Timeline of the 2008 South Ossetia war


Timeline of the 2008 South Ossetia war

The 2008 South Ossetia war started on August 7, 2008 and involves Georgia, Russian Federation, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Military conflict - Timeline

The tensions have been escalating through the year of 2008, but the countdown to the open hostilities starts with a bombing of a Georgian police car near the Eredvi village east of Tskhinvali, with five policemen wounded by the blast. According to one source, the bombing happened on the 31st of July, [http://www.novayagazeta.ru/data/2008/58/09.html С чем Грузия подошла к войне] ref-ru- "The condition of Georgia as it enters the war", Novaya Gazeta, 10 Aug 2008.] another names the date of August the 1st. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4545980.ece The new cold war hots up] - Sunday Times, 17 Aug 2008] A chain of reactions and counter-reactions followed.

Overview Timeline

Events prior to August 2008 are described in Georgian–Ossetian conflict.

* July 31 - Two roadside bombs made out of 122mm shells hit a Georgian police Toyota SUV near the Georgian village of Eredvi. Six Georgian policemen were wounded. [http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2373294]
* August 1 - Late evening, intense fighting began between Georgian troops and the forces of South Ossetia. Georgia claimed that South Ossetian separatists had shelled Georgian villages in violation of a ceasefire. South Ossetia denied provoking the conflict. A South Ossetia leader and Russian command of peacekeepers reported that a South Ossetia militiaman was killed by sniper fire from Georgia at 6:17pm and the at least 3 other people were killed by sniper fire around 9pm. [http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18871 Six Die in S.Ossetia Shootout] , "Civil Georgia", 2 August 2008. ( [http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:IBMRO4zYhk4J:www.civil.ge/eng/article.php%3Fid%3D18871+%22Six+Die+in+S.Ossetia+Shootout%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a Google cache] )]
* August 2 - South Ossetians started to evacuate into Russia.
* August 5 - Russian ambassador Yuri Popov warned that Russia would intervene if conflict erupted. [cite news |date=2008-08-06 |url=http://www.tol.cz/look/TOL/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=281&NrSection=1&NrArticle=19821 |title=Talking Through Gritted Teeth |work=Transitions Online BBC Monitoring] [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7543099.stm |title=Russia vows to defend S Ossetia |publisher=BBC News |date=2008-08-05 ] Dmitry Medoyev, a South Ossetian presidential envoy, declared in Moscow: "Volunteers are arriving already, primarily from North Ossetia" in South Ossetia. [ [http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:hP3H7LWp00MJ:www.interfax.com/3/416284/news.aspx+http://www.interfax.com/3/416284/news.aspx&hl=de&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=de] , "interfax" August 5 2008 (English version - google cache)] [ [http://www.interfax.ru/politics/news.asp?id=25175] , "interfax online" August 5 2008 (Russian version)]
* August 7 - President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered Georgian troops to cease fire. [cite news |url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080807/wl_afp/georgiarussiasossetiaunrest_080807155613 |title=Georgia orders ceasefire in rebel region, calls for talks |publisher=AFP |date=2008-08-07 ] [cite news |url=http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/28621 |title=Georgia and South Ossetia announce ceasefire |publisher=RussiaToday |date=2008-08-07 ]
According to Georgian military, despite the declared ceasefire, fighting intensified. [cite news |url=http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12929792&PageNum=0 |title=S Ossetia fights Georgian troops out of occupied height |publisher=Itar-Tass |date=2008-08-06 ] cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7546639.stm |title=Heavy fighting in South Ossetia |publisher=BBC News |date=2008-08-08 ] Hours after the declaration of the ceasefire, in a televised address, Mikheil Saakashvili vowed to restore Tbilisi's control by force over what he called the "criminal regime" in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and reinforce order.
* August 8 - During the night and early morning, Georgia launched a military offensive to surround and capture the capital of separatist Republic of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali [http://jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2373298 The goals behind Moscow's Proxy Offensive in South Ossetia] , The Jamestown Foundation, 8 August 2008] thus breaking the terms of the 1992 ceasefire and crossing into the security zone established thereincite web|url=http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/fs/53721.htm|title=US Dept of State on South Ossetia] . According to Russian military, some Russian peacekeepers have been killed during this attack [ [http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL8187260 Reuters: Over 10 Russian peacekeepers killed in S.Ossetia-agencies] ] . The heavy shelling, which included Georgian rockets being fired into South Ossetia [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7571096.stm Ossetian crisis: Who started it? by BBC News Online] ] left parts of the capital city in ruins, causing a humanitarian crisisFact|date=August 2008 which Russian government sources claimed amounted to genocide. The news of the shelling was extensively covered by Russian media prior to the military reaction that followed, as Russia claimed to have responded in defense of South Ossetians against what they called "a genocide by Georgian forces."cite web|url=http://www.hindu.com/2008/08/11/stories/2008081156011500.htm| title= Medvedev, Putin accuse Georgia of genocide] Russia claimed up to 2,000 dead in Tskhinvali following the shelling.citeweb|publisher=Channel 4|url=http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/2000+dead+in+conflict+between+georgia+and+russia/2389772|title='2,000 dead' in conflict between Georgia and Russia|accessdate=2008-08-08] The extent of civilian casualties was later disputed in a number of sources. ["WSJ" [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121874784363742015.html Evidence in Georgia Belies Russia's Claims of 'Genocide'] retrieved on August 15 2008] President Saakashvili later claimed that the Russian side has deployed tanks into the disputed region before he gave the order for Georgian forces to attack, [cite news|url=http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/25ec7414-723c-11dd-a44a-0000779fd18c.html|title=Saakashvili:Russia deployed tanks before Georgia attacked|publisher=Financial Times] but before UN Georgia will claim that Russian forces have entered South Ossetia only on August 8 in 05:30 am [http://www.undemocracy.com/S-PV-5952/page_2] . At Russia’s request, the United Nations Security Council held consultations on 7 August at 11pm (US EST time), followed by an open meeting at 1.15am (US EST time) on 8 August, with Georgia attending. During consultations, Council members discussed a press statement that called for an end to hostilities. They were unable, however, to come to a consensus.citeweb|publisher=UN Security Counsil Report|url=http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/site/c.glKWLeMTIsG/b.4423477/#CM|title= UN Security Counsil Update Report|accessdate=2008-08-15] . In the morning, Georgia announced that it had surrounded the city and captured eight South Ossetian villages.citeweb|publisher=AFP|url=http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jy0s0tG42xwDFY5Uy_9JhazKqgEA|title=Heavy fighting as Georgia attacks rebel region|accessdate=2008-08-07] An independent Georgian TV station announced that Georgian military took control of the city.citeweb|publisher=APA|url=http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=86390|title=Georgia starts military operations in South Ossetia|accessdate=2008-08-07]
Russia sent troops across the Georgian border, into South Ossetia. In five days of fighting, the Russian forces captured the regional capital Tskhinvali, pushed back Georgian troops, and largely destroyed Georgia’s military infrastructure using airstrikes deep inside the smaller country's territory.cite web|url = http://www.hindu.com/2008/08/13/stories/2008081355031500.htm |title = The Hindu : International : Status quo not possible: Moscow |accessdate = 2008-08-13]

* 9 August - An action in the Black Sea off Abkhazia resulted in one Georgian missile boat being sunk by the Russian Navy. The Russians claimed that the Georgian ships entered the security zone of the Russian war ships, and the action of the Russian Navy was in accordance with international law. After the skirmish, the remaining Georgian ships fled in defeat.
A second front was opened by the military of the Georgia's separatist Republic of Abkhazia in the Kodori Valley, the only region of Abkhazia that was, before the war began, still in effective control of Georgian loyalists.
Most international observers began calling for a peaceful solution to the conflict. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7552016.stm|publisher=BBC News|date=2008-08-10|accessdate=2008-08-12|title=Western words fall on deaf Russian ears|last=Kendall|first=Bridget] The European Union and the United States expressed a willingness to send a joint delegation to try and negotiate a cease-fire. [ [http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2008/08/08/violents-affrontements-en-ossetie-du-sud_1081796_3214.html#ens_id=1036786&xtor=RSS-3208 La Géorgie et la Russie s'affrontent pour le contrôle de l'Ossétie du Sud] . "Le Monde". 9 August 2008]
* August 11 - Russia ruled out peace talks with Georgia until the latter withdrew from South Ossetia and signed a legally binding pact renouncing the use of force against South Ossetia and Abkhazia.cite web|url = http://www.hindu.com/2008/08/11/stories/2008081150550100.htm |title = The Hindu : Front Page : Georgia pulls out forces |accessdate = 2008-08-11]
On that night, Russian paratroopers deployed in Abkhazia carried out raids deep inside Georgian territory to destroy military bases from where Georgia could send reinforcements to its troops sealed off in South Ossetia. Russian forces entered and left the military base near the town of Senaki outside Abkhazia on the 11th, leaving the base there destroyed. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/world/europe/12georgia.html Russian Forces Capture Military Base in Georgia] , "The New York Times", August 11 2008] Gori was shelled and bombed by the Russians as the Georgian military and most of residents of the Gori District fled. [cite news
url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/2542751/Georgia-Chaos-and-panic-as-people-flee-the-Russian-advance.html
title=Georgia: Chaos and panic as people flee the Russian advance -
publisher=The Telegraph
date=2008-08-12
accessdate=2008-08-13
last=Blomfield
first=Adrian
] [cite news
url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/2546100/Russians-shells-Gori-despite-claims-Georgia-conflict-is-over.html
title=Russians shells Gori despite claims Georgia conflict is over - Telegraph
publisher="The Daily Telegraph"
date=2008-08-12
accessdate=2008-08-13
last=Blomfield
first=Adrian
] [ [http://www.humanrightswatch.org/english/docs/2008/08/14/georgi19625.htm Russian Cluster Bombs Kill Civilians] "HRW"] Since Gori is along Georgia's main highway, its occupation by Russian forces, combined with destruction of a railway bridge, cut Georgia's lines of communication and logistics in two.
* August 12 - Russian President Medvedev said that he had ordered an end to military operations in Georgia. [cite news |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/world/europe/13georgia.html |title=Russia Orders Halt in Georgia as Fighting Continues |work="The New York Times" |date=2008-08-12 ] Later on the same day, Russian president Medvedev approved a six-point peace plan brokered by President-in-Office of the European Union, Nicolas Sarkozy, in Moscow; both sides were to sign it by the 17th.cite news|title=Russia 'backs Georgia peace plan'|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7557457.stm|publisher=BBC News|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12]
Russian troops drove through the port of Poti, and took up positions around it. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/world/europe/13georgia.html Russia, in Accord With Georgians, Sets Withdrawal] , "The New York Times", August 13 2008, retrieved August 15]
* August 13 - All of the remaining Georgian forces, including at least 1,500 civilians in the Kodori Valley, had retreated to Georgia proper. [cite news
url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gDNLWfQWKrQc48pITBUg9KT_6oVwD92H8MT80
title=Georgian troops leave Abkhazia, Russians in Gori
publisher=Associated Press
date=2008-08-13
accessdate=2008-08-15
] [cite news
url=http://www.iwpr.net/?p=crs&s=f&o=346164&apc_state=henh
title=Abkhaz Open "Second Front"
publisher=Institute for War & Peace Reporting
date=2008-08-14
accessdate=2008-08-15
]
Russian tanks were seen at Gori. Russian troops were seen on the road from Gori to Tbilisi, but turned off to the north, about an hour from Tbilisi, and encamped. Georgian troops occupied the road six miles (about 10 km) closer to Tbilisi. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/world/europe/14georgia.html Bush, Sending Aid, Demands That Moscow Withdraw] , "The New York Times", August 13 2008] [ [http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/G/GEORGIA_ROAD_TO_TBILISI?SITE=ALANN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Russian feint toward Tbilisi shows truce fragile] , Associated Press, Aug 13, 4:27 PM EDT]
* 14 August - Efforts to institute joint patrols of Georgian and Russian police in Gori broke down due to apparent discord among personnel. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/world/europe/15georgia.html Russia Vows to Support Two Enclaves, in Retort to Bush] , "The New York Times", August 14 2008] [ [http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/G/GEORGIA_RUSSIA?SITE=VASTR&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Russia: 'Forget' Georgian territorial integrity] , Associated Press, Aug 17, 7:52 AM EDT] [ [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gTixpvigH9KqyxiYCosiqaIn1OQAD92I76M01 Russian tanks deter Georgian entry to Gori] , Associated Press, August 15 2008]
* August 15 - Reuters stated that Russian forces had pushed to 34 miles (55 km) from Tbilisi, the closest during the war; they stopped in Igoeti coord|41|59|22|N|44|25|04|E, an important crossroads. According to the report, 17 APCs and 200 soldiers, including snipers, participated in the advance; the convoy included a military ambulance, and initially, three helicopters.Fact|date=August 2008 A Reuters witness said the Russian military convoy advanced to within 55 km (34 miles) of Tbilisi on Friday. That day, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also traveled to Tbilisi, where Saakashvili signed the 6-point peace plan in her presence. [cite news
url=http://www.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUSLF7284720080815
title=Russian convoy moves deeper inside Georgia: witness
publisher=Reuters
date=2008-08-15
accessdate=2008-08-15
first=James
last=Kilner
] [cite news
url=http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL768040420080815?sp=true
title=Georgia signs peace deal, West condemns Russia
publisher=Reuters
date=2008-08-15
accessdate=2008-08-15
first=David
last=Alexander
coauthors=Oleg Shchedrov
]
* 16 August - The Russians had occupied Poti, as well as military bases in Gori and Senaki. [cite news
url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/16/georgia.russia1
title=Six days that broke one country - and reshaped the world order
publisher="The Guardian"
date=2008-08-16
accessdate=2008-08-16
first=Ian
last=Traynor
] [cite news
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7562959.stm
title=Russia in control and on the move
publisher=BBC News
date=2008-08-16
accessdate=2008-08-16
first=Richard
last=Galpin
]
* August 17 - the BBC's Richard Galpin, who has spent the past two days travelling from the Black Sea port of Poti to Tbilisi, says Georgian forces seem to be surrendering control of the highway to the Russians. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7566199.stm (BBC)] ] According to BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse, there is a "much-reduced" Russian military presence in Gori and lorries can be seen delivering humanitarian aid. But he says Russian soldiers still control the town's key entry and exit points. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7566199.stm Russia pledge on Georgia pull-out] BBC Retrieved on 17-08-08]
Referring to a major ground exercise Russia held in July, just north of Georgia’s border, Dale Herspring (an expert on Russian military affairs at Kansas State University) described Russia's intervention as being "exactly what they executed in Georgia just a few weeks later... a complete dress rehearsal". [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/world/europe/17military.html Russians Melded Old-School Blitz With Modern Military Tactics] "The New York Times"]
* August 19 - The Russian forces in Poti took prisoner 21 Georgian troops who had approached the city. They were taken to a Russian base at Senaki; there is dispute whether they were later released. ["The New York Times": [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/world/europe/20georgia.html Russian Forces Detain Georgian Soldiers at Port] , accessed 19 August 2008.]
Some Russian armour left Gori for an uncertain destination. [Associated Press, [http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/G/GEORGIA_RUSSIA?SITE=IADES&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Russian soldiers take prisoners in Georgia port] , National Public Radio, [http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=93730380&m=93730128 Russia says it's Withdrawing, but Troops Stay Put] (audiofile) both accessed 19 August 2008.] On the same day, Russian and Georgian forces exchanged prisoners of war. Georgia said it handed over 5 Russian servicemen, in exchange for 15 Georgians, including two civilians. [cite news
url=http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Georgia/idUSLJ34288420080819?sp=true
title=Russian, Georgian forces exchange prisoners
publisher=Reuters
date=2008-08-19
accessdate=2008-08-22
first=Margarita
last=Antidze
coauthors=Matt Robinson
]

* August 22 - At least 40 Russian armoured personnel carriers left Gori; other Russian troops remained in Georgia proper and dug in ["The New York Times", [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/23/world/europe/23georgia.html Russia Says It Is Pulling Out of Georgia, but Troops Remain] ] the outskirts of Poti with a checkpoint manned by 20 men on the main road, while a Reuters reporter apparently saw a checkpoint in Karaleti 6 km north of Gori. At a news conference Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn insisted "These patrols were envisaged in the international agreement, Poti is outside of the security zone, but that does not mean we will sit behind a fence watching them riding around in Hummers." [cite news
publisher=RIA Novosti
url=http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080823/116235138.html
title=Russian troops to patrol Georgian port of Poti - Gen.Staff
date=2008-08-23
accessdate=2008-08-23
] President Sarkozy thanked President Medvedev for fulfilling commitments concerning the withdrawal of Russian troops. While stressing the importance of early withdrawal of Russian military presence on the axis Poti / Senaki. [cite web
publisher=French Presidency
url=http://www.elysee.fr/documents/index.php?mode=view&lang=fr&cat_id=8&press_id=1732
title=Interview with the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Dimitri Medvedev
date=2008-08-23
accessdate=2008-08-23
]
*August 23 - Russia declared the withdrawal of its forces to lines it asserted fulfilled the six points: into Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and the "security corridor" around South Ossetia. The bulk of its forces left Georgian soil altogether; yet, checkpoint installations remained on the main road from Tbilisi to Poti where it passed within 8 kilometers of South Ossetia; two Russian outposts remained outside Poti. ["New York Times", [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/23/world/europe/23georgia.html Russia Pulls the Bulk of Its Forces Out of Georgia] , [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/world/europe/24georgia.html Georgia Prepares for Refugees; Russians Declare Pullback Finished] , both accessed August 24 2008 ]

Detailed Timeline

August 1 – August 6: Buildup

Beginning late on August 1, intense fighting began between Georgian troops and paramilitary soldiers of South Ossetia, causing the deaths of six people and injuring 21 others. The six killed were Ossetian militiamen, taken down by the big-caliber sniper rifles used for the first time by the Georgians. Each side accused the other of commencing the fighting. On 3 August, the Russian government and the head of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, instructed South Ossetians to begin evacuation into Russia, which resulted in twenty bus-loads of refugees leaving the region on the first day. [ [http://www.1tv.ru/owa/win/ort6_main.main?p_news_title_id=125640&p_news_razdel_id=9 Вывезли из-под огня. В Россию прибывают беженцы из Южной Осетии] . "Channel One". 3 August 2008. ru icon] The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported 1,100 refugees arrived in North Ossetia by bus to escape the violence. [cite web
title = UN holds emergency meeting on Georgia conflict
publisher = United Nations
date = 8 August 2008
url = http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=27629&Cr=georgia&Cr1=
accessdate = 2008-08-07
]

On August 4, it has been rumored that five battalions of the Russian 58th Army were moved to the vicinity of Roki Tunnel that links South Ossetia with North Ossetia. [ [http://www.tol.cz/look/TOL/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=281&NrSection=1&NrArticle=19821 Talking Through Gritted Teeth] . BBC Monitoring, 6 August 2008 ] However, later an unnamed U.S. defense official said that there was no obvious buildup that indicated an invasion [ [http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gj_jyRnqBYekXz2MyszBj6k_ZMtw AFP] ] and his statement is latter confirmed by OSCE report [http://02varvara.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/osce-report-points-finger-at-georgia-for-south-ossetia-crisis/]

On 6 August, Georgia said it had lost an APC and that three Georgian soldiers had been wounded. [ [http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18924 Georgia Says its Armoured Vehicle Blown Up] , "Civil Georgia", 7 August 2008 See also: [http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080807/wl_afp/georgiasossetiarussiaunrestbattle_080807131144 Georgia reports 'large-scale battles' in rebel region] , AFP, 7 August 2008] Four people were killed that night and Georgia resumed shelling at daybreak. Residents once again began evacuating areas of South Ossetia and Georgia moved tanks, artillery, and troops to the border. [ [http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/28607 Georgia shells its breakaway republic] , "Russia Today", 7 August 2008 See also: [http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/28601 Georgian tanks head for South Ossetia] , "Russia Today", 7 August 2008] The Georgian Interior Ministry reported that as many as ten Georgian soldiers had died in the clashes throughout 7 August. [cite web|url = http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=245768 |title = Georgia, rebel region to hold talks after clashes: report |accessdate = 2008-08-09 TurkishPress.com, AFP 7 August 2008]

August 7:Georgian attacks of Tskhinvali

According to the articles at Russian media [ [http://www.permnews.ru/story.asp?kt=2912&n=453 Soldiers from Perm are in the epicenter of war] , "News of Perm", 08.08.2008. A Russian soldier called home: "We moved there [to South Ossetia] on August 7. All of our 58th army." ] [ [http://www.newsru.com/russia/11sep2008/voshli.html Russian army entered South Ossetia before the beginning of military action] NEWSru.com Sept 11, 2008.] all of 58th Russian Army already were at South Ossetia on August 7. Another article reports that at least some parts of 135th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the army got orders to move there. [ [http://74.125.39.104/search?q=cache:http://www.redstar.ru/2008/09/03_09/2_03.html Life Goes On] , Red Star, an official newspaper of Russian Ministry of Defense, September 3, 2008 According to a Russian soldier in a hospital: "We received an emergency order to urgently move to Tskinvali on August 7. We came there, set up everything, and very soon, on August 8, this all started..." ]

According to the The New York Times investigation Georgia provided intercepted cellphone records which according to Georgian side were recorded on August 7 morning and provide evidence that some parts of 135th Regiment of 58th Russian Army moved through the Roki tunnel that morning. The regiment is a supplier of Russian peacekeepers at the region. Western intelligence determined independently that two battalions of the 135th Regiment moved through the tunnel to South Ossetia either on the night of August 7 or the early morning of August 8, according to a senior American official. General Uvarov, the senior Russian official, said that as the Georgians began their attack, about 100 reserve peacekeepers from the 135th Regiment were put on alert and moved close to the tunnel. They were ordered through the tunnel to reinforce forces in Tskhinvali around dawn on August 8 [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/16/world/europe/16georgia.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin Georgia offers fresh evidence on war's start] The New York Times Sept 15, 2008.] .

Authorities of breakaway South Ossetia said number of injured persons as a result of overnight and early morning intensive fire increased to eighteen on its side. And the Georgian Interior Ministry said two from the Georgian battalion of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces were injured after the Georgian villages of Eredvi, Prisi, Avnevi, Dvani and Nuli came under mortar fire late on August 6. The South Ossetian side reported that 18 persons, including one 88-year-old man and four women, were injured after the Ossetian villages of Khetagurov, Dmenisi, Sarabuki, and Ubiat, as well as the outskirts of the capital Tskhinvali, came under “massive shelling.” Initially the South Ossetian side said early on August 7, that six persons were injured. The South Ossetian side has also claimed that the shootout resumed in the region at about 10am local time on August 7. It said that the South Ossetian village of Ubiat in the Znauri district came under fire. [ [http://civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18914 20 People Injured in S.Ossetia Shooting] Civil.ge Daily New Online August 7, 2008.]

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that "mercenaries and military hardware" are moving through the Roki Tunnel, which joins Russia's North Ossetia to South Ossetia, to support the separatists. South Ossetia claimed on Thursday afternoon that large numbers of Georgian troops were moving towards the breakaway republic's de facto border. [cite news |url=http://en.rian.ru/world/20080807/115873654.html
title=Georgia calls on Russia to ensure talks with S.Ossetia
publisher=RIA Novosti
date=2008-08-07
]

At 19:10 Georgian President Saakashvili, ordered a unilateral ceasefire [ [http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18931 Saakashvili Appeals for Peace in Televised Address] , "Civil Georgia", 7 August 2008] . Saakashvili called for talks "in any format," reaffirmed the long-standing offer of full autonomy for South Ossetia, proposed that Russia should guarantee that solution, offered a general amnesty, and pleaded for international intercession to stop the hostilities.cite web|url=http://jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2373298|title=The goals behind Moscow's Proxy Offensive in South Ossetia] Georgia reiterated that it was prepared to engage in direct talks with the de facto government of South Ossetia without any preconditions.

Following Saakashvili’s address, according to Jamestown Foundation report [http://jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2373298 The goals behind Moscow’S proxy offensive in South Ossetia] ] , attacks on Georgian villages intensified. The village of Avnevi was almost completely destroyed, Tamarasheni and Prisi shelled, and the police station in Kurta, seat of the Sanakoyev administration, smashed by artillery fire. Civilians began fleeing the villages. South Ossetia denies any such late-night bombardment. OSCE monitors in Tskhinvali also did not record any outgoing heavy artillery fire from the South Ossetian side at that time, according to a Western diplomat with access to the organization's on-the-ground reporting. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/16/AR2008081600502_pf.html]

At 10:35 p.m. Georgian forces began another artillery assault on Tskhinvali. The Georgians used 27 rocket launchers, including 152-millimeter guns. Three brigades began the nighttime assault. cite news | title = The West Begins to Doubt Georgian Leader| publisher = Der Spiegel | date = 15 September 2008 | url = http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,578273-2,00.html | accessdate = 2008-09-15 ] The official reason given for this, according to the commander, Mamuka Kurashvili, was to respond to the above-mentioned attacks against Georgian villages. Kurashvili stated that the purpose of the operation was to restore constitutional order in the region.ru icon [http://www.1tv.ru/owa/win/ort6_main.main?p_news_title_id=125801&p_news_razdel_id=9 Обстановка в зоне грузино-осетинского конфликта накалена до предела] , "Channel One", 7 August 2008] This caused an increased number of refugees to cross into Russia. [Antidze, Margarita. [http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Georgia_starts_operation_in_South_Ossetia.html?siteSect=143&sid=9444482&cKey=1218143244000&ty=ti Georgia troops and rebels clash after brief truce] , Swissnews, 7 August 2008.] Interfax quoted South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity as saying his forces were confronting Georgians in the outskirts of Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia; he noted that fierce fighting was under way.Fact|date=August 2008 In a televised address, Georgian President Saakashvili has vowed to restore Tbilisi's control over what he called the "criminal regime" in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and reinforce order. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7546639.stm Heavy fighting in South Ossetia ] ."BBC". 8 August 2008.]

At 23:30 on August 7, according to the one of the sources at Georgian Government, about 100 Russian armored vehicles and Russian troops invade Georgia, crossing the Roki Tunnel from Russia into Georgia [http://embassy.mfa.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=461&info_id=7484] but before UN Georgia will claim that Russian forces have entered South Ossetia only on August 8 in 05:30 am [http://www.undemocracy.com/S-PV-5952/page_2] . Another sources at Georgian Government agree with the later time. [ [http://www.mfa.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=461&info_id=7347 Timeline by 13 August 16:20] Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of Georgia] [ [http://smr.gov.ge/en/press_office/all_news 11 August 2008, Timeline of Russia Aggression on Georgia] Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Reintegration]

Around 00:53 on August 8 (local time, 20:53 August 7 UTC), Georgian forces began shelling the route along which refugees were being moved from the city. [ru icon [http://www.rian.ru/incidents/20080808/150178662.html Грузинская сторона обстреливает дорогу, которая ведет из Цхинвали в РФ] , "RIA Novosti", 8 August 2008] As the day progressed, Russian media reported that at least fifteen civilians had been killed in Tskhinvali. The Georgian Army crossed the border of South Ossetia on the early hours of August 8 after overnight bombardment of Tskhinvali by heavy artillery (howitzers), 122 mm multiple-launch rocket systems "Grad", and large-caliber mortars. Tanks and APC supported by artillery launched a thrust towards Tskhinvali. Opposed by South Ossetian forces, Georgians advanced and by the end of August 8 controlled a significant portion of the city. At 04:45 (00:45 UTC), Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Temuri Yakobashvili announced that Tskhinvali was nearly surrounded, and that Georgia controlled two-thirds of South Ossetia's territory.cite web
url=http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12933348&PageNum=0
title=Tskhinvali almost surrounded - Georgian official
publisher=ITAR-TASS
archiveurl=http://www.webcitation.org/5a2Sg0FSE
archivedate=2008-08-13
date=2008-08-08of
] The result of Georgian night-day offensive was more than 1,600 civilians killed according to South Ossetian sources, but only about 100 according to Georgian. [http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/09/georgia.ossetia/index.html CNN news] ]

According to the President of North Ossetia-Alania, Taimuraz Mamsurov, a number of Sukhoi Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft of the Georgian Air Force attacked what he described to be a humanitarian aid convoy en route from Vladikavkaz. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/08/georgia.russia1 Georgia accuses Russia after jets bomb South Ossetia border area] Guardian August 08 2008 08:34 BST] [ [http://www.novayagazeta.ru/news/302612.html Новая Газета] Новая Газета 08.08.2008 08:50 "... колонну разбомбили. Пока я не могу сказать о погибших и раненых, но это были грузинские Су-25"] Mamsurov, who had accompanied the convoy and witnessed the attack, was unharmed. Earlier, he told the Interfax news agency that hundreds of armed volunteers from North Ossetia were heading to the Tskhinvali area. [ [http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18945 Hundreds of ‘Volunteers’ Head for S.Ossetia –N.Ossetian Leader] . "Civil Georgia". 8 August 2008.]
Abkhazian leader Sergei Bagapsh said that volunteers from Abkhazia were on the way to help the South Ossetians. [http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12933218&PageNum=0 Abkhazian volunteers hurry to help SOssetia - president] . "Itar-Tass". 8 August 2008. Accessed on: 8 August 2008.] It was later announced that an unspecified number of Abkhazian army units had advanced to the border of the arms limitation zone between Abkhazia and Georgia. [ [http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12933526&PageNum=0 Abkhazian army units advance to arms limitation zone with Georgia] . "Itar-Tass". 8 August 2008.]

August 8: Russian involvement

The Ambassador of Russia to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin called an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council at 1:15am (New York time) where an exchange of accounts was made with the ambassador for Georgia.UN document |docid=S-PV-5951 |date=8 August 2008 |type=Verbatim Report |body=Security Council |meeting=5951 |accessdate=2008-08-14] After the meeting there was a stakeout outside of the Security Council for journalists. Churkin explained that he had brought a short statement to the Council asking for its approval. He reported that council members were willing to call on the parties to the conflict to stop the hostilities but that some of the members would not agree to the renunciation of the use of force, as Russia was asking. Churkin said he had warned the council over the past few days about a Georgian military buildup in South Ossetia and condemned Tbilisi's refusal to renounce the use of force to settle its dispute with its breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. [ [http://georgiandaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5345&Itemid=129&lang=en UN fails to agree statement on South Ossetia fighting] Georgian Daily, Agence France Presse, August 08, 2008]

On the morning of 8 August, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was in Beijing attending the 2008 Summer Olympics, condemned the "aggressive actions" by Georgia and said that Russia would be compelled to retaliate. [http://www.afp.com/english/news/stories/newsmlmmd.9a925eb591bfe404730dee97a82c07ed.861.html Putin vows retaliation for Georgian action in South Ossetia] . "AFP". 8 August 2008.] By 09:30, President Medvedev convened an emergency session of government officials to consider Russia’s options regarding the conflict. [ [http://www.kremlin.ru/sdocs/news.shtml#205022 Дмитрий Медведев проводит экстренной совещание в связи с ситуацией в Южной Осетии.] Kremlin.ru. 8 August 2008 ru icon]

Half an hour later, Georgian sources reported that three Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft flew into the Georgian airspace and dropped two bombs close to a police station near the town of Kareli, which borders South Ossetia. [ [http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18953 Georgia Says Russian Jet Bombed Kareli] . "Civil Georgia". 8 August 2008.] The source also reported that the nearby city of Gori suffered a brief Russian air strike, with no casualties. [ [http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18957 Official: Warplane Drops Bomb Outside Gori] . "Civil Georgia'. 8 August 2008.] Russian authorities rejected these reports, but a Daily Telegraph correspondent later reported that he saw unidentified jets near Gori, and the Georgian military described them as "Russian warplanes". [cite news |first=Adrian |last=Blomfield |title=Georgia conflict: Roar of war as jets fill the air |url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/2525094/Georgia-conflict-Roar-of-war-as-jets-fill-the-air.html |work=Daily Telegraph |publisher=Telegraph Media Group |date=2008-08-08 |accessdate=2008-08-08]

By 11:40, Saakashvili mobilised the Georgian reserve troops amid what he referred to as "a large-scale military aggression" by Russia and called for Russia to stop "bombardment of the Georgian towns". [ [http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18955 ‘Most of S.Ossetia Under Tbilisi’s Control’ – Saakashvili] . "Civil Georgia". 8 August 2008.] Contradicting a Georgian report, the Russian Ministry of Defence denied that a Russian fighter plane had been shot down above Georgian territory, calling it "informational provocation". [ [http://www.interfax.ru/news.asp?id=25855 Россия называет сообщения о сбитом в Грузии самолете РФ информационной провокацией] . "Interfax". 8 August 2008.] A spokesman for the Russian forces in South Ossetia said that Georgian shells directly hit barracks in Tskhinvali, killing 12 Russian soldiers and wounding 30. [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080809/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_south_ossetia_51;_ylt=AlWwPLLrVBWISNS3zbn.uBz9xg8F Georgia reports new air attacks at military bases] . "AP". 8 August 2008.]

Acoording to General Uvarov, the senior Russian official, the first Russian combat unit — the First Battalion of the 135th Regiment — did pass through the Roki Tunnel at 2:30 p.m. The battalion, he said, did not reach Tskhinvali until the next evening, having met heavy Georgian resistance. Georgia disputes that account, saying it was in heavy combat with Russian forces near the tunnel long before dawn.Fact|date=September 2008

Georgia reported that they offered a three-hour ceasefire starting 15:00 local time (11:00 UTC), to let civilians leave the besieged capital of Tskhinvali. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7548715.stm|title=Georgia offers rebels ceasefire] However, at 10:29 UTC, Marat Kulakhmetov, commander of the Russian forces in the region, said that "these are further lies from the Georgian side. No corridor for civilians has been opened." [ [http://www.interfax.ru/news.asp?id=25865 Командующий миротворцами: жителям Цхинвали не предоставили "коридора безопасности"] . "Interfax". 8 August 2008. ru icon] The Russian Ministry of Defence reported that the Georgians had killed at least 10 Russian soldiers and wounded 30 in the first shelling of their base at the city; [ [http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/peacekeepers/ Lenta.ru] ru icon] later that number was revised to 13 killed and 70 wounded. A column of Russian tanks from the 58th Army began moving to Tskhinvali to help.cite web|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/march/|title=Lenta.Ru: На Цхинвали движется колонна российских танков] Saakashvili said that the Russian column consisted of 150 tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and other equipment. A press video from 8 August showed Russian T-72 tanks, BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, and 152 mm 2S3 self-propelled howitzers moving south into the conflict zone.cite news
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7548715.stm
title=Russian tanks enter South Ossetia
publisher=BBC
date=2008-08-08
accessdate=2008-08-09
] cite news
url=http://www.rferl.org/content/Large_Scale_Fighting_Erupts_In_South_Ossetia/1189442.html
title=Large-Scale Fighting Erupts In South Ossetia
publisher=Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
date=2008-08-08
accessdate=2008-08-09
] Russian media reported that the Georgian army was falling back from Tskhinvali and Russian Su-24 bombers and Su-27 fighters were in complete control of the airspace above Tskhinvali. [http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/stopsheling/ Lenta.Ru: Georgian army forces falling back from Tskhinvali] ru icon] [http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/strikes/ Lenta.Ru: Russian airplanes are bombing Georgian army positions] ru icon] Kulakhmetov said that as a result of Georgian heavy bombardment, Tskhinvali is almost totally destroyed. Gas pipes, a hospital, and other objects of infrastructure were hit. According to France Press, at 12:00 UTC the National Security Council of Georgia (through a statement of Council Secretary Alexander Lomaia) declared that if messages about Russian tanks in South Ossetia are confirmed, then Georgia would declare war on Russia. [cite web|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/stateofwar/|title=Lenta.Ru: Грузия пригрозила России войной] Russian tanks entered Tskhinvali shortly after, and by nightfall Russian and South Ossetian forces controlled a large part of the city. [ [http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/shooting/ Lenta.Ru: Russian tanks entered Tskhinvali] ru icon]

The Georgian Interior Ministry said that a Russian fighter dropped two bombs on the Vaziani Military Base, near Tbilisi. [ [http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18965 Georgia Says Russian Jet Drops Two Bombs on Vaziani Base] . "Civil Georgia". 8 August 2008.] Russian fighters also bombed a military airfield in Marneuli, near Tbilisi. [ [http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=18967 Reports: Russian Jet Bombs Military Airfield in Marneuli] . "Civil Georgia". August 8, 2008.] At least four people were killed and another five wounded in the air strike in Marneuli, [cite web|url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080808/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_south_ossetia_33;_ylt=ApfhfHIM6eAc2VkF2e7MtOIwvGUD|title=
] while three Georgian soldiers were killed at Vaziani. According to the source in the Russian Ministry of Defense, "the warplanes attacked only military targets: military base in Gory' Vaziani and Marneuli airfields, where [Georgian] Su-25 and L-39 airplanes are based, and the radar station convert|40|km|mi|spell=us from Tbilisi".cite news |first=Olga|last=Allenova|title=Первая миротворческая война|url=http://www.kommersant.ru/doc-y.aspx?DocsID=1009540|publisher=KommersantЪ|date=2008-08-08 |accessdate=2008-08-09|language=Russian] When asked why Russian warplanes entered Georgian airspace well before Russian government approved the involvement in Southern Ossetia conflict, the officer responded, "According to the orders from the higher command."

Saakashvili initially said that Georgia was pulling its 2,000-strong troop contingency from Iraq. The head of Georgia's Security Council, Kakha Lomaia, later clarified that only 1,000 troops were being redeployed, telling Reuters, "We have already communicated to our American friends that we are going to withdraw half our contingent of soldiers in Iraq within days because we are under Russian aggression." [citeweb|publisher=Reuters|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSL8127046|title=Georgia says to withdraw 1,000 soldiers from Iraq |accessdate=2008-08-08] According to Georgia, the United States will provide the aircraft for transportation - a move that could risk U.S. involvement into the conflict; U.S. officials only said that all transportation options were being explored. [cite web|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article4491866.ece|title=Georgia pulls 1,000 troops from Iraq - Times Online]

After the opening ceremonies in Beijing for the Olympics, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said to U.S. President George W. Bush that a real war had begun in Ossetia, to which Bush replied that no one wanted war, and Putin added that it is difficult to maintain peace in the Caucasus. [cite web|url = http://www.agi.it/world/news/200808082043-cro-ren0125-art.html |title = Agi News On - Georgia: Putin |accessdate = 2008-08-09]

In New York a second emergency session of the United Nations Security Council was convened by the ambassador for Georgia where he detailed the "premeditated military intervention" following Russia's "well-calculated provocation". [ UN document |docid=S-PV-5952 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5952 |page=2 |anchor=pg002-bk08 |date=8 August 2008 |speakername=Mr. Alasania | speakernation=Georgia (country) |accessdate=2008-08-14 ] The Russian ambassador responded with news of the "treacherous attack on South Ossetia" by Georgian forces and reports of ethnic cleansing in the villages [ UN document |docid=S-PV-5952 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5952 |page=3 |anchor=pg003-bk02 |date=8 August 2008 |speakername=Mr. Churkin | speakernation=Russia |accessdate=2008-08-14 ]

Washington refused to support a Russian-backed resolution in the United Nations Security Council calling for an end to the fighting because of its opposition to a clause calling on all sides to "renounce the use of force". This persuaded Russia that Washington was backing Georgia's "right" to take military action. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/south-ossetia-10.htm GlobalSecurity timeline] Globalsecurity Retrieved on 15-08-08]

August 9: Escalation

Russian media reported heavy gunfire between Russian and Georgian troops continued through the night, [cite news|url=http://palm.newsru.com/world/08aug2008/again.html|title=Стрельба в Цхинвали возобновилась: российские миротворцы ведут бой с грузинскими войсками|language=Russian See also: cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/more/
title=В Цхинвали погибли 12 российских миротворцев
accessdate=2008-08-08
language=Russian
] and CNN stated that an airfield near Tbilisi was bombed in the early hours of the day. [cite news
url=http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/08/georgia.ossetia/index.html
title=Fighting with Russia spreads to cities across Georgia
publisher=CNN
date=2008-08-08
accessdate=2008-08-08
]

Before morning Russian planes bombed the Senaki military base killing 13 Georgian soldiers and wounding another 13. The base itself was mostly destroyed.cite news
url=http://korrespondent.net/world/548399
title=Russian airplanes destroyed the Senaki military base
publisher=Korrespondent.Net
date=2008-08-09
accessdate=2008-08-09
]

At 06:27 UTC, Reuters reported that two Russian fighters had bombed Georgian artillery encampments near Gori. [cite news
url=http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L9268000.htm|title=Russian jets bomb Georgia - Reuters witness|publisher=Reuters|accessdate=2008-08-09|language=English
See also: cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/09/gori/|title=Российские ВВС разбомбили позиции грузинской артиллерии близ Гори|publisher=Lenta.ru|accessdate=2008-08-09|language=Russian
] The Georgian government reported that 60 civilians were killed when at least one bomb hit an apartment in Gori. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7550804.stm|title=Russian jets attack Georgian town|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2008-08-10 See also: cite web|url = http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/world/europe/10georgia.html?_r=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin |title = Georgia and Russia Nearing All-Out War - nytimes |accessdate = 2008-08-09] According to the Russian military, three bombs hit an armament depot and the façade of one of the adjacent 5-storey apartment buildings suffered as a result exploding ammunition from the depot. [cite web|url=http://www.rosbalt.ru/2008/08/11/512573.html|title=Пропагандисты не отрабатывают зарплату|publisher=RosBalt] At 07:41 UTC, Lenta.Ru reported that units of the 76th Airborne Division of the Russian Airborne Troops from Pskov had moved to Tskhinvali. According to Igor Konashenkov, commander of the Russian Ground Forces, they were transferred to strengthen Russian ground forces in the South Ossetian capital. It was confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defence's press service that units of the Ivanovo-based 98th Airborne Division of the Russian Airborne Troops and Spetsnaz from the Moscow-based 45th Detached Reconnaissance Regiment would be moved to the conflict area.cite news|url=http://www.mil.ru/info/1069/details/index.shtml?id=49309|title=В Цхинвали вошли подразделения Воздушно-десантных войск
publisher=Russian Ministry of Defence
accessdate=2008-08-09|language=Russian
]

At 07:57 UTC, the Russian Ministry of Defence reported that its 58th Army had fully freed Tskhinvali of Georgian armed forces. [cite news|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/09/free1/
title=Части 58 армии полностью освободили Цхинвали от грузинских военных
publisher=Lenta.Ru|accessdate=2008-08-09|language=Russian
See also: cite news
url=http://mil.ru/info/1069/details/index.shtml?id=49310
title=Части 58 армии полностью освободили Цхинвали от грузинских военных
publisher=Russian Ministry of Defence
accessdate=2008-08-09
] , and at 08:30 UTC, the Russian General Staff confirmed the loss of two jets: a Su-25 and a Tupolev Tu-22M; the latter was later claimed to be running aerial reconnaissance missions.cite news
url=http://mil.ru/info/1069/details/index.shtml?id=49339
title=Россия потеряла в Грузии только два самолета, а не двенадцать
publisher=The Russian Federation Ministry of Defence
accessdate=2008-08-10
language=Russian
] The Georgian government claimed they had actually downed 10 Russian jets and captured 3 pilots.cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/09/name/
title=Грузия задержала трех сбитых российских пилотов
publisher=Lenta.Ru
accessdate=2008-08-09
language=Russian
] At 10:30 UTC, Russian paratroopers were deployed in South Ossetia. [cite news
url=http://www.rian.ru/defense_safety/20080809/150223158.html
title=Подразделения 76-й Псковской дивизии направлены в Цхинвали
publisher=RIA Novosti
accessdate=2008-08-09
language=Russian
] President Saakashvili called for a ceasefire in a speech. [cite news|title=Подразделения 76-й Псковской дивизии направлены в Цхинвали|url=http://www.rian.ru/defense_safety/20080809/150223158.html] At 10:41 UTC, aerial attacks were carried out by Abkhazia in the eastern part of the Kodori Valley; the only part of Abkhazia which, effectively, was under Georgian control. [cite news
url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h_pFj41BrbIfhfxvfkJBbZiG3BzgD92ER6KG0
title=Abkhazia moves to flush out Georgian troops
publisher=Associated press
accessdate=2008-08-09
language=English
] At 11:25 UTC, Georgian President Saakashvili asked his country's parliament to announce a state of martial law in Georgia.cite news
url=http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL9302258
title=Georgia's Saakashvili seeks martial law approval
publisher=Reuters
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=English
] The parliament approved the request, declaring martial law in Georgia for a duration of 15 days; David Bakradze, the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, said that Georgia was in a "de facto" state of war with Russia.cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/09/approve/
title=Военное положение в Грузии вводится на 15 дней
publisher=Lenta.Ru
accessdate=2008-08-09
language=Russian
]

At around noon local time on August 9, Saakashvili said he proposed a ceasefire and the separation of the warring parties. Georgia's Security Council secretary Alexander Lomaia said Saakashvili's proposal meant that the Georgian troops would withdraw from Tskhinvali, the provincial capital of South Ossetia, and stop responding to Russian shelling. [cite web|url = http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hV2N6fVKS5slf10A13Dj_uIdaZ4QD92EO4000 |title = The Associated Press: Georgia proposes cease fire in S Ossetia |accessdate = 2008-08-09 |date = 6 hours ago |author = 6 hours ago] Russia's ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia would start negotiations only if Georgian forces withdrew to the positions they held before the conflict began; [cite web|url = http://www.reuters.com/article/europeCrisis/idUSL9676053 |title = No S.Ossetia talks before Georgia withdraws-Russia |accessdate = 2008-08-11 |date = 2008-08-11] the Russian Foreign Ministry added a requirement that Georgia should promise to never attempt to retake the territory. [cite web|url = http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/world/europe/12georgia.html?pagewanted=2 |title = Georgia Fight Spreads; Moscow Issues Ultimatum |accessdate = 2008-08-09 |date = 09-08-08] At 16:15 the Russian Defense Ministry said it had not received any ceasefire proposal from Georgia. [cite web|url = http://www.interfax.com/ |title = Interfax: General and business news from Russia, CIS, Central Europe and China |accessdate = 2008-08-09] Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the only solution was for Georgian troops to leave the conflict zone. [cite web|url = http://thestar.com.my/news/nastory.asp?file=/2008/8/10/worldupdates/2008-08-09T222611Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_-349150-3&sec=Worldupdates |title = Georgia calls for ceasefire in S. Ossetia fighting |accessdate = 2008-08-09]

According to a source in the Georgian government, the Roki Tunnel used by Russians to bring in supplies and reinforcements was demolished. [cite news
url=http://www.newsgeorgia.ru/geo1/20080809/42301114.html
title=ГРУЗИНСКИЕ ВОЙСКА ВЗОРВАЛИ РОКСКИЙ ТОННЕЛЬ - ИСТОЧНИК
publisher=News Georgia
accessdate=2008-08-09
language=Russian
] The Russian Ministry of Defense denied the report. [cite news
url=http://www.mil.ru/info/1069/details/index.shtml?id=49334
title=Сообщения о взрыве Рокского туннеля, прошедшие в ряде СМИ, не соответствуют действительности
publisher=The Russian Federation Ministry of Defence
accessdate=2008-08-09
language=Russian
] Time Magazine reporter John Wendle later confirmed that the tunnel had not been destroyed. [cite news
url=http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1832771,00.html
title=Tracking Down the Russians in South Ossetia
publisher=Time Magazine
accessdate=2008-08-17
language=English
] Lomaia reported that Russia had bombed the Black Sea port of Poti and had started to bomb civil and economic infrastructure. [cite web|url=http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L8218534.htm|title=Georgia to impose martial law, port bombed-official |accessdate=2008-08-09|source=Reuters] There were also reports by the Associated Press of Russian ships patrolling the waters off Poti, though Russia denied they were implementing a blockade.cite news
url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/7715249
title=Russia expands Georgia blitz, deploys ships
publisher=AP/The Guardian
date=2008-08-11
accessdate=2008-08-11
] Lenta.ru reported that all Russian TV channels had been banned from broadcasting in Georgia, with Georgia alleging that Russia was conducting an ongoing information war. [cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/tv/
title=Грузия прекращает вещание российских телеканалов
accessdate=2008-08-08
language=Russian
] Meanwhile, Russia cut off all air connections with Georgia. [cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/stop2/
title=Россия прекращает авиасообщение с Грузией
accessdate=2008-08-08
language=Russian
] On the same day, the United Nations once again failed to reach consensus on how to word any request for a cessation of hostilities. [cite news
url=http://voanews.com/english/2008-08-09-voa2.cfm
title=UN Security Council Fails to Agree on Georgia
accessdate=2008-08-09
language=English
] Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that the Russian Federation begins operation "to force the Georgian side to peace". [cite news
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7550804.stm
title=Russia to 'force S Ossetia peace'
accessdate=2008-08-09
language=English
See also: cite news
url=http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080809/115914161.html
title=Russia launches operation to ensure peace in S.Ossetia
accessdate=2008-08-09
language=English
]

The U.S. embassy in Georgia organized an evacuation convoy to leave for Yerevan on August 10 and a second one scheduled for August 11 and invited American citizens in the region to join them, while it also issued a travel warning.cite web|url=http://georgia.usembassy.gov/wm-080908.html|title=Warden Messages]

August 10: Georgia begins withdrawing from Tskhinvali

Reuters reported that South Ossetian officials claimed that fighting on Tskhinvali's southern fringes had ended at about midnight; however, these reports could not be substantiated. Reuters further reported that the Russian commander of the 58th Army in South Ossetia, Lieutenant General Anatoly Khrulyov, was wounded by Georgian forces outside of Tskhinvali early Sunday morning.cite news
url=http://www.reuters.com/article/europeCrisis/idUSL9494498
title=Russian general wounded in Georgia's rebel region
publisher=Reuters
date=2008-08-09
accessdate=2008-08-10
]

The Georgian Interior Ministry claimed that Russia had moved 6,000 soldiers into South Ossetia by land and another 4,000 into Abkhazia by sea in preparation to attack at dawn the next day.cite news
url=http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LA423150.htm
title=Russian forces mass against Georgia, says official
publisher=Reuters AlertNet
date=2008-08-10
accessdate=2008-08-10
] cite news
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7552012.stm
title=Georgia 'pulls out of S Ossetia'
publisher=BBC
date=2008-08-10
accessdate=2008-08-10
] Vladimir Putin, after attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, flew to North Ossetia to oversee what he called a "humanitarian operation" and state that he believed it was now unlikely that South Ossetia could ever reintegrate within Georgia. [cite news
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7552016.stm
title=Western words fall on deaf Russian ears
publisher=BBC
date=2008-08-10
accessdate=2008-08-10
] He said the government was ready to earmark up to RUB10.1 billion (approximately US$425 million) for aid to the region. [cite web|url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hV2N6fVKS5slf10A13Dj_uIdaZ4QD92F7IOG0| title=Aid to South Ossetia from Russia|accessdate=2008-08-10] Putin's spokesperson gave assurances that the visit had no military component, and in the morning Putin left for Gorki outside Moscow to meet Russian president Medvedev.cite news
url=http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aPLDNxutvt7M
title=Russian Ships Steam Toward Georgia as Conflict Grows
publisher=Bloomberg
first=Paul
last=Abelsky
coauthors=Alex Nicholson
date=2008-08-10
accessdate=2008-08-10
]

There were conflicting reports as to the continuation of Georgian military actions. Georgia claimed that its forces were retreating from South Ossetia and the Foreign Ministry of Georgia announced that the government had declared a unilateral ceasefire. However, Russian troops refused to recognise a truce, claiming Georgian forces were not retreating, but merely regrouping. [cite web|url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080810/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_south_ossetia|title=Russian news agencies report sunken Georgian ship - Yahoo! News] Georgia’s Internal Affairs Ministry spokesman, Shota Utiashvili, claimed that "Georgian troops have fully left South Ossetia", while according to Georgian Reintegration Minister Temur Yakobashvili, Georgian troops had pulled out of Tskhinvali and, according to her, Georgian "forces have relocated and assumed new positions." Russian peacekeeping spokesman Vladimir Ivanov, however, stated that "Georgia did not remove its forces from South Ossetia. Our observation posts have spotted Georgian law-enforcement units, as well as artillery and armoured vehicles."cite news
url=http://in.news.yahoo.com/20/20080810/1422/twl-georgia-says-its-troops-have-left-s.html
title=Georgia says its troops 'have left S Ossetia'
publisher=Yahoo
date=2008-08-10
accessdate=2008-08-10
] Russia later acknowledged a withdrawal was in progress, with a spokesman noting, "Units of the Georgian armed forces have started withdrawing from Tskhinvali. The withdrawal has been spotted by the peacekeeping forces' intelligence." [cite news
url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/10/georgia.russia1?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront
title=Georgia withdraws troops from South Ossetian capital
first=Helen
last=Womack
publisher=The Guardian
date=2008-08-10
accessdate=2008-08-10
]

Sergei Bagapsh, President of Abkhazia, said he had sent 1,000 troops to the Kodori gorge and announced the mobilisation of reservists to reinforce its positions. He warned Abkhazia was ready to "enforce order" and would go further if there was resistance from Georgia. [cite news|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/europeCrisis/idUSLA578672|title=Georgia rebel region sends troops to disputed gorge|publisher=Reuters|date=2008-08-10|accessdate=2008-08-10]

At around 3:20 p.m. UTC, Georgia said that they ordered a ceasefire, and offered to start talks with Russia over an end to hostilities in South Ossetia. [cite web |url=http://www.afp.com/english/news/stories/newsmlmmd.9b88f0dbc603e4a65e175b7b66859cd9.361.html|title=Russia seizes South Ossetia as wider conflict feared|publisher=AFP |date=10 August 2008 |acceorgian saboteurs was captured near Zari road, including one African-American, claimed to be a U.S. citizen and NATO adviser; heessdate=2008-08-10 ] Russia confirmed receiving the offer but said that "the Georgian side has not stopped military actions in South Ossetia, Georgian troops continued shelling." [cite web|url=http://www.interfax.ru/news.asp?id=26320|title=Грузия пока не прекратила огонь - Новости - Интерфакс] However, Russian and Georgian foreign ministers spoke over the phone. The conversation ended with the Georgian minister promising to find out more about whether Georgian forces were withdrawn from South Ossetia. [cite web|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/10/direct/|title=Lenta.ru: Война в Осетии: Министры иностранных дел России и Грузии начали переговоры] [cite web|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/10/talks1/|title=Lenta.ru: Война в Осетии: Лавров призвал Грузию вывести войска из Южной Осетии]

Later in the day, Georgia reported that Tbilisi International Airport was the target of a Russian air strike, just a few hours before the scheduled arrival of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.cite news |url=http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLA548281 |title=Tbilisi civilian airport hit in Russian air strike |publisher=Reuters |date=2008-08-10 |accessdate=2008-08-10] The Russian Ministry of Defence dismissed the alleged bombing as "another disinformation" by Georgia.cite web|url=http://palm.newsru.com/world/10aug2008/atacka2.html|title=NEWSru.com :: МВД Грузии сообщает об ударе российской авиации по тбилисскому аэропорту, минобороны России упрекает его в "информационных провокациях"] The Russian Defence Ministry announced that the Russian Navy sunk a Georgian missile boat after two alleged attacks of such boats earlier that day. [cite news|url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hV2N6fVKS5slf10A13Dj_uIdaZ4QD92FJCEG0|title=Russian news agencies report sunken Georgian ship|publisher=AP|date=2008-08-10|accessdate-2008-08-10] [cite web|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/10/sank/|title=Lenta.ru: Война в Осетии: Российские корабли потопили грузинский ракетный катер] This was later confirmed by Russian Navy Commander Assistant Igor Dygalo. He said that four Georgian vessels were spotted sailing inside a 'security zone' established by the Russian Navy off Abkhazia. The Russian fleet retaliated with a barrage of naval gunfire. One patrol boat was sunk and the remaining three retreated in the direction of the Georgian port of Poti.

The ambassador for the United States convened an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council in which UN Under-Secretary-General B. Lynn Pascoe gave a briefing about the refugee situation [UN document |docid=S-PV-5953 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5953 |page=2 |anchor=pg002-bk08 |date=10 August 2008 |speakername=Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs |accessdate=2008-08-14 ] and Edmond Mulet briefed about the situation relating to the mandate of UNOMIG.

Following statements by Georgia and the United States, the Russian ambassador said: "Unfortunately, I have to point out that the content ofthe briefing by Mr. Pascoe shows that the Secretariat and its leadership have not been able to adopt an objective position showing a thorough grasp of the substance of this conflict, as should be expected from the leadership of such an authoritative international organisation". [UN document |docid=S-PV-5953 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5953 |page=7 |anchor=pg007-bk02 |date=10 August 2008 |speakername=Vitaly Churkin | speakernation=Russia |accessdate=2008-08-14 ] cite news
title = U.S.: Russia trying to topple Georgian government
publisher = CNN
date = 2008-08-10
url = http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/10/un.georgia/index.html
accessdate=2008-08-10
] CNN reported that the Russian ambassador drew rebuke after making this comment. [cite web
title = Security Council, Sixty-third year - 5953rd meeting" (select S/PV.5953)
publisher = United Nations
date = 10 August 2008
place=New York
pages=pages 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16
url = http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/scact2008.htm
accessdate=2008-08-11
] The ambassador for the United States later added: "Foreign Minister Lavrov told United States Secretary of State Rice that the democratically elected President of Georgia — and I quote — 'must go'. I quote again: 'Saakashvili must go'. This is completely unacceptable and crosses the line." [UN document |docid=S-PV-5953 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5953 |page=17 |anchor=pg017-bk04 |date=10 August 2008 |speakername= Zalmay Khalilzad | speakernation=United States |accessdate=2008-08-14 ] The Russian ambassador responded by saying "On Ambassador Khalilzad’s interesting reference to a confidential diplomatic telephone call between our Minister for Foreign Affairs and his Secretary of State, I must say at the outset that regime change is an American expression. We do not use such expressions." [ UN document |docid=S-PV-5953 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5953 |page=18 |anchor=pg018-bk02 |date=10 August 2008 |speakername=Vitaly Churkin | speakernation=Russia |accessdate=2008-08-14 ] According to Newsru, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin later denied this, and rather said that Saakashvili "cannot be considered as a partner" because "no decent person would talk to him". He said that if an agreement of not using military force is signed, "peace will be restored whatever the fate of Saakashvili will be". He said Condoleezza Rice "misinterpreted" their phone conversation. [cite news |title=Чуркин пояснил слова Лаврова о том, что Саакашвили России не партнер: Какой приличный человек будет с ним разговаривать? |publisher=Newsru |date=2008-08-11 |url=http://palm.newsru.com/russia/11aug2008/midspeech.html |accessdate=2008-08-11 ru icon]

A Turkish TV crew was attacked while heading into South Ossetia and taken to Vladikavkaz for interrogations. They were later released by Russian authorities. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSFRiHbFEtg video taken by Turkish TV crew under fire] ] [ [http://www.freemedia.at/cms/ipi/statements_detail.html?ctxid=CH0055&docid=CMS1218723624931 IPI Condemns Detention of Turkish Journalists in North Ossetia] "International Press Institute" ]

August 11: Russian advances

In the early hours of August 11, Russian sources reported that Tskhinvali was again under fire from Georgian artillery. [cite news|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/again/|title=Цхинвали вновь подвергся артиллерийскому обстрелу|publisher=Lenta.Ru|accessdate=2008-08-10|language=Russian] South Ossetia government representative Irina Gagloeva stated the morning of August 11 that Georgia opened the irrigation canal, supposedly in an effort to flood the basements of Tskhinvali buildings with an intention to prevent civilians from hiding from bombings. [cite news|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/flood/
title=Грузия пытается затопить подвалы в Цхинвали|publisher=Lenta.Ru|accessdate=2008-08-11|language=Russian
]

According to Georgian officials, large numbers of Russian ground forces had entered undisputed Georgian territory and were headed to Gori. Western officials again reiterated their fears that Russia intends to overthrow the Georgian government. Russia denied any intention of occupying Georgia, "We have enough territory to think of, we don't need Georgia." said Aleksei Pavlov, a Kremlin spokesman. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/11/europe/11georgia.php Russian ground forces assault vital Georgian city] Retrieved on 11 August 2008.] The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia claims that Russia began "intensive combat" in Gori following prior air strikes. Georgian troops reportedly returned fire. The Russian Ministry of Defense did not confirm or deny the reports. [cite news|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/tanks/|title=Российская артиллерия начала обстрел города Гори|publisher=Lenta.Ru|accessdate=2008-08-10|language=Russian]

Russian forces moved into Senaki, which is convert|32|km|mi inland from the Black Sea, and seized police stations in Zugdidi, just outside the southern fringe of Abkhazia. Abkhazian allies took control of the nearby village of Kurga, according to witnesses and Georgian officials. An Associated Press reporter saw Russian troops in control of government buildings in Zugdidi just miles from the frontier and Russian troops were reported in nearby Senaki. [cite news
url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080812/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_south_ossetia_154|title=Russia opens new front, drives deeper into Georgia|publisher=Yahoo News|accessdate=2008-08-12
]

During the early morning Moscow time, Russia declared itself ready to make peace with Georgia. UN officials confirmed Georgia was prepared to negotiate with Russia by withdrawing troops from South Ossetia and create a safe travel zone. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Russia is "ready to put an end to the war," but also accused the UN secretary-general's office of taking Georgia's side. The agreement was confirmed by UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynne Pascoe during a briefing to the Security Council. [ [http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1831215,00.html Russia Ready to Negotiate] Retrieved on 11-08-08]

The United Nations Security Council held a closed meeting on the issue at 5:30pm New York time.UN document |docid=S-PV-5954 |type=Verbatim Report |body=Security Council |meeting=5954 |accessdate=2008-08-14]

Georgia declared it had received a Russian ultimatum that it must disarm troops near the breakaway province of Abkhazia or face Russian forces moving into Georgian-controlled territory. This demand was conveyed through UN military observers in the area. [cite news|url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gqI_T1AcjbA1Q67UBE01lvcAdQdQD92FVCOO0|title=Russians in Abkhazia issue ultimatum to Georgia|publisher=AP|accessdate=2008-08-11|language=English] Russian assistant commander Alexander Novitskiy reported on the morning of August 11 that 9,000 Russian troops and 350 armoured vehicles had entered Abkhazia during the evening of August 10. [cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/abkhazia/
title=Россия ввела в Абхазию 9 тысяч военных и 350 бронемашин
publisher=Lenta.Ru|accessdate=2008-08-11|language=Russian
]

Later, Russian media reported that Russian Airborne Forces Commander lieutenant general Valeriy Evtukhovich arrived in Abkhazia. [cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/vdv/
title=В Абхазию прибыл командующий ВДВ России
publisher=Lenta.Ru|accessdate=2008-08-11|language=Russian
]

Russian General Staff Second-in-Commander Anatoliy Nogovitsyn confirmed in the briefing at noon that Russian Army lost another two Su-25 jets.cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/planes/
title=Генштаб России признал потерю еще двух самолетов
publisher=Lenta.Ru
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=Russian
] Also he confirmed 18 soldiers dead, 14 missing (whereabouts unknown).

Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov reported that nine Georgian special services agents were arrested, and they "prepared for terrorist attacks on the territory of the Russian Federation". He said that all nine agents confessed to the allegations. [cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/agents/
title=В России задержаны девять грузинских агентов
publisher=Lenta.Ru
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=Russian
]

According to Anatoliy Nogovitsyn, 800 Georgian troops and 11 tons of cargo were moved from Iraq to Georgia by eight U.S. military transport flights. Early Georgian officials said that all moved Georgian troops will be sent to South Ossetia war conflict zone. [cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/transfer1/
title=Грузинских военных перебросили из Ирака американские самолеты
publisher=Lenta.Ru
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=Russian
] Nogovitsyn also stated that Russia will take "adequate measures" in response to that, which would mean the increase of Russian troops in conflict zone. Prime minister Vladimir Putin criticised the United States for help in redeploying Georgian troops from Iraq. [cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/react/
title=Генштаб ответит на переброску грузинских войск из Ирака
publisher=Lenta.Ru
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=Russian
]

North Ossetian government officials said that several foreign mercenaries arrived at Vladikavkaz hospital. Early at General Staff briefing Anatoly Nogovitsyn confirmed that there were black-skinned soldiers with non-Georgian passports among them; he did not specify their citizenship. [cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/merc/
title=В госпитали Владикавказа поступили иностранные наемники
publisher=Lenta.Ru
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=Russian
]

According to RIA Novosti, the earlier reports aboutRussians not being allowed to leave Georgiacite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/10/hostage/
title=Российских граждан не выпускают из Грузии
publisher=Lenta.Ru
accessdate=2008-08-10
language=Russian
] were denied by the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs. [cite news
url=http://rian.ru/society/20080811/150257722.html
title=МВД Грузии опровергает сообщения о задержании российских граждан
publisher=RIA Novosti
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=Russian
] Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims that it received such reports from over 360 stranded Russian citizens. [cite news
url=http://rian.ru/osetia_news/20080811/150275951.html
title=Более 360 россиян сообщили о том, что их не выпускают из Грузии
publisher=RIA Novosti
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=Russian
]

The Georgian Minister of Defense announced that the Georgian military base in Senaki, outside Abkhazia, was captured by Russian armoured vehicles. UN officials B. Lynn Pascoe and Edmond confirmed this in a UN security meeting and said that Russian airborne troops were not meeting any resistance while taking control of Georgia's Senaki army base. The Georgian Interior Minister stated that police stations in Zugdidi had also been seized, which was later confirmed also by AP. According to witnesses and Georgian officials, Abkhazians also took control of the nearby village of Kurga. [cite news |first=Misha |last=Dzhindzhikhashvili |title=Russia opens new front, drives deeper into Georgia |url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hV2N6fVKS5slf10A13Dj_uIdaZ4QD92GE8780 |publisher=The Associated Press |date=2008-08-12 |accessdate=2008-08-12]

According to Georgian officials, the city of Gori—convert|76|km|mi from the Georgian capital—has fallen to Russian forces. Russian troops destroyed an empty military base which Georgian soldiers had previously fled and then took position just outside of the town. The Russian defense ministry denied the information, claiming there were no Russian troops in Gori. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7554507.stm|title=Russian troops in Georgia advance] Russia's version of events was confirmed by Reuters reporters James Kilner and Margarita Antidze, who said that there is no "trace of troops or military vehicles, it is absolutely deserted". [cite news
url=http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LB161645.htm
title=Georgia official says Russia captured Georgia town
publisher=Reuters
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=English
] The UK Telegraph reported that it witnessed "Georgians in a full scale disorganised and panicked retreat from Gori". [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/2541051/Georgia-Russia-fighting-on-several-fronts-as-Georgian-troops-withdraw-to-defend-Tbilisi.html Georgia: Russia fighting on several fronts as Georgian troops withdraw to defend Tbilisi] Retrieved on 11 August 2008] Georgian troops were falling back to defend the capital city of Tbilisi, following their retreat from Gori. Later local journalist from Gori said to Guardian that "Russian troops had occupied the main road on the edge of the city, but had not moved towards the centre" [cite news
url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/11/georgia.russia13
title=Russians march into Georgia as full-scale war looms
publisher=Guardian
date=2008-08-12
accessdate=2008-08-12
language=English
] and Guardians journalist confirmed that city were bombed. [cite news
url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/11/georgia.russia11
title='I got my children out minutes before the bombs fell'
publisher=Guardian
date=2008-08-12
accessdate=2008-08-12
language=English
]

Since Gori is along Georgia's main highway, its alleged occupation by Russian forces would have cut Georgia's lines of communication and logistics in two. Secretary of the Georgian Security Council, Alexander Lomaia, said that the Georgian Army had been told to stand fast and hold the city of Mtskheta, convert|24|km|mi from the capital.cite news |title=Russian troops invade Georgia and take the city of Gori|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4507980.ece|publisher=Times Online |date=2008-08-11 |accessdate=2008-08-11] But note that several hours later, in the night of August 11 and August 12, reports of a wholesale Russian invasion or even an advance as far as Gori could not be confirmed by U.S. sources, based on on-the-ground intelligence. A U.S. defense official said he didn't see anything that supports that the Russians are in Gori and doesn't know why the Georgians were saying that. [http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gj_jyRnqBYekXz2MyszBj6k_ZMtw US military surprised by speed, timing of Russia military action] AFP Retrieved on 11 August 2008.] ). A U.S. military official told CNN that Russian attacks on Georgia – including radars and communication systems – have devastated the country's command and control system to the point where Georgian leaders may not have a clear idea of the situation on the ground.

The Assistant Commander of Russian peacekeepers Alexander Novitsky claims that during a reconnaissance mission the Russian Air Force shot down two Georgian helicopters at the air base of Senaki. The helicopters were identified as Mi-8 and Mi-24 belonging to the Georgian Air Force.

Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed sending of two companies of Chechnya based special battalions Vostok ("East") and Zapad ("West") to South Ossetia.cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/11/vostok/
title=В зону конфликта переброшены роты чеченских батальонов "Восток" и "Запад"
publisher=Lenta.Ru
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=Russian
]

The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported that the United States was supplying Georgia with arms. According to the paper, the United States is hiring Russian-made freight planes belonging to UTI Worldwide Inc. to transport arms and ammunition to Georgia. The paper says the Pentagon is redirecting supplies to Tbilisi that were earmarked for Iraq. [ [http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/28832 US sends more arms to Georgia – Israeli media] Russia Today Retrieved on 11-08-08]

According to Russia Today (RT): "The U.S. has begun evacuating the families of its diplomats from Georgia. They are being sent to Armenia as a precaution, according to the U.S. Embassy in the Armenian capital Yerevan. U.S. ambassador John Tefft and his team of diplomats will continue their work in Tbilisi." [cite news
url=http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/28829
title=U.S. starts evacuating embassy staff from Tbilisi
publisher=Russia Today
accessdate=2008-08-11
language=English
] Meanwhile Russian Defence Ministry said it has no plans to attack Tbilisi. "We do not have and have never had any plans to advance on Tbilisi," Interfax agency cites a source in Russian command. Russian troops left the Georgian military base at Senaki, which they took earlier this day. [cite web|url=http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct=us/0-1&fp=48a09581b8c2606f&ei=QZqgSIjDI5iswAGE25TWCw&url=http%3A//www.news.com.au/story/0%2C23599%2C24166681-1702%2C00.html&cid=1235678854&usg=AFQjCNFQAFgJGZQlWQCb78s1IQ8Q5CtEcw|title=Russia says no plan to attack Tbilisi] [cite web|url=http://www.interfax.ru/news.asp?id=26613|title=Российские войска покинули район города Сенаки] [cite web|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/gc07/idUSLB20976320080811|title=Russian troops leave Senaki town-ministry] [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/world/europe/12georgia.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin Russia Presses into Georgia] , NYTimes, reporting from Senaki.]

August 12 - August 13: Ceasefire

Authorities in South Ossetia said that Georgian troops had shelled the road being used for evacuating people from the conflict zone, according to Russian Interfax news agency. According to Russia Today attacks continued in the South Ossetian region, despite claims from Georgia that it was imposing a ceasefire. [cite news|url=http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/28838|title=Georgian troops fire at refugees|publisher=Russia Today|accessdate=2008-08-12|language=English]

The Agence France-Presse reported that U.S. defense officials said they were unable to corroborate the Georgian claims that Russian troops had moved out of South Ossetia into Georgia proper, occupying the city of Gori while Georgian troops were retreating to the capital. "We don't see anything that supports they are in Gori", said a defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I don't know why the Georgians are saying that." The official also said there was no obvious buildup of Russian forces along the border that signaled an intention to invade.

Russia has deployed a ship off the coast of Poti and is reportedly enforcing a 50-mile exclusion zone around the port. [cite news
url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/2542648/Georgia-Russian-troops-seize-a-strategic-prize-in-swift-advance.html
title=Georgia: Russian troops seize a strategic prize in swift advance|publisher=The Daily Telegraph|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12
] Georgia also accused Russia of sending troops into Poti though Russia claimed they had only sent in a reconnaissance mission, which visited city only for a short amount of time. [cite news|url=http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gUUsgEPwTubPAlJ3ghTGWns_7hvw|title=Russia moves into Georgian territory as conflict worsens|publisher=Agence France-Presse|date=2008-08-11|accessdate=2008-08-11]

The Foreign Minister of Italy, Franco Frattini, said he would consider deploying Italian soldiers to the region in the event that French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner recommends EU involvement after his mediation mission to Tbilisi and Moscow this week; however, Frattini stressed that Italy could not support the creation of a "European anti-Russian coalition" over the conflict. He also told ANSA he was "optimistic" for a positive resolution to the crisis following telephone consultations with foreign ministers from the other G7 countries. [ [http://www.ansa.it/site/notizie/awnplus/english/news/2008-08-11_111263932.html Italy ready for Ossetia response] ANSA Retrieved on 11 August 2008]

Vitaly Churkin, Russian representative at the United Nations declared to journalists that Russia would not accept the resolution on South Ossetia as prepared by the EU's presidency. It is not certain whether Churkin made the statement before or during negotiations over the resolution. The document proposes an immediate cease-fire, and restoring the territory of Georgia as it was before the beginning of the conflict. [cite news|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/12/reject/|title=России не понравился проект резолюции по Южной Осетии|publisher=Lenta.ru|accessdate=2008-08-12|language=Russian]

A report from Interfax cited the Abkhaz defense headquarters as saying Abkhaz troops backed up with Russian paratroopers had launched an operation early in the day to push Georgian forces out of the northern part of the Kodori Gorge. [cite news|url=http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/08/12/europe/EU-Georgia-Abkhazia.php|title= Report: Abkhaz troops pushing Georgians from gorge|publisher=International Herald Tribune|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12] According to "The New York Times", Abkhaz Deputy Minister of Defense Garri Kupalba said on the previous day that there were 2,500 Georgian troops in the area, but 1,000 civilians had left the gorge through a humanitarian corridor which was opened for civilians and soldiers to get out safely before "the operation to eliminate Georgian troops will begin". [cite news|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/world/europe/12georgia.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&bl&ei=5087&en=682c009bd5b7eaa7&ex=1218686400&oref=slogin|title= Russian Forces Capture Military Base in Georgia|publisher=The New York Times|date=2008-08-11|accessdate=2008-08-12]

As said by Madina Shavlokhova, Gzt.Ru reporter, she saw ex-commander of Vostok special battalion Sulim Yamadayev in South Ossetia within Vostok battalion. Later it was confirmed by his brother Isa Yamadayev, commander of 5th Company of Vostok. He said that 215 soldiers of Vostok are commanded by Sulim. Early, Sulim Yamadayev was declared as federal wanted for murder after conflict with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Isa Yamadayev said that he is in Gudermes and later will move to South Ossetia with 100 soldiers. [cite news|url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/12/sulim/|title=Сулима Ямадаева видели в окрестностях Цхинвали|publisher=Lenta.Ru|accessdate=2008-08-12|language=Russian]

Deputy Chief of the General Staff of Russia, Colonel General Anatoliy Nogovitsyn, said the remaining Georgian troops in South Ossetia were surrendering and leaving the area. Nogovitsyn also said Russia had gained full control over Georgian airspace. [cite news
url=http://www.sindhtoday.net/world/11176.htm|title= Russia says Georgian troops surrendering in South Ossetia|publisher=Sindh Today|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12
]

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation reported that they had arrested the Deputy Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Georgia, according to RIA Novosti. According to the Russian special services, the Georgian agents were instructed to create centers of armed resistance to the authorities in southern Russia. [cite news
url=http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/12/fsb/|title= Georgian spy arrested in Russia|publisher=RIA Novosti, Lenta.ru|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12
]

An Associated Press reporter has seen 135 Russian military vehicles, including tanks, driving toward the Kodori Gorge, held by Georgian forces. [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080812/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_russia;_ylt=AovaDpi0Q5js.Fa2lEvw7WOs0NUE Dozens of Russian vehicles head toward key gorge] , Associated Press, Yahoo!, August 12, 2008.] The acting Georgian ambassador to Britain has told Sky News that Russian jets are bombing civilian targets in Georgia despite Moscow's announcement that the war has ended. [ [http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Russia-Georgia-War-Civilian-Targets-Being-Hit-Georgian-Ambassador-Says/Article/200808215076262?lpos=World%2BNews_0&lid=ARTICLE_15076262_Russia-Georgia%2BWar%253A%2BCivilian%2BTargets%2BBeing%2BHit%252C%2BGeorgian%2BAmbassador%2BSays Georgia 'Still Being Bombed'] Sky News 2008 August 12] Sergei Bagapsh, the President of Abkhazia said Abkhaz forces had taken the towns of Ashara and Tchalta and were advancing to the Georgian border. He said Abkhazia controls most of the Upper Kodori Gorge. [cite news|url=http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/home/9640090.asp?gid=244&sz=23317|title=Abkhazia says it controls most of Kodori Valley|publisher=Monsters and Critics|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12] A group of 250 Abkhaz soldiers was reported to have clashed with Georgian forces in the Gorge at the edge of Abkhazia. [cite news|url=http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Georgia-Russia-War-Civilians-Killed-And-Wounded-As-Bombers-Attack-Georgian-City-Of-Gori/Article/200808215075784?lpos=World%2BNews_1&lid=ARTICLE_15075784_Georgia-Russia%2BWar%253A%2BCivilians%2BKilled%2BAnd%2BWounded%2BAs%2BBombers%2BAttack%2BGeorgian%2BCity%2BOf%2BGori|title= Russians Bomb Georgian City|publisher=Sky News|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12] Abkhazia's chief of the General Staff of the armed forces, Anatoly Zaitsev, stated that Abkhazia's armed forces have surrounded the Georgian troops in the Kodori Gorge. Zaitsev said 250 Abkhazian servicemen had landed near the settlement of Chkhalta, meeting resistance from Georgian units, who fired on them with small arms. The second Abkhazian unit is due to back up the first group of servicemen. [cite news|url=http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12950528&PageNum=0|title=Abkhazian forces surround Georgian troops in Kodori Gorge|publisher=Itar-Tass|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12] The foreign Minister of Abkhazia, Sergei Shamba said that Abkhazian Air Force and artillery have been delivering missile and bomb strikes on military objects in the upper part of the Kodori Gorge. Units of the regular troops and reservists of the armed forces of Abkhazia are taking part in the operation. [cite news|url=http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12949584&PageNum=0|title=Abkhazian units begin operation in Kodori Gorge|publisher=Itar-Tass|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12]

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said Georgia would declare Russian peacekeepers occupiers and the breakaway states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territory. He also announced Georgia would withdraw from the Commonwealth of Independent States. [cite news|title=Georgia to declare breakaway regions occupied|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/7719140|publisher=The Guardian|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12. From the Associated Press.] Georgia has also filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice accusing Russia of carrying out ethnic cleansing in the 2008 conflict and in 1993. [cite news|title=Georgia begins legal move|url=http://www.teletext.co.uk/news/national/7d45e0aa0f7edcc5457a450517ccf53a/Georgia+begins+legal+move.aspx|publisher=Teletext Ltd.|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12] The deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma called for Russia to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent because of the conflict. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Malakhov said recognition would be "premature" before the crisis was resolved. [cite news|title=Russian Lawmakers Blame U.S. for Crisis|url=http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=33983|publisher=Cybercast News Service|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12]

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Secretary-General of NATO, said Georgia remains a candidate for NATO membership in spite of the conflict. [cite news|title=NATO chief: Russian cease-fire not enough|url=http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/08/12/europe/EU-NATO-Georgia-Russia.php|publisher=International Herald Tribune|date=2008-08-12|accessdate=2008-08-12]

On August 13, a reporter for the UK "Guardian" claimed that "the idea there is a ceasefire is ridiculous", saying Chechen, Cossack and Ossetian irregulars were following advancing Russian lines near Gori burning Georgian villages. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/13/georgia.russia6 Georgian villages burned and looted as Russian tanks advance] ]

An Associated Press report at 16:00 UTC claimed that "Russian troops and paramilitaries thrust deep into Georgia on Wednesday, rolling into the strategic city of Gori" said that "an AP reporter later saw dozens of tanks and military vehicles leaving the city, roaring southeast." [cite news |title=AP Top News at 11:05 a.m. EDT |url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g8-DEMtAE9q4i4ySQ0eV_qZefmRQD92HFI380 |publisher=The Associated Press |date=2008-08-13 |accessdate=2008-08-13] Sky News correspondents claimed that tanks were on the streets in Gori, adding that they and Norwegian journalists were robbed at gunpoint, apparently by South Ossetian irregulars. [ [http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Russia---Georgia-War-Russian-Tanks-On-Streets-Of-Gori-After-Ceasefire-Deal-Agreed/Article/200808215076752?lpos=World%2BNews_0&lid=ARTICLE_15076752_Russia%2B-%2BGeorgia%2BWar%253A%2BRussian%2BTanks%2BOn%2BStreets%2BOf%2BGori%2BAfter%2BCeasefire%2BDeal%2BAgreed Russian Tanks 'Heading For Tbilisi'] ] The New York Times said Czech journalists were also robbed and claimed that "the Russian military had firmly occupied this leafy city" of Gori. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/world/europe/14gori.html Russian Soldiers Occupying Stalin’s Birth City Are Buoyed by Battle With Georgia] ] A reporter from the Belgian national television station VRT also confirmed that about 30 Russian armoured vehicles entered Gori in the morning and then positioned themselves on the hills around the city. [ [http://www.deredactie.be/cm/de.redactie/buitenland/080813_Gori_tanks_Blommaert Russische tanks blijven actief in Georgië] ]

Al Jazeera correspondents in Poti reported "more and more Russian troops coming into the area all day" and the destruction of several Georgian vessels. Reporter Hoda Abdel Hamid claimed that "Russia is clearly on the offensive." [ [http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2008/08/2008813153517926662.html Russian forces sink Georgian ships] ]

Russia, in turn, accused Georgia, saying " [d] espite the assurances from the Georgian side that they have ended all military activities, Russian troops shot down a second Georgian drone over Tskhinvali earlier today." [ [http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Georgia-Conflict-President-Bush-Calls-For-Russian-Withdrawal-And-Humanitarian-Aid/Article/200808215076752 Bush Wants Russia Out, Aid In] ]

U.S. President George W. Bush ordered U.S. military aircraft and naval vessels to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies. At 17:25 UTC the first U.S. C-17 Globemaster aircraft arrived in Tbilisi [cite web |url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,402982,00.html |title=Bush Orders Military to Deliver Aid to Georgia |accessdate=2008-08-13 |date=2008-08-13 |author= Anne McGinn, Nina Donaghey and The Associated Press ]

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree requiring that Russia seek the permission of Ukraine's armed forces "at least 72 hours prior to [Russian] ships or aircraft crossing the Ukrainian border." [ [http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jxWSXsJwitQHhYrvd-DUbRfgQdEA Looting reignites Russia-Georgia tensions, AFP] ] [ [http://unian.net/eng/news/news-267018.html Yushchenko “locks” Russian ships in Crimea, UNIAN, 13.08.2008] ]

According to RIA News deputy chief of Russian joint staff general-colonel Anatoly Nogovicin says: "With all responsibility I say: we don't have our tanks in Gori. Administration of Gori shameful leave town before we come to it. And we can't set dialogue with anyone of Gori administration." [ [http://www.rian.ru/osetia_news/20080813/150342553.html Peacemakers refute assertions about Gori attacks RIA News, 13.08.2008] ] [ [http://www.rian.ru/osetia_mm/20080812/150322734.html Video RIA News, 13.08.2008] ]

August 14 - August 16: Russian offensive stops in Gori and Igoeti

Early on August 14, a reporter from the Belgian national television station VRT claimed that about 3 Russian armored cars were blocking a major road towards Gori. He also stated he saw tanks and snipers nearby. [ [http://deredactie.be/cm/de.redactie/buitenland/080814_havens_Georgie Nog Russische tanks in straten van Gori] ]

A BBC correspondent claimed to have heard a series of explosions coming from hills around the town. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7560100.stm Russians begin Georgia handover] ] The UK Telegraph said "South Ossetian irregulars continuing to loot and pillage in Gori and nearby Georgian villages, often with the encouragement of Russian troops". [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/2558812/Russia-destroying-military-bases-in-Georgia.html Russia destroying military bases in Georgia] "The Telegraph"]

According to Reuters, witnesses in Poti claimed that Russian tanks had entered the town and were "looting" or destroying infrastructure. Russia denied that its troops were in Poti. [ [http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSLE126209 Russian tanks in Georgia's Poti - witnesses] "Reuters"]

Although U.S. Secretary of State Rice said " [t] he provisional ceasefire that was agreed to really must go into place. And that means that military activities have to cease" and Defence Secretary Gates accused the Russians of going "far beyond reasserting the autonomy of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," Gates nonetheless said that there was "no prospect" of US troops being deployed in the region. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/14/georgia.russia7 Georgia conflict could set back Russia's US relations 'for years'] "the Guardian"]

According to Interfax, army of Russian Federation gave back control of Gori to army of Georgia. Russian minister of defence general-major Vyacheslav Borisov said: "All previous talks about damaged town and marauding do not correspond to reality". Secretary of National Defence Сouncil of Georgia Alexander Lomaya also agreed with this message and said in live broadcast on "Rustavi-2": "In whole situation in Gori is calm and now Russian army only keeps up the order". [ [http://interfax.ru/politics/txt.asp?id=27186 Leaving Gori] "Interfax"]

Amid the ruins and tanks in the South Ossetian capital, the remaining residents shared scant goods and wondered why humanitarian aid promised by Russia has not arrived [http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/world/south-ossetians-wait-for-aid-in-bombedout-capital/2008/08/15/1218307168921.html (Brisbane Times)]

On August 15:

04:44 GMT – The Russian Federal Immigration Service has officially registered over 17,000 refugees from South Ossetia, who fled to Russia after Georgia’s military assault. 1820 of them are children. [http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/29039 (Russia today's timeline of the conflict)]

07:55 GMT – Georgians in South Ossetia who fled during last week's fighting will not be allowed to return to their homes in the breakaway republic, according to South Ossetia President Eduard Kokoity. [http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/29039 (Russia today's timeline of the conflict)]

09:28 GMT - A senior Russian military official said that five U.S. Air Force C-17 planes have landed at Tbilisi airport, bringing unknown cargo to Georgia. [http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/29039 (Russia today's timeline of the conflict)]

09:40 GMT - Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has blamed Georgia for provoking hostilities in its breakaway region of South Ossetia and criticised Western states for backing Tbilisi. [http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/29039 (Russia today's timeline of the conflict)]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meanwhile, meets Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the Russian resort town of Sochi. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7551576.stm (BBC's timeline of the conflict)]

On Sochi meeting Mr Medvedev says Georgia should sign the ceasefire immediately but he cannot see the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia wanting to be a part of Georgia now. Moscow is not against the idea of having international peacekeeping forces in the two regions, he says, but the people living there only trust Russian peacekeepers. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7551576.stm (BBC's timeline of the conflict)]

At the same time, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Tbilisi for talks with Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili, in a show of US support for the Georgian government. She brought with her the formal ceasefire agreement brokered by French and current European Union leader Nicolas Sarkozy. It is hoped Mr Saakashvili will sign the agreement. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7551576.stm (BBC's timeline of the conflict)]

Amidst what the Associated Press described as "intense diplomacy to persuade Russia to pull troops out of Georgia", "tensions soared" after Russian General Anatoly Nogovitsyn was quoted by the Interfax News Agency as saying that by accepting a US missile battery Poland "is exposing itself to a strike". [ [http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/World/2008/08/16/6470551-sun.html Intense talks on Georgia] AP] [ [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080815.wgeorgia0815/BNStory/International/home Diplomatic whirlwind begins as West presses Russia to pull out] "The Globe and Mail"]

The Georgian Foreign Ministry stated in a press release that Russia had destroyed a major railway bridge in the Kaspi district responsible for bisecting Georgia from east to west and linking the hinterland to seaports on the Black Sea. Russian denied blowing up the bridge. [cite news |first=Megan K. |last=Stack |coauthors=Daragahi, Borzou |title=Russian forces destroy key Georgian bridge |url=http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-ossetia17-2008aug17,0,5302823.story |publisher=Los Angeles Times |date=2008-08-16 |accessdate=2008-08-16]

According to the International Herald Tribune, Russian military units advanced to Igoeti, their closest approach yet to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. The newspaper said the move "opened a new security vacuum between Gori and [Igoeti] , creating fresh targets" for "looters and armed gangs in uniform - many of them apparently Ossetians, Chechens and Cossacks - [who] have operated behind the army's path, ransacking villages largely vacated by fleeing civilians."

The IHT also noted that "Russian soldiers remained in Zugdidi and Senaki in western Georgia, and another armored patrol roamed the roads to Abasha, near Kutaisi. A large contingent still held Gori, astride the country's most important road." [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/16/europe/16military.php Russians consolidate positions in Georgia] "International Herald Tribune"]

A Georgian Foreign Ministry statement claimed that Russian forces and separatist units had taken 13 villages in the buffer zone along the border of the separatist region of Abkhazia that was created at the end of the 1992-1993 war over the region. The statement went on to claim that temporary administrations had been set up in those villages. A power plant was also claimed to have been taken in the maneuver. The statement indicated that the effect of this action was to shift the border of Abkhazia toward the Inguri River. [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080817/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_abkhazia_7 Georgia says Abkhazia separatists seize villages] "Associated Press"] [http://www.miamiherald.com/news/top-AP-stories/story/645043.html]

According to the Associated Press, Russian forces were "digging in" at Igoeti, which is about 30 miles west of Tbilisi. [ [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080816.wgeorgiaupdate0816/BNStory/International/home Russia defying Georgian truce, U.S. says] AP ]

August 17: Russians say withdrawal to begin August 18

On August 17, Georgia accused the Russian army of destroying a key railway bridge and starting massive fires in the scenic Borjomi Gorge, in violation of a new cease-fire agreement between the two countries. [ [http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/16/georgia.russia.war/index.html?section=cnn_latest Georgia accuses Russia of cutting rail line, starting fires] CNN ] [ [http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20080816%5cACQRTT200808161744RTTRADERUSEQUITY_0028.htm&&mypage=newsheadlines&title=Georgia%20Accuses%20Russia%20Of%20Cutting%20Key%20Rail%20Bridge%20in%20East%20West%20line Georgia Accuses Russia Of Cutting Key Rail Bridge in East West line] Nasdaq ] The BBC's Richard Galpin, who has spent the past two days travelling from the Black Sea port of Poti to Tbilisi, says Georgian forces seem to be surrendering control of the highway to the Russians [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7566199.stm (BBC)] .

The UK Guardian said that South Ossetian forces had captured Akhalgori [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/18/georgia.russia1 Tanks and Katyushas bristle round isolated Tbilisi] ] while the New York Times reported that Russia had deployed SS-21 Scarab missile launchers to South Ossetia, [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/18/world/europe/18georgia.html?hp Pledging to Leave Georgia, Russia Instead Tightens Grip] "The New York Times"] an accusation that Russia denies. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7568376.stm]

Russia's president Medvedev nonetheless said Russian troops would begin pulling out of Georgia on Monday. [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080817/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_russia Russia says Georgia pullout to begin Monday] Associated Press]

August 18: Russian pull-out claims

Anatoli Nogowizyn from the Russian General Staff said around noon that Russia had started to pull troops from Georgia [ [http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,572751,00.html Russischer Generalstab meldet Truppenabzug (German)] ] . By 14:00 UTC - 5:00 PM in Georgia - ARD-correspondent Olaf Bock hadn't heard of any independent observers reporting either troop movement out of Gori or troops coming into North Ossetia from South Ossetia. [ [http://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/video/video364312.html ARD tagesschau Video: Kaukasus-Konflikt: Angekündigter Rückzug russischer Truppen aus Georgien wird skeptisch beobachtet (German)] ]

Four armored vehicles appeared in the village of Igoeti, intending to move towards the village of Lamiskana. Georgian police resisted the Russians and made a barrier with their vehicles; however, the soldiers received an order from their general to drive over the police vehicles and so they did. The police managed to get out of the cars and no one was injured. [ [http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-62034 Russian tanks drive over Georgian police vehicles] ]

Late on afternoon, Russian units were still operating in the center of the country. Russian military convoys continued to move in and out of Gori, about 40 miles northwest of Tbilisi, including tanks and an anti-aircraft gun. The situation was the same in western Georgia, the second flank of the Russian offensive. There was no evidence of a Russian pullback by mid-afternoon in and around Zugdidi, near Georgia's border with the rebel province of Abkhazia. As they had the day before, Russian tanks occupied the regional police compound there. In the morning, a convoy of 12 Russian military vehicles, including three tanks, rolled south toward the key Black Sea port of Poti. In Senaki, Russian forces continued to occupy a Georgian air base and other positions in the city, located along Georgia's main east-west highway. [ [http://www.mcclatchydc.com/117/story/49042.html No sign that Russians have begun leaving Georgia] McClatchy, August 18, 2008]

According to RIAN, Russian troops were pulling out of the South Ossetian capital Tskinvali. [ [http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080818/116103462.html Russian troops start pullout from South Ossetia capital] , RIAN, August 18, 2008 ]

August 19: Russians shut down port of Poti; NATO meeting called

The Wall Street Journal said Russian forces had seized control of Poti, rendering "another big blow to Georgia's economy." [ [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121913118324652571.html Russia Briefly Seizes Georgian Port] "The Wall St Journal"] An Azeri news source quoted a Poti port official as saying, "workers were expelled from the port".Russian forces reportedly commandeered the Georgian missile boat, "Tbilisi", and sank it. [ [http://news.trendaz.com/?show=news&newsid=1273610&lang=EN Activity of Georgian Black Sea Port of Poti Paralyzed] Azeri TREND]

NATO countries convened for an "emergency summit" in Brussels to find some consensuses on a response towards Russia in regard to the conflict in Georgia. While, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov levelled accusations at NATO of being "unobjective and biased" in maintaining support for a "criminal regime" that is "failing." [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7569357.stm BBC] ] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7571104.stm Russia Hits Back at Nato warning] (BBC) accessed 19 August 2008]

The United Nations Security Council met to hear a briefings about the situation, including brief statements about human rights abuses and relief shipments to the area, and the promise of a permanent Russian military base in South Ossetia. [ UN document |docid=S-PV-5961 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5961 |page=2 |anchor=pg002-bk08-pa04 |date=19 August 2008 |speakername=Mr. Pascoe |accessdate=2008-08-21 ] The Georgian ambassador reported cases of destruction of their civilian and military infrastructure and alleged a Russian backed cyber attack. [ UN document |docid=S-PV-5961 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5961 |page=5 |anchor=pg005-bk02-pa04 |date=19 August 2008 |speakername=Mr. Alasania | speakernation=Georgia |accessdate=2008-08-21 ] The Russian ambassador accused other parties of engaging in propaganda. [ UN document |docid=S-PV-5961 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5961 |page=11 |anchor=pg011-bk01 |date=19 August 2008 |speakername=Mr. Churkin | speakernation=Russia |accessdate=2008-08-21 ]

August 20-22: Russian withdrawal

A claim was made by an official from the Poti port that the Russian military had withdrawn. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7571506.stm Russia rejects UN Georgia Draft] (BBC) accessed 20 August 2008] However, Russian forces have remained in the port as of August 22 [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7579506.stm US Warship reaches Georgian port] BBC News] , "excavating trenches, setting up mortars and blocking a key bridge with armored personnel carriers and trucks." [http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/G/GEORGIA_RUSSIA?SITE=TXDAM&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT]

Despite selective Russian fortification in some areas, some Russian forces were seen heading north, out of the area that the French-brokered cease fire signed between Russia and Georgia demanded Russia leave. There was question as to whether or not Russian forces would have left the area fully by Friday, as they had stated they would since Tuesday. There were reports of Russian forces looting civilian property and of civilian starvation in Gori. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080821/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_russia]

Russia has announced its promised troop pullout from Georgia is complete. Russia says it will keep a permanent military presence in a large buffer zone bordering Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. According to a White House spokesman, American President Bush and French President Sarkozy have agreed that Russia is not in compliance with the cease fire that Sarkozy brokered between Georgia and Russia. [http://www.euronews.net/en/article/22/08/2008/us-disputes-russia-s-claims-of-georgia-withdrawal/] The Kremlin, however, says in a formal announcement, that President Sarkozy, in a telephone conversation with Russian President Medvedev, has shown satisfaction with the Russian withdrawal [http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n150284] .

August 24

On the 24th of August, with Russian forces still within the port of Poti, a US warship has arrived with supplies and aid [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7579506.stm (BBC)] ] [ [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/us-warship-docks-in-black-sea-port-with-georgia-aid-907401.html] Independent (UK)] .

August 25

On the 25th of August, the Deputy Defense Minister of Abkhazia Anatoly Zaitsev claimed that 8000 Georgian troops were massing at the border with Abkhazia. [ [http://www.regnum.ru/english/1046150.html Georgian troops consolidated near Kodori Gorge] regnum, August 25, 2008]

August 26

Both houses of the Russian Parliament pass unanimous resolutions calling on President Medvedev to support the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7580386.stm|title=Russian MPs back Georgia's rebels|date=25 August 2008|publisher=BBC News]

August 27

President Medvedev of the Russian Federation signed two Presidential decrees recognizing the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia as sovereign independent states to authorize the drafting of treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with the new states. [ UN document |docid=S-PV-5969 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5969 |page=6 |anchor=pg006-bk02 |date=28 August 2008 |speakername=Mr. Churkin | speakernation=Russia |accessdate=2008-09-03 ]

The Georgian pilotless flying machine is shot down( Southern Ostetii Michael Mindzaev has informed the Ministry of Internal Affairs). [http://www.rian.ru/defense_safety/20080828/150745221.html Над Цхинвали сбит грузинский беспилотник]

August 28

The United Nations Security Council held a meeting to hear briefings about the humanitarian implications of the conflict, and for both sides to state their positions on the issue. When the US ambassador questioned the disregardance of earlier Security Council resolutions about territorial integrity, the threat and use of force, and the redrawing of territorial borders, the Russian ambassador asked where were the weapons of mass destruction, what about the threats to wipe Iran off the face of the earth, and what happened to your territorial principles when Kosovo declared independence? [ UN document |docid=S-PV-5969 |body=Security Council |type=Verbotim Report |meeting=5969 |page=16 |anchor=pg016-bk02 |date=28 August 2008 |speakername=Mr. Churkin | speakernation=Russia |accessdate=2008-09-03 ]

September 9

Russia announced it would keep 7,600 troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia for the foreseeable future, asserting power in the breakaway regions even as it began a pullout from positions deeper in Georgia. [ http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2008/09/09/russia_to_keep_troops_in_georgia_breakaway_regions/]

eptember 12

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin insists to reporters that President Dmitry Medvedev had no choice but, to attack Georgia as Russia had been encircled on all sides. "(Georgia) attacked South Ossetia with missiles, tanks, heavy artillery and ground troops. What were we supposed to do? If his country had not invaded, he said, it would have been like Russia "getting a bloody nose and hanging its head down", and there would be a "second blow" into the north Caucasus," said Putin in defence of Russia's heavily criticized action. [http://www.dailyindia.com/show/272153.php]

eptember 13

Russian troops start withdrawal from Georgia. [cite web
publisher=AFP
url=http://www.afp.com/english/news/stories/newsmlmmd.d6d999e5d5ce3033b70a08b8c7225c01.361.html
title=Russian troops start withdrawal from Georgia
date=2008-09-13
accessdate=2008-09-13
] By 11:00 MSK, all posts near Poti were abandoned, while withdrawals from Senaki and Khob followed. [cite web
publisher=Interfax
url=http://www.interfax.ru/politics/txt.asp?id=32544
title=Вывод войск
date=2008-09-13
accessdate=2008-09-13
]

October 3

A car-bomb exploded in Tskhinvali near the Russian peackeeping headquarters killing seven Russian soldiers and wounding another seven. The Russians and South Ossetians accused the Georgian Security Ministry of being behind the attack, the Georgians denied it and further accused the Russians of orchestrating the attack so they would have enough of a reason to maintain their military presence in Georgia. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7651097.stm]

External links

* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/south-ossetia-10.htm Globalsecurity's timeline of the conflict]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/europe/2008/georgia_russia_conflict/default.stm BBC's timeline of the conflict]
* [http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/29039 Russia Today's timeline of the conflict]
* [http://en.qartu.com/post/46500036/timeline-of-events-in-the-russians-invasion Qartu.com's timeline of the conflict]

References


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