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.
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