Voices from Russia

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Abkhazian Front

Filed under: diplomacy,military,politics,Russian,war and conflict — 01varvara @ 00.00

Abkhazian troops carry out operations in the upper reaches of the Kodor Gorge, which is illegally occupied by Georgian forces.

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Today, in accordance with standing agreements with South Ossetia, the Abkhazian forces launched operations against Georgian positions illegally situated in the upper reaches of the Kodor Gorge, according to government sources in Sukhumi. “Air strikes and artillery barrages hit this portion of the gorge”, Kristian Bzhaniya, the official spokesman of the Abkhazian presidential administration reported to our Interfax correspondent. “During this phase of the operation, there is going to be no direct contact by units of the Abkhazian forces. Thus far, our troops have not entered the sector controlled by Georgian formations. Therefore, we were quite amazed to hear Saakashvili’s claim that the Georgian forces had repelled attacks in the Kodor Gorge”. Mr Bzhaniya emphasised that during the escalation of the crisis in South Ossetia, “we observed a build-up in forces. The Georgian side doubled the size of their contingent. Also, there was a deployment of artillery pieces and multiple-rocket-launchers”.

Mr Bzhaniya noted that Georgia ordered general mobilisation and that the government in Tbilisi refused to honour existing treaties and it refused to sign a pledge abjuring the use of force. This created “a new threat of invasion [from Georgia] to Abkhazia”. In the light of these developments, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh decided “to drive the Georgian forces from the upper reaches of the Kodor Gorge”. Therefore, the Abkhazian forces moved into the Galsky raion near the DMZ line. “Following the orders of President [Bagapsh], we decided to move our forces into the DMZ in the Galsky raion”, Mr Bzhaniya stated to journalists on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamb said to Interfax that the actions of the Abkhazian government “were perfectly legal. Abkhazia repeatedly offered to resolve matters by compromise through diplomatic channels, never by force. However, the barbarous actions of Georgia in the last 24 hours give us the right to act as the situation warrants it. The blame lies completely on the Georgian side. We sought a diplomatic solution; in fact, I was busy doing that, myself. We had many talks with western diplomats, explaining the situation to them. However, we had to see to our military preparations. We decided to move our units to the Georgian border and initiate operations, so as to divert as many units of the Georgian forces away from the positions of our South Ossetian brothers.

Early in the morning, our units advanced into the DMZ, previously banned to both the Georgian and Abkhazian forces per previously negotiated agreements. In accordance with their standing orders, the Russian troops of the peacekeeping force stopped our columns so that they would not break the agreement. A request along this line also came from the Russian Foreign Ministry. Our government said that it respected the agreement concerning Kodor Gorge, but, future actions would depend on the development of the situation and the actions of the Georgians. Since the Georgian forces intensified their bombardment of Tskhinvali, we decided to shell Georgian military targets”, Mr Shamb explained. He went on to say that the main objective of the Abkhazian military operation, to draw Georgian forces away from the South Ossetian front, was accomplished for all practical purposes.

Nevertheless, Abkhazia did not order a general mobilisation of reservists to the colours. “Thus far, we have not started this, for we have not found it to be necessary yet”, Kristian Bzhaniya, the official spokesman, said. In any case, he added, if needed, such a mobilisation would be ordered.

As we reported this evening, sources in the high command of the Abkhazian forces told Interfax that rocket strikes were delivered on military targets in western Georgia. The source told us, “This was the second such strike, and the first was launched on Saturday night”.

9 August 2008

Lev Rubin

Interfax

http://www.interfax.ru/txt.asp?id=26143&sec=1484

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Georgian Government Imposes Martial Law

Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze (1970- ), American-educated and it shows

Editor’s Foreword:

This is so Jabberwockian that I had to use “sic” liberally. Saakashvili is utterly disconnected from reality. Photographs document the truth of the Georgian attempt to wipe out the Ossetian people. Mr Saakashvili, what are you smoking, and who’s your supplier? It’s gotta be badass weed…

BMD

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Today, President Saakashvili of Georgia convened a session of the National Security Council to decree the imposition of martial law.

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Today, an extraordinary session of the Georgian parliament unanimously affirmed the decree of President Mikhail Saakashvili imposing martial law throughout Georgia for a period of 15 days, starting on 9 August. After the vote, the chairman of the parliament, David Bakradze, said that the basic rights of citizens shall not be abridged and the state would follow its usual routine of business. Previously, at a session of the National Security Council, Mr Saakashvili said, “I have signed a decree imposing martial law and shall send it to parliament for confirmation, since Georgia has been attacked by Russia (sic)”. He also claimed that Russian air and ground forces were not only deployed in the region of Tskhinvali, but, in Abkhazia as well.

Mr Saakashvili alleged that “a well-planned Russian military operation” was underway in South Ossetia. He asserted, “The central objective of this aggression (sic), especially the air raids, is to create panic in our multi-national Georgian society”. He asked all Georgian government offices to stay at work under the martial law régime. “The aggressors (sic) wish to sow panic in Georgia, but, they shall not get it, since all of society is mobilised against the aggressors (sic), and the Georgian government is acting with a clear intent. Georgia is awaiting a proper reaction from the world community to this Russian aggression (sic)”, he said. Mr Saakashvili alleged that he was conducting intensive negotiations with world leaders and international organisations.

Mr Saakashvili claimed, “We are in contact with all our friends, and there have been two sessions of the UN Security Council devoted to Georgia (where the US and its allies blocked an equitable Russian motion for an immediate ceasefire: editor’s note). Yesterday, I talked with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is involved in the negotiations, and in a short time I am talking with President Bush of the US on the telephone, yesterday, I spoke several times to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. I have had contact with all these presidents and prime ministers. I am calling not only on behalf of Georgia, but, to protest this well-planned cheap provocation (sic). Everyone knows that we did not invade Tskhinvali (!), and, today, Abkhazia is accusing us of preparing to invade there as well”.

Saakashvili alleged, “Today, it is not only the fate of Georgia that is being decided here, but, the fate of the entire world. If at first the Russian propaganda machine (sic) worked well as they claimed that we were bullying the Ossetians, now, everything is clear, and everyone understands that Russia always planned to invade Georgia (!)”. Thus, it is obvious that Georgia is relying on the support of the USA and other western countries to oppose the actions of Russia.

This is clear also in an interview of Lado Gurgenidze posted today on the website of the newspaper Komersant, “I vouch that the president and his assistants have talked with their partners abroad. Such talks have taken nearly all day”. In his view, powers friendly to Georgia shall make overtures to Moscow to resolve the situation. “The major players in the international arena shall speak with Moscow, with each other, and with us, certainly”, Mr Gurgenidze said. In answer to the question, “Does the USA enter into the picture as one of the mediators of the current conflict”, he said, “Yes, certainly”. Concerning the general mobilisation in Georgia, Mr Gurgenidze emphasised that it was a reaction to Russian moves to compel Tbilisi to stand down.

Meanwhile, telephone reports came to Interfax from eyewitnesses in Batum that unmarked NATO military equipment is being sent to South Ossetia in a convoy of lorries. According to these reports, the local population is inclined to support NATO intervention in the South Ossetia conflict. Furthermore, other witnesses report that in the sea near Batum, near the border with Turkey, there are ships loaded with Turkish troops.

9 August 2008

Lev Rubin

Interfax

http://www.interfax.ru/txt.asp?id=26117&sec=1484

Editor’s Afterword:

When I read the above for the first time, I could only think of Secretary of State Cordell Hull’s remarks to Ambassador Nomura of Japan after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. “I have never seen such a document that was more crowded with infamous falsehood and distortion”. Amen. Also, as far as Mr Saakashvili and his scurvy crew are concerned, I echo Mr Hull’s parting jab at the diplomats, “Scoundrels and piss-ants”. THOSE are the proper names for the Georgian murderers of old women and children.

Pray for the souls of the victims of Georgian and American hubris… Why, good Lord, did it come to this? Is global hegemony THAT important?

BMD

Compelling the Georgians to Stand Down

Filed under: military,politics,Russian,war and conflict — 01varvara @ 00.00

South Ossetian militia in positions outside Tskhinvali (2004 photo)

Russian forces freed Tskhinvali from Georgian troops, carrying out “an operation to compel the Georgian forces to stand down”.

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Today, Russian forces expelled Georgian troops from the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, according to General Vladimir Boldyrev, the commander-in-chief of the ground forces at a briefing in Vladikavkaz. “Battalion tactical groups completely cleared Tskhinvali of Georgian forces and are expelling Georgian units from the zone of responsibility of the peacekeeping forces. We are organising the evacuation of wounded Russian peacekeepers and Ossetian civilians to hospitals in the RF”, he said. In addition, he emphasised, “The situation in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone is still very fluid. At present, our units are carrying out operations to compel the Georgians to cease hostilities and they are protecting the local civilian population”.

Meanwhile, South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity, at the headquarters of the South Ossetian Defence Force in Tskhinvali, said to our Interfax correspondent, “Now, the city has been cleared by the South Ossetian forces. We are in complete control of Tskhinvali. The artillery of our forces and of the Russian 58th Army is firing on the heights surrounding the city. The Georgian special ops troops are fleeing South Ossetia in American jeeps, discarding their weapons as they go”.

In turn, the assistant to the commander of the mixed peacekeeping force, Vladimir Ivanov, said, “The Georgian troops in Tskhinvali surrendered their positions to the South Ossetian side, and they were driven from their previously-occupied posts”. He went on to say that a battalion tactical group of the 58th Army cleared all of the Georgian motor-rifle units out of the city. Mr Ivanov added that at present there was fighting near the village of Nikozi. Georgian mortar positions were destroyed and Russian forces were only firing at military targets. “Now, there is still some shelling of Tskhinvali by large-calibre Georgian artillery and Grad multiple-rocket-launchers”, he noted.

As of 13.55 MST (09.55 GMT, 05.55 EDT), Georgian artillery renewed its fire on the positions of the Russian peacekeeping force, our Interfax correspondent reported. “There was shelling of our positions, probably using heavy artillery”, a source said to our correspondent. At 18.00 MST (14.00 GMT, 10.00 EDT), Georgian troops attempted a second assault on Tskhinvali, but, it was easily repelled. President Kokoity of South Ossetia said to Interfax, “Many Georgian combat vehicles were destroyed”.

In the meantime, a Russian airborne unit arrived in Tskhinvali to strengthen the Russian group of forces in South Ossetia, according to Colonel Igor Konashenkov, the assistant to the galvkom (high command) of the ground forces. He also reported that units of the 98th Airborne Division from Ivanovo and Spetsnaz units from the 45th Independent Reconnaissance Regiment from Moscow shall move into the region. “All the airborne troops shall arrive in the battle-zone with their full kit of equipment. In addition, the units shall be reinforced with tanks and artillery”, he said. Colonel Konashenkov further noted that the transfer of the airborne units to the Northern Caucasus would involve over 100 sorties by the VTA (Military Transport Aviation). Colonel Konashenkov also stated, “The airborne troops from Pskov know the area of operations very well, since they repeatedly participated in manoeuvres in adjacent North Ossetia”.

Military sources told Interfax that more than 2,000 airborne troops are being deployed in South Ossetia, organised into four reinforced battalion tactical groups. Today, the assistant chief of the general staff, Colonel General Anatoly Nagovitsyn, emphatically told journalists in a briefing that the Russian forces in South Ossetia are there only for peacekeeping purposes and shall not invade Georgia. A journalist asked him, “Is it possible for us to consider that Russia is in a state of war with Georgia?” General Nagovitsyn said in reply, “All of our planned operations are for the peacekeeping mission, so, we shall carry out only the evolutions necessary for that function”.

Meanwhile, Ruslan Kishmariya, the plenipotentiary of the President of Abkhazia in Galsky raion, reported to our Interfax correspondent today that there was a reinforcement of the Georgian positions all along the Georgian-Abkhazian border. He told us that observers from the Abkhazian side detected several units of BMP infantry combat vehicles and BTR armoured personnel carriers near the villages of Tkaya, Ganmukhuri, and Shamgona. “The presence in the DMZ of military vehicles is a violation of the 1994 Moscow ceasefire agreement. The Abkhazian side intends to inform the representatives of the UN mission and the command of the CIS peacekeeping forces of this violation of the ceasefire accord, and we shall demand the immediate withdrawal of the vehicles from the DMZ”, Mr Kishmariya said. He went on to say that Georgia deployed six Grad multiple-rocket-launchers near Zugdidi. All of these posts are also manned by Georgian infantry, according to Mr Kishmariya. The units of the eastern group of the Abkhazian forces, in accordance with a decision of the Abkhazian Security Council, advanced yesterday into the Galsky raion, concentrating on the outer edge of the DMZ controlled by the CIS peacekeeping force, and were placed on a high alert status, Mr Kishmariya specified.

Today, Georgian President Saakashvili convened a session of the Georgian National Security Council and the decreed the imposition of martial law throughout Georgia.

9 August 2008

Lev Rubin

Interfax

http://www.interfax.ru/txt.asp?id=26093&sec=1484

Abkhazian Forces Attack Georgians in Kodor Gorge

Filed under: military,politics,Russian,war and conflict — 01varvara @ 00.00

Abkhazian forces are carrying out operations against Georgian units stationed in the Kodor Gorge. Abkhazian aircraft, artillery, and special operations forces are all involved in this battle. Kristian Bzhaniya, an official spokesman for the president of Abkhazia, stated that this action was necessary due to the escalation of tension in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone, a situation that the President of Abkhazia brought up several times at the UN Security Council. In May 2006, Georgia illegally stationed its troops in the Kodor Gorge, in violation of the Moscow ceasefire agreement for the separation of the warring sides. After this deployment, Abkhazia suspended negotiations with Georgia on the regulation of their conflict.

9 August 2008

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=rus&q=79704&cid=349&p=09.08.2008

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