Archive for August, 2008


Four days after Medvedev’s announcement occupation still continues

Four days ago Russian president Medvedev announced that the military operation on the Georgian territory has ended. However, the Russian army not only hasn’t left the country but also has increased its presence.

Russians don’t let most of the journalists and organizations inside the zones they’ve occupied.  Moreover, they’ve already killed several journalists, injured more than 10, attacked many of them and even were shooting at a journalist while she was recording a stand-up. They’ve also taken materials away from some journalists and in any other ways made the flow of information from the occupied zones almost impossible.

Despite that, there are many video materials from the borders of the occupied zones. I will tell you about some of the things that happened today and were documented. Even foreign officials had a chance to observe some of these personally:

1) Russian army has blown up a railway bridge and placed TNT under another bridge, which would explode as soon as a train would approach. Special forces were trying to neutralize the danger. Don’t know yet how the story ended.

Georgia is a very mountainous country, so there are not many ways to get from one place to another. Therefore, every road is crucial for communication between various parts.

2) Russian army continued bombing forests with special missiles. As a result, many forests are still burning. This is especially dangerous, taking into account, almost 40% of the Georgian territory is (or already was) covered with forests. According to CNN Russians denied access to Turkish planes which were supposed to help to extinguish the fires. The territories also can’t be accessed from the capital, as Russian army has blocked all the ways.

3) Not only militants have been looting, but also the regular army. Today again we saw lots of Russian trucks loaded with both civilian and municipal property heading towards the conflict zones. We even saw a Russian tank with a stolen bicycle on it. What they aren’t taking away, they are often destroying.

Meanwhile, although Russians aren’t letting anyone into the occupied zones, there are reports from the people who have either escaped or communicated with the capital with a cell-phone. It appears that there are many instances of burning whole villages and kidnapping people towards the South Ossetian conflict zone, not to mention looting.

All these still is taking place, despite Medvedev even has already signed an official agreement to end the “operations”.


Human Rights Watch: Russia exaggerating South Ossetian death toll to provoke revenge against Georgians

Deliberate attempts by the Russian government to exaggerate the number of people killed in the South Ossetia conflict are provoking revenge attacks on Georgian villagers in the breakaway republic.

Read more here:

This is an important prove, that the 1400 deaths announced by the Russian officials, was nothing more than another piece of Russian propaganda. Human rights watch could confirm only 44 deaths in Tskhinvali. At the same time, it’s obvious Georgian forces can’t be solely blamed for these deaths, as Russians were bombing and attacking the town at least for two days, while Georgians were based there. And it’s not a fact, that all the deaths are on the Ossetian side.

At the same time, it is proven by international organizations that about 10,000 Georgians were killed in Abkhazia in 1993, while over 300,000 became refugees.

During the current conflict, just one bombing in Senaki killed about 30 civilians, while many other bombings took about 10 deaths each (in Marneuli, Gori, a bombing of a minibus and many others).

No one knows yet exactly how many Georgians are being killed currently in the places occupied by Russians. Over 30,000 Georgians lived in SO, mostly in the Georgian-controlled part which is now fully occupied by Russians, along with some territories outside of the conflict regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

People who have hidden in forests and escaped Russians this way, are telling that while in some villages Russians are killing people immediately, from other Georgian villages they are kidnapping people towards Ossetian villages.


Russia accuses Georgian leadership of ethnic cleansing

Russian officials accuse Georgian officials of ethnic cleansing and declare them war criminals, saying Georgians killed 1500 civilians in Tskhinvali region.

Russians demanded that Georgian president stepped down and promised to take his case to the Russian court.

It remains unclear, why only Georgian side should be blamed of all the civilian deaths, while the Russian forces were involved in the conflict directly and not only on ground, but also through intensive air attacks.

Moreover, international organizations said the numbers that are being announced by Russian officials were exaggerated. What makes the numbers even more suspicious, is that the numbers announced by Russians never changed since the first day of the conflict. Does that imply that despite the war was going on for several days, not a single person was killed, after Russian military presence became enormous?

Even if we assume that 1500 were indeed killed, the Russian argument still looks very week, taking into account, the Russian army has killed 80,000 civilians just in Groznyi, Chechnya, not to mention the deaths in the rest of the Russian region. Moreover, in case of Chechnya, no other state except for Russia was involved.

Certainly, before declaring Georgian officials war criminals, Russians have to do the same to the Russian officials, including Putin. Putin not only was an official during the war in Chechnya, but the mass killings in Chechnya also contributed significantly to his rating in Russia and to strengthening the imperialistic ideology.

Had the west stopped Russia in Chechnya or earlier in Georgia, in the 1990ies, would then the Georgian nation, including ethnic Ossetians, have to suffer so much? I doubt…


More civilians became victims to Russian bombings after Medvedev ordered cease fire

Today Medvedev declared that Russian operation has ended.

However, later Russian bombs killed at least 6 civilians, including one child, who were traveling a mini-bus not far from Khashuri in central Georgia.

Shortly before Medvedev’s declaration, Russians bombed the center of the city of Gori, killing at least four people, including a Dutch journalist of RTL. There’s also an Israeli journalist among the injured.

More bombings have been reported during the day. These included bombing three Georgian tanks that were on their way back to Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.

Meanwhile, western-Georgian cities Zugdidi and Senaki still remain under Russian occupation, as well as both breakaway regions. Cases of robbery by Russian army in the Georgian cities are already documented by journalists.

Concerning the conflict regions – the remaining ethnic Georgians were ousted from Abkhazia. Russians still haven’t stopped attacking the Kodori gorge, where few Georgian soldiers were remaining together with local population. Most of the civilians have escaped the district, while the rest are being killed. All the remaining population escaped from the Gali district of the Abkhazian region as well.

Also it has been announced that the killing of two Georgian journalists in Tskhinvali by Russians earlier this week was intentional and that this can be proofed.


Russian Army has occupied Georgian town of Zugdidi

Russian army currently controls the Georgian town of Zugdidi and the surrounding villages.

Russians have entered the town from the breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Earlier Russians demanded that the police of the Zugdidi district disarmed itself.

Reportedly, Russians plan to occupy the city of Senaki next.

Over 1000 Russian tanks are already on Georgian territory, including the breakaway regions.


more russian bombings in the capital

Russian bombings still continue. Several bombs fell in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, at about 5 AM (local), when people are sleeping.

Earlier, at about 2 AM Russians bombed 3 villages near Batumi. Batumi is a Georgian port located far from both Abkhazian and South Ossetian conflict regions, near the Turkish border in south-western Georgia.

The impression is that Russians aren’t going to stop, no matter what happens, until they achieve their goals.

Update: other bombings this night included bombings of Gori, villages in Kakheti region, Gardabani, Anaklia, Senaki.


Georgians withdraw their forces but Russian bombings continue

Georgian president already has sent a note to the Russian government, in which he officially agrees to withdraw Georgian forces from both conflict regions.

Earlier Russian government said that it would stop bombing Georgia, if Georgians would leave all the territories which Georgia lost in the year 1992.

Despite that, Russia continues bombing Georgian territory outside of the conflict zone. During last hours bombs fell in the western-Georgian city of Zugdidi and near Tbilisi civilian airport.

Prior to that, the main road connecting eastern and western Georgia was bombed near Gori. Bombs also fall in Kodori gorge and in the Anaklia village in western Georgia. Earlier bombing of the city of Gori caused evacuation of a big part of the population of the city.

The bombing of the Tbilisi airport caused panic among the passengers and flights were postponed. There’s still an expectation of more attacks.