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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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Posted in Eastern Europe, France, Georgia (the Country), Latvia, Lithuania, Military, Nuclear Arms, Oil, Poland, Putin, Russia, The Caucuses, Threats Watch, Ukraine, UN Security Council, United Nations, US News, War, War News Clips, World News | Leave a Comment »

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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