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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Feb 25th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Timelines & Aug 10,9,8 : Key Events in Russian-Georgian Relations
Timelines & Aug 10,9,8 : Key Events in Russian-Georgian Relations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Russia Today, AFP, BBC   
Sunday, 10 August 2008


The Georgian war – minute by minute and Timeline: Russia A chronology of key events

Unrest in South Ossetia: Timeline
Posted Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:26am AEST
Updated Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:54am AEST

The situation has deteriorated over the past few months in Georgia's Russian-backed separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Here are the main events in recent weeks:

July 4: South Ossetia orders a "general mobilisation" of its forces and threatens to use heavy weapons against Georgia after two people are killed in intense shelling. Russia accuses Georgia of an "act of aggression".

July 9-10: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Georgia and calls for an end to violence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia admits its planes have flown over South Ossetia to avoid "bloodshed".

August 1: Six people are killed in South Ossetia by fire from Georgian positions, according to the government of the rebel region. Tbilisi (Georgia's capital) says the Ossetians were the first to fire.

August 3: Russia warns South Ossetia is close to a "large-scale" military conflict, and that Georgian manoeuvres are undermining hopes of peace.

August 4: South Ossetia evacuates hundreds of children to Russia following clashes. Georgia accuses the rebels of creating "an illusion of war".

August 5: A top Russian diplomat says Moscow will not just stand by, but will defend Russian citizens in South Ossetia in the event of a conflict.

August 6: Georgia and South Ossetia accuse each other of having opened fire on villages in the region.

August 7: Georgia says Georgian and South Ossetian officials agree to hold direct talks for the first time in a decade after clashes leave around 10 dead.

August 8: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says most of South Ossetia has been "liberated" in an overnight offensive.

Russia sends reinforcements into the territory, saying Georgian attacks killed more than 10 of its peacekeepers.

Tense history


The two countries have a history of hostility and conflict.

November 1989 South Ossetia declares autonomy from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, triggering three months of fighting.

December 1990 Georgia and South Ossetia begin a new armed conflict which lasts until 1992.

1991: The Soviet Union collapses and Georgia, which was absorbed into the Russian empire in the 19th century, then taken over by the Soviet Bolsheviks in the next century, becomes independent.

1992-4: Minority ethnic groups in the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia fight separatist wars to end Georgian rule, resulting in thousands of deaths. Both rebel statelets have significant Russian financial and political backing, but have not been recognised by any foreign government and officially remain part of Georgia.

November 1993 South Ossetia drafts its own constitution.

1994: Under a shaky ceasefire agreement, a mainly Russian peacekeeping force is deployed in Abkhazia. Russian troops also lead a joint peacekeeping force in South Ossetia.

November 1996 South Ossetia elects its first president.

2000: Russia's new president, Vladimir Putin, imposes visa requirements on Georgians going to Russia, unlike citizens from other countries in the 12-member Commonwealth of Independent States.

2002: After repeated accusations by Russia that Georgia is sheltering Chechen rebels, an air raid takes place on the Pankisi Gorge just inside Georgia. Russia denies being behind the attack, which killed one person.

Georgia applies to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), angering Russia. Georgia also becomes a key US ally after agreeing to host oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian Sea to Turkey, avoiding Russia.

2003: The peaceful "Rose Revolution" ousts Georgian president Eduard Shevarnadze and brings to power Mikheil Saakashvili, who immediately launches a strongly pro-Western policy aiming at NATO membership and economic and governmental reforms.

2005: Despite growing tensions with Mr Saakashvili's government, Moscow agrees to remove Soviet-era military bases from Georgian territory by the end of 2008.

2006: Georgia is briefly left with severe gas shortages after a pipeline explosion inside Russia destroys a key export route. Those behind the bombing are never discovered.

Georgia arrests four Russian military personnel on spying charges. Moscow responds with sweeping economic sanctions, cutting all travel links, deporting hundreds of ethnic-Georgians from Russia, and stopping Georgian imports.

November 2006 South Ossetia overwhelmingly endorses its split with Tbilisi in a referendum. Georgia's prime minister says this is part of a Russian campaign to stoke a war.

April 2007 Georgia's parliament approves a law to create a temporary administration in South Ossetia, raising tension with Russia.

June 2007 South Ossetian separatists say Georgia attacked Tskhinvali with mortar and sniper fire. Tbilisi denies this.

October 2007 Talks hosted by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe between Georgia and South Ossetia break down.

March 2008 South Ossetia asks the world to recognise its independence from Georgia following the West's support for Kosovo's secession from Serbia.

March 2008 Georgia's bid to join NATO, though unsuccessful, prompts Russia's parliament to urge the Kremlin to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

April 2008 South Ossetia rejects a Georgian power-sharing deal, insists on full independence.

- AFP/Reuters


Timeline: Key Events in Russian-Georgian Relations

Associated Press
Friday, August 8, 2008; 12:00 AM

The standoff between Russia and Georgia has been years in the making. Here are some key events influencing the relationship recently:

July 11, 2008: Georgia threatens to shoot down Russian planes if they intrude on Georgian airspace again, after Russia confirms that four of its planes circled over South Ossetia.

April 3, 2008: Georgia fails to secure a roadmap to NATO membership at an alliance summit in Romania when NATO leaders delay a decision under Russian pressure.

March 18, 2008: Moscow agrees to restore air travel between Russia and Georgia. In October 2006, Russia banned flights, stopped mail service and cracked down on Georgian migrants after Georgia briefly detained four Russian military officers it accused of spying.

Nov. 15, 2007: Russia completes withdrawal of troops based in Georgia since the 1991 Soviet collapse, although several thousand remain as peacekeepers in the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and in Abkhazia, despite protests from the Georgian government.

Nov. 7, 2007: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili uses force to crack down on anti-government protesters. He also expels three Russian diplomats and accuses Moscow of fomenting the unrest. Russia responds by expelling three Georgian diplomats.

July 2006: Saakashvili passes up a Moscow summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, an alliance of former Soviet nations, after the Kremlin tells him that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not have time for a one-on-one meeting.

March 2006: Russia bans imports of Georgian wine, a major export, citing health concerns.

January 2006: A pipeline explosion in southern Russia leaves Georgia without natural gas supplies for a week during a harsh winter; Saakashvili blames Moscow. Russian officials deny involvement.


Timeline of Russia-Georgia tensions over separatists

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 21:55:00 08/08/2008

MOSCOW—Following is a timeline of Russian-Georgian tensions, which have spiralled with Georgia attacking the capital of breakaway South Ossetia and Russia reportedly bombing Georgian territory.

1991 The Soviet Union collapses and Georgia, which was absorbed into the Russian empire in the 19th century, then taken over by the Soviet Bolsheviks in the next century, becomes independent.

1992-4 Minority ethnic groups in the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia fight separatist wars to end Georgian rule, resulting in thousands of deaths. Both rebel statelets have significant Russian financial and political backing, but have not been recognized by any foreign government and officially remain part of Georgia.

1994 Under a shaky ceasefire agreement, a mainly Russian peacekeeping force is deployed in Abkhazia. Russian troops also lead a joint peacekeeping force in South Ossetia.

2000 Russia's new president, Vladimir Putin, imposes visa requirements on Georgians going to Russia, unlike citizens from other countries in the 12-member Commonwealth of Independent States.

2002 After repeated accusations by Russia that Georgia is sheltering Chechen rebels, an air raid takes place on the Pankisi Gorge just inside Georgia. Russia denies being behind the attack, which killed one person.

Georgia applies to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, angering Russia. Georgia also becomes a key US ally after agreeing to host oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian Sea to Turkey, avoiding Russia.

2003 The peaceful "Rose Revolution" ousts Eduard Shevarnadze and brings to power Mikheil Saakashvili, who immediately launches a strongly pro-Western policy aiming at NATO membership and economic and governmental reforms.

2005 Despite growing tensions with Saakashvili's government, Moscow agrees to remove Soviet-era military bases from Georgian territory by the end of 2008.

2006 Georgia is briefly left with severe gas shortages after a pipeline explosion inside Russia destroys a key export route. Those behind the bombing are never discovered.

Georgia arrests four Russian military personnel on spying charges. Moscow responds with sweeping economic sanctions, cutting all travel links, deporting hundreds of ethnic-Georgians from Russia, and stopping Georgian imports.

August 8, 2008 After weeks of tension and low-level clashes Georgia says it has taken control of the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali. Russia sends reinforcements into the territory, saying Georgian attacks killed more than 10 of its peacekeepers. Russian warplanes also reportedly bomb Georgian targets.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse


The Georgian war – minute by minute, August 10
23:26 – Georgia-sponsored ‘government of Abkhazia in exile’ reports shelling of Kodori gorge by Russian military.
20:23 GMT – EU allocates one million euros of humanitarian aid for South Ossetian conflict victims.

19:28 GMT – Russia sends troops to Abkhazia – peacekeepers’ deputy commander.

19:17 GMT – French and Finnish Foreign Ministers arrive in Tbilisi to mediate peace deal.

18:20 GMT – Georgian rocket boat destroyed while attacking Russian Navy ship in Black Sea.

18:01 GMT – Russian citizens not allowed to leave Georgia – relatives’ reports.

17:46 GMT – Abkhazian official claims Georgian commando wounded two Abkhazian soldiers.

17:43 GMT – Man who gave criminal orders cannot be treated as partner – Russian FM, Sergey Lavrov

17:33 GMT – UN Security Council again discusses the situation in South Ossetia.

17:29 GMT – 20,000-strong rally gathers in Tbilisi to support Georgian troops.

17:00 GMT – Georgian troops retreat from Tskhinvali – Saakashvili.

16:43 GMT – Medvedev calls for unconditional withdrawal of Georgian troops from South Ossetia.

15:52 GMT – Russian combat planes bomb runways of Georgian military air bases - Defence Ministry source tells RIA Novosti news agency.

15:27 GMT – Georgian troops start arriving back from Iraq.

15:22 GMT – Two journalists reported dead in South Ossetia.

15:02 GMT – Georgia continues shelling South Ossetia despite announcing ceasefire – Russian Foreign Ministry.

14:54 GMT – Israeli Foreign Ministry suggests banning sale of arms to Georgia.

14:25 GMT – Bodies of Georgian soldiers killed in South Ossetia to be handed over to Georgian side – South Ossetian officials

14:12 GMT – Foreigner evacuees from Georgia arrive in Armenia.

14:32 GMT - Tbilisi says it has sent a note to the Russian embassy announcing Georgia’s decision to end  hostilities.

13:20 GMT - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin briefs President Medvedev on the latest developments in South Ossetia. Medvedev orders the military prosecutor's office to document crimes committed against the civilian population in South Ossetia.

12:55 GMT - Russia’s Emergency Situations Minister, Sergey Shoigu, says Russia plans to send a humanitarian aid convoy from Russia's North Ossetian city of Vladikavkaz to Tskhinvali - Ria Novosti reports.

11:20 GMT - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, says talks with Georgia will only be possible after a ceasefire deal. The diplomat told the press more than 2,000 people have died over four days of fighting.

10:40 GMT - Deputy Head of the General Staff, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, tells a media conference that Moscow rejects Washington’s analysis of the conflict in South Ossetia

08:54 GMT - Russian PM Vladimir Putin says the Russian government is planning to spend $10 billion rubles ($US 420 million) on aid to South Ossetia.

08:14 GMT – EU’s 27 Foreign Ministers to hold an emergency meeting early next week to discuss ways of stopping the conflict - Ria Novosti reports.

07:43 GMT - Russian peacekeepers deny Georgian troops have left the conflict zone.

06:17 GMT - Georgia claims its troops have completely left the territory of South Ossetia.

05:30 GMT - Russia will address the Hague Tribunal and Strasbourg International Court over the ‘murder’ of Russian peace keepers in South Ossetia.


Time line: Georgia-Ossetia armed conflict, August 9
20:25 GMT - Georgia asks US to put pressure on Russia to "stop the armed aggression" in South Ossetia
20:36 GMT - The U.N. Security Council has begun close-door consultations to discuss the situation in South Ossetia. The meeting, initiated by Georgia, is the second one in 24 hours.

Time line: Georgia-Ossetia armed conflict, 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.


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.


Timeline: Russia 
A chronology of key events:

1237-40 - Mongols invade Russia, destroying all of its main cities except Novgorod and Pskov; Tatars establish the empire of the Golden Horde in southern Russia.  

1552-56 - Ivan the Terrible conquers the Tatar khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan and establishes Russian rule over lower and middle Volga.

1581 - Cossacks begin conquering Siberia.


1613 - National council elects Michael Romanov as tsar, heralding the Romanov dynasty which ruled Russia until 1917 revolution.

1689-1725 - Peter the Great introduces far-reaching reforms, including creating a regular conscript army and navy, subordinating the church to himself and creating new government structures.

1772 - 1814 - Russia acquires Crimea as well as parts of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia

1798-1814 - Russia intervenes in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars in France, defeating Napoleon's invasion in 1812 and participating in his overthrow.

1834-59 - Caucasian war in which Russian forces face determined resistance to their bid to annex North Caucasus.  

1853-57 - Crimean war.

1861 - Emancipation Edict ends serfdom; rapid industrialisation leads to growth of working class movement and spread of revolutionary ideas.

1864-65 - The area of what is now the Central Asian republics annexed

1877-78 - Russian-Turkish war.

1897 - Social Democratic Party founded and in 1903 splits into Bolshevik and Menshevik factions.

1904-05 - Russian expansion in Manchuria leads to war with Japan - and the 1905 revolution, which forced Tsar Nicholas II to grant a constitution and establish a parliament, or Duma.

1914 - Russian-Austrian rivalry in Balkans contributes to outbreak of World War I, in which Russia fought alongside Britain and France.

The revolution

1917 October - Bolsheviks overthrow provisional government of Alexander Kerensky, with workers and sailors capturing government buildings and the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, and eventually taking over Moscow.

1918 - Treaty of Brest-Litovsk brings war with Germany to an end, but at the cost of Russia ceding large tracts of territory; Tsar Nicholas killed; Baltic states, Finland and Poland cede as the Russian Empire collapses.

1918-22 - Civil war between the Red Army and White Russians, or anti-communists, who were aided by Britain, France and the US.

From Soviet rule to Yeltsin era

1922-91 - Russia part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

1991 - Russia becomes "independent" as the Soviet Union collapses and, together with Ukraine and Belarus, forms the Commonwealth of Independent States, which is eventually joined by all former Soviet republics except the Baltic states.

Chechnya declares unilateral independence.

1992 - Russia takes up the seat of the former Soviet Union on the United Nations Security Council.

Price controls lifted.

Internal wars

1993 September - President Boris Yeltsin suspends parliament and calls for new elections following differences with MPs. MPs barricade themselves inside the parliament building.  BORIS YELTSIN
1993 October - Yeltsin orders the army to attack parliament, which is recaptured following a bloody battle.

1993 December - Russians approve a new constitution which gives the president sweeping powers.

Communists and ultra-nationalists make large gains in elections to the new legislature, the State Duma, which replaces the former parliament, the Supreme Soviet.

1994 - Duma pardons participants in anti-Gorbachev coup of August 1991 and parliamentary rebellion of 1993.

Russia joins Nato's Partnership for Peace programme.

Russian troops invade the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

1995 - Communist Party wins largest share of vote in parliamentary elections, giving it more than one-third of seats in Duma.

1996 - Yeltsin re-elected for another term.

He signs a peace treaty with Chechnya and agreement on cooperation with Nato.

Russia admitted to the G-7 group of industrialised countries.

1997 - Border treaty signed with Lithuania.

Yeltsin's twilight years

1998 March - Yeltsin dismisses Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and appoints Sergey Kiriyenko in his place.

1998 August - Rouble collapses and government gives notice of intention to default on foreign debts. Kiriyenko sacked. Parliament rejects Yeltsin's nomination of Chernomyrdin for prime minister. 

1998 September - Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov chosen as compromise prime minister and appoints two Communists as ministers.

1999 May - Yeltsin sacks Primakov, replacing him with Sergey Stepashin.

1999 August - Militants from Chechnya invade the neighbouring Russian constituent republic of Dagestan.

Yeltsin sacks Stepashin and replaces him with Vladimir Putin.

1999 September-October - Putin sends Russian troops back into Chechnya in the wake of a series of bomb explosions in Russia which are blamed on Chechen extremists. His tough line increases his popularity among Russians.

Yeltsin resigns and is replaced by Putin as acting president.

Putin takes the reins

2000 March - Putin elected president.

2000 August - Kursk nuclear submarine sinks in the Barents Sea with the loss of all its crew.  KURSK DISASTER
2000 December - Soviet anthem reintroduced to replace the one brought in by Yeltsin. New words are written for it by poet Sergey Mikhalkov who penned the Soviet version as well.

2001 July - Friendship treaty signed with People's Republic of China during Chinese President Jiang Zemin's visit to Moscow.

2002 January - Russia's last independent national TV station, TV-6, is forced by the authorities to stop broadcasting, sparking fresh concerns about free speech. It is later awarded a new licence after journalists team up with Kremlin-backed managers and goes back on air in June with the new name TVS.

2002 May: Russia and the USA announce a new agreement on strategic nuclear weapons reduction. The two sides are to cut their nuclear arsenals from over 6,000 missiles apiece to about 2,000 each in the next 10 years.

Russian and Nato foreign ministers agree on the establishment of the Nato-Russia Council in which Russia and the 19 Nato countries will have an equal role in decision-making on policy to counter terrorism and other security threats.

Chechnya in headlines

2002 August - At least 115 people killed when military helicopter crashes in Chechen minefield. Russian military accuses Chechen fighters of shooting it down. Reports suggest overcrowding could have been a contributing factor in the high death toll.  MOSCOW THEATRE SIEGE

2002 October - Chechen rebels seize a Moscow theatre and hold about 800 people hostage. Most of the rebels and around 120 hostages are killed when Russian forces storm the building.

2002 December - Suicide bombers attack the headquarters in Grozny of the Moscow-backed Chechen government. More than 50 people are killed. Separatist rebels claim responsibility.

2003 March - Russians hail Chechen referendum vote in favour of a new constitution stipulating that the republic is part of the Russian Federation. Human rights groups, among others, are strongly critical of Russia for pushing ahead with referendum before peace has been established.

2003 May - Over 50 people killed in suicide bombing of Chechen government building in the north of the republic. Just two days later, Chechen administration chief Kadyrov has narrow escape in another suicide attack which leaves over a dozen dead.  

2003 June - Suicide bomber blows up bus carrying military personnel stationed at Mozdok in North Ossetia, Russia's military headquarters for operations in Chechnya. Around twenty people killed.

Government cites financial reasons for axing last remaining nationwide independent TV channel, TVS. Liberal observers criticise the move as the latest Kremlin bid to curb media freedom.

2003 July - Suicide bomb attack at rock festival just outside Moscow kills at least 15, including two bombers. Russia sees passport found on one attacker as evidence of Chechen link.

2003 August - Suicide bomb attack on military hospital at Mozdok, near Chechen border, kills 50 people.

2003 September - Kyrgyzstan grants Russia military base at Kant. It will house new Russian rapid reaction force intended to combat terrorism. It is first military base opened by Russia abroad in 13 years of independence.

2003 October - Border dispute with Kiev after Russia embarks on building causeway across Kerch Strait between Russian coast and Ukrainian island of Tuzla. Strait separates Black Sea from Azov Sea. Ukraine sends troops to Tuzla.  

2003 October - Billionnaire Yukos oil boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky arrested and held in custody over investigations into tax evasion and fraud. Mr Khodorkovsky had supported liberal opposition to President Putin.

2003 December - More than 40 people killed in bomb attack on passenger train in southern Russia.

President Putin gains almost total control over parliament after elections in which Putin-backed United Russia wins landslide.

President Putin, President Kuchma of Ukraine sign agreement on joint use of Kerch Strait and status of Azov Sea. Kremlin denies that island of Tuzla featured in talks.

2004 February - Suspected suicide bomb attack on Moscow underground train kills about 40 people.

President Putin sacks government of Mikhail Kasyanov.

Second term for Putin

2004 March - Mikhail Fradkov becomes prime minister.

Mr Putin wins second term as president by landslide.  AKHMAD KADYROV
2004 May - Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov killed in a bomb blast in Grozny.

2004 June - Dozens killed in southern republic of Ingushetia in attacks said to have involved hundreds of gunmen. President Putin blames Chechen rebels led by Aslan Maskhadov.

Maskhadov's spokesman says operation was led by Ingush commander who fought under Maskhadov in Chechnya and acknowledges participation of Chechen volunteers. Spokesman blames Russian forces for provoking attacks.

2004 August - Russian authorities sieze assets of Yuganskneftegaz, the key production unit of oil giant Yukos, to offset the latter's reported tax debts.

Two passenger aircraft crash within minutes of each other after take-off from Moscow, killing all 89 passengers and crew. Investigators find traces of explosives in the wreckage of both planes and blame terrorists.

At least 10 people killed in explosion outside Moscow underground station. Group sympathising with Chechen separatists issues statement saying it carried out the attack.

Beslan siege

2004 September - More than 330 people, many of them children, killed when siege at school in North Ossetia ends in bloodbath. President Putin blames international terrorists with links to Chechen separatists. Their leader Aslan Maskhadov condemns the seizure but says it was carried out by "madmen" motivated by a desire to seek revenge for Russian actions against their own loved ones in Chechnya.

Mr Putin announces scrapping of direct election of regional governors and plan for them to be Kremlin appointees.

2004 December - State oil firm Rosneft buys Yuganskneftegaz.

2005 January - At least 20 die in violent incidents in North Caucasus republics of Ingushetia, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria as Russian security forces raid houses in what they describe as operations to capture Chechen separatist fighters. Some observers blame heavy-handed tactics for the deaths.

Changes to the benefits system spark protests by thousands of pensioners in many parts of Russia.

2005 February - Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov calls ceasefire and urges the Russian authorities to agree to peace talks. The official Chechen leadership dismisses his overtures and says he should give himself up.

Government is embarrassed by but easily survives confidence vote called by communist and nationalist opposition over its handling of benefits reform.

Moscow and Tehran sign agreement by which Russia will supply fuel for Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor and Iran will send spent fuel rods back to Russia.

2005 March - Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov killed in operation by Russian forces.  

2005 May - Billionnaire former Yukos oil boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky is sentenced to nine years in prison over charges including tax evasion and fraud. He appeals but succeeds only in having sentence cut by a year. He is later sent to serve it in a Siberian penal colony.

2005 June - State gains control of Gazprom gas giant by increasing its stake in the company to over 50%.

Russia withdraws from border treaty signed with Estonia after the Estonian parliament introduces reference to Soviet occupation before ratifying.

At least 10 Russian servicemen die in bomb blast in Dagestani capital, Makhachkala.

2005 July - About 15 people killed as armoured police vehicle blown up north of Chechen capital.

2005 August - Seven submariners rescued after their craft spends 76 hours trapped on the seabed. Russia thanks UK rescue team.

2005 September - Russia and Germany sign major deal to build gas pipeline under Baltic Sea between the two countries. Gazprom gains overwhelming control of Sibneft oil company by buying out businessman Roman Abramovich for 13 billion dollars.

Caucasus clashes

2005 October - Dozens are killed during clashes between police and militants in Nalchik, the capital of the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev issues statement saying he was in overall command of rebel forces.  

2006 January - Russia briefly cuts supply of gas for Ukrainian use in row over prices. Moscow says its reasons are purely economic but Kiev says they are political.

Putin signs controversial law giving authorities extensive new powers to monitor the activities of non-governmental organisations and suspend them if they are found to pose a threat.

2006 February - At least a dozen Chechen rebel fighters and several members of Russian security forces killed in gun battle in village in Stavropol region, just across border from Chechnya.

Roof collapses at a food market in Moscow, killing up to 65 people. Many of the dead are Azerbaijani immigrants.

2006 March - President Putin visits Beijing and signs range of economic agreements, including deal on future supply of Russian gas to China.

2006 June - Four Russian diplomats kidnapped and killed in Iraq by insurgents demanding Russian withdrawal from Chechnya. President Putin orders security services to find and "destroy" the killers.

2006 July - Rouble becomes convertible currency.

Russia's most-wanted man, Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, is killed in what the security services describe as a special operation.

Yukos oil company mounts legal challenge as Russia's state oil firm Rosneft floated on London stock exchange.  

2006 August - Russian plane crashes north of the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, killing all 170 on board.

Three students charged with racially-motivated crime after bomb at Moscow market kills 11 people, mostly Central Asian.

2006 September - Bar brawl in Karelian town of Kondopoga in which two Russians die escalates into race riots with demands for eviction of all natives of the Caucasus.

25 die in fire at British-owned Siberian gold mine.

Senior officers among 11 killed as military helicopter goes down in North Ossetia. Russians blame pilot error. Islamist rebels say they shot it down.

Georgia tensions

2006 September-October - Amid tension over Georgia's breakaway regions and its ties with Nato, Moscow's relations with Tbilisi deteriorate sharply when four Russian army officers are briefly detained there on spying charges. Russia imposes sanctions and expels hundreds of Georgians whom it accuses of being illegal immigrants.  

2006 November - Former Russian security service officer Aleksandr Litvinenko, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin living in exile in London, dies there after being poisoned by a radioactive substance.

2006 December - After tense negotiations during which Moscow threatened to cut supplies to Belarus, new gas deal signed with Minsk more than doubling the price and phasing in further increases over next four years.

2007 January - Russia cuts supply along oil export pipeline through Belarus to Europe amidst row with Minsk over taxation and allegations of illegal siphoning of oil. The dispute is resolved after Belarus cancels a transit tax and Russia agrees to cut oil export duties.

2007 March - Dozens detained as riot police break up St Petersburg protest by demonstrators accusing President Putin of stifling democracy.

2007 April - Police in central Moscow prevent opposition activists from holding a banned rally against President Putin.

Former President Yeltsin dies.

Row with Estonia after Estonian authorities relocate a Soviet World War II monument in the capital Tallinn.

2007 May - Russia test fires a long-distance missile. President Putin talks of a new arms race, with the US planning to expand its missile defences into Eastern Europe.

2007 June - President Putin suggests Russia and the US resolve their dispute over missile defence by developing a joint shield which would use the Qabala radar station in Azerbaijan.

2007 July - Diplomatic row between London and Moscow over Britain's bid for the extradition of Andrei Lugovoi, an ex-KGB agent accused of Mr Litvinenko's murder.

2007 August - Russia mounts an Arctic expedition apparently aimed at expanding its territorial claims and plants a flag on the seabed at the North Pole.

2007 November - President Putin signs law suspending Russia's participation in the 1990 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty that limits the deployment of heavy military equipment across Europe.

2007 December - President Putin's United Russia party wins a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, which Western critics describe as neither free nor democratic.

2008 January - The British Council, which promotes ties between Britain and other countries, suspends work at two offices amid ongoing tension between London and Moscow.

Russia revives Soviet-era Atlantic navy exercises in neutral waters in the Bay of Biscay off France, in what is seen as a demonstration of resurgent military muscle.

2008 March - Dmitry Medvedev wins presidential elections.

2008 April - Russian-Georgian tension rises over Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia.

2008 May - Dmitry Medvedev takes over as president from Vladimir Putin, who becomes prime minister.

The UN backs a Georgian claim that Russia shot down one of its unmanned drones over Abkhazia.

Russia sends a 300-strong unit from the army's railway force to the breakaway province, once again ratcheting up tension between Georgia and Russia over the region.



Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 August 2008 )
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