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Old 08-08-2008, 01:56 AM
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Default Georgia pounds Russian-backed rebels in The Caucasus

The Caucasus are on the brink of war after Georgian troops launched a full-scale military assault against Russian-backed rebels in an attempt to wrest control of the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Last Updated: 8:30AM BST 08 Aug 2008

Georgian troops, backed by warplanes, pounded separatist forces on the outskirts of the South Ossetian capital hours after launching an assault on the breakaway region following a short-lived truce.
Georgian artillery shelled Tskhinvali, where government and separatists envoys had been due to meet for Russia-mediated peace talks later, and many houses were ablaze.
Russia, the main backer of the separatists who have controlled the region since a war in the early 1990s, accused Georgia of treachery and urged the world community to avert "massive bloodshed."
The crisis fuelled fears of full-blown war in the region, which is emerging as a vital energy transit route and where Russia and the West are vying for influence.
In New York, members of the UN Security Council were to meet in emergency session at Russia's request to discuss the crisis.
Georgian military commanders confirmed an invasion began in the early hours, raising fears of a serious diplomatic crisis between the country's western allies and Moscow.
The United States swiftly called for calm, but appeared to apportion more blame on Moscow and the separatist forces it supports for taking the volatile region to the brink of war.
"We're urging Moscow to press South Ossetia's de facto leaders to stop firing," a US State department official said. "We're urging Tbilisi to maintain restraint."
Just hours after Mikheil Saaskashvili, Georgia's pro-western president, declared a unilateral ceasefire, his armed forces began an artillery barrage against Tskhinvali, the rebel capital.
Military commanders indicated that a full-scale invasion was underway and would not stop until Georgia had regain control of the self-proclaimed republic, which attempted to secede in a bloody war that ended, unresolved in 1994.
In Tskhinvali, thousands of people took refuge from the shelling in make-shift shelters in the cellars of their homes. Russian television showed pictures of houses on fire.
"We have been sitting here for two days already," an elderly woman surrounded by members of her family said.
"It is scary. We don't know whether Georgians are advancing or what," she added nervously trying to fix a candle in the dark vault. "We even did not have time to take radios."
Tensions had been mounting in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another rebel province, ever since Nato promised Georgia that it would one day be allowed to join the alliance. Incensed by the idea of Nato expanding within the former Soviet Union, Russia stepped up its support for both regions.
Relations between Russia and Georgia have been sour ever since Mr Saakashvili was swept to power in 2003 after the Rose Revolution and pursued a determined policy to break free from Moscow's influence.
"The big question is what the Russians are doing," said a senior diplomat.
Georgia repeated accusations yesterday that Russia was continuing to arm and finance the rebels. "The military assistance rendered to the separatists' criminal regime by the Russian Federation, in violation of all agreements, cannot be assessed in any other way than as another act of aggression against Georgia," the Georgian foreign ministry said.
Russia, however, blamed Georgia for the escalation in violence and accused Tbilisi of building up troops along the South Ossetian boundary line.
"We urge the Georgian leadership to show common sense and stop irresponsible military activities in South Ossetia," Grigory Krasin, Russia's deputy foreign minister said. "We view the situation as extremely dangerous. It has indeed reached a stage of unprecedented drama."
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:29 AM
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Nice post Tex...I think Georgian forces are holding a ceasefire today between 11.00-13.00BST today...to let the population leave the combat zones

My questions would be...how well are the Russians arming the rebels?....also how long untill Russsia engages in full scale military actions against Georgia...i think thats a possibility

Im with the Georgia goverment on this...its their territory and should be under their control
Russia should understand the Soviet empire is over....and should keep their noses out of former soviet state affairs

Good on Georgia i say....i just hope the population in the area gets the aid they need..and Georgian military planners plan the strikes well
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:31 AM
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Default Russian tanks enter South Ossetia

Russian tanks have entered Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, says Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.
Georgia has been fighting separatists with ties to Russia in order to regain control of the province, which has had de facto independence since the 1990s.
Georgia is reported to have said any involvement of Russian forces in the conflict will result in a state of war.
Amid international calls for restraint, Russia's president promised to defend Russian citizens in South Ossetia.
Moscow's defence ministry said more than 10 of its peacekeeping troops in South Ossetia had been killed and 30 wounded in the Georgian offensive. At least 15 civilians are also reported dead.

'Clear intrusion'
Georgia's president said 150 Russian tanks and other vehicles had entered South Ossetia.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says he is willing to agree an immediate ceasefire
He told CNN: "Russia is fighting a war with us in our own territory."
Mr Saakashvili, who has called on reservists to sign up for duty, said: "This is a clear intrusion on another country's territory.
"We have Russian tanks on our territory, jets on our territory in broad daylight," Reuters new agency quoted him as saying.
Later, Moscow's foreign ministry told media that Russian tanks had reached the northern outskirts of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.
The Georgian interior ministry said Russian jets had killed three Georgian soldiers at an airbase outside the capital, Tbilisi, during a bombing raid on Friday, Reuters news agency reported.
Russia denied any of its fighters had entered its neighbour's airspace.
Moscow's defence ministry said reinforcements for Russian peacekeepers had been sent to South Ossetia "to help end bloodshed".
Amid reports of Russian deaths, President Dmitry Medvedev said: "I must protect the life and dignity of Russian citizens wherever they are," Interfax news agency reported.
We will not allow their deaths to go unpunished. Those responsible will receive a deserved punishment."

'Ethnic cleansing'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was receiving reports that villages in South Ossetia were being ethnically cleansed.
Mr Lavrov added in televised remarks: "The number of refugees is growing. A humanitarian crisis is looming."
Russia said it would cut all air links with Georgia from midnight on Friday.
Meanwhile Interfax quoted South Ossetian rebel leader Eduard Kokoity as saying there were "hundreds of dead civilians" in Tskhinvali.
Witnesses said the regional capital was devastated.
Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, told AP news agency: "I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars. It's impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged."
US President George W Bush spoke with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin about the crisis while they attended the Beijing Olympics.
Later, the US voiced support for Georgia's territorial integrity and its state department said it would send an envoy to the region.
Nato said it was seriously concerned about the situation, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on all sides to show restraint.
The European security organisation, the OSCE, warned that the fighting risked escalating into a full-scale war.
Georgian Foreign Minister Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili told the BBC it wanted to ensure that any civilians who wanted to leave the conflict zone could do so safely.
International Red Cross spokeswoman Anna Nelson said it had received reports that hospitals in Tskhinvali were having trouble coping with the influx of casualties and ambulances were having trouble reaching the injured.
Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said Georgia had simply run out of patience with attacks by separatist militias in recent days and had had to move in to restore peace in South Ossetia.

Truce plea

Georgia accuses Russia of arming the separatists. Moscow denies the claim.
Russia earlier called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to respond to the crisis, but members failed to agree on a Russian statement calling on both sides to renounce the use of force.
The BBC's James Rodgers in Moscow says Russia has always said it supports the territorial integrity of Georgia but also that it would defend its citizens. Many South Ossetians hold Russian passports.
Hundreds of fighters from Russia and Georgia's other breakaway region of Abkhazia were reportedly heading to aid the separatist troops.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:32 AM
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[URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7549594.stm"]Vid [/URL]of Russian armour moving into S. Osettia
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:00 PM
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The Russians are gonna blow this up into a big one.. No doubt about it.. The Iranians must be laughing their asses off, as the West who have publically supported Georgia will now have to look stupid if they cant do something about it.. I dont like Chess!!!.....
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Exo1 View Post
The Russians are gonna blow this up into a big one.. No doubt about it.. The Iranians must be laughing their asses off, as the West who have publically supported Georgia will now have to look stupid if they cant do something about it.. I dont like Chess!!!.....
This could just be posturing........... Georgia is holding the key hand if they pull back from direct confrontation with Russia....Direct confrontation would result in one winner, so not to Georgia's advantage at all...
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:52 PM
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another fine mess for sure.

not that it wasn't partially predictable.

and now we are about to do what we have always done.
try and convince the opposing sides to meet at
neutral ground and put their diplomats to the same room
together at some point to at very least
ease the humanitarian aid operations
so that this doesnt develope in to a total
blood bath which it is aparently mounting up to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ministry of Foregin Affairs of Finland
Foreign Minister Stubb continues diplomatic efforts warranted by the situation in Georgia
Press release 279/2008
8 August, 2008

Fighting in South Ossetia, Georgia, escalated last night. Therefore, today Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb has continued the talks with the parties of the conflict and other key actors.

By yesterday evening, Stubb had been in contact to both Tbilisi and Tskhinvali, urging the parties to stop any military action and to try and restore direct talks instead. He also discussed with EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

In the morning, the Foreign Minister discussed with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and EU High Representative Javier Solana. Today, Stubb will continue the discussions by contacting foreign ministers of Russia, the United States, France, Germany and Georgia, and the representatives of South Ossetia.

In addition, Foreign Minister Stubb has decided to deploy his Special Envoy Ambassador Heikki Talvitie immediately to Georgia, and he is also himself getting prepared to travel to the region. Stubb will interrupt his holiday trip to Italy and take a return flight to Finland tomorrow morning.
direct quote from our Ministry of Foregin Affairs website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo1
The Russians are gonna blow this up into a big one.. No doubt about it.. The Iranians must be laughing their asses off, as the West who have publically supported Georgia will now have to look stupid if they cant do something about it.. I dont like Chess!!!.....
too many people are bad at the Russian kind of chess i think.

this move to the South-Ossetia is very Russian style clockwork move.
Saakashvili should have seen this coming the moment he's troops entered South-Ossetia.
He relies totally on the western international community to solve this.

as always this conflict is partly fueled by ethnic disputes as the Ossetians
spread across the border to the Russian side.
(thus the russian claims of ethnic clensing are very inciting in the region despite
them right or wrong.. this is just another very basic and calculated Russian move.

(off topic.. Russian minister said very reacently that we are trying to poison the
Russian minority in Estonia because we are sending food-aid to their poor..
which mostly consist of Russians aparently. this alligation rested solely on the fact
that the food we have stored is getting old... donno.. use your common sense?
are we trying to poison the poor Russians in Estonia by rather giving the food to them
than to let it rot?)
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torspo[fin] View Post
another fine mess for sure.

not that it wasn't partially predictable.

and now we are about to do what we have always done.
try and convince the opposing sides to meet at
neutral ground and put their diplomats to the same room
together at some point to at very least
ease the humanitarian aid operations
so that this doesnt develope in to a total
blood bath which it is aparently mounting up to be.



direct quote from our Ministry of Foregin Affairs website.



too many people are bad at the Russian kind of chess i think.

this move to the South-Ossetia is very Russian style clockwork move.
Saakashvili should have seen this coming the moment he's troops entered South-Ossetia.
He relies totally on the western international community to solve this.

as always this conflict is partly fueled by ethnic disputes as the Ossetians
spread across the border to the Russian side.
(thus the russian claims of ethnic clensing are very inciting in the region despite
them right or wrong.. this is just another very basic and calculated Russian move.

(off topic.. Russian minister said very reacently that we are trying to poison the
Russian minority in Estonia because we are sending food-aid to their poor..
which mostly consist of Russians aparently. this alligation rested solely on the fact
that the food we have stored is getting old... donno.. use your common sense?
are we trying to poison the poor Russians in Estonia by rather giving the food to them
than to let it rot?)
It's about oil transit routes and controlling them!
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas View Post
It's about oil transit routes and controlling them!
one could bring out the fact that US has those kinds of interests too.
resources are always the sugartopping of any dealings.
its just how the thease are deals come down.

Nowadays Russia likes to play with the "Ethnicity card" a lot
when it comes to business and eventually politics.
Its a harsh card to deal to the table since we all know
what it may spark.

how ever.. as you said. its basicly about resources,
and they don't come without influence which again
is not that guarenteed without certain alligements
in key areas.

same old.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas View Post
Russian tanks have entered Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, says Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.
Georgia has been fighting separatists with ties to Russia in order to regain control of the province, which has had de facto independence since the 1990s.
Georgia is reported to have said any involvement of Russian forces in the conflict will result in a state of war.
Amid international calls for restraint, Russia's president promised to defend Russian citizens in South Ossetia.
Moscow's defence ministry said more than 10 of its peacekeeping troops in South Ossetia had been killed and 30 wounded in the Georgian offensive. At least 15 civilians are also reported dead.

'Clear intrusion'
Georgia's president said 150 Russian tanks and other vehicles had entered South Ossetia.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says he is willing to agree an immediate ceasefire
He told CNN: "Russia is fighting a war with us in our own territory."
Mr Saakashvili, who has called on reservists to sign up for duty, said: "This is a clear intrusion on another country's territory.
"We have Russian tanks on our territory, jets on our territory in broad daylight," Reuters new agency quoted him as saying.
Later, Moscow's foreign ministry told media that Russian tanks had reached the northern outskirts of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.
The Georgian interior ministry said Russian jets had killed three Georgian soldiers at an airbase outside the capital, Tbilisi, during a bombing raid on Friday, Reuters news agency reported.
Russia denied any of its fighters had entered its neighbour's airspace.
Moscow's defence ministry said reinforcements for Russian peacekeepers had been sent to South Ossetia "to help end bloodshed".
Amid reports of Russian deaths, President Dmitry Medvedev said: "I must protect the life and dignity of Russian citizens wherever they are," Interfax news agency reported.
We will not allow their deaths to go unpunished. Those responsible will receive a deserved punishment."

'Ethnic cleansing'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was receiving reports that villages in South Ossetia were being ethnically cleansed.
Mr Lavrov added in televised remarks: "The number of refugees is growing. A humanitarian crisis is looming."
Russia said it would cut all air links with Georgia from midnight on Friday.
Meanwhile Interfax quoted South Ossetian rebel leader Eduard Kokoity as saying there were "hundreds of dead civilians" in Tskhinvali.
Witnesses said the regional capital was devastated.
Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, told AP news agency: "I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars. It's impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged."
US President George W Bush spoke with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin about the crisis while they attended the Beijing Olympics.
Later, the US voiced support for Georgia's territorial integrity and its state department said it would send an envoy to the region.
Nato said it was seriously concerned about the situation, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on all sides to show restraint.
The European security organisation, the OSCE, warned that the fighting risked escalating into a full-scale war.
Georgian Foreign Minister Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili told the BBC it wanted to ensure that any civilians who wanted to leave the conflict zone could do so safely.
International Red Cross spokeswoman Anna Nelson said it had received reports that hospitals in Tskhinvali were having trouble coping with the influx of casualties and ambulances were having trouble reaching the injured.
Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said Georgia had simply run out of patience with attacks by separatist militias in recent days and had had to move in to restore peace in South Ossetia.

Truce plea

Georgia accuses Russia of arming the separatists. Moscow denies the claim.
Russia earlier called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to respond to the crisis, but members failed to agree on a Russian statement calling on both sides to renounce the use of force.
The BBC's James Rodgers in Moscow says Russia has always said it supports the territorial integrity of Georgia but also that it would defend its citizens. Many South Ossetians hold Russian passports.
Hundreds of fighters from Russia and Georgia's other breakaway region of Abkhazia were reportedly heading to aid the separatist troops.
See i knew this would happen...its been on the cards for a while now..i think other former soviet states should take note..Moscow can dress it up however they want..but for me this is an invasion..Russian top brass say they are sending in Armour to surport their peacekeepers..they can try and sell the world that rubbish..but for me its clear as day..self propelled artillery???...this situation will escalate...and their are reports of Russian airstrikes on airbases near Tbilisi...and in my opinion if the UN cant force a truce...this situation will mean all out war...Russia want the state of Caucasus to be recognized by the IC...for there own ends clearly..i wait and see what our reaction is,Georgia want NATO membership...lets how much we really care about Georgia
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