Russia Vs Georgia..a widening crisis!


Finn McCool

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Georgia Attacks South Ossetia, War With Russia Looms

Heavy fighting in South Ossetia

Night-time pictures of heavy shelling

Georgian forces and South Ossetian separatists have been exchanging heavy fire just hours after agreeing to a ceasefire and Russian-mediated talks.

Russian media reports said Georgia had launched a tank-led attack on the separatist stronghold of Tskhinvali, and airstrikes on rebel positions.

Georgia says it aims to finish "a criminal regime" and restore order.

At least 15 people are reported dead. Moscow called on the world community to work "to avert massive bloodshed".

At Russia's request, members of the UN Security Council are holding a rare emergency session to discuss a response to the escalating violence.

The BBC's Matthew Collin in Tbilisi says there has been a series of huge explosions and rocket fire in and around Tskhinvali.

Hundreds of fighters from Russia and Georgia's other breakaway region of Abkhazia are reportedly heading to aid the separatist troops.

'Perfidious step'

South Ossetian rebel leader Eduard Kokoity told Russia's Interfax news agency that Georgia had launched an all-out attack on the town of Tskhinvali, in what he called "a perfidious and base step".

Caucasus on alert
Clashes reignite war fears
The head of Georgian peacekeepers in South Ossetia said the operation was intended to "restore constitutional order" to the region.

The Georgian Minister for Integration, Temur Yakobashvili, said Georgia's aim was not to take over the territory but to finish "a criminal regime".

Days of fierce conflict have raised fears of a new war in the volatile Caucasus.

In a televised address, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili earlier called for the bloodshed to end, but also warned the Russian-backed separatists not to try Tbilisi's patience.

A truce was later announced, with emergency talks set for Friday, but by nightfall, both sides were trading heavy fire.

Georgia accuses Russia of arming the South Ossetian authorities - who have been trying to break away since the civil war in the 1990s. Moscow denies the claim.

President Saakashvili has vowed to restore Tbilisi's control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The Ossetians have traditionally had good relations with Russia, and North Ossetia is part of the Russian Federation.

Russia is hostile to Georgia's ambition to join Nato and has accused Georgia of building up its forces around the breakaway regions, where Russian peacekeeping troops are deployed.
The Georgian Army is launching a full offensive against the seperatist enclave of South Ossetia. The fighting centers on the town of Tshkinvali for now.
Russia has called an emergency meeting of the Security Council which indicates to me they will not rescue South Ossetia. Abkhazia seems to be the redline for the Russians.
 

Finn McCool

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Re: Georgia Attacks South Ossetia, War With Russia Looms

The Georgians have made quick progress.
Georgia surrounds rebel capital

Georgian jets attack separatists in South Ossetia

Georgian troops are nearing the capital of the separatist region of South Ossetia after a night of heavy shelling and air strikes on rebel positions.

...
From the BBC.
 

Finn McCool

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Re: Georgia Attacks South Ossetia, War With Russia Looms

[Georgia announces full military mobilization 4 minutes ago



TBILISI, Georgia - Georgia's president is announcing a full military mobilization as Georgian troops have moved to regain control over the separatist province of South Ossetia.

Mikhail Saakasvhili says in a televized statement that his government will be calling up reservists as fighting is continuing to rage in South Ossetia's capital.

The move comes as the United Nations Security Council failed to agree early Friday morning on a statement drafted by Russia that would have called on Georgia and its separatist region in South Ossetia to immediately put down their arms.
The Georgians are serious about finishing this fight quickly before too many Russian "volunteers" can join the fight.

From AP.
 

Jeff Head

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Re: Georgia Attacks South Ossetia, War With Russia Looms

The Georgians are serious about finishing this fight quickly before too many Russian "volunteers" can join the fight.

From AP.
Russian jets have apparently become involved and bombed a Georgia airbase:

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I have since heard that Georgia has shot down a number of Russian jets and that a Russian column of tanks is moving into Georgia.

This is not good. There are US troops in Georgia as we speak training the Georgian forces.

This has very ugly potential and I hope and pray it can be quelled before it goes there.
 

bd popeye

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Re: Georgia Attacks South Ossetia, War With Russia Looms

Here are some photos I just posted in another military forum. This situation could become very very bad.









In these images, made from television, Russian military vehicles are moving towards the breakaway South Ossetia republic's capital, Tskhinvali, on Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. Russia's Defense Ministry says it has sent reinforcements to its peacekeepers deployed to South Ossetia to help end bloodshed. Georgian officials confirmed that the Russian convoy had crossed the border and was advancing toward Tskhinvali. Georgia launched a massive attack Friday to regain control over South Ossetia, using heavy artillery, aircraft and armor. South Ossetian officials said at least 15 people were killed Friday and an unspecified number were wounded.





Russian aircraft attacks a Georgian position near the city of Tskhinvali, 100 km (62 miles) from Tbilisi, August 8, 2008. Georgia's interior ministry said three Russian jets entered Georgian airspace and "dropped bombs" at two locations just south of breakaway South Ossetia, where fighting raged on Friday.




Georgian troops move towards the South Ossetian border in an unknown location in Georgia on August 7, 2008.


In this image, made from television, what Russian Channel 1 claims, a convoy of Georgian troops moving towards Tskhinvali in the South Ossetian enclave in Georgia on Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. Georgian troops launched a major military offensive Friday to regain control over the breakaway province of South Ossetia, prompting a furious response from Russia, which vowed retaliation and sent tanks into the region.




Georgian troops ride in armoured personnel carriers during the conflict with separatist South Ossetian troops at an unnamed location not far from Tskhinvali on August 8, 2008. Georgia is taking measures to prevent Russian "mercenaries" from infiltrating the country, its prime minister said as Georgian forces attacked the Russian-backed breakaway province of South Ossetia.


In this picture made off APTN video footage, Georgian multiple rocket launchers are seen at a position south of Tskhinvali, Friday morning, Aug. 8, 2008. The capital of Georgia's separatist region of South Ossetia came under heavy fire early Friday, just hours after Georgia's president declared a unilateral cease-fire.


Georgian artillary troops fire at seperatist South Ossetian troops from an unnamed location not far from Tskhinvali on August 8, 2008.


A Russian NTV channel television grab shows Georgian helicopters engaging separatist South Ossetian troops over an unnamed location not far from Tskhinvali on August 8, 2008. Georgia is taking measures to prevent Russian "mercenaries" from infiltrating the country, Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said as Georgian forces attacked the Russian-backed breakaway province of South Ossetia.


In this image, made from television screen, what Russian First Channel claims - are burning Georgian armored vehicles are seen in Tskhinvali in the South Ossetian breakaway region of Georgia on Friday, Aug. 8, 2008.
 

Jeff Head

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Re: Georgia Attacks South Ossetia, War With Russia Looms

WOW! Unbelievable images and a very serios, deadly situation with huge potential for escalation both there, and in the entire surrounding region.

Hopefully, seriuos, direct negotiations can lead to a quick cease fire and pull back.

But with that amount of resource already committed and fighting ongoing...both sides will want to make sure any such cease fire favors them...which means it is much harder to arrange.
 

Finn McCool

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Re: Georgia Attacks South Ossetia, War With Russia Looms

Well I just read that Georgia is recalling it's contingent of 2000 troops from Iraq. It seems to me that the Russians have two choices. They can try to recapture Tshkinvali, or they can do that AND press the attack, into Georgian territory.

The Georgian Air Force is in mortal peril in the next few hours/days. If the Russians want to sweep them from the sky, they could. The Mig-25 seems to be their only dedicated air-to-air platform, and they only have 18 of them.
 

Neutral Zone

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Re: Georgia Attacks South Ossetia, War With Russia Looms

A very serious situation. Everyone is familiar with Checneya but there are a number of conflicts in the former USSR that have been suppressed but not formally ended like Abkhazia, Trans-Dniester and Nagorno-Karabakh, it was perhaps inevitable that one of them was going to flare up in a major way. Common sense needs to prevail here and quick, Georgia is the site for a major oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which is the main export route for oil from Azerbaijan to the West. Prolonged conflict could send oil prices soaring, although there are a lot of national interests and pride at stake here I doubt that there is much appetite in Washington and Moscow for a direct military confrontation.

I don't mean to make light of a serious situation but the cynic in me can't help but think that the timing of this might have something to do with today's events in Beijing. :mad:
 

SampanViking

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Re: Georgia Attacks South Ossetia, War With Russia Looms

IMHO not only very cynical timing by the Georgians but also a serious miscalculation. By crossing the South Ossetia border, they have given the Russians a genuine Casus Belli and now the fighting has started they have nothing to lose (and much to gain) by pushing all the way to Tbilisi and installing a pro Kremlin regime and thwart US ambitions in the Caucuses probably forever.

Is Georgia counting on US aid or direct military assistance? I really dont see it as big powers never face off directly. It looks as though Georgia has been a gamble and one that has'nt paid off.

This could potentially though still be a side show and a close eye on the Ukraine is strongly recommended!
 

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