The Russo-Georgian war of 2008: eight years since the invasion

Author : NV.UA

Source : 112 Ukraine

Today Georgia marks 8 years since the beginning of the Russo-Georgian war. In military operations, except for the armed forces of the separatists (supported by Kremlin), also participated the regular troops of the Russian army.
23:18, 8 August 2016

Today, August 8, Georgia marks 8 years since the beginning of the Russo-Georgian war of 2008, the epicenter of which became an armed conflict of separatists and authorities in the Georgian region of South Ossetia. In military operations against Georgia, except for the armed forces of the separatists (supported by Kremlin), also participated the regular troops of the Russian army.

On the night of August 8, 2008, after the shelling of Georgian villages from the side of an unrecognized republic, and after earlier provocations against the official authorities, the restoration of constitutional order in the self-proclaimed republic was announced in Tbilisi. After serious attacks Georgian army took the main part of Tskhinval - the main town of South Ossetia.

However, the Kremlin predictably did not want to accept defeat of the pro-Russian separatists and ahter this Russian armed forces directly intervened in the internal conflict. Russian state media accused Georgia of shelling Tskhinval and on August,7 Russian troops began to approach the conflict zone, and  began to attack on the next day.

During direct land invasion of the Russian army in the country, Russian tank crews entered the territory outside the unrecognized entity of South Ossetia, wedged in the Kodori Gorge. In addition, Russia bombarded Georgian towns, military bases and civilian infrastructure, as well as used its own naval forces. Marines of the Black Sea Fleet took the main Georgian port of Poti and destroyed at the roadstead all the Georgian boats and ships, which had military designation, including the border guards ships.

On August,10 Kyiv warned the Russian side on the participation of the Black Sea Fleet in the conflict around South Ossetia, about what, in particular, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated. On the same day, considering the direct invasion of Russia, official Tbilisi announced the withdrawal of troops from Tskhinval and the unilateral ceasefire. Mikheil Saakashvili signed an armistice plan proposed by the European Union, and in particular French President Nicolas Sarkozy (dated 12 August), the main point of which was the final cease-fire and the return of the parties’ conflict forces to their bases.

Despite Sarkozy's efforts to extinguish the conflict, Russian troops began to actively move deep into Georgian territory - they occupied towns of Gori, Senaki, Poti, cut strategic road linking eastern and western Georgia. On August, 26 Kremlin recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the relevant decree was issued by President Dmitry Medvedev. At the same time, Russian troops have remained in Georgia, that de facto violated Sarkozy’s plan.

At last, after the occupation of parts of Georgia and ethnic cleansing of Georgian villages in South Ossetia a ceasefire agreement with the participation of international mediators was signed. “It’s none of Russia’s business to decide where the borders of Georgia should be", - expressed his attitude to conflict the president of France.

In particular, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgian territory was supposed to end before 1 October 2008, however, de facto, Russian troops remain on the territory of self-proclaimed republics   even today.

As a result of the war, Georgia suffered a military defeat, and for a few weeks has lost control over its significant areas and strategic points. In the most intense moment of confrontation, there was a serious threat of the storming Tbilisi and overthrow of President Saakashvili - this stage required vigorous intervention of intermediaries such as Nicolas Sarkozy.

Video of the Russian invasion:

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