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Document by the Government of Georgia
Purpose of this document
In seeking to justify its invasion of Georgia, Russia has claimed that its forces entered Georgian territory only after a purported "surprise Georgian assault” on Tskhinvali; however, Moscow continues to refuse to make public the time at which Russia launched its invasion into Georgia.
As the following timeline makes clear, Georgian Government forces advanced into the Tskhinvali region only after days of intensive shelling that caused civilian deaths in villages under Georgian control —and after confirmation that a massive Russian land force had begun invading Georgia through the Roki Tunnel.
This was the culmination of months of meticulous planning by Russia; 40,000 Russian troops were soon occupying Georgia, as part of a simultaneous land, air and sea assault, unfolding a premeditated strategy that had little to do with Russia’s stated claim of protecting its recently created "citizens” in the Tskhinvali region.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and restoration of Georgia’s independence, the Russian Federation has been pursuing the targeted policy aimed at fragmentation of the Georgian State and infringement of its sovereignty. To achieve this goal Moscow through military aggression has invaded parts of the Georgian territory conducting total ethnic cleansing on the occupied areas.
The war leaves Russian ambitions for regime change in Tbilisi intact. But the Georgian nation and its society have survived a great test to emerge the moral victor, says Georgia’s minister of education, Ghia Nodia.
By Ghia Nodia
Russia says it has started pulling back from Georgian soil, but there are few if any signs that it means business. Therefore, the war is not over yet. Despite this, Neal Ascherson and Ivan Krastev have on openDemocracy already started taking stock of the possible results of the war. I will join them in these attempts – though all of us should understand that while Russia continues trying to change the situation on the ground through military means, any such assessments can only be rather tentative. READ MORE…
On 16 August 2008 at approximately 4 p.m. local time, armed gangs of the Abkhazian separatist regime together with units of the Russian regular army shifted the administrative border of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia towards the Enguri River. This caused the villages of the Zugdidi region Ganmukhuri and Khurcha, villages of the Tsalenjikha region Fakhulani, Tchale, Mujava and Fotskho-Etseri, as well as territory of the Enguri Hydro Power Plant and adjacent villages of Phichori, Otobaia, Nabakevi, Tagiloni, Chuburkhinji, Dikhazurga and Saberio to fall under the occupation of the Russian army and armed gangs of the Abkhazian separatist regime. In those villages Abkhazian separatist government set up temporary administration.
Furthermore, the Russian Federation still continues bombing of Georgian territories using the incendiary weapon prohibited by the International Convention. Today, at approximately 7 p.m. local time, Russian military helicopters bombed timber lands in the vicinity of the town Surami causing the new seats of fire.
Due to the extremely difficult situation, caused by the direct and uncovered occupation of Georgia by the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls upon the friendly countries and international community to provide urgent assistance in extinguishing the seats of fire across Georgia and again, condemns in the strongest terms Russian aggression against the sovereign state of Georgia.
Despite the international community’s efforts and the signing of documents on cessation of hostilities, the Russian Federation’s armed forces continue military actions against Georgia, destroying civilian infrastructure. On 16 August 2008 troops of the Russian occupation army mined and exploded the Metekhi-Grakali span of the railway bridge in the Kaspi district. This subversive-terrorist act resulted in the severing of railway links between the east and west of Georgia and connections with Georgia’s seaports. Moreover, the bridge used to provide a route for refugees from the Russian-occupied territories into safe places.
According to information provided by ministry of foreign affairs of Georgia, Russia is pursuing deliberate policy aimed at undermining Georgia’s statehood, including through bringing about humanitarian catastrophe. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the international community and friend countries to take urgent measures to avert humanitarian catastrophe in Georgia and prevent destruction of Georgia’s statehood.
Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Anatoly Nogovitsyn denied the fact of bridge blast and said: “I state with fully responsibility – it is ruled out.” With respect to this statement of Anatoly Nogovitsyn, every organization or physical person concerned may check this video for video footage of the exploded bridge.