Liberty Rocks

World & US News Round-ups, Commentary & Research Information

War in Georgia News Links: August 13, 2008

Posted by Admin on August 13, 2008

Following is a Round-up of the latest news coming out of Georgia.

Georgian villages burned and looted as Russian tanks advance
Mood of panic as eyewitnesses say ceasefire being broken by Russian military and ‘irregulars’
by Luke Harding, near Gori, Georgia and James Meikle
The Guardian, August 13, 2008 11:40 BST

“People are fleeing, there is a mood of absolute panic. The idea there is a ceasefire is ridiculous,” Luke Harding, the Guardian’s correspondent, said.

Russia denied any advance, however Georgian authorities claimed that about 50 tanks and armoured vehicles were near the strategically important town of Gori.

Harding, watching villages near Gori burn, said witnesses had told him Russian military, including at least 25 tanks, had moved from the Russian-controlled South Ossetia into the villages.

“They asked villagers to hang white flags or handkerchiefs outside their houses if they did not want to be shot, they say.”

The tanks had passed through the village of Rekha at about 11.20am local time. “Behind them (say eyewitnesses) is a whole column of irregulars who locals say are Chechens, Cossacks and Ossetians.

“Eyewitnesses say they are looting, killing and burning. These irregulars have killed three people and set fire to villages. They have been taking away young boys and girls,” said Harding, watching smoke rise from another village, Karaleti. asdfasdfasd

[ END EXCERPT – Read the rest of the article ]

RUSSIAN TROOPS TAKE UP POSITION OUTSIDE GEORGIAN CITY
by C. Calcutt (text)/Robert Parsons reports from Tbilisi, 1 pm – GMT +2
(Video available at link)
France24 – August 13, 2008

A day after warring Georgia and Russia agreed to a ceasefire, the conflict in the Caucasus appears far from resolved.

On Wednesday morning, FRANCE 24 reporters saw a column of Russian Special Forces armoured vehicles move into position on a hill above the Georgian city of Gori and install mortars.

“The Russian forces have climbed a hill dominating Gori and are installing mortars as I speak,” FRANCE 24’s Nicolas Ransom reported, adding that he could not confirm whether the mortars were turned toward the city.

According to Ransom, the Russian soldiers, “are waving their arms and smiling but it is not clear what their intentions are.”

Earlier, Georgia’s president Mikheil Saakahvili scorned Russian claims of a ceasefire at a press conference in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, saying that bombing and “the worst kind of marauding” were continuing in Gori. According to Rancom, the city of Gori was deserted and the Red Cross personnel were leaving town.

[ END EXCERPT – Read the rest of the article ]

RUSSIAN TANKS PATROL GORI IN DEFIANCE OF NICOLAS SARKOZY’S PEACE DEAL
by Damien McElroy, Adrian Blomfield, and Harry de Quetteville
The Telegraph – August 13, 2008

As the EU announced plans to send peacekeeping troops to monitor the ceasefire, Russian troops destroyed an empty Georgian military base in Gori and set up a checkpoint on the road to Tbilisi.

In clear defiance of the spirit of [French President] Sarkozy’s peace deal, Russia appeared to be working to cement a buffer zone for South Ossetia.

A Georgian official claimed that 50 tanks had moved into Gori and South Ossetian snipers were also reportedly in operation in the town.

Georgian troops pulled back from the town of Gori earlier this week and its civilian population has virtually abandoned the streets.

Georgia has also lost its last stronghold in another separatist province, Abkhazia, overnight as its troops withdrew from the Kodori Gorge.

Russian-backed separatist forces took advantage of the Georgian military’s collapse to attack Kodori.

More than 100 Russian military vehicles entered the gorge on Tuesday forcing the Georgian retreat.

[ END EXCERPT – Read the rest of the article ]

EXTRA INFORMATION:

DOWNLOADS:
Map of the Georgia Conflict (
.PDF FILE)

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