Day: August 24, 2008

Timeline of Events in the Russian Invasion & Occupation of Georgia

Service of the Government of Georgia

Timeline of Events in the
Russians Invasion & Occupation of Georgia
As of 13:00, August 24 2008

Subject: Timeline of Events

Timeline of Events in the Russian Invasion & Occupation of Georgia

As of 13:00, August 24 2008

The information below is accurate to the best of our knowledge, but is subject to verification.

24 AUGUST
12:50 Forest is on fire in the surroundings of village Gldani on the outskirts of Tbilisi.

11:30 Georgian police release AP journalists detained by Russian soldiers

• An AP TV crew operating near Poti was arrested this morning by the Russian army because they did not have Russian media accreditation. They were taken to the Georgian police station in Poti and released there.

11:00 US Navy destroyer McFaul enters Batumi port.

10:30 Train carrying petroleum explodes on the railroad west of Gori. • A train carrying 34 tanks of crude oil exploded at about 10:30 near the village of Skra, 7 km west of Gori, when moving from Azerbaijan to Batumi. 13 tanks are burning. The cause is suspected to be a Russian mine: Skra had been under full Russian control until the Russian pull-out of Gori. No casualties reported.

23 AUGUST
12:00 Russian military name the list of check-points in central Georgia.

• Chief of staff of Russian Army Anatoly Nogovitsin names at the press conferense places where Russian intends to organize checkpoints. In violation of the ceasefire agreement they are well out the conflict zone, namely in: Perevi – near Sachkhere; Ali – 90kms from Tbilisi and 7 Km from east-west highway, on the way from Khashuri to Sachkere and South Ossetia; Kvenatkotsa – in Kareli district near Agara, 1 km from eas-west highway; Variani – 10km north of Gori, on the road from Gori to Tskhinvali; Karaleti – 10km north of Gori, on the road to Tskhinvali; Shavshvebi – 40km west of Tbilisi on the east-west Highway, Monasteri – 35 Kms noerth-west from Tbilisi on the way to Akhalgori and 7kms from eastwest highway, Ikoti – 40Kms north-west from Tbilisi near town Akhalgori and 12kms from east-west highway.

11:30 Parliament of Georgia prolongs Martial Law till September 8.

22 AUGUST
20:00 Russian troops are leaving Gori and Khashuri in eastern Goergia and Senaki and Khobi in Western Georgia. Russian troops remain in Poti and village Perevi in Sachkhere district.

19:30 Russian troops explode remaining installations of military base near Gori in village Khurvaleti.

14:30 Russian troops start withdrawal from Igoeti and Kaspi 25kms from Tbilisi towards Gori. Gori remains under Russian control.

14:00 100 armored vehicles start movement from Senaki towards Zugdidi. Russian troops still remain in Senaki and Poti.

12:00 Deputy Chief of Staff of Russian Army Anatoly Nogovitsin states that Russia will keep 18 checkpoints on South Ossetian-Georgian “border” and in “buffer zone”. The same amount of Check points and 2142 soldiers will remain on Georgian-Abkhazian “border”.

10:00 No evidence of Russian troops withdrawal

02:30 Unknown explosive devices explode in Marneuli, under the railway bridge – no damage reported

Russian troops dig entrenchments in village Chuberi near Enguri Power Plant. Military presence of Russian troops reported at the dam infrastructure of power plant.

One Dies in Gori Blast [civil.ge]

One Dies in Gori Blast

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 24 Aug.’08 / 18:31

http://civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=19280

A woman was killed as a result of an explosion of what appeared to be a mine in outskirts of the town of Gori, the Georgian media sources reported on August 24.

A man was badly injured in a separate explosion shortly after the first incident close to the same place.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on August 24 that voluntary return of displaced persons back to Gori and adjacent areas had already started and warned returnees that they should “only go back to areas that have been cleared of mines and declared safe by authorities.”

“IDPs originating from villages and other areas not yet cleared by the authorities should be patient and to refrain from returning as yet,” it said.

The UN refugee agency also said that its team visited Gori this weekend to assess the situation in and around Gori. “UNHCR observed mine clearing actions and the re-establishment of Georgian police control over the town,” it said.

Brodsky on Evil

“Evil, especially political evil, is always a bad stylist.”

“Evil takes root when one man starts to think that he is better than another.”

“The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even –  if you will – eccentricity. That is, something that can’t be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned imposter couldn’t be happy with.”

“Life, the way it really is, is a battle not between Bad and Good but between Bad and Worse.”

“Auden’s lines: ‘Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return’ should be tattooed on every baby’s chest.”

 

Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996)

France, Russia at Odds over Content of Leaders’ Phone Talks [civil.ge]

France, Russia at Odds over Content of Leaders’ Phone Talks

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 24 Aug.’08 / 01:34

http://civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=19277

French and Russian Presidents have agreed to replace Russian forces in so called “buffer zone” outside South Ossetia with OSCE monitors, the French President’s press office said in a statement – something which was strongly denied by the Kremlin.

French President, Nikola Sarkozy, spoke with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, on Saturday evening, August 23.

After the phone conversation the statement was posted on the French President’s website reading: “The two Presidents have agreed on the need to set up an international mechanism under the OSCE aegis to replace Russian patrols in the security zone in the south from South Ossetia.”

The Kremlin, however, has denied having such an agreement and even said that the issue was not at all discussed.

“There was no discussion of an issue related with the replacement of the Russian peacekeeping forces with monitors from OSCE,” the Russian news agencies quoted a statement by the Kremlin. “During the conversation with Nikola Sarkozy, Dmitry Medvedev reaffirmed [Russia’s] readiness to cooperate with OSCE in this zone in accordance to the fifth principles of the [six-point ceasefire accord] developed jointly by the French and Russian Presidents.”

Russia, which is trying to capitalize on a vaguely worded ceasefire accord brokered by the French President on behalf of EU, has set up stationary checkpoints in the southern areas from the breakaway region. One of the checkpoints is about five kilometers away from the town of Gori, on the road to Tskhinvali.

In what appears to be another controversy over the two Presidents’ phone conversation, the Kremlin also said that President Sarkozy “gave positive assessment to the pull back” of the Russian forces “within the timeframe announced by the Russian side.”

The French statement, however, says that Sarkozy urged Russia to completely honor its commitment and fully withdraw troops from deep inside the Georgian territory, in particular from Poti and Senaki.

“President Sarkozy insisted it was important that Russian troops present at the Poti/Senaki area should withdraw as soon as possible,” the statement on the French President’s website reads.

Pillaging

From The Observer (UK):

Georgian officials yesterday took The Observer by helicopter across a landscape of shimmering green pasture and mountain to the steamy port of Poti. Their aim was to show off its destruction by Russian soldiers – and to point out that they were still there.

Russian bombers destroyed Poti’s naval base, killing five people, on the second day of the war. Yesterday, the gun turret of a sunken vessel stuck out above the turquoise water; nearby a white coastguard boat was listing and sunk. Russian soldiers had ransacked the port’s main building, blowing open doors and upturning filing cabinets. One had written on a whiteboard: ‘Georgian bitches. Die pederast cocks’.

‘They turned up in 23 BMP armoured vehicles and took whatever was valuable,’ said Reza Managadze, a port employee. ‘They didn’t even leave us anything to eat.’ In a smashed-up medical room lay a portrait of Georgia’s pro-US president Mikheil Saakashvili. A Russian soldier had stamped on it. He then added one word: ‘Dick’.