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Archive for August 12th, 2008

War in Georgia – News Clips for August 12, 2008

Posted by Admin on August 12, 2008

Following are links to various articles and resources with more information about the War over South Ossetia between Russia & Georgia.  More articles will be added throughout the day…

MSM COVERAGE:

Russian President Halts Attacks on Georgia
– Agence France-Presse (AFP) Newswire – Aug. 12, 2008

EXCERPT:
MOSCOW (AFP) – President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday ordered a halt to Russia’s military offensive against Georgia saying it had been punished but could be hit again.

“The aggressor has been punished and suffered significant losses,” Medvedev told defence chiefs at a meeting on the South Ossetia conflict, which Russia says has left at least 2,000 civilians dead.

“I have taken the decision to end the operation to force Georgian authorities into peace.”

Russian troops and tanks poured in to Georgia after the Georgian army launched an offensive last week to bring South Ossetia, the Russian-backed region which broke away in the early 1990s, back under government control.

The United Nations estimated that more than 100,000 people have been displaced by the fighting.

“The purpose of the operation has been achieved…. The security of our peacekeeping forces and the civilian population has been restored,” Medvedev added while insisting any new Georgian attacks would be “liquidated.”

A senior Russian military commander General Anatoly Nogovitsyn also said the halt in the Russian advance into Georgia would not stop reconnaissance and other operations.

Georgia, which had offered a ceasefire, said several Georgian villages were bombed after the announcement. Russia’s military angrily denied the claim and said Georgian soldiers were still firing at its troops.

In a show of defiance, 100,000 people crammed onto the main Rustaveli avenue of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, where a sea of red and white flags hung above the crowds.

People handed out free T-shirts reading: “We are together, we are united.”

President Mikheil Saakashvili told the crowd that Georgia would quit the Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a grouping of former Soviet states, and urged Ukraine to follow suit.

Read the rest of the article

BLOG ROUND-UP:

McCain Steps Up Criticism of Russia
– Blogs @ The Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com) – Aug. 11, 2008
by Amy Chozick

EXCERPT:

“Americans wishing to spend August vacationing with their families or watching the Olympics may wonder why their newspapers and television screens are filled with images of war in the small country of Georgia. Concerns about what occurs there might seem distant and unrelated to the many other interests America has around the world. And yet Russian aggression against Georgia is both a matter of urgent moral and strategic importance to the United States of America,” he said in a statement while campaigning in Erie, Pa.

The Republican candidate who has largely staked his campaign against Barack Obama on national security called for an emergency meeting of G-7 nations to handle the escalating crisis. He also said NATO should convene an emergency meeting to demand a ceasefire. He said NATO should begin discussing deploying an international peacekeeping force to South Ossetia, one of two separatists regions of Georgia that are pro-Russia.

“What the people of Georgia have accomplished – in terms of democratic governance, a Western orientation, and domestic reform – is nothing short of remarkable. That makes Russia’s recent actions against the Georgians all the more alarming. In the face of Russian aggression, the very existence of independent Georgia – and the survival of its democratically elected government – are at stake,” McCain said.

Read the rest of the article at WSJ.com

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Russian President Says Fighting in Georgia is Over, But is It?

Posted by Admin on August 12, 2008

UPDATE: After days of fighting, and after Russia advanced into Georgia proper from two different regions, Russian President Medvedev has called for a halt to the fighting.  Meanwhile, fighting continues, and Russia has promised to eliminate any remaining Georgian Troops in South Ossetia.

[More commentary later as I catch up…  For now just this thought – I don’t trust Russia as far as a cease-fire goes.  They have their eyes on that pipeline, and they aren’t just going to let it go…]

Here is an excerpt from the latest article in the International Herald Tribune:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


MOSCOW: President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia announced Tuesday that he had ordered a halt to his country’s military operation in Georgia, although he did not say that troops were pulling out and he insisted that Russian forces were still authorized to fire on enemies in South Ossetia.

The president said Russia had achieved its military goals during five days of intense fighting, which has seen Russian troops advance into Georgian territory and which brought strong denunciations from President George W. Bush and other Western leaders.

In a meeting with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov shown on Russian television, Medvedev said: “The goal of the operation has been achieved. The security of our peacekeepers and civilians has been ensured.” But he also told Serdyukov to “eliminate” any enemy remaining in South Ossetia.

“Whenever hotbeds of resistance and other aggressive plans emerge, make the decision and eliminate them,” he said.

The fighting appeared to continue in Georgia on Tuesday — with reports of sporadic bombing and some Russian troops digging in around Georgian cities — and it was uncertain whether Medvedev’s statement would lead to an end to hostilities.

Medvedev took the lead role in announcing the halt to the operations in contrast to previous days when the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, was the dominant public figure in the crisis, even flying to the Georgian border to direct operations.

When asked about the cease-fire, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, a senior defense official, said military actions could continue.

< END EXCERPT > – Read the rest of this Article

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