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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Russian invasion to Georgia - What's going on?

You probably already heared about heavy fightings going on in Georgia, where the country tries to stop invaded Russian troops and bombing of Georgian towns and cities.

I would like to provide you with additional information for better understanding of what is going on, because western media commonly provides biased information copied from Russian media resources.

1. Russian preparations. There were repeated attempts to explore the situation in both Georgian conflict regions during the last four years. Usually these were bombings of Georgian villages or police stations near the conflict regions by “separatists” but obviously directed by Russian forces based in the regions since 1992. After some European countries blocked providing of MAP to Georgia and Ukraine, Russia openly declared that Georgia and Ukraine will “commit problems”. During the Russian military trainings in the northern Caucasus last July, the leaflets were spread among Russian soldiers with description of a negative image of Georgian soldier, the main potential enemy.

2. Situation in the conflict region of South Ossetia. Reading existent information sources, one can gain an impression that Georgia tried to invade the breakout region for recovering the central power (although legal, but somewhat questionable attempt), and Russians were just answering this with military power. I then must briefly explain the situation prior to the war. The conflict region is a small area at the southern slopes of the Great Caucasus, with the total population of 70,000, approximately 50% of that are ethnic Ossetians and another 50% - ethnic Georgians, the groups very close culturally and historically. The capital town Tskhinvali has a population of ca. 20,000. By the end of the conflict of 1991, Georgia retained its control over approximately half of the region, mostly parts were Georgian or mixed villages dominate (including the area just around Tskhinvali) but also an important part of Ossetian villages, and these parts were fully integrated in the rest of the country without any time gap. Similar situation exists in Abkhazia, where albeit lesser (ca. 15%) mountain part is controlled by the central government.

3. The situation prior to the war. Wide-scaled provocations have started since beginning of July, where positions of “separatists” (in fact Russian paramilitary troops) started bombing of large Georgian villages around Tskhinvali. This provoked backfire from Georgian military based near the villages. At 6th of August the paramilitaries backed by Russian “peacekeepers” started to attack the Georgian villages, with a clear aim to withdraw Georgians and spread Russian power over the areas currently controlled by the country. Saakashvili, Georgian president, tried to ceasfire afternoon 06 August, but this was followed by activation of the attack on the Georgia-controlled part of the region. Simultaneously, Russian tanks started to invade the region from north, via Roki tunnel passing through the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Georgian government had just no way but starting the offensive on the paramilitary fire positions and, eventually, Tskhinvali town.

4. Russians, after several hours, invaded large military groups with heavy weapons, and started to bomb Georgian infrastructure. Thus Georgian troops had already to face regular Russian military forces.

5. Since 8th August, Russian military plains started to bomb Georgian infrastructure throughout the entire country and civil objects. The Georgian towns and objects bombed: - Gori (ca. 40,000 population), both military objects and living appartments bombed, bombings multiple and especially heavy as of 9th August, 55 civil dead for two days;- Poti town (ca. 30,000), Georgian only large port; multiple civil casualties;- Marneuli town/airport (ca. 70,000);- Senaki (ca. 10,000) (railway station/civil buildings)-Oni (ca 10,000)-Tbilisi (Vaziani military base and surrounding area)- Kutaisi (second largest city of Georgia, ca. 300,000), the airport/surrounding appartments;- Parts of Abkhazia controlled by the central government, high mountain villages;- currently the information comes that the Russians plant to bomb Tbilisi international airport.

Georgian troops, according to the official reports, shot down 10 Russian plains since last two days, including strategic bombarder TU-22 and smaller military plains SU-25 and SU-27. The pilots were shown on TV and currently questioned.Russians move to the Georgian coast large military vessels. Paramilitary groups in Abkhazia tried to take control over Upper Abkhazia but failed. Tskhinvali is a subject of heavy battles between regular troops of Georgia and 58 army of Russia. Georgia yet cannot control strategically important Roki tunnel, although effectively controls largest part of the conflict epicenter. We here have little doubts that if Russians take over, they won’t stop and will occupy Georgia and pose the puppy government in the country, moreover, split it in several parts as a potentially dangerous for “Russian geopolitical interests”.

Therefore Georgians try to stay strong, and resist bombings and casualties. However the time to resist is limited, because Russian military machine is quite big. In this case the invaders will success, and there is little doubt that they will continue – first Ukraine, than the other countries they assume their “natural sphere of interests”, from Poland and Finland eastwards.It is critically important that the international community intervenes in that or another way. Starting from diplomatic efforts and finishing with providing anti-aircraft weapons to Georgian Army. walker(from forum)