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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Mar 03rd
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Timeline Aug 16,15,14, 2008 - Russia Signs Georgia Truce, but Resists Quick Pullout
Timeline Aug 16,15,14, 2008 - Russia Signs Georgia Truce, but Resists Quick Pullout PDF Print E-mail
Written by Whitehouse, NYTimes, WSJ, WPost, Times   
Saturday, 16 August 2008

President George W. Bush delivers a statement on the situation in Georgia with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Crawford, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008. White House photo by Eric Draper
President George W. Bush delivers a statement on the situation in Georgia with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Crawford, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008. White House photo by Eric Draper

President Bush Warns Russia: Georgia's borders should command the same respect as every other nation's. There's no room for debate on this matter!



The White House, President George W. Bush

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 16, 2008

President Bush Discusses Situation in Georgia
Prairie Chapel Ranch
Crawford, Texas

     Fact sheet In Focus: Global Diplomacy

9:06 A.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I just had a briefing by my national security team on the latest updates -- on the latest developments in Georgia. And there is some progress to report.

First of all, I want to thank Secretary of State Rice for her trip, and thank you for coming back here to Crawford to give me a firsthand briefing.

President George W. Bush delivers a statement on the situation in Georgia with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Crawford, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008. White House photo by Eric Draper She went to Tbilisi, met with President Saakashvili and his team. And during that time, the President signed the six-point peace plan negotiated by President Sarkozy on behalf of the European Union. President Medvedev of Russia has now signed on to the terms of this agreement. And that's an important development; it's a hopeful step.

Now Russia needs to honor the agreement and withdraw its forces, and of course end military operations.

Secretary Rice will soon travel to Brussels, where she will meet with the foreign ministers of our NATO allies and EU officials to continue to rally the free world in the defense of a free Georgia.

This morning also was briefed by Secretary Gates on the U.S. military's humanitarian mission to help the Georgian people recover from the trauma they have suffered. In recent days, military flights have landed in Georgia to provide relief supplies, and more will be arriving in the days ahead.

A major issue is Russia's contention that the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia may not be a part of Georgia's future. But these regions are a part of Georgia, and the international community has repeatedly made clear that they will remain so. Georgia is a member of the United Nations, and South Ossetia and Abkhazia lie within its internationally recognized borders. Georgia's borders should command the same respect as every other nation's.

There's no room for debate on this matter. The United Nations Security Council has adopted numerous resolutions concerning Georgia. These resolutions are based on the premise that South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain within the borders of Georgia and that their underlying conflicts will be resolved through international negotiations. These resolutions are based on the premise that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are to be considered a part of the Georgian territory, and to the extent there's conflicts they will be resolved peacefully.

These resolutions reaffirm Georgia's sovereignty and independence and territorial integrity. Russia itself has endorsed these resolutions. The international community is clear that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia, and the United States fully recognizes this reality.

We will continue to stand behind Georgia's democracy; we will continue to insist that Georgia's sovereignty and independence and territorial integrity be respected.

Thank you very much.

END 9:10 A.M. CDT

Return to this article at:

August 17, 2008
Russia Signs Georgia Truce, but Resists Quick Pullout

MOSCOW — Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, on Saturday signed a revised framework for a deal to halt the fighting in neighboring Georgia, which has stirred some of the deepest divisions between world powers since the cold war. But the Kremlin then indicated that despite the accord’s approval, it would not immediately pull its troops from the country.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, told reporters that Russian forces would stay in Georgia as long as they were needed. He said their withdrawal would depend on the introduction of what he called additional security measures, without explaining what those were.

“The basic agreements do not determine the ceiling for the peacekeeping contingents,” Mr. Lavrov said. “How long it will take, I have already emphasized that it depends not only on us. We are constantly facing problems created by the Georgian side.”

Speaking at his ranch in Texas, President Bush described the Russian endorsement of the cease-fire as a “hopeful step.”

“Now Russia needs to honor the agreement and withdraw its forces, and, of course, end military operations,” Mr. Bush said.

The Russian announcements came a day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went to Georgia to demand a Russian pullout and win the Georgian president’s support for the revised cease-fire agreement.

But on Saturday, Russian troops remained within 25 miles of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. And overall, the situation in Georgia was largely unchanged, with the Russians occupying wide swaths of territory.

If Russian troops do not begin withdrawing over the weekend, the standoff is likely to touch off more strains between Russia and the United States. Mr. Bush has repeatedly castigated Russia for invading Georgia after intense fighting broke out over a disputed province, South Ossetia, which is an ally of Moscow and wants to secede from Georgia.

The Kremlin has said that Georgia provoked the conflict by sending its troops into South Ossetia, and referred to the Georgia president, Mikheil Saakashvili, as a war criminal. Mr. Saakashvili has contended that Russia is determined to turn Georgia into the kind of vassal state that existed in the region during Soviet times.

It remained an open question on Saturday whether a dispute remained over the interpretation of the precise language of the cease-fire framework.

The original arrangement was negotiated by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. But after Georgia objected to one provision, he altered it so that it could not be used by the Russians to justify maintaining a military presence deep in Georgia. Mr. Saakashvili signed the revised version on Friday, and even as the Kremlin announced Saturday that Mr. Medvedev had signed as well, it did not explicitly say that he had approved the changes by Mr. Sarkozy.

In fact, on Saturday, Mr. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, raised a different issue, saying that the document that Mr. Saakashvili approved Friday had not contained an introduction that had been endorsed by Russia, South Ossetia and the other breakaway region, Abkhazia.

Mr. Lavrov said the introduction declared that the cease-fire framework was supported by the presidents of Russia and France, who urged others to sign it.

Whatever the clash over the wording, it appears that the Kremlin could still try to cite overall security concerns to forestall a withdrawal.

On Saturday, Ms. Rice suggested that Russia might not, in fact, be adhering to the security measures permitted in the agreement brokered by Mr. Sarkozy. “From my point of view, and I’m in contact with the French, the Russians are perhaps already not honoring their word,” she said.

She said the agreement allowed only limited patrols by Russian forces, and only by peacekeepers who were in South Ossetia or Abkhazia before the conflict began.

The agreement, she said, prohibited further Russian operations in Georgian cities or on the main highway. “It’s a very limited mandate,” she said.

Tensions between Georgia and South Ossetia and Abkhazia have long simmered, and Russia has increasingly supported the breakaway regions’ desire to secede. The Russians have made clear in recent days that Georgia ceded its claim to the regions by starting the fighting.

The United States, though, has emphasized that Georgia’s territorial integrity must be preserved. Mr. Bush said Saturday, “There’s no room for debate on this matter.”

Throughout Saturday, the Russian Army continued operations in Georgia that suggested that a pullout was not imminent.

Large numbers of conventional armored troops occupied the central city of Gori, where they were seen by reporters and photographers for The New York Times. Units moved out of the city and began to dig artillery and fighting positions in villages to its east, nearer to Tbilisi.

The troops were in Gori despite assertions to the contrary earlier in the day by a senior Russian defense official, Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn. He said at a news conference that there were no troops in Gori, which is astride Georgia’s main highway. He also said units that had been there were only reconnaissance troops.

A railway bridge at Kaspi, east of Gori, was destroyed after explosives were apparently placed under its spans. Georgia said the Russians were trying to undermine its economy by destroying civilian infrastructure. General Nogovitsyn said the Russians played no role in the damage. “We are now in peacetime,” he said. “Why should we be blowing up bridges when our job is to restore? We are hard at work.”

At least three Mi-24 helicopter gunships, one of the most feared weapons in Russia’s conventional arsenal, patrolled the skies to Gori’s east. They were not seen firing, but Georgia said elsewhere that their ordnance had set the national forest near Borjomi afire and that a highway bridge was damaged. The claims could not be verified.

Russia did allow for the turnover of human remains in at least some areas of the conflict. Two Georgian trucks loaded with corpses passed out of Gori to Tbilisi, bound for a morgue. It was not clear if the trucks contained civilian victims or the bodies of soldiers, or both.

There were signs that the humanitarian difficulties were expanding. A Times reporter traveling between Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, and Gori saw extensive sections of villages that had been burned. And refugees continued to flee areas through which the Russian military had passed.

Clifford J. Levy reported from Moscow, and C. J. Chivers from Tbilisi, Georgia. Reporting was contributed by Matt Siegel from Gori, Georgia; Sabrina Tavernise from Igoeti, Georgia; Joe Silva and Justyna Mielnikiewicz from Gori, Igoeti and Kaspi, Georgia; and Steven Lee Myers from Crawford, Tex.



Bush Lauds Russia, Georgia Cease-Fire Agreement
President Firm That Georgia Must Keep Separatist Provinces

By Holly Watt and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, August 16, 2008; 12:22 PM

CRAWFORD, Tex., Aug. 16 -- President Bush Saturday welcomed Russia's signing of a Georgian cease-fire agreement as a "hopeful step," but also sternly warned Moscow that it must withdraw troops immediately and cannot claim two breakaway Georgian provinces as its own.

"There's no room for debate on this matter," Bush said about the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

"Now Russia needs to honor the agreement and withdraw its forces and of course end military operations," Bush told reporters at his family's ranch near Waco.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who briefed Bush this morning after returning from Georgia's capital of Tbilisi, said the conflict "must be resolved on the basis of the territorial integrity of Georgia."

The remarks followed reports from Moscow that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had signed the French-brokered cease-fire agreement, following approval on Friday by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. The agreement would require both sides to pull back troops to positions they held before fighting started on Aug. 8.

But Russian troops encamped in Georgia have shown few signs of movement, and Bush and Rice attempted to balance encouragement of diplomatic progress with continued warnings to Russia to immediately remove its troops.

Russia has defied U.S. and international demands for withdrawal, and officials in Moscow suggested Saturday that they were seeking additional security guarantees before pulling back. Moscow says its troops moved into Georgia to protect residents of South Ossetia after Georgian troops attacked a city there.

Bush's remarks about the breakaway provinces followed signs from Medvedev and other Russian leaders that Moscow may be seeking to absorb the Russian-backed areas. The Russian foreign minister said earlier this week said Georgia could "forget about" keeping the separatist regions.

"These regions are a part of Georgia and the international community has repeatedly made clear that they will remain so," Bush said.

"Georgia is a member of the United Nations, and South Ossetia and Abkhazia lie within its internationally recognized borders," Bush added. "Georgia's borders should command the same respect as every other nation's."

However, Rice acknowledged some of the complexities in negotiating a long-term peace for the region, calling the area "a complicated demographic" with "elements that are pro-Russia." Despite Medvedev's signing of the peace plan Saturday, she said that Russia is "perhaps already not honoring their agreement."

She also suggested that the Russian interpretation of "extra security measures" in the agreement may differ from the Georgian reading. She stressed that her visit to Georgia Friday had been intended to resolve any such ambiguities in the text of the cease-fire and that the only Russian forces allowed to remain in the area were peacekeepers already present before the conflict broke out.

She reiterated her comparison of the current impasse to the 1968 Czechoslovakia invasion, but also said Russia in 2008 held a dramatically different position on the world stage than the Soviet Union did then.

Bush and his aides have used increasingly tough rhetoric during the past week in condemning Russia's incursion into Georgia, with the president accusing Moscow of "bullying and intimidation" on Friday. The United States has also sent humanitarian aid to the country using U.S. military planes and troops and has warned Russia to keep ports, roads and other access points open.

At the same time, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has explicitly ruled out a direct military engagement with Russian forces. The administration has focused instead on possibly isolating Russia by removing it from, or blocking its entry into, international organizations.

The United States and Poland also signed a deal Thursday for a missile interception system that U.S. officials say is aimed at blocking attacks from Iran and other enemies. But Russia views the system as a threat; one general was quoted on Friday as saying that Poland was exposing itself to "a strike" if it accepts the missile system.

In a bid to continue the diplomatic pressure, Rice plans to travel to Brussels next week to meet with European and NATO allies.

Eggen reported from Washington.



Bush Welcomes Russian Peace Moves
August 16, 2008 1:23 p.m.

CRAWFORD, Tex. -- President Bush welcomed Russia's acceptance of new peace terms for war-torn Georgia, calling it "a hopeful step" in winding down Russian military activity across the country.

Mr. Bush, joined by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, also sought to reassure nervous Georgian leaders that the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia will remain a part of their country, even after negotiations resume over a long-term solution for the area's troubles. Russian officials have said that Georgia can "forget about" retaining the regions.

"These regions are a part of Georgia, and the international community has repeatedly made clear that they will remain so," Mr. Bush said. "There's no room for debate on this matter."

Later, in an informal briefing for reporters, Ms. Rice warned that Russia must start withdrawing its troops from Georgia in order to begin to restore its credibility with the international community. With reports on Saturday suggesting that Russian troops were withdrawing slowly if at all in some key areas, Ms. Rice added that the initial picture wasn't encouraging.

"The Russians are perhaps already not honoring their word," she told reporters at Mr. Bush's Texas ranch, where she briefed him earlier on her trip to Georgia. Ms. Rice went to France and Tbilisi to help clarify an earlier cease-fire negotiated principally by the French. Her aim was to remove ambiguities that Russian officials were using to justify their widespread troop presence in Georgia proper.

After Georgia tried to take control of Russian-backed South Ossetia late last week, the Russian army quickly overwhelmed the forces of its small U.S.-backed neighbor. The Russian seizure of territory, including around the strategically important city of Gori, raised fears that Russia was aiming for a permanent occupation of the country that once was part of the Soviet empire.

Broadly, the peace agreement seeks to restore the status quo before fighting erupted -- allowing Russian to maintain for the time being peacekeepers already present in growing numbers in South Ossetia.

U.S. officials say the new agreement clarifies that only a limited number of Russian peacekeepers have the right to make patrols, and only in a "limited area within the zone of conflict," Ms. Rice said. White House officials said the patrols would be limited to a few kilometers around the border of South Ossetia and wouldn't be allowed elsewhere in undisputed Georgia or in Abkhazia, the second disputed province.

The patrols are allowed only until international mediators can arrive -- a matter of weeks, according to U.S. officials. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had hoped for a quicker and broader withdrawal of Russian troops.

The slow Russian response over the weekend underscores again how Russian leaders maintain enormous leverage. It also could foreshadow continued bickering over the exact details of the complex multi-party peace arrangements.

Russian forces on Saturday pulled back from positions in Igoeti, a town not far from Georgia's capital.

The military movement came around the same time that officials said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the deal. The Russian leader signed the order in the resort city of Sochi, where the president has a summer residence, Medvedev spokesman Alexei Pavlov said Saturday without providing further details. Mr. Saakashvili signed the truce in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.

Tanks and troops were still dug in on a hillside on the edge of Igoeti, some 30 miles from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, and there was no immediate sign of a pullout from the strategic city of Gori, about 20 miles up the road.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later said in televised remarks that the Russian pullback would take place "as further security measures are taken." Asked how much time it would take, he responded, "As much as is needed."

While U.S. officials were working to speed up Russia's departure from undisputed Georgian territory, they also began to look to their longer-term response. Ms. Rice again suggested that Russia's membership in international organizations such as the World Trade Organization and Group of Eight is at risk. She criticized Russia for behavior reminiscent of the Soviet Union's 1968 takeover of Prague, and warned that "you can't have it both ways," when it comes to being a member of the international community. She hinted at possible reports of abuses and excesses, saying that "you will start to see reports come out about what Russian forces are engaged in."

She also promised that Georgia's shattered infrastructure "will be rebuilt," and the country will resume its place as one of the leading emerging economies in the region.

In the end, Ms. Rice said, the Russians "have demonstrated that they can use their overwhelming regional military power to beat up on a small neighbor. And I don't think that's actually a very good place from which to proceed on an argument that Russia ought to be considered a responsible member of the international system."

Keeping up the diplomatic pressure, Ms. Rice planned to go to Brussels next week for meetings with the foreign ministers of NATO allies and European Union officials. She said that the meeting likely would reaffirm a NATO declaration earlier this year, promising eventual NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. But she didn't hold out any prospect of accelerating that process for now. Instead, the meeting will focus on Russian compliance with the peace deal, as well as details of future international monitoring.

Write to John D. McKinnon at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



From Times Online

August 16, 2008

Russia to pull troops from conflict zoneTimes Online and news agencies

Russia will pull out troops from the conflict zone in Georgia once additional security arrangements are put in place, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today.

A ceasefire agreement signed by Russia and Georgia states that Moscow's troops will continue to implement additional security measures on a temporary basis pending the arrival of an international peacekeeping mechanism.

"The (Russian) president issued an order to the relevant authorities to start the adoption of extra security measures envisaged in the six-point plan," Lavrov said.

"As these security measures are implemented, the withdrawal of forces sent to carry out this reinforcement operation will be carried out."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili have now both signed the French-brokered peace deal, but Lavrov said the document signed by the Georgian leader was missing a key introductory part.

"The document signed by the Georgian president differs from the one which was agreed," he said. "It totally omits the introductory part saying that these principles are supported by Russia and France and calling on all sides to sign them."

He said Russia was discussing the matter with Georgia and that it would be settled through diplomatic channels.

Lavrov said Russia had started consultations at the United Nations on international efforts to end the conflict.

"Additional numbers of monitors should observe the security zone. We will carry out our obligations under the deal, depending on how other parties carry them out," he said.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Commitee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will visit Georgia and Russia to assess the humanitarian impact of recent fighting.

ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger will arrive in Georgia's capitali, Tbilisi, tomorrow for talks with President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Kellenberger is expected to meet senior Russian officials, including Lavrov, in Moscow on Tuesday. He will also meet officials in Vladikavkaz in Russia, and in South Ossetia.



Georgia: A Timeline of Events Aug. 14, 2008
Stratfor Today » August 14, 2008

8:56 p.m. French President Nicolas Sarkozy says U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to deliver cease-fire documents to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili on Aug. 15 to sign in order to encourage Russian troops to withdraw from Georgia, Reuters reports.
8:17 p.m. In a telephone conversation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tells French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that a document containing the six principles agreed to in Moscow between the Russian and French presidents has been signed by the heads of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and now must be signed by Tbilisi, RIA Novosti reports.

7:45 p.m.: Georgian Defense Minister Nino Bakradze announces that Georgia’s armed forces have accepted 50 volunteers from Estonia, Interfax reports.
6:45 p.m.: Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko 14 talks over the phone with U.S. President George W. Bush about the Georgia situation and how to resolve the conflict, Interfax reports, citing the Ukrainian presidential press service. Yushchenko reportedly emphasizes the need for a consistent position on the requirements for a peace agreement, as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. Bush thanks Ukraine for its actions that helped facilitate a cease-fire and for assisting Georgia. The two leaders also call for a strengthening of the Euro-Atlantic partnership in light of the Georgia conflict, and for the development of mechanisms of cooperation in security.
6:25 p.m.: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the United States sees “no prospect” for the use of military force in Georgia and does not want a renewed Cold War with Russia, describing U.S. involvement in the Russian-Georgian conflict as “pretty restrained.”
5:24 p.m.: South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity says that he opposes the presence of foreign observers like OSCE, the European Union and the United Nations on South Ossetian soil and that those entities must be located on Georgian territory, Gazeta reports.
5:22 p.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity says his breakaway province has more political and legal grounds to be recognized as independent than Kosovo does, and that South Ossetia will act on those principles, RIA Novosti reports.
3:25 p.m.: Reuters reports that Russian troops have re-entered the naval port in the Georgian city of Poti and removed military equipment, with tanks proceeding on in the direction of an old military base. Russian officials deny that there are any Russian troops or military assets in the city.
3:15 p.m.: Georgia’s Interior Ministry says explosions heard earlier in the day in Gori were caused by Russian troops removing unexploded ordnance, and that Russian tanks have returned to the city only to aid in protection and movement of weapons and military equipment during Russian forces’ withdrawal.
3 p.m.
2:50 p.m.: Russian troops begin turning over control of Gori to Georgian forces. A Russian military spokesman says Russian troops will remain in the area for two more days to complete withdrawal procedures.
2:49 p.m.: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says that Russia supports the positions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Reuters reports. His comments come after meeting with the two self-styled presidents of the separatist regions who signed a French-brokered plan to end hostilities.
2:12 p.m.: The Associated Press reports that least five explosions that “sounded similar to mortar shells” have been heard in Gori, after a brief confrontation between Russian and Georgian troops at a checkpoint outside the city during which Russian tanks were called in.
1:35 p.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says “one can forget about” Georgia’s territorial integrity as an issue.

1:35 p.m.: Russia announces that the leaders Abkhazia and South Ossetia are in Moscow meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.
11:19 a.m.: The first shipments of U.S. and Ukrainian humanitarian aid arrive in Georgia, Interfax reports.
11:17 a.m.: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko are set to meet in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Interfax reports, citing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

11:12 a.m.: Interfax reports that Russian prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the deaths of Russian soldiers and civilians in the conflict in South Ossetia.
11:12 a.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity says the United States and Georgia are equally responsible for the “genocide of the people of South Ossetia,” Interfax reports.
9 a.m.
3 a.m.
1:31 a.m. U.S. Sen. John McCain asks Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Lindsey Graham, both members of the U.S. Senate Armed Forces Committee, to travel as a delegation to Georgia, RIA Novosti reports.
12:53 a.m. Russian troops have begun leaving the Georgian city of Gori and are moving in the direction of the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, Interfax reports. Control of the city is expected to be transferred to Georgian law enforcement authorities on Aug. 14. Water and electricity reportedly are working in the city.



Georgia-South Ossetia crisis timeline - 16 August
19:43 GMT - Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said his country "will never bow to Russia". While meeting Georgian refugees from Tskhinval, Saakashvili said Russia "has put pressure on Georgia over the past several years".
19:40 GMT - The Russian Emergency Ministry's plane left Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia to take five people wounded during the conflict to Moscow.

19:36 GMT - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed the situation in Georgia by telephone. They confirmed that the territorial integrity of Georgia should be one of the main principles of conflict resolution in the region.

19:28 GMT - Over 200 mass appeals to international justice organisations, such as the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the International Criminal Court had been filed by South Ossetian people. That’s according to the breakaway republic’s First Deputy Prosecutor General.

15:44 GMT – The number of people killed in the Georgian attack on South Ossetia is more than 2100, according to the republic’s Interior Minister.

15:16 GMT - The pace of planned Russian troop withdrawal from Georgia would depend on "how extra security measures for the peacekeeping force are being put into practice on the ground," according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

14:57 GMT - Russian troops in South Ossetia detain marauders and hand them over to local authorities, according to Deputy Chief of the Russian Army General Staff, Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn.

13.49 GMT – President Dmitry Medvedev orders the government to start putting the truce into practice.

10:57 GMT - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signs a French-brokered peace plan on resolving the conflict in Georgia.

07:20 GMT - Kazakhstan sends its first batch of humanitarian aid to South Ossetia.

06:53 GMT - A hundred builders from North Ossetia have arrived in South Ossetia to help with the reconstruction.

04:53 GMT - Two criminal cases are opened investigating the killing and genocide of Ossetians. Russian citizens living in South Ossetia are united in joint proceedings, a source at the Russian Prosecutor's Office told Itar-Tass.



Georgia - South Ossetia crisis timeline - 15 August
10:44 GMT - The majority of Russians (80%) believe the breakaway republic of South Ossetia will never be a part of Georgia again, while 39% say they are ready to see it join Russia, according to a new opinion poll.
09:40 GMT - Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has blamed Georgia for provoking hostilities in its breakaway region of South Ossetia and criticised Western states for backing Tbilisi.

09:28 GMT - A senior Russian military official said that five U.S. Air Force C-17 planes have landed at Tbilisi airport, bringing unknown cargo to Georgia.

07:55 GMT – Georgians in South Ossetia who fled during last week's fighting will not be allowed to return to their homes in the breakaway republic, according to South Ossetia President Eduard Kokoity.

04:44 GMT – The Russian Federal Immigration Service has officially registered over 17,000 refugees from South Ossetia, who fled to Russia after Georgia’s military assault. 1820 of them are children.



Georgia crisis timeline - 14 August
15:16 GMT - Pentagon chief says he doesn’t "see any prospect" of the U.S. military becoming involved in the troubles in Georgia.
13:37 GMT - EU’s aid for victims of South Ossetian crisis may be as much as 10 million euros, announces a European Commission spokesman.

13:33 GMT - South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoyti claims mercenaries from Ukraine, Baltic states and U.S. fought alongside the Georgian troops in South Ossetia.

12:27 GMT - Georgian Parliament approves plan to quit the CIS.

12:06 GMT - OSCE announces tenfold increase in the number of observers in Georgia.

11:25 GMT - Abkhazian authorities report three people have been killed in Kodori gorge during the operation to drive out Georgian troops.

10:24 GMT - Russia will not force CIS countries to support it over South Ossetia, says Lavrov.

09:52 GMT - Russia will support any decision made by the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia over their constitutional status, says Medvedev.

08:47 GMT - Regional administration of Gori re-take control of the Georgian city.

09:42 GMT - The leaders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia sign a peace plan to resolve their conflict with Georgia, at a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow. The peace plan was drawn up on Tuesday during a meeting between Medvedev and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy. Georgia has also accepted the plan.

08:37 GMT - The West's stance on the situation in Georgia is certain to affect Russia's relations with NATO, says the organisation’s Moscow's ambassador.

06:59 GMT - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said Russia faces international isolation if does not honour a ceasefire with Georgia.

05:26 GMT - Russian investigators have opened a criminal case on charges of genocide in connection with recent events in South Ossetia, according to the General Prosecutor's Office.



Background to conflict: independent streak of breakaway republics
Georgia vs. South Ossetia: roots of a 100-year conflict
The Georgian war minute by minute - August 12
The Georgian war minute by minute - August 13
Georgia crisis timeline - 14 August
Georgia - South Ossetia crisis timeline - 15 August

Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 August 2008 )
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