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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Timeline Aug 9,8,7 - War in Georgia
Timeline Aug 9,8,7 - War in Georgia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stratfor, Debka, AP   
Saturday, 09 August 2008

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Russian troops raid Georgian town; scores dead

Georgia-South Ossetia Conflict Map
Stratfor Today » August 9, 2008 | 0140 GMT

Georgian military units surged into the breakaway republic of South Ossetia on Aug. 7, reportedly after enduring days of shelling by separatist militants. Russia responded forcefully. By the morning of Aug. 8, a vanguard of Russian tanks, armored vehicles and self-propelled artillery had emerged south of the Roki Tunnel and eventually progressed to Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital. The exact size and composition of the Russian formation is not clear, though reports have suggested the initial unit involved some 150 vehicles. Units of the 58th Combined Arms Army — which very likely includes elements of the 19th Motorized Rifle Division, based near the border — are thought to be among those that have reached Tskhinvali.

Stratfor has estimated the standing order of battle of the nearby portions of the Northern Caucasus Military District and the nearest Russian base.

The disposition of the Georgian units at this point is even less clear. The furthest line of advance can be estimated and plotted, along with the likely axes of advance based on road infrastructure. However, just where Georgian units are attempting to either hunker down or fall back in the face of the Russian advance is unclear.

Stratfor will continue to update this map as information becomes available. Unit disposition is an approximation based on available information.

 

ABCNews Russia at War


FOXNews Georgia War

 


Georgia: Seeking a Withdrawal from Tskhinvali
Stratfor Today » August 9, 2008 | 1601 GMT

Alexander Lomaia, the secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council, told reporters Aug. 9 that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili had ordered Georgian troops out of the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali as a “first sign of seeking a truce.” The order — which also called upon Georgian forces to not reply in kind to artillery attack wherever possible — was given at approximately 3 p.m. local time.

South Ossetia is a separatist enclave within Georgia whose de facto independence was enabled — and continues to be enforced — by Russia. Georgia attempted to reclaim the region the night of Aug. 7, and did succeed in capturing most of the territory.

But Russian forces succeeded in taking back control of most the capital during intense fighting Aug. 8. Heavy fighting continues to be reported in the southern portions of Tskhinvali with much artillery fire still being brought to bear by both sides. Russian airstrikes have occurred throughout Georgia, including at airbases east and south of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi as well as at Georgia’s primary Black Sea port of Poti. Both sides have leveled charges of ethnic cleansing at each other, and there is preliminary evidence to support the claims of both. Damage to Tskhinvali itself appears to be extremely heavy.

Georgia has declared martial law, called for a cease-fire and appealed to outside states for assistance. No such assistance has publicly materialized, and the damage to port and air infrastructure inflicted by Russia would complicate any such assistance should it materialize in the future.

Assuming Saakashvili’s retreat order is real and was communicated effectively to troops in the field, Georgian forces will likely attempt to disengage from battling Russian troops in Tskhinvali after sundown — approximately 9 p.m. local time (1800 GMT). Russian forces are not well-equipped for night fighting, and the cover of darkness would aid any Georgian retreat. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has said that a full withdrawal of Georgian forces from South Ossetia is a prerequisite to any cease-fire.

In the fighting to date, Russia has already proven that it can impose a military reality on the region. The question now is: will a Georgian disengagement from Tskhinvali — as opposed to from the entirety of South Ossetia — be enough to satisfy the Russians?

We suspect that it will. The number of Russian airstrikes against Georgia petered out Aug. 9 compared to Aug. 8, and statements out of Moscow indicate a desire for Russian forces to move into a “peacekeeping” phase in Tskhinvali. Moscow has made its point — do not trifle with Russian interests in the Caucasus — and Georgia is seeking a way to back down.


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Russian troops raid Georgian town; scores dead
By MISHA DZHINDZHIKHASHVILI 08.09.08, 12:04 PM ET

GORI, Georgia - Russia sent hundreds of tanks and troops into the separatist province of South Ossetia and bombed Georgian towns Saturday in a major escalation of the conflict that has left scores of civilians dead and wounded.

Georgia, a staunch U.S. ally that borders the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia, launched a major offensive Friday to retake control of breakaway South Ossetia. Russia, which has close ties to the province and posts peacekeepers there, responded by sending in armed convoys and military combat aircraft.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Moscow that some 1,500 people have been killed, with the death toll rising Saturday.

The figure could not be independently confirmed, but witnesses who fled the fighting said hundreds of civilians had probably died. They said most of the provincial capital, Tskhinvali, was in ruins, with bodies lying everywhere.

The air and artillery bombardment left the provincial capital without water, food, electricity and gas. Horrified civilians crawled out of the basements into the streets as fighting eased, looking for supplies.

Russian Gen. Vladimir Boldyrev claimed in televised comments Saturday that Russian troops had driven Georgian forces out of the provincial capital. Witnesses confirmed that there was no sign of Georgian soldiers in the streets.

"Georgia is facing Russia's military aggression," Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said, noting that Russian forces were attacking areas outside South Ossetia. "Georgian authorities support a cease-fire and separation of the warring parties."

As part of Saakashvili's proposal, Georgian troops were pulled out of Tskhinvali and had been ordered to stop responding to Russian shelling, said Alexander Lomaia, secretary of his Security Council. Russia did not immediately respond to Saakashvili's proposal.

Russian military aircraft also bombed the Georgian town of Gori on Saturday. An Associated Press reporter who visited Gori shortly afterward saw several apartment buildings in ruins, some still on fire, and scores of dead bodies and bloodied civilians. The elderly, women and children were among the victims.

It is the worst outbreak of hostilities since the province won de facto independence in a war against Georgia that ended in 1992.

The fighting threatens to ignite a wider war between Russia and Georgia, which accused Russia of bombing its towns, ports and air bases. Georgia, a former Soviet republic with ambitions of joining NATO, has asked the international community to help end what it called Russian aggression.

It also likely will increase tensions between Moscow and Washington, which Lavrov said should bear part of the blame for arming and training Georgian soldiers.

Moscow has said it needs to protect its peacekeepers and civilians in South Ossetia, most of whom have been given Russian passports. Ethnic Ossetians live in the breakaway Georgian province and in the neighboring Russian province of North Ossetia.

Russia's ambassador to NATO said his country is not at war, saying "our actions are limited by time, region and purpose."

"We take the view that NATO is not involved in the conflict," Dmitry Rogozin, told reporters in Brussels, accusing Saakashvili of trying to "internationalize" the South Ossetian conflict.

Rogozin said that Georgia's president "cannot imagine what it would be like to be at war with Russia."

Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin traveled to a region that neighbors Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia, according to Russian news reports.

Putin is to chair a meeting in Vladikavkaz, the provincial capital of the region of North Ossetia that neighbors the separatist Georgian province, to coordinate assistance to refugees who fled South Ossetia into the neighboring Russian region.

Lomaia said there had been direct fighting between Russian and Georgian soldiers on the streets of Tskhinvali. He estimated that Russia sent 2,500 troops into Georgia. The Russian military has not said how many of its troops were deployed.

Overnight, Russian warplanes bombed the Vaziani military base on the outskirts of the Georgian capital and near the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said. He also said two other military bases were hit, and that warplanes bombed the Black Sea port city of Poti, which has a sizable oil shipment facility.

Georgia, meanwhile, said it had shot down 10 Russian planes, including four brought down Saturday, according to Kakha Lomaya, head of Georgia's Security Council.

Russian military commanders said 15 peacekeepers had been killed and about 150 wounded. Russian troops went in as peacekeepers but Georgia alleges they now back the separatists.

Russian military spokesman Col. Igor Konashenkov accused Georgian troops of killing and wounded Russian peacekeepers when they seized Russian checkpoints. Konashenkov's allegations couldn't be independently confirmed Saturday.

Russia's foreign minister said that Georgia brought the airstrikes upon itself by bombing civilians and Russian peacekeepers, and warned that the small Caucasus country should expect more attacks.

"Whatever side is used to bomb civilians and the positions of peacekeepers, this side is not safe and they should know this," Lavrov said.

Asked whether Russia could bomb the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, Lavrov answered: "I don't think the bombing is coming from Tbilisi, but whatever part of Georgia is used for this aggression is not safe."

It was unclear what might persuade either side to stop shooting. Both claim the battle started after the other side violated a cease-fire that had been declared just hours earlier after a week of sporadic clashes.

Diplomats have issued a flurry of statements calling on both sides to halt the fighting and called for another emergency session of the U.N. Security Council, its second since early Friday morning seeking to prevent an all-out war.

President Bush said Saturday the outbreak of fighting is endangering peace throughout the volatile region, and he urged an end to the deadly outbreak of violence.

"I'm deeply concerned about the situation in Georgia," Bush said in a statement to reporters while attending the Olympics in Beijing. "The attacks are occurring in regions of Georgia far from the zone of conflict in South Ossetia. They mark a dangerous escalation in the crisis.

"The violence is endangering regional peace, civilian lives have been lost and others are endangered. We have urged an immediate halt to the violence and a stand-down by all troops. We call for an end to the Russian bombings, and a return by the parties to the status quo of Aug. 6."

Russia, which has granted citizenship to most of the region's residents, appeared to lay much of the responsibility for ending the fighting on Washington.

Georgia was ruled by Moscow for most of the two centuries preceding the breakup of the Soviet Union. Georgia has angered Russia by seeking NATO membership - a bid Moscow regards as part of a Western effort to weaken its influence in the region.

Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili, a U.S.-educated lawyer, long has pledged to restore Tbilisi's rule over South Ossetia and another breakaway province, Abkhazia. Both regions have run their own affairs without international recognition since splitting from Georgia in the early 1990s and have built up ties with Moscow.

Georgia has about 2,000 troops in Iraq, making it the third-largest contributor to coalition forces after the U.S. and Britain. But Saakashvili has called them home in the face of the South Ossetia fighting. The Georgian commander of the brigade in Iraq said Saturday they would leave as soon as transport can be arranged.


Associated Press writers Douglas Birch and Musa Sadulayev on the Russian-Georgian border, George Abdaladze in Gori, Georgia, Vladimir Isachenkov and Lynn Berry in Moscow, and Robert Wielaard in Brussels, Belgium contributed to this report.


Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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Georgia: A Timeline of Events Aug. 9-8-7
Stratfor Today » August 9, 2008 | 2207 GMT

Crisis in South Ossetia

Georgia: A Timeline of Events Aug. 9
Stratfor Today » August 9, 2008 | 1547 GMT

10:38 p.m.: The United States calls Russia’s response to Georgian military moves in South Ossetia “disproportionate” to the threat and demands an immediate cease-fire, Reuters reports, citing an unnamed senior U.S. official.
10:15 p.m.: Georgian news agency Novosti Gruzia reports that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has proposed a cease-fire to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, the second such proposal in a day. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that the Russian military has not received any truce proposals from Saakashvili.
9:49 p.m.: Reuters reports that Azerbaijan has halted oil exports from the Georgian ports of Batumi and Kulevi because of fighting in South Ossetia. Rovnag Abdullayev, head of Azeri state energy firm SOCAR, said shipments stopped the night of Aug. 8 and that all 47 SOCAR employees in Kulevi left the area Aug. 9.
9:20 p.m.: Russian news agency Itar-Tass reports that Georgia has launched a new infantry offensive in Tskhinvali, with Georgian tanks breaking through the city’s defenses and South Ossetian forces destroying three of them.
9 p.m.
6:05 p.m.:
Interfax reports that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has arrived the city of Vladikavkaz in Russia’s North Ossetia region to discuss the influx of refugees displaced by the conflict in neighboring South Ossetia.
6 p.m.

5 p.m.: Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev tells U.S. President George W. Bush that a military withdrawal from South Ossetia is Georgia’s only hope for resolving the crisis, Reuters reports.
4:52 p.m.: U.S. President George W. Bush says Russian attacks in Georgian territory, outside the breakaway South Ossetia region, mark a “dangerous escalation in the crisis” and called for an immediate end to Russian bombings there.
3:21 p.m.: Georgian National Security Council Secretary Alexander Lomaia tells reporters that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has ordered troops to withdraw from Tskhinvali. Lomaia says Russian forces are still firing artillery at Georgian positions outside the city, but the Georgians have been ordered not to return fire “to the extent possible.”
3:14 p.m.: Citing Russian news agency Interfax, business daily Kommersant reports that more than 30,000 refugees from South Ossetia have fled into Russia since the conflict began Aug. 7. Approximately 70,000 people reportedly lived in South Ossetia before the fighting began, of whom half lived in Tskhinvali. Russian authorities are providing necessary aid to the displaced, Vice Premier Sergei Sobyanin says.
3:05 p.m.: Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze calls on Western powers to support Tbilisi against Russia’s actions in South Ossetia, speaking in an interview with Russian Business daily Kommersant. International “key players” are in talks with Georgia, Russia and each other, he says.
3 p.m.
2:54 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saaksashvili calls for an
immediate cease-fire by Russia, and says he will ask Parliament to introduce martial law.
12:22 p.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says in a conference call that Russia is not prepared to fight an all-out war with Georgia. He also implies that the West is partly to blame for the conflict playing out in South Ossetia and ensuing “humanitarian disaster,” since the United States and others have sold weapons to Georgian military forces.
12:15 p.m.: The secretary of Georgia’s national security council denies that Russian forces have captured the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali. Khakha Lomaia says Georgia still holds the city and that its forces have downed 10 Russian fighter jets — four of them on Aug. 9 — and captured a pilot.
NOON
11:15 a.m.:
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev calls for those responsible for the humanitarian crisis in South Ossetia to be held accountable under international law, Russian business daily Kommersant reports.
10:56 a.m.: Georgian authorities say Russian aircraft have bombed telecommunications targets in Gori, Interfax reports.
10:51 a.m.: Officials in South Ossetia are seeking legal help from Russia to assist the region’s bid for independence from Georgia, Interfax reports.
10:50 a.m.: Interfax reports Russian bombs targeting the Kodori Gorge, a traditional flashpoint in the Russian-Georgian border region. Rumors of an attack earlier were carried by Cominf.org’s Web site.
10:40 a.m.: A witness has reported heavy Russian bombing around the town of Gori, within Georgian territory.
10:24 a.m.: Georgia is recalling all 2,000 of its soldiers currently deployed to Iraq, rather than half the contingent as previously planned, Col. Bondo Maisuradze tells Reuters. The officer says troop transport will be provided by the United States.
10 a.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili makes remarks to the public about the imposition of martial law. Shortly thereafter, the Georgian Foreign Ministry states that a war with Russia is, in fact, under way, Interfax reports.
9:56 a.m.: Speaking at a meeting in Moscow, President Dmitri Medvedev says Russian forces in South Ossetia are involved in, not a war, but a peace enforcement operation intended to protect civilians and “to force the Georgian side to (agree to) peace,” Reuters reports.
9:51 a.m.: The railway between Tbilisi and Zugdidi, in western Georgia, has been destroyed by Russian air attacks, South Ossetian news outlet Cominf.org reports.

9:51 a.m.: South Ossetian news site Cominf.org mentions rumors of Russian airstrikes in the upper Kodori Valley, in Abkhazia — another breakaway region of Georgia. No details or confirmation are mentioned.
9:40 a.m.: Georgia has not cut off diplomatic relations with Russia, Interfax reports.

9:31 a.m.: Russian combat aircraft reportedly strike a Georgian military airfield near Kutaisi, according to Interfax.
9 a.m.
8:41 a.m.:
Georgian military forces have begun massing near the border with Abkhazia, a breakaway region that is west of South Ossetia, Interfax reports, citing an Abkhaz official.
8:34 a.m.: Russian military officials say additional army units were deployed overnight to South Ossetia to bolster its peacekeeping forces there, Reuters reports, citing Russian news agencies.
8:07 a.m.: Russia’s Foreign Ministry accuses Ukraine of encouraging Georgians to carry out “ethnic cleansing” in South Ossetia, Interfax reports. In a statement on its Web site, the ministry claims that Ukraine “has been enthusiastically arming Georgian troops from top to bottom”, and that the country has “no moral right to teach others how to do things.”
7:57 a.m.: Russian officials say they have established full control over Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, and begun pushing Georgian forces “beyond the zone of peacekeepers’ responsibility,” TASS reports, quoting a ground forces commander. Russian aircraft have conducted at least five strikes, mostly against military targets, in Gori, south of the contested territory.
7:27 a.m.: Russia’s 58th Unit and peacekeepers are moving back toward a peace enforcement footing in South Ossetia, Interfax reports, citing army official Igor Konashenkov. The Russian army has recaptured Tskhinvali, though some shelling by Georgian forces is occurring in southern parts of the city.
7:14 a.m.: The foreign ministers of Lithuania and Sweden are expected in Tbilisi on Aug. 9, Interfax reports, citing Georgia’s State Chancellery. The chancellery also says Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has spoken by phone with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus about the situation in South Ossetia.
7:12 a.m.: Georgian officials claim their forces have shot down six Russian fighter craft, Interfax reports.
6 a.m.
3:26 a.m.:
Cossack soldiers are arriving in South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
3:23 a.m.: The Associated Press reports that fighting in South Ossetia is continuing. The Georgian Interior Ministry says three military bases, including the Vaziani military base on the outskirts of Tbilisi, were bombed and that bombs fell near the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
3:17 a.m.: The Associated Press reports that the U.N. Security Council is at a stalemate on the issue of fighting in South Ossetia. The council broke in a stalemate the evening of Aug. 8 but plans to resume meeting the morning of Aug. 9.
3:13 a.m.: Interfax reports that protesters are picketing at the Georgian and U.S. embassies and the EU representative building in Moscow, holding signs that say “Ours.”
2:08 a.m.: Russian soldiers have destroyed large numbers of Georgian armored vehicles and aircraft outside Tskhinvali, RIA Novosti reports. Georgian forces are still shelling the city, and the roads and residential areas south of the capital are said to be on fire.
1:40 a.m.: RIA Novosti reports that the Georgian government has decided to evacuate its defense and internal affairs ministries to undisclosed locations, RIA Novosti reported Aug. 9. The Avlabari district of Tbilisi, where Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili’s residence is located, has also been evacuated. This comes hours before Saakashvili is expected to hold a press conference before declaring martial law.
1:27 a.m.: The United States is completing plans to evacuate the 2,000 U.S. citizens from Georgia if the need arises, RIA Novosti reports. The plans are being formed by the Defense Department and U.S. Armed Forces European Command in Germany. So far, no details have been given on the evacuation routes.
12:03 a.m.: Reuters reports that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili will declare martial law in a few hours and that Russian forces bombed the Black Sea port of Poti and a military base at Senaki and might have started bombing civil and economic infrastructure.

Aug. 8, 2008
11:42 p.m.:
Reuters reports that the United States has urged Russia to withdraw from Georgia and halt its air attacks. The news agency also reports that the U.S. envoy who will go to Georgia to attempt to broker a cease-fire will be Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza.
10:40 p.m.: The Pentagon is monitoring events in Georgia and has had some contact with Georgian authorities, but has not received requests from them for help since Russian forces entered the country, Reuters reports, citing a U.S. Defense Department spokesman. The spokesman says 127 U.S. defense personnel and contractors, including 35 civilians, are in Tbilisi. All are accounted for, none are injured and there is no plan to redeploy them, he adds.
10:37 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she is working with European partners to launch “international mediation” on South Ossetia.
10:24 p.m.: Russian peacekeeping forces are engaged in fierce fighting with Georgian troops on the southern outskirts of Tskhinvali, Interfax reports, citing a representative of Russian peacekeepers in the area. Shooting has resumed in Tskhinvali after several hours of quiet.
10 p.m.: A convoy of about 20 Georgian military trucks leave from Batumi heading in the direction of South Ossetia, Interfax reports, citing eyewitnesses. According to the witnesses, there are about 10 armed soldiers in each truck, bringing the total in the convoy to about 200 soldiers.
9:55 p.m.: Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Yeliseyev meets with Georgian Charges D’affaires ad interim Zurab Dvalishvili to discuss the conflict in South Ossetia, Ukrainian Radio reports. Yeliseyev reportedly emphasizes the need for a cease-fire in order for talks to begin. Dvalishvili informs Yeliseyev about the current situation and thanks Ukraine for its willingness to help settle the issue.
9:54 p.m.: Reuters reports that envoys from the United States, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will travel to Georgia to try to broker a cease-fire in South Ossetia as quickly as possible.
9:22 p.m.: Interfax reports that South Ossetia has called on the international community to recognize it as an independent state in a message published on a number of South Ossetian Web sites. The message, addressed to the people and governments of the world, says: “For South Ossetia there is only one path in life — a recognition of its independence in the world community. We call on all decent people of the world not to remain indifferent to the fate of the Ossetian people.”
9:15 p.m.: Ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s lower their long-term ratings of Georgia, Gazeta reports. Fitch issues a statement saying it has cut Georgia’s long-term rating and foreign currency from a B+ to a B- and forecast the future rating as negative.
9:06 p.m.: Russia’s Gazeta, citing a report from television station “First Channel,” reports that Georgian forces have left Tskhinvali. After 2 p.m. local time, Russian soldiers took over several dominant positions in the city and shelling continued from those positions. By evening, Russian peacekeepers managed to gain control of the airspace over the city. The Georgian army has retreated to the town of Gori, where the offensive began last night.
9 p.m.: Officials are working to get personnel from the U.S Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, out of the city, a source in Tbilisi tells Stratfor.
8:46 p.m.: Thousands of South Ossetian residents are making their way into Russia to escape escalating fighting, Interfax reports. Most are thought to be seeking shelter with relatives in North Ossetia.
8:14 p.m.: Nearly all the houses in South Ossetia’s capital city, Tskhinvali, have been destroyed by shelling, but shooting has virtually stopped, Interfax reports. Two demolished Georgian tanks and the bodies of Georgian soldiers can be seen from a Russian peacekeepers’ post.
7:55 p.m.: Gazeta cites a Russian army spokesman as saying Georgian troops are in firing range of the Russian Army’s Unit 58 in South Ossetia, and any shooting in the breakaway territory “will be severely punished.”
7:30 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is telephoning top Georgian and Russian officials and calling for calm in the area, The Associated Press reports, citing a U.S. State Department spokesman. A U.S. envoy is dispatched to the region to meet with allies in an attempt to bring the conflict to an end.
7:23 p.m.: Georgia’s Foreign Ministry says several Georgian military aircraft at the Marneulskoy air base have been destroyed by Russian airstrikes, Interfax reports. The ministry also says Russia has carried out missile strikes and bombings on the aerodrome in the city of Bolnisi.
7:10 p.m.: Air Services between Russia and Georgia have not been impacted by hostilities in South Ossetia, and OAO Aeroflot-Russian Airlines does not plan to halt flights from Moscow to Tbilisi, a spokesman tells Interfax.
6:46 p.m.: Turkey begins delivering electricity to neighboring Georgia at Georgia’s request, Gazeta reports, citing Turkey’s NTV. The volume of electricity Turkey is supplying reportedly equals about 40 megawatts per day. Georgia has not confirmed the deliveries.
6:43 p.m.: Georgian forces continue to shell the Republican Hospital in Tskhinvali, Interfax reports, citing South Ossetian government representative Irina Gagloeva. Gagloeva says only two floors of the hospital remain, and that patients have been moved to the hospital’s basement.
6:19 p.m.: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov condemns Georgia’s actions against South Ossetia and says Chechnya is prepared to help halt the bloodshed, Interfax reports.
6:14 p.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity says South Ossetian forces are gradually retaking control of the region’s capital, Tskhinvali, Interfax reports. Kokoity says South Ossetia’s 4th Army Battalion, which is responsible for the southbound defense direction in Tskhinvali, has begun to crowd out Georgian troops in their part of the city.
6 p.m.
5:58 p.m.: Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh calls a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the military actions in South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports. The meeting, the second Security Council meeting of the day, is scheduled to be held in the Abkhaz city of Ochamchira.
5:45 p.m.: Georgian official Temur Yakobashvili says Tskhinvali is under full control of Georgian troops, Gazeta reports. Yakobashvili says Georgian forces have shot down four Russian jets, and he denies Russian media reports that Russia had sent troops into South Ossetia.
5:32 p.m.: Reuters reports that Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus says he will send Foreign Minister Petras Vaitekunas to Georgia on a fact-finding mission. Adamkus made the decision after a talk with his ally, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, and with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Vaitekunas is expected to share his findings about the situation with the European Union.
5:11 p.m.: U.S. military personnel are said to be among those at Georgia’s Vaziani military base when it was bombed by Russian fighter jets, Rustavi-2 TV reports. A bomb reportedly hit a cafeteria building at the base. There has been no word about casualties.
5:03 p.m.: Gazeta reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused Georgia of carrying out ethnic cleansing in South Ossetian villages. Lavrov says Georgia’s actions have called into question its viability as a responsible state in the global community. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has issued orders to help refugees and residents of South Ossetia, Lavrov adds.
4:36 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says Georgia’s 2,000 troops in Iraq will be recalled on Aug. 9, Civil Georgia reports.
4:35 p.m.: Russian NATO envoy Dmitry Rozogin sends an official note to all NATO member countries on the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia, Interfax reports. Russia’s NATO mission has begun consultations with envoys from other NATO states, and will hold consultations with NATO military envoys Aug. 9, Rozogin’s note says. Russia will caution other NATO members against supporting Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who launched an “aggression” with the moral support of foreign sponsors, Rozogin says in the note. He adds that Georgia’s most powerful propaganda support is coming from the West.
4:35 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in a CNN interview says Russia is fighting a war with Georgia on its own territory. Georgia is in a self-defense situation and its forces are not comparable to Russia’s, Saakashvili says, adding that it would be “suicide” for his country to provoke Russia. It was “blunt Russian aggression” when Russian tanks moved into Georgia at midnight local time, he says, and he confirms that Georgian forces shot down Russian planes he said were attacking civilians. Saakashvili compares Georgia’s response to Russia’s actions in South Ossetia to “when Poland invaded Germany in 1939.” Georgia wants to be part of NATO, and it is democratic and free, and “people in the Kremlin” don’t like a democratic neighbor as an example to other former Soviet satellite states, he says. Saakashvili says the United States should live up to its principles and defend Georgia’s democracy.
4:50 p.m.: U.S. European Command in Germany says 130 U.S. military and civilian personnel are in Georgia right now as part of a training mission for Georgian military, CNN reports. One strategy for evacuating the U.S. personnel reportedly would be to get them to an airfield where a few C-130s from the U.S. air base in Incirlik, Turkey, would be able to pick them up. Helicopter runs from the base to Georgia are also possible.
4:34 p.m.: Kazbek Friev, battalion commander for South Ossetian peacekeepers, says that the shelling of Tskhinvali has stopped and some people are coming out of their bomb shelters, Gazeta reports. Friev says the city has been virtually destroyed and houses are in ruins, adding that there is no electricity, little water and almost no telephone service.
4:16 p.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity says he is in Tskhinvali and that South Ossetian forces have regained control of much of the city, inflicting heavy losses on Georgian troops. He predicts that South Ossetia will retake the entire city “soon.”
3:55 p.m.: The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe calls for a cessation of fighting in South Ossetia.
4:26 p.m.: German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls on Georgia and South Ossetia to “exercise the maximum restraint and prudence,” Russian Internet newspaper Gazeta reports, citing the German government’s deputy spokesman. The spokesman says Merkel has reacted to escalating violence in Georgia and South Ossetia with great concern, and that she has demanded an immediate halt to any use of force.
3:55 p.m.: Russia’s Gazeta reports that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has announced plans to send a special representative to Georgia and South Ossetia to support the organization of peace talks.
3:41 p.m.: A Russian armored convoy enters Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia’s separatist region of South Ossetia, and clears the Zarskaya road of Georgian troops, Gazeta reports. Four Georgian tanks reportedly are destroyed by the Russian column in the space of half an hour.
3:47 p.m.: One hundred fifty Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles cross the border into South Ossetia and are expected to reach the region’s capital, Tskhinvali, within a few hours, The Associated Press reports, citing Russian Channel 1 television.
3:21 p.m.: Georgian soldiers are reportedly withdrawing from the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, Interfax reports.
3:13 p.m.: Russian troops begin moving into South Ossetia, the British Broadcasting Corp. reports, citing Russia TV.
3:08 p.m.: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says Georgia’s actions in South Ossetia are clear violations of international law and Russian mandates, RIA Novosti reports. Medvedev says that the Russian presence in South Ossetia was legitimate because Russia was “fulfilling a peacekeeping mission in accordance with international agreements.”
3:03 p.m.: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says that Russia has been and remains the guarantor of security of the peoples of the Caucasus, RIA Novosti reports.
3 p.m
2:52 p.m.: About 70 people begin picketing outside the Foreign Ministry building in Moscow in support of South Ossetia, Interfax reports. Most of the attendees are Ossetians living in Moscow. While the police are present, they do not interfere.
2:46 p.m.: About 2,000 volunteers from North Ossetia, mostly men who have been serving in the Russian army, are ready to deploy to South Ossetia, Interfax reports. Many of these volunteers have experience fighting in hot spots.
2:37 p.m.: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says that volunteers from Russia and elsewhere in South Ossetia are gathering to retain peace in the region, Interfax reports. Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov reportedly tells journalists that Putin made this statement during a short meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
2:29 p.m.: The mixed commander of peacekeeping forces in Tskhinvali, Maj.-Gen. Marat Kulahmetov, denies reports that Georgia is providing a “security corridor” for the residents, saying that “no exit corridor for civilians” has been granted, Interfax reports. Kulahmetov says the fierce fighting continues in the city, and residents are unable to leave the area.
2:29 p.m.: Georgia says it plans to open a corridor allowing women and children to evacuate, Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava was quoted as saying by Georgian television, Reuters reports Aug. 8.
2:25 p.m.: Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava says Georgia will initiate a three-hour cease-fire beginning at 3 p.m. local time, to allow civilians to evacuate the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali via Ergneti pass, RIA Novosti reports, citing News-Georgia press agency. The cease-fire will last until 6 p.m. local time, “provided that the other side will not attack,” Ugulava says.
1:58 p.m.: The Russian Defense Ministry denies reports from Georgian media of alleged attacks by Russian aircraft over Georgia, Interfax reports.
1:50 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili asks Russia to stop bombing “peaceful towns” in Georgia, calling the bombing an act of international aggression, RBC News reports.
1:32 p.m.: The European Union joins NATO in calling for an end to violence in South Ossetia, Reuters reports. A spokesman for EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana says the union is in contact with international partners, including Russia, the United States, Georgia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
1:32 p.m.: Chechnya begins preparing bed space in Chechen hospitals to be ready for any wounded and casualties from South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
1:15 p.m.: Russia says its citizens and peacekeepers in South Ossetia will not be left unprotected, Interfax news service reports.
1:14 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia have increased their level of combat readiness, Interfax reports. Their commander, Gen. Sergei Chaban, says the troops are prepared to advance if necessary. Chaban also says that he has told the government of Abkhazia not to cross the armistice line or enter into the Galskiy region.
1:06 p.m: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov says the Chechens are willing to go to South Ossetia as peacekeepers.
12:51 p.m: NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Aug. 8 calls for an immediate end to the violence in South Ossetia, Reuters reports.
12:51 p.m.: North Ossetia is now reportedly receiving wounded from South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
12:49 p.m. Ukraine’s Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko condemns Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and his policies that have led to “an escalation of the situation in the Caucasus region,” Interfax reports. Symonenko says Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko should recall all service personnel who are in Georgia and “stop supplying arms to Saakashvili.”
12:45 p.m.: A university building in the South Ossetia capital is reportedly on fire and the republic hospital has been destroyed, Russian sources tell Interfax. The university building is situated about 500 meters from the staff of peacekeeping forces.
12:40 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers have reportedly been killed in South Ossetia, the Commander of the Mixed Peacekeeping Forces, Maj. Gen. Marat Kulakhmetov, tells Interfax by phone from Tskhinvali. He also confirms that there was furious fighting for Tskhinvali.
12:40 p.m.: Russia has approved the formation of Cossack regiments to send to Georgia’s separatist enclave of South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports.
12:27 p.m.: Residents of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, reportedly ask the Russian leadership for help, Interfax reports Aug. 8.
12:25 p.m.: The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia denies attacking Russian peacekeepers in Tskhinvali, Interfax reports.
12:16 p.m: In a televised address to the nation, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili accuses Russia of conducting a large-scale military operation against his country, after Tbilisi said Russian aircraft bombed two Georgian towns, Reuters reports.
12:14 p.m.: Russian Duma Security Committee head Vladimir Vasilyev accuses the United States of assisting Georgia in invading South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports. Tbilisi would not have been able to initiate a military offensive without U.S. help, he says.
12:10 p.m.: A representative of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev charges that Georgia plans to carry out “ethnic cleansing” in South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
12:06 p.m.: Russia’s Emergency and Disaster Relief Ministry and Ministry of Defense are preparing to evacuate Russian citizens from South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports. The report says the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali is “completely destroyed” with large numbers of civilian casualties.
Noon
11:59 a.m.: Four warplanes entering Georgia from Russia bomb the city of Gori, near the South Ossetian border, Interfax reports, citing Georgian television.
11:52 a.m.: South Ossetian forces are continuing to hold the capital city, Tskhinvali, against advancing Georgian forces, South Ossetian media report.
11:50 a.m.: The United States calls for an immediate cease-fire, RIA Novosti reports.
11:46 a.m.: After advancing to the boundary with Georgia, Abkhazian troops have not started to enter Georgia, Interfax reports. The Russian peacekeeper in charge of the border zone reportedly has requested that the Abkhazian troops not enter Georgia.
11:45 a.m.: Humanitarian catastrophe is threatening South Ossetia, and the permanent representative of South Ossetia in the Russian Federation has said that they are requesting immediate humanitarian assistance, Interfax reports.
11:34 a.m.: Georgians have targeted Russian peacekeepers directly, the Russian peacekeepers’ command in Georgia says.
11:33 a.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says that a large part of South Ossetian territory has passed to the control of Georgian troops. “We have completely freed Tsinagarskiy region, a number of villages and battle has already passed into the center of Tskhinvali. The outskirts of the capital are under our control,” the president said in a address to the nation.
11:30 a.m.: Russia will protect its citizens in South Ossetia, Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov says.
11:24 a.m.: Georgia has completely destroyed five South Ossetian populated areas, and Tbilisi is using “scorched-earth tactics,” Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says.
11:20 a.m.: China and the United States oppose war in South Ossetia, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says from Beijing.
11:14 a.m.: The Security Council of South Ossetia requests Russian aid within an hour. Security Council Anatoliy Barankevich says that if the troops are not sent within an hour, there will be many victims.
11:13 a.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili declares a general mobilization, saying the move was “only so we will be able to save our side.”
11:09 a.m.: Combat is occurring in the center of Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, and major portions of the city are under Georgian control, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says.
10:56 a.m.: The head of Russia’s peacekeepers in South Ossetia has been killed by Georgian troops, RIA Novosti reports. The report has not been confirmed.
10:54 a.m.: Georgian “aggression” against South Ossetia will cause reciprocal actions, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said from Beijing.
10:41 a.m.: Georgia is asserting that it has taken control of almost all of South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports.
10:39 a.m.: South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity is in Java, South Ossetia, where he is meeting with the head of North Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports. Separately, three columns of 40 buses from North Ossetia reportedly have advanced to South Ossetia to evacuate women and children, while another 100 buses remain on standby in Alagir, North Ossetia.
10:38 a.m.: Georgia reportedly is trying to confirm reports that Russian aircraft flew into Georgian territory and dropped several bombs, RIA Novosti reports. A high-ranking official from the Georgian Defense Ministry reportedly said that “If this is the truth, then you understand that we are dealing with a completely different category of events.”
10:20 a.m.: Georgian troops are engaged in a fight for Tskhinvali, and now control 11 villages and all hills around the South Ossetian capital, Georgian TV network Rustavi-2 reports. There are now about 600 soldiers in Tskhinvali, which some Georgian media outlets are saying has fallen to Georgia, RIA Novosti reports.
10:07 a.m.: Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze promised to give amnesty to the representatives of South Ossetia and to allocate more than $35 million for the restoration of the breakaway region, RIA Novosti reports.
9:20 a.m.: Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze says Georgia is prepared to negotiate on allowing South Ossetia broad autonomy. South Ossetia also has said it is prepared for negotiations with Georgia.
9:11 a.m.: The Cossacks of Don from Vsevelikogo, from Rostov-on-Don, Russia, will hold a council of chieftains at which they will consider sending voluntary formations to aid South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports.
9:10 a.m.: Radio station Imedi reports that Georgian troops have taken over Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, citing its correspondent located on the ground. The development has not been confirmed by other sources, including RIA Novosti, which cannot get in touch with its correspondent.
8:07 a.m.: RIA Novosti reports that Georgian troops control eight villages on the approach to Tskhinvali, and that explosions have been heard outside the South Ossetian capital.
7:36 a.m.: RIA Novosti reports that firing in Tskhinvali has ceased for the past hour.
7:25 a.m.: Citing a Russian commander, Interfax reports that five Georgian combat aircraft attacked the South Ossetian village of Tkverneti.
7:10 a.m.: Georgian media report that Tbilisi has announced the mobilization of reservists.
6:53 a.m.: A South Ossetian government official says Georgian forces have failed to fully enter Tskhinvali.
6:51 a.m.: Interfax reports that armored vehicles, artillery and infantry units from the Abkhazian army have started moving from Abkhazia’s Ochamchir region to the Georgian border.
6 a.m.
5:20 a.m.: RIA Novosti reports that the only hospital in Tskhinvali is unable to treat the wounded due to shooting and intense fighting, according to representatives from South Ossetia’s state committee on information.
5:16 a.m.: A representative from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says, “It is not too late for Georgia to pull back.”
5:08 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgian aircraft are being deployed and tanks are attacking in Tskhinvali.
4:33 a.m.: The South Ossetian parliament and civic organizations call on Russia for help to avoid genocide. Members of the U.N. Security Council agree to hold a rare late-night session at Russia’s request.
4:28 a.m.: Georgian public television reports that Georgian armed forces are in control of six villages in the Tskhinvali region: Muguti, Dmenisi, Didmukha, Okona, Akut and Kohati. It is also reported that Georgian forces entered the village of Hetagurovo.
4:13 a.m.: RIA Novosti reports that North Ossetian President Taimuraz Mamsurov has left for South Ossetia.
4:08 a.m.: Russia requests a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
4:06 a.m.: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says Georgia’s “aggressive acts” in South Ossetia will provoke a response from Russia, Interfax reports. Heavy equipment and artillery have been moved into South Ossetia, tanks have been engaged, and people have been killed and wounded, including Russian peacekeepers, Putin says. He makes the comments while meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Beijing.
4:06 a.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity says, “We are going to defeat and disgrace Georgia on our own and will not seek the assistance of Russia.”
4 a.m.: Civil.ge reports that Russian jets dropped two bombs on the Vaziani military base outside Tbilisi; no injuries or major damage are reported.
3:46 a.m.: Reports are received that Tskhinvali is in “complete darkness.”
3:44 a.m.: A tank attack in the southern outskirts of Tskhinvali is reported.
3:43 a.m.: South Ossetian Government Chairman Yuri Morozov says Georgian forces have destroyed the village of Hetagurovo and caused major damage in the village of Dmenisi.
3:37 a.m.: Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh tells North Ossetian President Taimuraz Mamsurov that Abkhazia will send 1,000 volunteers to South Ossetia.
3:29 a.m.: A Georgian government official says Georgian forces have surrounded Tskhinvali and are advancing toward the city.
3:23 a.m.: The people of South Ossetia request help from Russia and the international community.
3:16 a.m.: The Georgian government extends a state of emergency and confirms its readiness to peacefully resolve the conflict.
3:15 a.m.: Reports are received that government buildings are on fire in Tskhinvali.
3:12 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgian forces are shelling the northern part of Tskhinvali and Zarskuyu Road.
3:10 a.m.: The Georgian joint peacekeeping forces commander releases a statement that Russian-brokered talks between Georgian and South Ossetian officials will go forward Aug. 8.
3:08 a.m.: RIA Novosti confirms that Russian troops are moving through the Roki Tunnel.
3:06 a.m.: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s schedule could be adjusted depending on the developments in South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
2:50 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgia is shelling the village of Ubiat.
2:45 a.m.: Reports are received of Georgian troops occupying the villages of Didmukha, Muguti and Dmenisi.
2:44 a.m.: Reports are received of shelling outside Prisi and Tamarasheni.
2:43 a.m.: Geo Times reports that Russian Su-25 aircraft intensively bombed territory between the villages of Ksuisi and Khelchua in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone for 20 minutes.
2:41 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgian forces engaged the South Ossetian villages of Didmukha and Muguti.
2:38 a.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity gives a radio address.
2:06 a.m.: Reports are received that Russian forces are moving through the Roki Tunnel to South Ossetia.
2:03 a.m.: The United States urges Russia to press South Ossetia to “stop fire.”
1:59 a.m.: Leaders of Georgia’s other separatist region, Abkhazia, convene the region’s military council.
1:53 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgian troops and tanks are outside Tskhinvali.
1:47 a.m.: Interfax reports that “hundreds” of volunteers from Russia and Abkhazia are heading to South Ossetia to join the separatists fighting Tbilisi.

Aug. 7, 2008
Midnight: A defense ministry official from Georgia says that Georgia has decided to “restore constitutional order to the entire region” of South Ossetia.
Approximately 11:55 p.m.: An aide to the commander of Russia’s peacekeeping forces tells Interfax in an interview that South Ossetia’s capital city, Tskhinvali, is being shelled from GRAD-type multiple rocket launchers.
10:30 p.m.: South Ossetia breaks a cease-fire agreement with Georgia, according to the secretary of the Georgian National Security Council, Kakha Lomaia. Lomaia said the “separatists opened fire at the two Georgian villages of Prisi and Tamarasheni.”

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The Georgian war – minute by minute, August 9
23:30 GMT - Shortly after his trip to Vladikavkaz Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss the crisis in South Ossetia.
 
23:00 GMT - UN Security Council for the third time fails to make a decision on the conflict in South Ossetia.17:05 - Abkhazian official have announced that the republic’s troops have entered the Gail district bordering Georgia.

20:00 GMT - The UN Security Council gathers once again to discuss the situation in South Ossetia.

15:45 GMT - 76 Airborne Brigade of the Russian Army arrives in the conflict region - Russian military officials.

15:20 GMT – Prime Minister Putin arrives in Russia’s republic of North Ossetia to discuss aid for the refugees arriving from South Ossetia.

14:19 GMT – Russia’s Interfax news agency quotes locals in Georgia claiming convoys of ‘NATO military vehicles’ are travelling to South Ossetia.

14:02 GMT – Fifty journalists in Tskhinvali ask Russia, Georgia and United States to organise safe passage for them and civilian refugees.

14:16 GMT – South Ossetian President says second Georgian assault on Tskhinvali was repelled.

14:13 GMT – Georgian troops are regrouping ‘ready to repel any attack’, says Georgian Interior Ministry.

13:50 GMT - UN High Commissioner for Refugees confirms up to 7,400 people flee from South Ossetia.

13:34 GMT – At least 2,000 people were killed in Tskhinvali -Russia’s ambassador to Georgia.

13:16 GMT – Russia considers bringing the killing of peacekeepers to the international court - Foreign Ministry.

13:03 GMT – Tbilisi may ask the West for military aid – head of Georgia’s national security council.

12:53 GMT – Bush assures Medvedev he will help return the situation in South Ossetia to the sphere of diplomacy.

12:53 GMT – Georgian troops block 2,000 refugees from fleeing South Ossetia – Russian Foreign Ministry.

12:48 GMT – Medvedev tells Bush by phone: ‘Russia is forcing Georgia to peace, protecting the lives and dignity of its citizen’ - Ria Novosti.

12:30 GMT – Websites from the .ru domain are blocked in Tbilisi – Russian embassy.

11:52 GMT – Abkhazia says it has launched an offensive against Georgian troops in the Kodory gorge.

11:05 GMT – Saakashvili calls for an immediate ceasefire, accuses Russia of invasion.

11:09 GMT – Georgian parliament approves declaration of martial law in the country.

10:34 GMT – Georgian media report Russia has bombed Tbilisi-controlled villages in Abkhazia.

10:16 GMT – Georgia is de facto at war with Russia – Georgian Foreign Ministry.

10:10 GMT – Georgian websites are under attack – Saakashvili.

10:02 GMT – Georgian artillery resumes shelling the peacekeepers’ headquarters in Tskhinvali, according to Interfax.

09:40 GMT – Georgia has 50 dead and 450 wounded after three days of battles – unidentified military source in the conflict zone, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

09:00 – Georgia to declare martial law – President Mikhail Saakashvili.

08:59 GMT – Georgian troops ‘surrender and flee’ in Tskhinvali – peacekeeping commander.

08:59 GMT – Georgian media claim a Russian pilot has been captured after two planes were shot down.  Another was found dead, reports say.

08:46 – Experts from the EU, the US and the OSCE are to mediate in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict – office of EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

08:32 GMT – The use of multiple-launch rocket systems by Georgia caused mass civilian losses – Russian military.

08:32 GMT – Georgia is building up forces near the Abkhazian border, according to Abkhazian officials.

08:24 GMT – Russian military denies bombing civilians in Georgia.

08:20 GMT – Russian military admits loosing two aircraft in South Ossetian conflict.

07:54 – Russian troops do not control Tskhinvali so they resort to air strikes – Georgian official.

07:54 – Moscow accuses Kiev of encouraging the Georgian offensive by supplying Tbilisi with arms.

07:40 GMT – Russian units ‘have cleared Tskhinvali of Georgian troops’, according to the commander of Russia’s ground forces, General Boldirev.

07:24 GMT – Russian paratrooper units arrive in South Ossetia.

07:22 GMT – Peacekeeping commander reports Russian troops have suppressed the intensive bombardment of Tskhinvali by Georgian military.

07:16 GMT – U.S. Ministry of State condemns Russia’s ‘use of strategic bombers and missiles’ against Georgia.

07:15 GMT – Russian Emergencies Ministry sets up temporary refugee camps in southern Russia.

07:12 GMT – Tskhinvali death toll rises to 1,600 people, according to South Ossetian officials.

07:13 GMT – South Ossetia claims it has shot down a second Georgian fighter plane.

07:06 GMT – NATO has no mandate to interfere in the South Ossetian conflict - alliance official.

07:04 GMT – An estimated 30,000 refugees have fled South Ossetia over the past 1.5 days - Russian Government official.

06:56 GMT – Those responsible for the humanitarian crisis in South Ossetia must be held responsible for their actions – Medvedev.

06:46 GMT – Georgia to withdraw all its troops from Iraq – Reuters agency.

06:48 GMT – Georgia says Russian aircraft have bombed a telecom site in the Georgian city of Gori.

05:56 GMT – Georgia’s Defence Minister reports that his country’s troops are advancing into South Ossetian territory.

05:51 GMT – South Ossetians say Georgian snipers are hampering the transfer of the wounded to hospitals.

05:51 GMT – Georgian media reports 12 Georgian soldiers were killed during bombing of a military base by Russian aircraft.

05:46 GMT – Russian peacekeepers have launched a peace enforcing operation in South Ossetia – Medvedev.

05:30 GMT - Russian Special Forces attachment arrives on outskirts of Tskhinvali – Russian military source

05:15 GMT – Russian unit breaks through to peacekeepers base camp, says military official. Evacuation of wounded soldiers starts.

05:09 GMT – South Ossetians claims Georgian troops captured hostages while retreating.

05:02 GMT – Russian military prosecutors launch an investigation into peacekeeper deaths in South Ossetia.

05:02 GMT – Russian military prosecutors launch an investigation into peacekeepers deaths in South Ossetia.

04:03 GMT – Russia sends special forces troops to South Ossetia.

03:56 GMT –  Three Russian peacekeepers die overnight, raising the total death toll for peacekeeping forces to 15 -  Russian military.

03:45 GMT – Evacuees report to Russian military that Georgian artillery shelled a convoy with wounded people - Interfax

02:00 GMT – U.S. condemns Russia’s ‘military actions against Georgia’, announces U.S. envoy to the United Nations.

00:10 GMT – The shelling of Tshinvali stops.

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Time line: Georgia-Ossetia armed conflict, August 8
23:25 GMT - Georgia resumes intensive shelling of Tskhinvali's residential quarters.
 
22:50 GMT - Heavy shelling reported in Tskhinvali.

22:00 GMT - Georgia resumes intensive fire on residential areas in Tskhinvali, the Peacekeepers' commander says, reports TASS news agency.

21:27 GMT - South Ossetia's military have downed a Georgian attack plane, the Russian Vesti television channel reports. The fall of the blazing plane was videotaped. The fate of the pilot remains unknown.

21:25 GMT - Georgia announces plans to withdraw half of its peacekeeping contingent in Iraq because of the South Ossetian crisis.

21:22 GMT - South Ossetia is fully in control of Tskhinvali, but Georgia is making attempts to retake the city, accordign to the self-proclaimed republic's official spokeswoman Irina Gagloyeva.

20:36 GMT - The UN Security Council has begun closed-door consultations to discuss the situation in South Ossetia. The meeting, initiated by Georgia, is the second in 24 hours.

20:25 GMT - Georgia asks US to put pressure on Russia to "stop the armed aggression" in South Ossetia

19:19 GMT - Twelve Russian peacekeepers killed and 50 injured in South Ossetia, according to Russian Army Assistant Commander Col. Igor Konashenkov.

19:08 GMT - President Dmitry Medvedev says: “Russia is taking adequate military and political measures to put an end to violence in South Ossetia.”

18:56 GMT - The breakaway region’s government says Tskhinvali is fully under South Ossetian control, but fighting over one of the city's districts is continuing.

18:36 GMT - Russian Emergencies Ministry plane has taken off from Moscow region. It will deliver a mobile hospital to North Ossetia to help refugees from  the south.

18:31 GMT - South Ossetian armed units deployed near Tskhinvali have started firing at Georgian military positions, according to Georgian media.

17:48 GMT – Georgia admits up to 30 causalities on its side during the offensive.

17:35 GMT – In a televised address, Georgian President Saakashvili claims Georgia ‘controls Tskhinvali and most South Ossetian villages and regions.

17:22 GMT – Hundreds of volunteers enter South Ossetia from Russian territory.

17:20 GMT – South Ossetia calls on the world to ‘stop the genocide’ in the region and recognise its independence.

17:03 GMT – Ossetian leader Kokoity says 1,400 people were killed in Friday's confrontation.

16:55 GMT – Georgia withdraws half of its troops from Iraq.

16:46 GMT – Thousands of people continue to flee the violence in South Ossetia. Most of the refugees are sheltered by their relatives in North Ossetia.

16:32 GMT – Abkhazian troops vow to march on towards the border with Georgia regardless of developments in South Ossetia.

16:14 GMT – Russian Air Force denies bombing a Georgian military base.

15:50 GMT – Russian troops will suppress any fire from Georgian forces aimed at South Ossetia, warns Russia’s Defence Ministry.

15:14 GMT – Russia bans flights to and from Georgia, starting at midnight on Friday.

15:03 GMT – UN Security council to discuss the situation in South Ossetia on Friday night at 19:00 GMT.

14:52 GMT - Shootings cease in Tskhivali as people check damages.

14:35 GMT – Ossetian authorities report more then a thousand dead in Tskhinvali.

14:23 GMT – Mass fires reported in Tskhinvali.

1410 GMT – South Ossetian President Kokoyti announces the breakaway republic’s troops are driving Georgian forces away.

14:05 GMT – Hundreds of civilians have been killed in Tskhinvali, according to South Ossetian President Kokoyti.

14:01 GMT – Georgian Foreign Ministry calls on the world community to make Russia ‘understand, that invading a sovereign state is unacceptable’.

13:43 GMT – President Medvedev orders Prime Minister, Emergencies Minister and Interior Minister to organise humanitarian aid for South Ossetia.

13:25 GMT – Russian Defence Ministry accuses Georgian troops of shooting at peacekeepers and civilians and denying them medical help.

13:21 GMT – Russian Defence Ministry confirms more then 10 Russian peacekeepers have been killed in South Ossetia on Friday and 30 others wounded.

13:16 GMT – Saakashvili accuses Russia of ‘waging a war’ against Georgia, asks for U.S. support.

12:57 GMT – International community must stop turning a blind eye on mass arms purchases by Georgia, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

12:55 GMT – Russian FM Sergey Lavrov accuses Georgia of ethnical cleansing in Ossetian villages.

12:37 GMT – "If Russia indeed sent its troops to Georgian territory, it means we are at war with Russia," said head of Georgian national security council.

12:34 GMT – Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin calls on the alliance’s member states not to support Saakashvili.

12:31 GMT – Georgian Parliament speaker David Bargadze accuses Russia of ‘military aggression’, and threatens to use ‘all means necessary to protect the country’s sovereignty’.

12:22 GMT – Germany’s leader Angela Merkel calls for an immediate end to the use of force.

12:19 GMT – Tskhinvali residents emerge from shelters after a lull in fighting, report Ossetian peacekeepers. The city is short of water and electricity has been cut in many areas. Telephone communications are difficult.

12:13 GMT – Georgia accuses Russia of bombing its military base near Tbilisi.

12:04 GMT – Russia’s Defence Ministry announces it has sent peacekeeping reinforcements to South Ossetia

11:57 GMT – Peacekeepers report South Ossetians destroy several Georgian tanks, re-take Tskhinvali.

11:41 GMT – Russian communists and liberal democrats call for State Duma meeting to discuss the situation in South Ossetia.

11:33 GMT – South Ossetia reports that Russian armoured vehicles have entered Tskhinvali.

11:25 GMT – Tskhinvali ‘completely destroyed’ after massive shelling by Gerogian troops, reports head of peacekeeping force.

11:17 GMT – Georgia gives South Ossetians three hours to surrender.

11:12 GMT – International Red Cross Committee is ‘deeply concerned’ with the humanitarian situation in South Ossetia.

11:02 GMT – PACE will support any effort to resolve the conflict in South Ossetia peacefully.

10:59 GMT – South Ossetia accuses Georgian hackers of attacking its Information Ministry’s website.

10:58 GMT – Russia will not allow the death of its citizens go unpunished, says Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

10:56 GMT – Wounded people from South Ossetia start arriving to North Ossetian hospitals.

10:45 GMT – Keeping volunteers away from South Ossetia ‘will be difficult’, says Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who’s visiting China for the opening of the Olympics

10:33 GMT – Georgia announces a three-hour ceasefire starting from 11:00 GMT to let civilians out of the conflict zone.

10:26 GMT – Transdniester may allow volunteers to fight in South Ossetia, says region’s Foreign Ministry.

10:23 GMT – Peacekeepers ask Abkhazia not to send  its troops into the demilitarized zone.

09:53 GMT – British Foreign Office calls on the two sides to stop military actions and resume negotiations.

09:36 GMT – Georgia’s aggression gives the Russian Parliament a ‘serious reason’ to recognise South Ossetia’s independence, says chair of Federation Council Sergey Mironov.

09:21 GMT – NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer calls for an immediate to violence in South Ossetia.

09:05 GMT – Russian Defence Ministry says it won’t let Georgia harm peacekeepers and Russian citizens.

08:32 GMT – The European Commission’s head of foreign policy tells Mikhail Saakashvili to do everything necessary to stop violence in South Ossetia.

08:18 GMT – Firefight spreads to Tskhinvali streets, reports head of peacekeeping force.

07:49 GMT –Emergencies Ministry ready to evacuate Russian citizens from South Ossetia if ordered to.

07:44 GMT – Abkhazian forces move to border with Georgia and concentrate near the demilitarised zone.

07:44 GMT – Mikhail Saakasvili says Russia has launched a full-scale military operation against Georgia.

07:20 GMT – Georgian Minister of Reintegration asks the international community to stop putting pressure on Tbilisi and help find a compromise.

07:02 GMT – Russian Migration Service ready to deal with refugees from South Ossetia.

06:51 GMT – UN Security Council fails to approve a Russia-sponsored ceasefire call.

06:17 GMT – Firefight intensifies at Tskhinvali outskirts, says South Ossetian President Kokoyti.

05:57 GMT – Georgia pledges to pardon South Ossetian leadership and invest $US 35 million into the region

05:28 GMT – North Ossetia prepares for the arrival of more than 2,000 refugees

05:01 GMT – South Ossetia asks Russia for protection and to help it stop the bloodshed

04:13 GMT – Georgian troops resume attack on the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali.

http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/28664

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Moscow ultimatum to Washington: Make Georgia move forces out of South Ossetia
DEBKAfile Special Analysis

August 9, 2008, 6:01 PM (GMT+02:00)

As Russian warplanes struck positions in Georgia’s second breakaway province of Abkhazia, Saturday, Aug. 9, President Dimitry Medvedev told President George W. Bush in a phone call that Georgia must withdraw its forces from South Ossetia for hostilities to end. Its leaders must also sign a legally binding document not to use force.

The virtual ultimatum was delivered in reply to the US president’s call on Russia to respect Georgian sovereign integrity and for both sides to accept international mediation.

After deploying 100,000 troops and armor to occupy most of South Ossetia and warplanes to blast the Georgian town of Gori and Black Sea port of Poti, Russia’s ambassador to NATO said Russia does not consider itself to be in a state of war and accused Georgia of ethnic cleansing.

As they spoke, the Abkhazian foreign minister Sergei Shamba announced that the secessionist province had launched air and artillery strikes to oust Georgian troops from its positions in the Kodori Gorge. Russian jets earlier bombed those positions. The Georgian president said his forces had successfully repelled those attacks.

DEBKAfile’s military analysts: Tiny Georgia with an army of less than 18,000, having been roundly defeated in South Ossetia, cannot hope to withstand the mighty Russian army in Abkhazia, even after initial successes. Therefore, President Mikhail Saakashvili, who was planning to join NATO, must consider both breakaway regions lost to Georgia and gained by Russia.

Moscow has thus achieved payback for the US-NATO success in detaching Kosovo from Serbia and approving its independence. The Russians have also signalled a warning to Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia against joining up with the United States and the NATO bloc in areas which Moscow deems part of its strategic sphere of influence

After the severance of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia, four follow-up Russian steps may be postulated:

1. The two separatist provinces will proclaim their independence, just like Kosovo.

2. Russia will continue to exercise its overwhelming military and air might to force the pro-American Saakashvili’s capitulation.

3. The Georgian president cannot last long in office after suffering this major loss of territory and national humiliation. Moscow aims to make Washington swallow a pro-Russian successor.

4. Moscow’s South Ossetia-Abkhazia victory against Georgia and its Western backers will serve as an object lesson for Russia’s own secessionist provinces such as Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushettia not to risk defying Russian armed might.

http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5498

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Second separatist Abkhazia province joins Russian-Georgian South Ossetia war
DEBKAfile Special Report

August 9, 2008, 6:04 PM (GMT+02:00)
 
Russian jets bomb Georgian town of Gori
Latest developments Saturday, Aug. 9, 08

- Russian prime minister arrives in North Ossetia ---

- The Georgian president says his forces have repelled attacks in Abkhazia

- The foreign minister of Georgia’s second breakaway province Sergei Shamba said earier Abkhazian forces have launched air and artillery strikes to oust Georgian troops.

- Russian jets earlier bombed Georgian positions in Abkhazia’s Kodori Gorge.

- Medvedev tells Bush only way out of crisis is for Georgian troops to pull out of the conflict zone.

- Georgia claims shooting down of 10 Russian planes, destroying 30 tanks.

- Tbilisi parliament approves 15-day state of war and martial law.

- President Shaakashvili calls for a ceasefire.

- Bush said Georgia is a sovereign nation whose territorial integrity must be respected. Russia must stop bombing Georgian towns.

- He called on Russia and Georgia to stand their armies down, withdraw to the Aug. 6 status quo and support international mediation.

- Some 100,000 Russian troops are deployed to the troubled region.

- They include special forces from Moscow trained in combat behind enemy lines.

- They have taken the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali and are spreading across the region.

- All men aged 18-50 called to reserve duty as Georgia recalls 1,000 troops from Iraq.

- Russian fighters continue to pound the Georgian town of Gori.

- Local hospitals are overflowing with casualties. The region’s power, water and telephones are cut off.

- 30,000 refugees have fled the embattled region into Russia.

- Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov warned Georgia’s arms suppliers they will be held accountable for the South Ossetia situation.

DEBKAfile’s sources say this is directed at the United States and Israel.

- The two-day death toll in South Ossetia combat is estimated at 1,600.

- Russian jets struck Georgia’s Black Sea port of Poti, hitting container tanks, a naval base and military logistical center near a major pipeline from Baku.

http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5496

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Israel backs Georgia in Caspian Oil Pipeline Battle with Russia

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

August 8, 2008

 Georgian tanks and infantry, aided by Israeli military advisers, captured the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, early Friday, Aug. 8, bringing the Georgian-Russian conflict over the province to a military climax.

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin threatened a “military response.”

Former Soviet Georgia called up its military reserves after Russian warplanes bombed its new positions in the renegade province.

In Moscow’s first response to the fall of Tskhinvali, president Dimitry Medvedev ordered the Russian army to prepare for a national emergency after calling the UN Security Council into emergency session early Friday.

Reinforcements were rushed to the Russian “peacekeeping force” present in the region to support the separatists.

Georgian tanks entered the capital after heavy overnight heavy aerial strikes, in which dozens of people were killed.

Lado Gurgenidze, Georgia's prime minister, said on Friday that Georgia will continue its military operation in South Ossetia until a "durable peace" is reached. "As soon as a durable peace takes hold we need to move forward with dialogue and peaceful negotiations."

DEBKAfile’s geopolitical experts note that on the surface level, the Russians are backing the separatists of S. Ossetia and neighboring Abkhazia as payback for the strengthening of American influence in tiny Georgia and its 4.5 million inhabitants. However, more immediately, the conflict has been sparked by the race for control over the pipelines carrying oil and gas out of the Caspian region.

The Russians may just bear with the pro-US Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili’s ambition to bring his country into NATO. But they draw a heavy line against his plans and those of Western oil companies, including Israeli firms, to route the oil routes from Azerbaijan and the gas lines from Turkmenistan, which transit Georgia, through Turkey instead of hooking them up to Russian pipelines.

Saakashvili need only back away from this plan for Moscow to ditch the two provinces’ revolt against Tbilisi. As long as he sticks to his guns, South Ossetia and Abkhazia will wage separatist wars.

DEBKAfile discloses Israel’s interest in the conflict from its exclusive military sources:

Jerusalem owns a strong interest in Caspian oil and gas pipelines reach the Turkish terminal port of Ceyhan, rather than the Russian network. Intense negotiations are afoot between Israel Turkey, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Azarbaijan for pipelines to reach Turkey and thence to Israel’s oil terminal at Ashkelon and on to its Red Sea port of Eilat. From there, supertankers can carry the gas and oil to the Far East through the Indian Ocean.

Aware of Moscow’s sensitivity on the oil question, Israel offered Russia a stake in the project but was rejected.

Last year, the Georgian president commissioned from private Israeli security firms several hundred military advisers, estimated at up to 1,000, to train the Georgian armed forces in commando, air, sea, armored and artillery combat tactics. They also offer instruction on military intelligence and security for the central regime. Tbilisi also purchased weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel.

These advisers were undoubtedly deeply involved in the Georgian army’s preparations to conquer the South Ossetian capital Friday.

In recent weeks, Moscow has repeatedly demanded that Jerusalem halt its military assistance to Georgia, finally threatening a crisis in bilateral relations. Israel responded by saying that the only assistance rendered Tbilisi was “defensive.”

This has not gone down well in the Kremlin. Therefore, as the military crisis intensifies in South Ossetia, Moscow may be expected to punish Israel for its intervention.

http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=1358

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Qoutes -

Mr Saakashvili, (President of Georgia) a US-educated lawyer who succeeded Eduard Shevardnadze in 2004 and has since tried to align it more closely to the West, compared the Russian action with the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and appealed to the outside world to intervene.

"Russia is fighting a war with us in our own territory," he told CNN as Russian armour rolled into South Ossetia.

"It’s not about Georgia anymore. It’s about America, its values: we are a freedom-loving nation that is right now under attack."

Tensions between Georgia and Russia have been rising over the last few months over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Georgia accuses Russia of fermenting trouble in both regions and supporting the separatist governments as a way to put pressure on Georgia and foil its attempts to join Nato. Russia has given out passports to a majority of South Ossetians and Abkhazians.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 August 2008 )
 
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