Friday, August 8, 2008

South Ossetia maintains control of Tskhinvali

Южная Осетия удерживает контроль над столицей республики

South Ossetia continues to maintain control of its capital, Tskhinvali. As "Vesti" reports, despite "Georgia's attempt last night to exact revenge for yesterday's failures, South Ossetian forces have managed to maintain control over the situation." According to Russian correspondents, shelling continued through the night and civilians were forced to spend the night in cellars. Homes burned all night long. They couldn't be extinguished because the city has problems with its water supply.

Meanwhile, the Georgian news media are reporting that Tskhinvali is in Georgian hands. [Read this article for a comparison; it seems there is a real information black hole in Georgia]

Russian TV has been taken off the air in Georgia. And according to some accounts, "Voice of America" broadcasts have been doubled.

IA Regnum

Tbilisi airport cancels majority of flights to Europe

Аэропорт в Тбилиси отменил большинство рейсов в Европу

The international airport in Tbilisi has canceled flights departing for countries in Europe, with the exceptions of Turkey and Ukraine, reports the news agency "Vesti."


IA Regnum

The situation in South Ossetia could end with its recognition -- Russian political scientist

Ситуация в Южной Осетии может закончиться её признанием - российский политолог

"I'm not excluding the possibility that as a result of the recent situation, South Ossetia will become and independent state," said Nikolai Silaev, senior fellow at the Center for Caucasian Studies, Moscow Institute of International Relations.

"Judging from information which has been made available by the news media, the Georgian advance has, it would seem, stopped. I don't know what role Russia played in this, because only just now has any kind of statement from the Russian authorities been released," noted the expert.

As for what form the Russian intervention will take, in my opinion, the situation here is such that any decision will be bad. Everyone agrees that no military intervention won't do: I think that the information saying that a column of Russian technical equipment is heading in the direction of Tskhinvali is worth paying attention to, not to say the least about volunteers. It seems to me that it will be very difficult to keep any kind of Russian intervention at the local level. If Georgia is disposed to escalate the conflict, they have more opportunities to do so than Russia,” believes the political scientist.

Besides the question of whether or not the fighting in Tskhinvali will stop, the question will remain what to do next. Russian authorities could grant security guarantees to South Ossetia; however, as today’s events have shown us, these guarantees aren’t enough. These guarantees are enough, maybe, for the preservation of political unity in South Ossetia, but they aren’t enough to provide security for all who live there. And the situation is unstable,” asserts Saliev.

“I’m afraid that there are strategic questions the Russian authorities will have to answer. They’re not talking about the tactical challenges—which forces will intervene, regular units or volunteers, and so on. It’s necessary to know what to do next here,” noted the expert.

“I don’t exclude the possibility that after what’s taken place, that is of course unless Georgia gets its wish, South Ossetia might be recognized as an independent state. But looking at it from another angle, even if this happens, there will still be many problems. The problem of strip farming in Georgian and Ossetian villages will remain. The problem of the considerable Georgian military presence in the conflict zone will remain. The problem of how to protect citizens in the region will remain. The problem of economic provisions will remain—there’s simply nowhere to work there. And recognition in itself won’t solve these problems,” emphasized the expert.

“That’s why, in my opinion, now we have to form our position in a wider context—what to do in general concerning the conflict. Recognition gives little to South Ossetia. Even if the Russian army is present there, can we be assured that Tskhinvali isn’t attacked once more? Armed men will remain, but women, children, and the elderly will be forced to leave? In that case, what’s the point of recognition?” asks Nikolai Silaev.

IA Regnum

Russia should respond to Georgia's move -- Zyuganov

Россия должна ответить на вызов Грузии - Зюганов

The Russian Armed Forces should intervene in the armed aggressions against South Ossetia by Georgia, believes leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) Gennady Zyuganov. An IA Regnum correspondent reports that on August 8th, Zyuganov stated that he insists that the "commander-in-chief of Russia give the corresponding orders and that our armed forces undertake reciprocal actions and attack Georgian military targets, which have actually unleashed full-scale war in South Ossetia." "It's necessary to take concrete steps," Zyuganov emphasized. "Saakashvili has crossed all conceivable and inconceivable borders by beginning war in South Ossetia, 90% of whose inhabitants are Russian citizens, and, so, it is a war against our citizens," said the head of CPRF in the Russian State Duma.

IA Regnum


The CPRF [Communisty Party of the Russian Federation] requests the State Duma to quickly recognize the independence of South Ossetia

КПРФ требует от Госдумы немедленного признания независимости Южной Осетии

Russian armies advance in South Ossetia -- Georgian forces retreat in all directions

Российские войска двинулись в сторону Южной Осетии - грузинские силы отступают по всем направлениям

Divisions of the Russian army together with Ossetian guardsmen are advancing within South Ossetia. According to our sources in the battle zone, "Zar road has been cleared," reports an IA Regnum correspondent. Fighting is taking place in the region of the settlement of Kvaisa. For now, Russian military aircraft control the airspace over Tskhinvali. Georgian militants are retreating in all directions. Georgian tanks are burning in the streets of Tskhinvali, and according to those fighting in Tskhinvali, the city has not been taken.


IA Regnum

Russian Peacekeepers: Surviving inhabitants of Tskhinvali haven't been given a way out

Российские миротворцы: Оставшимся в живых жителям Цхинвали не дают коридор для выхода

Russian peacekeepers, who continue to remain in the battle zone in South Ossetia, dispute the claim by Georgian politicians that a humanitarian corridor has been granted to allow the departure of Ossetian survivors, inhabitants of Tskhinvali. In particular, commanding officer of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces Marat Kulaxmetov stated that no kind of corridor had been granted to peaeful inhabitants; they continue to remain in the city where there is still fighting and artillery shells are falling.

Representative of the ruling party "United National Movement" and mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava declared that from 15:00 to 18:00, a ceasefire would be put into effect to allow inhabitants of Tskhinvali to leave through a corridor created in the village of Ergneti. According to Ugulava, more than 70% of Tskhinvali has been taken by Georgian army.

IA Regnum