Day: June 9, 2009

Russian general admits Kremlin prepared for August invasion of Georgia

In an interview published on the website of Ekho Moskvy, Major-General Vyacheslav Borisov, the deputy head of Russia’s paratroop forces who commanded the paratroopers during the conflict in South Ossetia and and the invasion of other parts of Georgia, has confirmed that Moscow was preparing to invade Georgian territory long before August 8 2008.

From The Messenger:

“…General Shamanov was in command of the troops being sent in the direction of Abkhazia and I commanded those sent to South Ossetian and Georgia. As you know, we had regularly conducted trainings in those regions, our troops had gained considerable experience of the terrain. We had conducted trainings on those territories, exactly there, one week before and had only just left the area, which is why we could conduct the march to Tskhinvali much better than the central and regional troops. For us, this did not entail any sort of difficulty. We also dealt with certain other matters in a much better way, and this was noted by the leadership of the armed forces, the Head of the General Staff and the Defence Minister…” said Borisov in part of his interview, as quoted by the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

“We are hopeful that this additional confession made by yet another Russian aggressor, will help the international commissions come to adequate conclusions when they seek the truth about the 18-year undeclared war conducted by Russia against Georgia, the last episode of which took place on August 7, 2008,” says a special statement made by the Foreign Ministry on its official webpage on June 6.

Russia claims Umarov has been killed

Reuters reports an unidentified source in Russian law enforcement agencies as saying on Monday (via Interfax and Itar-Tass) that Caucasus Emirate leader Dokka Umarov has been killed by Russian forces “on the territory of one of the republics of the North Caucasus”.

Axisglobe now says that according to Russian sources the body has not yet been identified,

In 2006 the Moscow-backed Chechen government claimed that Umarov had surrendered, though this proved to be erroneous.

On June 4 Russia’s Channel One reported that President Dmitry Medvedev held a meeting with FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov – the current situation in the North Caucasus was at the top of the agenda, and Bortnikov is thought to be under pressure to achieve results.

Update: Reuters (via Moscow Times) has Ramzan Kadyrov  saying that Umarov was severely wounded —  “too early to say” whether he was killed.