning and towed the missile boat Dioskuria, one of the navy’s most sophisticated vessels, out of sight of observers. A loud explosion was heard minutes later, and a Georgian interior spokesman said the Russians had blown up the boat.
The acts of force demonstrated anew that Russia, days after agreeing to a cease-fire with Georgia, remained in control in much of the country, and that the state of the Georgian military was far from stable.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said Russia was not only flouting its withdrawal commitment but that its forces were “not losing time” in damaging Georgia by destroying infrastructure.
“Right now there are Russian soldiers and tanks at Poti,” Georgian Finance Minister Nika Gilavri said. “They want to open every single container” and inspect them.
Georgian television showed footage of a tense standoff at a military training base in northwestern Georgia, where Russian troops tried to enter but were turned away by Georgia police. There was no violence, but the report said the Russians threatened to return and destroy the base if they were not allowed in.
The two nations did exchange 20 prisoners of war – 15 Georgians and five Russians, according to the head of Georgia’s Security Council – in an effort to reduce tensions.
On the diplomatic front, NATO foreign ministers suspended their formal contacts with Russia as punishment. Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said “there can be no business as usual with Russia under present circumstances.”
But the NATO allies, bowing to pressure from European nations that depend heavily on Russia for energy, stopped short of more severe penalties being pushed by the United States.
The Russian Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, dismissed the impact of the emergency meeting in Brussels, Belgium: “The mountain gave birth to a mouse.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said NATO was trying to make a victim of Georgia’s “criminal regime.” Georgia’s desire for NATO membership is strongly opposed by Russia.
Lavrov also said it was Georgian troops who needed to pull back to their permanent bases first.
The White House made clear it expected Russia to move faster. “It didn’t take them really three or four days to get into Georgia, and it really shouldn’t take them three or four days to get out,” spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
The hostilities began earlier this month. Georgia cracked down on South Ossetia, which is internationally recognized as within Georgian borders but tilts toward Moscow and has expressed its independence, and Russia answered by sending its troops and tanks across the Georgian border.
A cease-fire signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili calls for Russian forces to pull back to the positions they held before Aug. 7.
The Kremlin said Medvedev told French President Nicolas Sarkozy by phone Tuesday that Russian troops would withdraw from most of Georgia by Friday – some to Russia, others to South Ossetia and a surrounding “security zone” set in 1999.
More American C-130 transport planes brought in tons of relief supplies for the tens of thousands displaced by the conflict, and the U.S. said it would help for as long as needed.
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jon Miller said he was told food is the major issue for people west of the capital, Tbilisi, because only sporadic convoys carrying rations had been able to get through.
Georgian government officials said Russian checkpoints had made it difficult to get supplies into some areas, including Poti.
Tensions also flared between Russia and another former Soviet republic seeking NATO membership, Ukraine. The two countries sparred over Russia’s use of a naval base in the port of Sevastopol, which it is renting from Ukraine. The Kremlin wants the Russian ships to remain in Sevastopol even when the current lease expires in 2017.
Ukraine’s pro-Western President, Viktor Yushchenko, sided with Georgia in its conflict with Russia and moved to restrict the movement of Russian ships in the port. Ukraine’s foreign minister later said Ukraine would not physically prevent Russian ships from entering and leaving the base.
Russia to withdraw from ‘most of’ Georgia: Medvedev
Date: Tue. Aug. 19 2008 6:04 PM ET
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev says his country will withdraw its forces from most of Georgia by Friday.
The Kremlin said Medvedev told France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy by telephone on Tuesday that Russian forces will withdraw to the breakaway region of South Ossetia and a “security zone” first established in 1999.
The move comes after NATO stated that normal relations with Russia are on hold until Moscow pulls its troops out of Georgia.
“We have determined that we cannot continue with business as usual,” said the statement, released after an emergency meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.
The allies are demanding that Russia respect “the principles of Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
At a news conference in Hamilton, Ont. that came after the NATO statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada would re-examine “all aspects of our relationship” with Russia.
“We’re obviously focusing on aspects that have to do with the strategic or military situation, but we will of course review everything,” he said.
Harper was responding to a question about discussions he held with then-president Vladimir Putin during the 2006 G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia about a Canada-Russia joint venture in liquefied natural gas.
Earlier, Harper said in French that the NATO statement on the Georgia crisis was a strong one. He said Canada and other NATO countries would continue to work with Georgia “for its potential adherence to NATO.”
Speaking in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jaap de hoop Scheffer said the defence organization would set up a NATO-Georgia commission, but didn’t commit to any prediction as to when Georgia could join the alliance as a full member.
There is a NATO-Russia Council (like Georgia, Russia is considered a NATO “partner”), but Scheffer said it’s unlikely the six-year-old body would be convened under the current circumstances. However, he pledged to keep the lines of communication open with Russia.
Scheffer said no co-operative programs with Russia have been halted yet but the “issue will have to be taken into view.”
In Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused NATO of pursuing anti-Russian policies, saying the alliance supported an “aggressive” Georgia.
Russia is not occupying Georgia and has no plans to annex the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, he said.
Prisoners taken, exchanged
Despite NATO’s demands, Russian soldiers took 20 Georgian troops prisoner in western Georgia Tuesday.
The Georgian servicemen were taken into custody at gunpoint in Poti, located on the Black Sea. An Associated Press photographer saw Russian trucks leaving the port with the 20 blindfolded and handcuffed men.
Meanwhile, a small column of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles did leave the strategic Georgian city of Gori on Tuesday.
A Russian military officer told The Associated Press at the scene that the unit headed to South Ossetia and then back to Russia.
The exit marked the first sign of a Russian pullback of troops from Georgia following a European Union-backed ceasefire deal, which requires both sides to return to positions held before fighting began on Aug. 7.
CTV’s Janis Mackey Frayer told Newsnet from Tbilisi, Georgia that there hasn’t been a significant change in the withdrawal pace from Monday.
“There are still troops dug in around the city of Gori,” with artillery positions in place, she said.
Also Tuesday, both sides exchanged prisoners captured during the brief war. Mackey Frayer said some in Georgia speculate the prisoner exchange was designed to take some attention away from the emergency NATO meeting on the Georgia crisis.
Georgia was once a state in the former Soviet Union, but has been independent since 1991. South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke from Georgia shortly after that and largely run their own affairs ever since. Those regions have an ally in Russia, with many people there holding Russian passports.
The current conflict began when Georgia began military action against South Ossetia, killing 10 Russian “peacekeepers.”
However, NATO condemned Russia’s response saying the “military action has been disproportionate and inconsistent with its peacekeeping role.”
Georgia and Russia have had rocky relations since President Mikhail Saakashvili, the pro-Western leader, came to power in 2004.
Russia has pushed back hard against Georgia, with some analysts believing it wants to destabilize its tiny neighbour — which hosts some strategically important oil and gas pipelines — and topple Saakashvili.
The war tale of Georgia
Fri, Aug 22 2008 byElena Koinova reporting from Tbilisi
When there is war, sides to war plunge into amnesia. Laws, a humane approach and the obligation to accurately interpret facts are all forgotten. Murder and looting are, in effect, indemnified. As to mutual recriminations and razing each other’s economic infrastructure, it is just as Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili told a joint news conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel – “Russia wants the Georgian economy destroyed beyond repair”. The news stream from Russian media says the same. What follows is the tale of those who suffer the ramifications of war the most, the tale of Georgian refugees. It might have its mirror phenomenon to the north of South Ossetia, the region of discord that set ablaze, concurrent to the Olympic flame, a long smouldering ethnic conflict, the next Caucasian one. According to Russian media reports unconfirmed by independent sources, at least 30 000 South Ossetians have fled the region of Tshinvali to Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia. Their story might quite likely sound the same.
Lenin was on his deathbed when Stalin paid him a visit. The dying man said: “I am thinking about who my successor would be. I was considering you as well But you are too blunt too coarse. People would not follow you ” Stalin replied, “Don’t worry, comrade Lenin. Whoever fails to follow me will follow you ”
This anecdote has been the word of mouth circulated across a capital of seeming calm. No armed gendarmerie or patrol cars, no curfew or faces rumpled by grief, despair or retaliatory anger. Not a single street with bomb-blasted buildings or places dim lit by candles during blackouts. Tbilisi, Georgia, is in full bloom, having transcended the electricity and gas shortages of four years ago, neat, with stylish, freshly daubed buildings, with busy ongoing construction. Bustling with the energy of routine daily life, the homeland of Stalin represents the Caucasian paragon of a modern city.
Just the posters on a wall hiding an immense construction site and facing parliament read, “Stop Russia”, “Who is next?” and “Benito Medvedev and Adolf Putin” reveal to a Tbilisi visitor that Georgia is at war. The Georgians believe that the characters of the anecdote have exchanged nationality and would not let any external party infringe on their territorial integrity; that the diplomatic shuttles of the world’s top state officials to the Georgian capital were not exaggerated hue and cry (suffice to say that US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Merkel were in Tbilisi within a three-day timespan), that the consistent and vocal calls by Saakashvili for protection against “the Russian aggressor” have something to do with this city.
Later, regular citizens, media and opposition leaders would insist that Saakashvili’s emotional verbal spurts of indignation were carefully devised “for export”. That this seeming – impervious of war vestiges – calm in Tbilisi was a deliberate attempt to rake panic off people’s minds.
Meanwhile, the city is flooded with refugees and all Tbilisi citizens are affected by the aftermath of war zone escapees.
Just 500m from parliament, a dingy building is hectic with people and stacks of clothes, blankets at the bottom of it all. We see Leyla, in her early 40s, through a window speckled with labels of the World Food Programme and calls for help, which with a welcoming smile invites us in. That small facade later turns out to be the entrance of a labyrinth of a three-block five-storey edifice going 100m deep. Previously accommodating the editorial offices of Communist Party publications and printing facilities, it is now shelter for 1200 refugees.
It is one of Tbilisi’s 55 sites with 60 000 officially registered displaced inhabitants of Gori, Tshinvali and other areas adjoining South Ossetia, which, in the past 10 days, has suffered an abundant Russian bomb shower and sniper attacks.
Most sites are public schools and kindergartens alongside a camp tent outside Tbilisi. No official could guarantee that the academic year would start on September 1, as usual, because the situation remained unresolved.
Leyla, a refugee herself and co-ordinator on the fifth floor, guided us into the floors of the decrepit building, which was left to dilapidate to earn a verdict – “Raze to build a mall instead”. Now repair is busy, governmental, humanitarian and voluntary donations are gradually filling with furniture. On our way, we see Djena. She recollects the rushed flee from her home, the version of a story repeated by thousands of cohabitants. With the sole difference that she relived displacement for the second time. In the early 1990s, when the first Georgian-South Ossetian conflict broke out, she had to leave South Ossetia’s Tshinvali in an aftermath of the outright cleansing of the town off Georgians. She fled her home for 18 years outside Tshinvali.
“We ran with our T-shirts alone,” she recalls. “The bomb-sniper-and-then-marauder attack was so unexpected that we left all our belongings but the cross.”
While telling her story, her son would be swiftly hitting a ball vocalising the sound with “grad, grad, grad”, the WW2 weapon hailing bullets in a cannonade that Russians used outside Tshinvali as well.
“We ran past the dead bodies of our neighbours,” Djena went on. “We never had the time to bury them and that’s a sin.”
A stranger can’t help but notice that the vast majority of Georgians – in a pious gesture befitting an Orthodox devotee – invariably make the triple cross whenever facing a church. The 10 Commandments and sin have the same old meaning.
Djena, a mother of three children and accommodated in a three-by-four-metre room together with her husband, arrived not knowing how she ended up in the shelter. Later she found out that strangers had registered her on her behalf. She has received blankets, linen and clothes, all arriving from the state and the Georgian ministry of refugees, and humanitarian aid but mostly from compassionate fellow citizens. As was under the guardianship of hundreds of Tbilisi citizens who volunteered to help fellow citizens in mishap.
The woman’s eyes fill with tears when she remembers the day of her and her fathers birthday.
“My parents were too old to run with us. They would hide for days in nearby forests until Russians, then South Ossetians and Kazakhs, pilfered all our belongings – from cupboards to spoons, even toilet bowls,” she communicated what she last heard from them.
No right to return
Svetlana, from Gori, the town where no building remains unscathed, shared the same fate and also a double displacement, her first, however, being from Moscow. She and her two children had lived there without registration for 18 years. “Fourteen months ago, however, Putin ordered the check into all Muscovites of Georgian nationality,” she says. Lacking registration, she was prosecuted, sentenced and, instead of imprisonment, was deported with a ban on returning. She failed to even make it to her uncle in Belarus because the country and Russia had made a mutual agreement not to admit deportees. The recent conflict found her in Gori, unemployed and surviving a zero-heating winter only thanks to her fur coat.
Her last recollection of Gori was that “this is a ghost town now, deserted, with the handful of people living on bread allotments”.
The dread of seeing his hometown Gori, haunted Alexander from Kaspi, a town bombed a day after Saakashvili signed the revised Sarkozy-Merkel brokered ceasefire agreement. The repatriate from Belgium, who returned when Saakashvili encouraged emigres return by eradicating corruption, cutting tax rates and curtailing the company registration process to 1.5 days, fretted that the Russian principle of emptying the city was ongoing.
“Russians would bomb the city, scare people out of their homes, besiege the city by the downward spiral and then loot,” he said. Step one was already completed, he said, pointing to the shut and curtained windows. “These are all deserted homes now.”
The father of three said he would remain in his house with his wife. Unaware of Russia’s later decision to gradually pull out of Georgia, he said that he would stay even though he feared that any minute soldiers might come, line his family against the wall and
“We have nowhere else to go,” he said.
His daughter – seven-year-old Liza – smiles and says she’s bored. Her mum would not let her go outside alone. Even if she did, her friends are no longer there, she said.
“But I am an artist,” she boasts and shows a drawing of their clock. It had stopped at 1.20 sharp, the time when the bombing started.
Georgia rejects Russian claims of withdrawal
Russia’s defence minister has said his forces have completed a promised withdrawal from the main body of Georgia into the enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Published: 8:08PM BST 22 Aug 2008
While columns of tanks were seen crossing the border, however, Georgia’s interior ministry said Russian forces still occupied his country.
A senior Russian general also insisted Russia could retain control over a buffer zone of Georgian territory and keep a force of 2,000 soldiers stationed in the enclaves.
He showed reporters a map marked with “zones of responsibility” that included long stretches of Georgia’s main east-west road linking the capital Tbilisi to the Black Sea.
Western reporters yesterday watched Russian soldiers erecting peacekeeping posts along the South Ossetian frontier and digging new trenches around the port of Poti.
Georgia says this presence amounts to a continued Russian occupation, but Moscow insists the deployment is permitted under old peacekeeping agreements that date back to the civil war of 1991.
For ethnic Georgians, now hoping to return to their homes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the cordon of Russian defences could prove impenetrable: a South Ossetian leader yesterday hinted that he would not let them return.
Georgian territories bombed by Russian jets
August 12, 2008
(43) 09:30 – 10:55 Russian air forces bombarded Central Square and Market in the city of Gori.
August 11, 2008
(42) 07:15 Senaki airport runway and Senaki military base were bombed by Russian jets.
(41) 06:10 Gori tank battalion is bombed. A civilian apartment building nearby has been hit.
(40) 05:00 Shiraki airfield in Dedoplistskaro District on the east of the country is bombed by Russian jets.
(39) 04:37 Civilian radar station in the village of Leninisi in 5 kilometers from downtown Tbilisi was partially destroyed by Russian jet.
(38) 04:30 The Central Command Center of Georgian Air Forces was bombed.
(37) 03:26 Russian jets bombed Kodori Gorge (Upper Abkhazia).
(36) 03:12 Territory adjustment to military base in Khelvachauri (near Georgian-Turkish border) was bombed.
(35) 03:05 Villages of Sharabidzeebi, Kapandichi and Makho near Batumi (Georgian-Turkish border) were bombed by Russian planes. Graveyard and villagers’ backyard have been hit. No casualties reported.
(34) 00:31 Russian jets bombed Kodori Gorge (Upper Abkhazia).
(33) 00:30 Civilian radar station in the village of Shavshvebi west of Gori is bombed by Russian planes.
August 10, 2008
(32) 20:25 Two jets bombed Kodori Gorge (Upper Abkhazia).
(31) 19:35 Two jets bombed Senaki (West Georgia).
(30) 19:10 “Tbilaviamsheni” aviation factory was bombarded by Russian aviation again.
(29) 19:05 Russian aviation dropped bomb on Tbilisi Civil Airport.
(28) 16:10 Russian aviation bombarded only remaining bridge on the Highway linking eastern and western parts of the country. There was a fire on the bridge. Fire is extinguished. The traffic is restored.
(27) 16:05 Gori is being bombed by Russian aviation.
(26) 15:10 Russian troops and Abkhaz separatists launch ground attack on Upper Abkhazia. The region is being bombed by Russian aviation
(25) 15:00 Russian aircrafts bomb the village of Knolevi in the northern Kareli district.
(24) 11:15 The village of Shavshvebi between Gori and Kareli have been bombed by Russian aviation.
(23) 08:45 Ten Russian jets attack Upper Abkhazia. One jet has been downed by Georgian Government troops.
(22) 07:40 Russian jets bomb village of Urta in Zugdidi district.
(21) 05:45 Russian jet entered Georgian airspace from Dagestan and dropped 3 Bombs on Tbilisi airplane factory.
August 9, 2008
(20) 22:30 Russian air forces bombarded Chkhalta, administrative center of Upper Abkhazia. No Casualties reported.
(19) 16:35 Oni was bombarded by Russian aviation
(18) 14:00 Russian air force attack Upper Abkhazia (Kodori gorge) in several places, including the airdrome in the village of Omarishara
(17) 12:40 Kopitnari airdrome is bombed again
(16) 10:22 Russian air force continues to bomb Gori, located 60 kilometers northwest from Tbilisi and is outside the conflict zone.
(15) 10:00 Russian air force bomb Kopitnari airdrome in several kilometers from Kutaisi.
(14) 01:20 Gatchiani in the Gardabani districts was bombarded, which is 20 kilometers southeast of Tbilisi and outside the conflict zone and is also close to the BTC pipeline, but the pipeline is not damaged.
(13) 01:00 Poti was bombarded a second time, which is located on the Black Sea coast, 260 kilometers west from Tbilisi, is outside the conflict zone and is a pure civilian target.
(12) 00:20 Vaziani airfield is bombed again, which is 2-3 kilometers from Tbilisi International Airport and is located outside the conflict zone. Two air bombs didn’t explode.
(11) 00:17 Lightening bombs are dropped on Senaki military base, which is 213 kilometers west of Tbilisi and is outside the conflict zone. 1 serviceman and 5 reservists were reported killed. The railway station in Senaki is also bombed and eight are killed.
(10) 00:12 Poti port, which is located on the Black Sea coast, 260 kilometers west from Tbilisi, is outside the conflict zone and is a pure civilian target, is bombed heavily. One hydrographic vessel has been sunk.
August 8, 2008
(9) 18:45 Georgian Gori artillery brigade is bombarded by 5 Russian airplanes.
(8) 17:35 Marneuli military airbase, 20 kilometers south of Tbilisi and outside the conflict zone, is bombed for the third time resulting in 1 death and 4 injured. As a result of three bombings, three grounded AN-2 type planes and military vehicles stationed there are destroyed.
(7) 17:00 Marneuli military airbase is bombed for the second time causing casualties.
(5)(6) 16.30 Russian aviation bombs Marneuli and Bolnisi military airbases, 20 kilometers and 35 kilometers south of Tbilisi respectively. Two aircrafts were destroyed on ground. Also several buildings were destroyed and there are casualties.
(4) 15:05 Russian military plane enters Georgia from the direction of Tedzami, just south of Gori, and drop two bombs on the Vaziani military airport and turned back.
(3) 10:57 Two of the six Russian aircraft drop three bombs in Gori. One of these fell near the stadium, the second near Gorijvari slope and third near a artillery brigade.
(2) 10:30 Russian Su-24 bombs the village of Variani in the Kareli district, 75 kilometers west of Tbilisi and outside the conflict zone. Seven civilians were injured as a result.
(1) 09:45 A Russian military fighter plane drops about 3-5 bombs near the village of Shavshvebi, on the highway between Poti and Tbilisi and is 300-500 meters from Georgian military radar.