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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Feb 25th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Timeline Aug 11,10,9 - Pres. Cand. John McCain: Russian Strikes Against Georgia "Unacceptable"
Timeline Aug 11,10,9 - Pres. Cand. John McCain: Russian Strikes Against Georgia "Unacceptable" PDF Print E-mail
Written by CBS, Stratfor   
Monday, 11 August 2008

US Presidential Candidate and Senator John McCain
US Presidential Candidate and Senator John McCain

U.S. envoy accuses Russia of planning invasion

TBILISI, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Russia prepared in advance for an invasion of Georgia, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Bryza told journalists after flying into Tbilisi on Monday.

"We heard statements saying that the Russian railroad troops that entered Abkhazia a couple of months ago were there for a humanitarian mission," he told journalists at the airport.

"Now we know the truth that these forces were there to rebuild the railway to allow ammunition and other military supplies to aid a Russian invasion." (Reporting by James Kilner)


Pres. Cand. Senator John McCain: Russian Strikes Against Georgia "Unacceptable"

(ERIE, PA.) - John McCain called for steps to counteract Russia’s military strikes against the country of Georgia today, saying “Russian aggression against Georgia is both a matter of urgent moral and strategic importance to the United States of America.” 

Calling for immediate action within NATO and the United Nations Security Council, McCain said the United States should immediately step in to provide economic and humanitarian aide to Georgia, whose troops and civilians were attacked by the Russian military late last week.

"The Secretary of State [Condoleezza Rice] should begin high-level diplomacy, including visiting Europe, to establish a common Euro-Atlantic position aimed at ending the war and supporting the independence of Georgia,” said McCain.

“With the same aim, the U.S. should coordinate with our partners in Germany, France, and Britain, to seek an emergency meeting of the G-7 foreign ministers to discuss the current crisis.”

McCain added that Russia’s bombing of a civilian airport in the Georgian capital of Tblisi yesterday “appears aimed not at restoring any status quo ante in South Ossetia, but rather at toppling the democratically elected government of Georgia.”

He said, “This should be unacceptable to all the democratic countries of the world, and should draw us together in universal condemnation of Russian aggression.”

"Russian President [Dmitry] Medvedev and Prime Minister [Vladimir] Putin must understand the severe, long-term negative consequences that their government’s actions will have for Russia’s relationship with the U.S. and Europe.”

President Bush last night told NBC that he had spoken with Putin at the Olympic Games in Beijing, and told him he found their actions unacceptable. McCain relayed a similar message directly to the leaders of Russia this morning.

"Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin must understand the severe, long-term negative consequences that their government’s actions will have for Russia’s relationship with the U.S. and Europe,” said McCain.

The Arizona senator also said it is his belief that Russia is not only threatening Georgia’s independence, but trying to intimidate neighboring countries, such as the Ukraine. He also called for protection of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline that runs through Georgoa.

“Our united purpose should be to persuade the Russian government to cease its attacks, withdraw its troops, and enter into negotiations with Georgia,” said McCain.

“We must remind Russia’s leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world.”



Georgia: A Timeline of Events Aug. 11
Stratfor Today » August 10, 2008 | 2318 GMT

Crisis in South Ossetia
Georgia: A Timeline of Events Aug. 11
10: 50 p.m.:
Russian peacekeepers and military reportedly withdraw from the Georgian city of Senaki, the Russian Ministry of Defense tells Interfax.
10:45 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says that if there was a threat of attack on Tbilisi, he would notify the residents, and he urges them not to panic or leave the city, Interfax reports.
10:30 p.m.: Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili says that Russian troops have cut the country in two, The Associated Press reports.
10:23 p.m.: Russia’s Defense Ministry says Russia has no plans to move its troops into the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, Gazeta reports.
10: 15 p.m.: A group of Russian troops is reportedly approaching the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, Georgian Defense Minister David Kezerashvili tells Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, Interfax reports without confirmation from the Russian military.
10:04 p.m.: Armenian officials deny reports that a group of U.S. military experts have landed there and been dispatched to the South Ossetian conflict zone, Gazeta reports. Tagui Dzhaukyan, press secretary of the U.S. Embassy in Armenia would not confirm or deny the report until Aug. 12.
9:35 p.m.: The U.S. State Department says that more than 170 U.S. citizens have been evacuated from Georgia.
9:32 p.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that, along with a cease-fire, Georgia must withdraw all of its troops from South Ossetia and must sign a legally binding nonuse-of-force agreement, Gazeta reports.
Georgian soldiers have fled the town of Gori, 17 miles from Georgia proper’s border with South Ossetia, The Times Online reports.

9:08 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili tells a National Security Council meeting that Russian forces have taken control of the central transport corridor connecting eastern and western Georgia, RIA Novosti reports.
9 p.m.
8:36 p.m.: Russia’s Defense Ministry denies reports that its troops have occupied the Georgian town of Gori, Reuters reports.
8:35 p.m.: U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Bryza
Russia tells reporters in Tbilisi that Russia was preparing to invade Georgia several weeks in advance. He says that earlier reports that Russian railroad troops in Abkhazia were carrying out humanitarian work were simply a cover story for preparing infrastructure to move heavy military equipment into Georgia.
8:20 p.m.: The Russian air force destroyed two Georgian helicopters — an Mi-8 and an Mi-24 belonging to Georgia’s air force — at the Georgian air base in Senaki, Interfax reports.
8:14 p.m.: Reuters reports that a Georgian official has said Russians captured the town of Gori, located about 37 miles from Tbilisi, but a Reuters reporter in the city said there are “no traces of troops or military vehicles” in the deserted town.
8:13 p.m.: The Russia-NATO Council will hold an extraordinary meeting the afternoon of Aug. 12 at the Russian side’s invitation, Interfax reports.
8:00 p.m.: Media reports that Georgia has asked China to use its influence to influence Russia, media reported. Georgia’s ambassador to China, Zaza Begashvili met with China’s foreign minister after Begashvili said that he is sure China recognizes Georgia’s borders and that China as a member of the U.N. Security Council will oppose the Russian actions.
7:53 p.m.: Investigators from the Russian Prosecutor’s Office and Investigations Committee begin working in South Ossetia, UPC leader Alexander Bastrykin said, Gazeta reports.
7:35 p.m.: Armed clashes erupt between the Russian and Georgian militaries in the Georgian city of Gori, Gazeta reports.
7:27 p.m.: Commercial banks in Georgia begin suspending the issuance of loans, according to the National Bank of Georgia, Gazeta reports. The suspension will continue until Aug. 18. Similar restrictions apply to the use of credit cards.
7:13 p.m.: The Georgian Ministry of Interior reports that Russian serviceman have attacked the village of Khurcha in the Zugdidskovo region and that it was occupied by Abkhaz and Russian forces, Interfax reports. Despite an ultimatum given to Georgia to disarm, but the Russian forces entered and reportedly took over a police building.
7:09 p.m.: Gazeta reports that Russian warplanes attacked the Georgian village of Tkviavi, citing witnesses who say they saw three planes destroy several houses; casualties have not been reported.
6:37 p.m.: At least six Georgian helicopters fly in from Georgia proper and bomb targets just beyond the boundary with South Ossetia around Tskhinvali, Reuters reports, citing witnesses.
6:30 p.m.: EU and U.S. diplomats arrive in Tbilisi, Georgia, to meet with Georgian Foreign Minister Catherine Tkeshelashvili, Interfax reports, citing the Georgian Foreign Ministry. The diplomats include President of the Council of Europe Terry Davis, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza.
5:49 p.m.: Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia,says that the Russian State Duma will not hold a special session on the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict and, at present, will not review the recognition of the independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Interfax reports.  
3:58 p.m.: Georgian forces resume shelling towns in South Ossetia, a spokeswoman for South Ossetian authorities tells Interfax. The spokeswoman says the shelling begain at 3:30 p.m. local time and included the use of heavy weapons.
3:21 p.m.: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accuses the West of trying to portray the victims as the aggressors in the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict, Reuters reports. Speaking on state television, Putin says some countries are “hindering” Russia’s efforts, and that the United States moved Georgian troops from Iraq “practically to the conflict zone.” Russia will see through its peacekeeping mission and aim for working relations with all sides involved in the conflict, including Georgia, Putin adds.
3 p.m.
2:12 p.m.: The Georgian oil ports of Supsa and Batumi are operating only partially, while the port of Poti is not operating at all because workers do not feel it is safe to do so, Reuters reports citing a shipping agent.
2:07 p.m.: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says alleged detentions by Georgian authorities of Russian citizens in Georgia are in violation of international law, Interfax reports.
1:58 p.m.: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says that his country’s peacekeeping mission will be carried through to the end, Interfax reports.
1:44 p.m.: Russia’s General Staff tells Interfax that Russian peacekeepers are not going to move beyond the South Ossetian border into Georgia, and that Russia does not need additional mobilization in relation to South Ossetia.
1:30 p.m.: The Russian Foreign Ministry says that a cease-fire can only be achieved if Georgia completely withdraws all troops from the conflict zone and signs a non-use-of-force agreement with South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
1:22 p.m.: Interfax reports that the director of Russia’s Federal Security Services has ordered that work be intensified in southern Russia.
1:12 p.m.: More Russian troops and armor have pushed into Georgia as Georgian forces shell the Russian-held Tskhinvali, Reuters reports. A Reuters reporter says that T-72 tanks and Hurricane multiple rocket launchers are bottlenecked on the road between Russia and Tskhinvali.
1:06 p.m.: Russia has no plans to move forces from Georgia’s two breakaway provinces and further into Georgia proper, Interfax reports, citing comments from Russian Deputy Chief of the Generala Staff Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn.
1:02 p.m.: Russia does not intend to hinder operations along the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Interfax reports, citing comments from Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Vasily Istratov.
12:46 p.m.: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev holds a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov at the Central Control Office of Russia’s armed forces, Itar-Tass reports. Deputy defense ministers and leaders from branches of the armed forces also attend the meeting. Medvedev asks for reports on the situation in South Ossetia, and armed forces chief Gen. Nikolai Makarov reports the summarized operative data and organizational issues for the region.
12:31 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said Aug. 11 that he signed a cease-fire pledge proposed by representatives from the European Union, The Associated Press reported. Saakashvili signed the document with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb. Saakashvili said the EU envoys will visit Moscow later Aug. 11 to try to convince Russia to accept the cease-fire.
12:27 p.m.: Russia says it will destroy any aircraft or sea vessels violating the secure maritime zone off the coast of Abkhazia, Interfax reports.
12:21 p.m.: Interfax reports that some 800 Georgian troops were airlifted from Iraq to Georgia in U.S. military aircraft.
12:20 p.m.: Interfax reports that Russian forces are in the process of disarming captured Georgian troops.
12:07 p.m.: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says the major part of Russia’s peace enforcement in Georgia has been completed, Interfax reports.
12:05 p.m.: Interfax reports that Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh of Abkhazia and South Ossetian President Eduard Kokiuty held a telephone conversation in which they discussed asking the international community to recognize the independence of their republics. Kokoity reportedly calls the Georgian offensive in South Ossetia “genocide.”
12:02 p.m.: A spokeswoman for Russia’s Siberian Military Districts (SibVO) says SibVO troops are being prepared to go into South Ossetia if needed, but have not yet been sent, Interfax news agency reports.
11:57 a.m.: Interfax reports that Georgian and NATO representatives will meet in Brussels to discuss the crisis in Georgia.
10:32 a.m.: Interfax quotes Russia’s general staff saying they will send as many troops to South Ossetia as necessary to keep the peace.
9:58 a.m.: Interfax reports that Russia has issued a surrender ultimatum to Georgian forces in the Zugdidi district of Abkhazia. A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman says a well-armed Georgian special police brigade of 1,500 soldiers is in the area, adding that “they are not a police force.”
9:30 a.m.: Georgia’s Foreign Ministry issues a statement saying that “several dozen” Russian warplanes, as many as 50 at once, bombed Georgia overnight.
9 a.m.: Georgian Ambassador to the United Nations Irakli Alasania announces that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has rejected a phone call from Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, Russian business daily Kommersant reports.
9 a.m.
8:20 a.m.: Interfax reports that Russia has reinforced its troops in Abkhazia, bringing its numbers there to 9,000 paratroopers and 350 armored vehicles.
6 a.m.
5:31 a.m.:
Georgia’s Interior Ministry denies a report it made earlier in which it said that Russian planes had bombed a military base and radar installation near Tbilisi.
4:20 a.m.: Russian planes bomb the Kojori military base near Tbilisi and a radar installation, Reuters reports, citing comments from Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili.
3 a.m.
2:51 a.m.: Two groups of Georgian raiders have been captured in South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
2:25 a.m.: Gunfire has ceased in Tskhinvali, the capital of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia, and peacekeepers said Georgian forces failed to open a “humanitarian corridor,” Interfax reports.
2:07 a.m.: The Russian navy confirms that it sank a Georgian boat, according to Interfax.



Georgia: A Timeline of Events Aug. 10
Stratfor Today » August 10, 2008 | 0326 GMT

10:32 p.m.: Russian navy ships fire on and sink a Georgian missile boat after the Georgian boats make two attempts to attack the Russian vessels, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman tells Interfax.
9:46 p.m.: French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit Moscow the week of Aug. 10, Reuters reports, citing the Kremlin press service. Plans for the visit reportedly were made during Sarkozy’s second Aug. 10 conversation with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Sarkozy’s office cannot confirm the visit.
9:28 p.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tells U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili “must go,” Reuters reports, citing a statement the U.S. envoy to the United Nations made to the U.N. Security Council.
9:23 p.m.: The Russian Defense Ministry denies reports of a bombing hitting the Georgia’s Tbilisi International Airport.
9:03 p.m.: Russia’s U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin says Russia is “ready to put an end to the war,” and make peace with Georgia, The Associated Press reports. Churkin accuses the U.N. secretary-general’s office of siding with Georgia. B. Lynne Pascoe, U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, tells the U.N. Security Council that Georgia is prepared to start immediate talks with Russia.
8:32 p.m.: French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner travels to Tbilisi on an EU mediation effort to try to end the conflict in South Ossetia, Reuters reports. Kouchner, whose country is the current EU president, is set to meet with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili before traveling to Moscow on Aug. 11 to talk with Russian leaders.
8:18 p.m.: Reuters reports that Georgia’s Tbilisi International Airport was also hit by a Russian airstrike, about 200 yards away from a runway.
7:48 p.m.: A Georgian statement says President Mikhail Saakashvili has ordered a cease-fire and notified Russia of his willingness to immediately start negotiations on a truce, Agence France-Presse reports. Saakashvili called the cease-fire at 5 a.m. local time, and a note offering talks was delivered to a Russian diplomat in Tbilisi, the statement says. It adds that Georgian troops in the Tskhinvali area of South Ossetia have ceased fire and that all troops have pulled out of the conflict zone. An unnamed Russian Foreign Ministry official tells Interfax that such a note was received, but that Georgian forces have not stopped firing.
7:44 p.m.: A Russian military official says there are no hostilities in Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia, Interfax reports.
7:33 p.m.: About 15 loud explosions are heard near South Ossetia’s capital of Tskhinvali, Reuters reports.
7:18 p.m.: Russia bombs a military airport on the outskirts of Tbilisi, Georgia, Interfax reports, citing the Georgian Interior Ministry.
6:53 p.m.: The United States plans to present a U.N. security council resolution condemning Russia’s military action against Georgia as “unacceptable to the international community,” Reuters reports, citing a spokesman for the U.S. delegation at the United Nations.
5:00 p.m.: Sergei Bagapsh, president of Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia, has declared martial law in parts of the province, Interfax reports. Martial law is in place in the Gali, Tkvarcheli, Ochamchira and Gulripsha districts, and part of the Sukhumi district for 10 days as of midnight Aug. 10. Abkhazia also declares a partial military mobilization.
4:55 p.m.: Georgian forces are not leaving South Ossetia, only regrouping, Interfax reports, citing an unnamed Georgian minister.
3:36 p.m.: The Black Sea Fleet is interacting with Russian troops in South Ossetia, but no offensive steps have been taken, Interfax reports, citing the Russian General Staff.
3:18 p.m.: Russian troops do not plan to go beyond South Ossetia’s borders, Interfax reports, citing the Russian General Staff.
2:40 p.m.: Only two Russian planes have been lost in Georgia, not 12 as some reports have maintained, the Russian General Staff announces.
2:26 p.m.: Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry in a Web site statement says it might block Russian navy vessels from returning to their base in Crimea, in Ukrainian territory, until the conflict in Georgia is resolved. The statement says Ukraine would bar the Russian ships, which have been deployed to Georgia’s coast, in order to prevent Ukraine from being drawn into the conflict.
2:20 p.m.: The evacuation of civilians from the district center of Zugdidi near the border with Abkhazia has begun, Georgian media reports.
1:09 p.m.: The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic will decide on how to handle oil exports through Georgia on Aug. 11, Interfax reports.
12:53 p.m.: Georgian troops will be pushed out of the Kodori Gorge, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh says.
12:44 p.m.: Abkhazia “utterly rejects” dialogue with Georgia, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh says.
12:38 p.m.: Abkhazia has introduced troops into the safety area in Gali district near Abkhazia in a bid to restore order in the peacekeeping forces’ responsibility zone in Abkhazia and in Georgia’s Zugdidi district, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh says.
12:35 p.m.: Georgia announces that Russian troops have entered Tskhinvali.
12:09 p.m.: Abkhazia’s Security Council has backed “increased combat alert mobilization,” Interfax reports.
12 p.m.
11:27 a.m.: The Russian Black Sea Fleet is blockading Georgia, Interfax reports, citing a fleet source.
11:22 a.m.: Diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia have been maintained, Interfax reports, citing Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.
11:04 a.m.: Abkhazia will provide humanitarian aid to Georgian refugees, Interfax reports.
11:01 a.m.: The Georgian city of Gori is being evacuated, Georgian media outlets report.
10:38 a.m.: A general mobilization may be declared in Abkhazia in several hours after an 11 a.m. meeting to discuss the proposal of general mobilization, Interfax reports.
10:38 a.m.: Georgia did not take its armed forces out of South Ossetia despite Georgian statements to the contrary, the assistant to the head of the Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia said, Interfax reports.
10:35 a.m.: Inhabitants of Georgian villages near the boundary with Abkhazia are entering the Abkhazian region of Galskiy en masse, Interfax reports, citing eyewitnesses reports.
10:25 a.m.: Following incessant airstrikes from the Russian aircraft that continued almost all night, the Georgian armed forces have relocated to new positions, Georgian National Security Council Secretary Alexander Lomaia says. He adds that Tskhinvali has been practically effaced from the face of the earth as a result of the airstrikes.
10:18 a.m.: The Russian Black Sea Fleet has strengthened peacekeepers on the Abkhazian coast near Sukhumi at the request of the peacekeepers iafter Georgian warships reportedly tried to enter Abkhazian waters, Interfax reports, citing a deputy of the Abkhazian president.
10:09 a.m.: U.N. observers have left the Kodori Gorge, Abkhazian media reports.
10:02 a.m.: Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has sent his foreign minister, Vladimir Orgyzko, to Tbilisi for consultations with the government of Georgia, the Ukrainian press service reports.
10:02 a.m.: The Russian Defense Ministry has advanced two conditions for a cease-fire in South Ossetia — one, that Tbilisi remove all of its troops from the zone of conflict, and two, immediately sign an agreement about the non-applicability of force with South Ossetia — Interfax reports.
10 a.m.: Georgian forces have withdrawn from the separatist enclave of South Ossetia and Russian troops are now in control of the regional capital, Tskhinvali, the British Broadcasting Corp. reports, citing a spokesman from the Georgian Interior Ministry.
9:26 a.m.: The Georgian city of Zugdidi, located on the border of the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia and Georgia proper, is being prepared for evacuation, Interfax reports. One of the city’s residents says Zugdidi is full of police cars equipped with loudspeakers, and announcements are being made to the population to evacuate.
9 a.m.
8:39 a.m.: The Abkhaz army begins advancing into the safety zone in the Galskiy region on the border with Georgia, according to Interfax.
8:35 a.m.: Georgian troops are not leaving the upper part of Kodori Gorge, and military operations in this region are continuing, Interfax reports.
8:30 a.m.: The planned evacuation of civilians from South Ossetia has been postponed due to safety concerns and is planned for noon local time Aug. 10, Interfax reports. Maj. Gen. Marat Kulakhmetov, commander of the mixed peacekeeping forces, says he negotiated with representatives from Georgia and “we agreed to terms about the evacuation of the injured from the conflict zone.”
8:23: Interfax reports that the Russian commander of the mixed peacekeeping forces in Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone, Maj. Gen. Marat Kulakhmetov, says that the situation in the area is tense overall and that “both sides are actively preparing for another round of combat.”
8:01 a.m.: Russian aircraft are once again bombing the Kodori Gorge in Georgia, according to Georgian media. The village of Azhara in the gorge’s upper portion reportedly has been targeted.
7:40 a.m.: About 30 injured Russian soldiers were taken from South Ossetia overnight, Interfax reported Aug. 10. The hospital administration said the soldiers’ injuries were not major.
7:02 a.m.: The bodies of numerous Georgian soldiers are in the streets of Tskhinvali, the capital of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia, Interfax reeports, citing comments from South Ossetian government representative Irina Gagloeva. Gagloeva says she cannot confirm how many Georgian soldiers were dead and that six incapacitated Georgian tanks are in the city streets.
6:51 a.m.: Calm has settled over Tskhinvali, the capital of the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia, Interfax reports. Irina Gagloeva, an official representative of South Ossetia’s government, says there is relative calm after an “intensive skirmish and artillery barrage in the heights above Tskhinvali” and that only short bursts of automatic gunfire are being heard.
6:40 a.m.: Interfax reports that fighting continued the entire night around Tskhinvali. South Ossetia’s Committee for Information and Media reported that Georgian forces continued “bombardment of the city and a number of other populated areas of South Ossetia” and that the city was nearly destroyed.
6:18 a.m.: Citing Georgian media, Interfax reports that Russian forces have bombed the Tbilaviastrov factory in Tbilisi, Georgia, which refurbishes Su-25 fighter jets used by the Georgian military.
6 a.m.
4:40 a.m.: Haaretz reports that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has recommended a complete cessation of the sale of arms and security-related equipment to Georgia in light of the situation in South Ossetia. The ministry recommends that the issue be re-examined after the fighting ceases and the situation stabilizes, but the Defense Ministry will make a final decision in the coming days.
3:59 a.m.: The Georgian government asks the U.S. government to airlift approximately 2,000 Georgian soldiers from Iraq so they can defend their homeland, according to ABC News.
3 a.m.
1:41 a.m.: Xinhua reports that Russia plans to send warships to the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia. An unidentified U.S. State Department official reportedly said the United States has “been notified that Russia has plans to move elements of its Black Sea fleet to Abkhazia, to Ochamchira, ostensibly to protect their civilians … a couple of cruisers, or large-scale naval vessels.”


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.
8:02 p.m.: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland issue a joint statement calling on NATO and the European Union to condemn Russia’s “imperialist and revisionist” actions in South Ossetia.
8 p.m.: The U.S. State Department authorizes the departure of the families of U.S. government personnel in Georgia. In a warden message dated Aug. 9, the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi says that U.S. citizens in Georgia who want assistance in departing should contact the embassy immediately. The embassy is organizing a convoy that will go from Tbilisi to Yerevan Aug. 10. A second convoy will depart Aug. 11.
7:30 p.m.: Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe chair Alexander Stubb tells reporters that Russia cannot continue to be a mediator in the dispute between Georgia and South Ossetia because it is involved in the conflict. Stubb announces plans to meet with President Mikhail Saakashvili on Aug. 11 in Tbilisi, and then with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. He says prospects are grim for a quick resolution to the conflict, which he says should be considered a war.
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.
4:23 p.m.: Georgian troops in the Upper Kodori Gorge in the separatist region of Abkhazia have come under attack from Abkhaz troops attempting to force them out, Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba says in a statement on the Abkhaz government’s Web site. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says the attacks have been repelled.
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.
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.”
3 a.m.
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.


The Georgian war minute by minute - August 11
20:50 GMT Russian Defence Ministry says Russian peacekeepers have not entered the Georgian town of Poti.
20:16 GMT Russian Emergencies Ministry’s plane, carrying medicines and a mobile intensive care unit to Vladikavkaz, has taken off from Moscow.

20:02 GMT NATO has agreed to hold an emergency meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels on Monday, over the situation in South Ossetia.

19:48 GMT Russian troops have left the Georgian town of Senaki after taking actions to prevent Georgia from shelling South Ossetia and Russian peacekeepers, according to Russia’s Defence Ministry.

17:19 GMT Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said on Monday that the Russian military has blocked a central highway linking east and west Georgia. Russia troops and tanks entered the main part of Georgia's territory earlier on Monday, as Russia continued its peace enforcement operation to prevent further Georgian incursions into breakaway South Ossetia.

16:25 GMT Georgian Foreign ministry informs that Russian peacekeeping forces have entered the country’s territory and took control of the Georgia’s largest airbase in the town of Senaki.

16:08 GMT NATO has agreed to hold an urgent session with Russia concerning the situation in South Ossetia on August 12.

15:25 Two companies from Chechnya's Zapad and Vostok special battalions have been sent to Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia to help defend against Georgian forces, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

14:12 GMT - Russian peacekeepers and other troops Conduct 'preventative action' near the town of Senaki, inside Georgia,  a spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry said on Monday.

13:25 GMT A Georgian Su-25 fighter plane is shot down near the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali. According to the Russian military it was attacking its army positions.

12:36 GMT - More than 360 Russians say they are being prevented from leaving Georgia, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Monday.

11:43 GMT – Georgia has cut the supply of Russian gas to Armenia without warning, according to Armenian gas importers Armrosgazprom.

11:42 GMT – South Ossetia reports that Georgia has resumed shelling its territory.

11:24 GMT – Kiev doesn’t plan to provide military aid to Tbilisi – Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister.

10:48 GMT – Georgia’s preventing Russian citizens from leaving ‘totally illegal’ – Medvedev.|

10:44 GMT – Putin blames the U.S. for hampering Russian peace efforts in South Ossetia by airlifting Georgian troops from Iraq to Georgia.

10:38 GMT – Oil giant BP (British Petroleum) denies Georgian reports alleging Russian planes bombed the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

10:32 GMT – Russia will go on with its mission in South Ossetia until it reaches its logical conclusion – Putin.

10:11 GMT – Georgia to file a case against Russia to The Hague Tribunal – Georgian Foreign Minister.

10:29 GMT – Russian aid convoy stopped by gunfire 10km away from Tskhinvali – RIA Novosti.

09:53 GMT – Security officers arrest nine Georgian agents spying on Russian territory and preparing acts of terrorism – FSB head.

09:24 GMT – Russia is not testing new weapons systems in the operation in South Ossetia – Deputy Head of Russia’s General Staff.

09:26 GMT – Ceasefire signed by Saakashvili to be delivered to Moscow by French and Finnish FMs on Monday - Interfax.

09:18 GMT – Russian military denies bombing Tbilisi International Airport.

09:18 GMT – Russian military confirm foreigners fighting on Georgian side.

09:16 GMT – Russia has no plans to moblise reservists over conflict in South Ossetia – Russian military official.

09:16 GMT – Russia is using ‘disproportionate force’ against Georgia – NATO head.

13:10 GMT  – Russia loses two more planes in South Ossetian conflict zone – Russian military official.

09:09 GMT – 18 Russian soldiers have died in South Ossetia so far, 14 are missing in action – Russian military official.

08:55 GMT – Peace enforcement operation in South Ossetia ‘mostly complete’ – Medvedev.

08:53 GMT – U.S. flies 800 Georgian soldiers from Iraq to Tbilisi – Russian General Staff.

08:48 GMT – Moscow calls for a Russia-NATO council meeting to discuss the situation in South Ossetia – Russia’s envoy to NATO.

08:42 GMT – French and Finnish Foreign Ministers present a three-stage plan for peace in Tbilisi.

08:18 GMT – Road from Tskhinvali to Rokski tunnel, connecting South and North Ossetia, safe for travel – RIA Novosti news agency report.

08:18 GMT – British Foreign Secretary condemns Russia’s military actions in Georgia.

08:09 GMT – Sea links between Georgia and Russia cut – Sochi port deputy director.

08:04 GMT – United States must have given a 'green light' to Georgia's offensive in South Ossetia – former Sovier leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

07:56 GMT – The EU rather than the U.S. will take the lead in mediating the South Ossetian conflict - French FM.

07:47 GMT – Russian Ministry of Communications announces that postal services to and from Georgia have been cut.

07:37 GMT – Azerbaijan oil continues to flow through Georgian territory - Azeri state oil company’s vice-president.

07:18 GMT – Turkey denies closing its air space to a Ukrainian plane bound for Georgia.

07:12 GMT – Peacekeepers in Abkhazia demand that the Georgian troops  lay down their arms - Russian news agencies.

07:10 GMT – Transdniestria’s Deputy Defence Minister says their troops are on alert and ready to go to South Ossetia.

06:25 GMT - Turkey refuses to allow a Ukrainian plane carrying aid to Georgia to pass through its airspace - Ukrainian Foreign Minister.

06:13 GMT – Georgian Interior Ministry denies it has blocked Russian citizens from leaving the country.

06:02 GMT – Abkhazia offers a humanitarian corridor for Georgian troops and civilians to leave Kodori gorge - Abkhazian Defence Minister.

05:54 GMT – Shelling of peacekeepers continued during the night despite ceasefire –commander of peacekeepers.

05:07 GMT – 9,000 Russian troops and 350 armoured vehicles are in Abkhazia to help peacekeepers – peacekeeping force deputy commander.

04:54 GMT – Russian journalist confirms that Georgian soldiers killed wounded Russian peacekeepers.

03:33 GMT – Georgian troops continue shelling Tskhinvali – South Ossetian president.

02:16 GMT – Georgia’s Interior Ministry denies earlier report that military base has been bombed.

01:14 GMT – Georgia’s Interior Ministry reports that Russia has bombed a military base near Tbilisi.

Russia Today



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.

Russia Today



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.

Russia Today


Timeline: South OssetiaA look back at South Ossetia's turbulant past
Elizabeth Stewart guardian.co.uk,


1237-40 - Mongols invade Russia, forcing Ossetians to migrate south over the Caucasus mountains to present-day Georgia.

18th and 19th centuries – The Russian empire extends to the Caucasus, provoking strong resistance from the people of the north Caucasus. The South Ossetians do not join the uprising, some preferring to side with the Russian army.

1801 - South Ossetia and Georgia are annexed by Russia and absorbed into the Russian empire.

1918 – Georgia declares independence following the Russian revolution.

1921 – The Red Army invades. The South Ossetians are accused of siding with the Kremlin.

1922 - Georgia becomes a founder member of the Soviet Union. The South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast (district) is created within Georgia in April 1922.

1989 - Demands for more autonomy in the South Ossetia region lead to violent clashes between Georgians and Ossetians.

1990-91 – South Ossetia declares its intentions to secede, leading to more clashes.

1991 – The Soviet Union collapses.

1992 – South Ossetians vote in favour of independence in an unrecognised referendum. Hundreds die in sporadic violence, which continues until June when Russian, Georgian and South Ossetian leaders meet to sign an armistice and agree the creation of a tripartite peacekeeping force.

November 1993 - South Ossetia drafts its own constitution.

November 1996 - South Ossetia elects its first president.

December 2001 - South Ossetia elects wrestling champion Eduard Kokoity as president in unrecognised elections.

2002 – Kokoity asks Moscow to recognise the republic's independence and absorb it into Russia.

2003 – The Georgian president, Eduard Shevardnadze, is toppled in the rose revolution.

2004 - Mikhail Saakashvili wins Georgian presidential election and declares his intentions to bring breakaway regions of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Ajaria back into the fold.

2006 - South Ossetians vote overwhelmingly in favour of independence from Tbilisi in an unrecognised referendum. In a simultaneous referendum, the region's minority ethnic Georgians vote to stay with Tbilisi.

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 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 and insists on full independence.

August 2008 - Fighting breaks out between Georgian and separatist South Ossetian forces.



Georgia, Russia: Checkmate?
Stratfor Today » August 11, 2008 | 1534 GMT

The conflict in the small former Soviet state of Georgia has taken a new twist.

So far, apart from Russian airstrikes, most of the combat has been limited to the north-central Georgian secessionist province of South Ossetia. But on Aug. 11, Russia beefed up its 2,500-strong peacekeeping force in Abkhazia — a secessionist region in northwestern Georgia — to more than 9,000 troops. And now the Russian Defense Ministry has announced — and the Georgian Interior Ministry has confirmed — that Russian forces have advanced up to the western Georgian city of Senaki.

The presence of Russian troops in Senaki has a number of important implications.

First, the Russian forces used in the operation approached from Abkhazia. There has been a U.N. buffer force between Abkhaz- and Georgian-controlled territory, so for Russian forces to be near Senaki, the Russians would have had to move through — and ultimately beyond — that buffer. Georgia’s best troops are also typically kept near Abkhazia, suggesting that those forces have been either bypassed or destroyed. Several reports indicate the Georgians are engaged in combat with Abkhaz forces in the upper reaches of the Kodori Gorge, so it seems likely they were bypassed.

Second, Senaki sits astride a railroad juncture that links the rest of the country not only to Abkhazia, but to Georgia’s largest port: Poti. The Russians have already bombed Poti several times, but taking Senaki completely removes the port from the equation.

Third, another Georgian city — Samtredia — is only an hour’s march from Senaki. Samtredia sits astride the Baku-Tbilisi-Supsa oil pipeline, transit fees from which are a major portion of Georgia’s economic wherewithal. But its military significance for Georgia cannot be overstated.

Samtredia is where Georgia’s transport links to its only other ports, Supsa and Batumi, merge with its link to Poti. (Technically, Sukumi is also a Georgian port, but the Abkhaz have controlled it since achieving de facto independence in 1993.) Should Samtredia fall, Russia will have, in effect, enacted a naval blockade of Georgia without using its navy. The city is also the only land link of any meaningful size to Turkey. While Turkey — along with the rest of the world — does not want to get involved in the conflict, the capture of Samtredia effectively blocks any potential land-based reinforcements from reaching Georgia via Turkey.

Furthermore, there is only one road and rail line that leads east from Samtredia to the rest of the country. This transport corridor is, in essence, the backbone of the entire country. Should Samtredia fall, there is really nothing that can be done — by Georgia or anyone else — to stop the Russians from taking over Georgia outright, one piece at a time, at their leisure.

In essence, the Russians are a heartbeat away from being able to dictate terms to the Georgians without even glancing in the direction of Tbilisi.



Geopolitical Diary: Lessons Learned from Georgia
August 11, 2008 | 0151 GMT

The war between Georgia and Russia appears to be drawing to a close. There were Russian air attacks on Georgia on Sunday and some fighting in South Ossetia, and the Russians sank a Georgian missile boat. But as the day ended the Russians declared themselves ready to make peace with Georgia, and U.N. officials said the Georgians were ready to complete the withdrawal of their forces from South Ossetia.

At this point, the Russians have achieved what they wanted to achieve, quite apart from assuring South Ossetia’s autonomy. First, they have driven home the fact that in the end, they are the dominant power not only in the Caucasus but also around their entire periphery. Alliance with the United States or training with foreign advisers ultimately means little; it is not even clear what the United States or NATO would have been able to do if Georgia had been a member of the alliance. That lesson is not for the benefit of Georgia, but for Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, and even Poland and the Czech Republic. The Russians have made it clear that, at least at this moment in history, they can operate on their periphery effectively and therefore their neighbors should not be indifferent to Russian wishes.

The second lesson was for the Americans and Europeans to consider. The Russians had asked that Kosovo not be granted independence. The Russians were prepared to accept autonomy but they did not want the map of Europe to be redrawn; they made it clear that once that starts, not only will it not end, but the Russians would feel free to redraw the map themselves. The Americans and Europeans went forward anyway, making the assumption that the Russians would have no choice but to live with that decision. The Russian response to the Georgian attack on South Ossetia drives home the point that the Russians are again a force to be reckoned with.

There has been sharp rhetoric from American and European officials, but that rhetoric can’t be matched with military action. The Europeans are too militarily weak to have any options, and the Americans have quite enough on their plates without getting involved in a war in Georgia. In some ways the rhetoric makes the Russians look even stronger than they actually are. The intensity of the rhetoric contrasted with the paucity of action is striking.

The Americans in particular have another problem. Iran is infinitely more important to them than Georgia, and they need Russian help in Iran. Specifically, they need the Russians not to sell the Iranians weapons. In particular, they do not want the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles delivered to the Iranians. In addition, they want the Russians to join in possible sanctions against Iran. Russia has a number of ways to thwart U.S. policy not only in Iran, but also in Afghanistan and Syria. These are areas of fundamental concern to the United States, and confronting the Russians on Georgia is a risky business. The Russians can counter in ways that are extremely painful to the United States.

There is talk that the Russians might want a new government in Georgia. That is probably so, but the Russians have already achieved their most important goals. They have made it clear to their neighbors that a relationship with the West does not provide security if Russia’s interests are threatened. They have made it clear to the West that ignoring Russian wishes carries a price. And finally, they have made it clear to everyone that the Russian military, which was in catastrophic shape five years ago, is sufficiently healed to carry out a complex combined-arms operation including land, air and naval components. Granted it was against a small country, but there were many ways in which the operation could have been bungled. It wasn’t. Russia is not a superpower, but it is certainly no longer a military cripple. Delivering that message, in the end, might have been the most important to Russia.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 August 2008 )
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