Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lavrov and Rice discuss the question of Saakashvili's departure

Лавров и Райс обсудили вопрос ухода Саакашвили

US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalizad stated on August 10 that head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed in a telephone conversation the question of the departure of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaliy Churkin remarked that in history "there have been many democratically and semi-democratically elected heads of state," who at certain times have become the cause of problems within their own country. If this is the case, then sometimes such leaders make the decision to leave, remarked Churkin.

IA Regnum

Several hundred military advisers from NATO countries at work in Georgia

В Грузии работают несколько сотен военных советников из стран НАТО

There are currently several hundred military advisers from NATO countries in the territory of Georgia, the greatest number being from the US and Great Britain, reports the BBC. The weekly journal The Sunday Times also reports that the Pentagon "is supporting up to 200" of its military experts in Georgia and that these have been engaged in training the Georgian army.

According to information from the British weekly journal The Sunday Telegraph, the US has formed, trained, and armed Georgian divisions over the last several years. The Georgian army is made up of 12,000 men, all of whom have been trained in accordance with "NATO standards." A part of the army has served in Iraq and has combat zone experience.

As "Vesti" reported earlier, Russia's ambassador to the UN Viktor Churkin stated at a session of the UN Security Council that 127 military advisers from the US Department of Defense are working in the Georgian Ministry of Defense.

South Ossetian authorities confirm that mercenaries took part in the Georgian attack on the republic, stating that bodies of black soldiers have been found among the dead in Tskhinvali. Ossetian authorities suspect that they are instructors. And it is not only with specialists that foreign countries have helped Tbilisi, they say--almost all of the weapons of the Georgian army were purchased from abroad.

IA Regnum

Last of the wounded emerge from basement of Tskhinvali hospital

Последняя партия раненых вывезена из подвалов больницы в Цхинвале

The last of the wounded have been evacuated from the capital of South Ossetia. For almost three days, they have been waiting for help in the basement of the practically completely destroyed hospital, a result of Georgian shelling, reported South Ossetia Minister of Health Nugzar Gabaraev. According to Gabaraev, the last group of evacuees consisted of 100 people, reports "Osimnform."

Meanwhile, the headquarters of the joint peacekeeping forces (SSPM) in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone have confirmed that there has been a virtual ceasefire. However, shooting has not subsided along the southern edges of the city.

IA Regnum

For now, ceasefire in Tskhinvali being kept, according to peacekeeper

На данный час миротворцы не фиксируют нарушений соглашения о прекращении стрельбы в Цхинвали

Currently, there is relative calm in the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, reports "Vesti."

According to Vladimir Ivanov, assistant commanding officer of the joint peacekeeping forces in the conflict zone, peacekeepers have not observed any violations of the ceasefire so far. Firing has not been observed in the city.

IA Regnum

19 members of Georgian special forces captured near Tskhinvali

19 грузинских диверсантов взяты в плен в окрестностях Цхинвала

19 Georgian soldiers were captured near the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali. As Irina Gagloeva, official representative of the government of South Ossetia, told reporters, they were members of two special forces groups. According to Gagloeva, the captives were being held under tight security, as there is a risk of vigilante justice.

IA Regnum

Russian Airborne Troops reinforce peacekeeping contingent in Abkhazian-Georgian conflict zone

Группировка ВДВ усилила миротворческий контингент в зоне грузино-абхазского конфликта

Russian army forces have arrived at a Russian Airborne Troops base in the southern security zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict to prevent a recurrence of what happened to Russian peacekeepers in Tskhinvali and to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. As Alexander Novitskiy, assistant commanding officer of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone, told journalists, the reinforcements have joined the Russian peacekeepers. According to Novitskiy, the move was made in response to increased provocations by Georgia and the presence of heavy arms in the security zone.

IA Regnum

More sources

This blog was never intended to be an alternative news source for the Georgian-Ossetian-Russian (-Abkhazian?) war (I did just start this blog less than 2 weeks ago). But as the conflict continues, I've been quite amazed by a lack of Russian perspective in the media. This conflict is much too complicated to be represented by only one side. So as long as there is a demand for translations of Russian sources, I will continue to translate.

I am just one person, however, and I can't read or find all the good Russian articles out there (I can also translate Georgian; in fact, I had originally intended to translate primarily Georgian articles, but I've found so little diversity in opinion or even simply well written arguments, that I've all but given up on trying to find a reliable Georgian source. If you know of one, please let me know). Please don't hesitate to recommend articles or other blogs to me.


Голос Души: Tskhinvali, 21:00

Here's the latest post from a soldier/citizen of Tskhinvali. Warning, some of the descriptions are graphic:

"There's artillery fire now! The Georgians have begun to fire on the city with "Grad" rockets and mortars. The Georgians wanted to carry out an air strike today, but so far only the artillery personnel are at it.

People are being sent to Vladikavkaz in trucks. The awful crying and screaming of women is nonstop. During the day, a Georgian mortar struck a car burning the 4-person family within alive, two children and their parents. In the past 2 days I've already personally witnessed the destruction of 3 families.

In the village of Tsunar, a tank ran over a mother and continued to roll back and forth across their lifeless bodies [sic].

We eat what's at hand, we raid stores, army rations, canned foods in cellars."

Rockets and artillery fire continue to fall from Georgian divisons in the Kodori Gorge [Abkhazia]

Ракетно-бомбовый и артиллерийский обстрел грузинских подразделений в Кодорском ущелье продолжается

On August 10th, divisions of the Abkhazian army entered the Gali district of the republic, which is monitored by the joint peacekeeping forces, and have taken up positions along the border river Ingur, reports Christian Bzhaniya, head of the press office of the President of Abkhazia, to an IA Regnum correspondent. "Currently, we are taking countermeasures against provocations by the Georgian side and enforcing law and order in the border zone. The Abkhazian army does not plan on crossing into Georgian territory at this stage of the operation. Even though Georgia's statement about beginning to force its way to the river Ingur constitutes a provocation," he emphasized. Bzhania has called the provocations the beginning of a large-scale information war with Tbilisi, referring to a statement made by the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs saying that Abkhazia plans to pillage the Zugdidi region of Georgia and for this reason has created a special corridor.

"Similar provocative statements by the Georgian leadership and news media aggravated the conflict in 1992. Similar statements have once again become the ideology in the recent aggressions against South Ossetia," he emphasized. "We understand that now Tbilisi is undertaking efforts to spread disinformation, but at any moment this could lead to quite real consequences," says Bzhaniya.

Regarding the situation in the upper part of the Kodori Gorge, Bzhaniya reports that the rocket and artillery fire continues to come from Georgians who have taken up positions there in violation of all international agreements. He also reports that a fleet of war ships from the Russian Navy continue to protect Abkhazia's coastline. "Today we are also strengthing the numbers of our peacekeeping forces. They have been brought to the Sokhumi airport by military transport planes... These steps have been taken to prevent a similar situation to what has happened to Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, from happening here," emphasized Bzhaniya.

IA Regnum

Breaking News! Georgia disengages army from South Ossetia and ceases firing without conditions

Срочно! Грузия вывела войска из Южной Осетии и прекратила огонь без предварительных условий

On August 10th, The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered to a representative of the Russian Embassy in Georgia a note from the President of Georgia declaring a ceasefire in South Ossetia. As the Georgian MFA noted, all Georgian armed forces have been withdrawn from the conflict zone. The Georgian MFA reports that "Georgia has created a humanitarian corridor and given civilians and the wounded a chance to leave the conflict zone."

IA Regnum

Temur Iakobashvili: Georgian army not retreating -- forces regrouping

Темур Якобашвили: Грузинская армия не отступает - идет перегруппировка сил

Georgia is regrouping its forces and does not intend to retreat from the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone, stated Temur Iakobashvili, State Minister for Reintegration. "The Georgian army has not and will not retreat from the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone," he noted.

According to Iakobashvili, the Georgian army has completed three phases. "The fourth has now come. Russia has thrown all of its forces, who were massed around the Roki Tunnel, into the battle zone. We don't intend to bury our own soldiers, so we're regrouping in order to prevent the Russian army from advancing. We're ready for the resistance," stated Iakobashvili.

Earlier today, the Ministry of Defense of Georgia confirmed the loss of Tskhinvali from its control and the retreat of its forces to Gori where Georgian reservists are concentrated.

Georgian forces invaded South Ossetia after a lengthy artillery bombardment campaign, which came from large-caliber artillery and "Grad" rocket artillery systems among other ordinances. Georgian tanks and infantry entered the Georgian capital. In two days, according to some sources, up to 2 thousand South Ossetian civilians were killed. There are also casualties among the Russian peacekeeping forces in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone, who came under fire despite an international peacekeeping mandate. The leadership of Russia has made the decision to conduct an operation to enforce peace in the conflict zone as it is the responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers to liberate the entire zone.

IA Regnum

Armenia not requiring visas from foreigners evacuated from Georgia

Армения не будет взимать визовый сбор с иностранных граждан, эвакуированных из Грузии

As of August 10th, Armenian citizens have not suffered as a result of the events in Georgia, reported the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press conference.

It was noted that Armenian citizens continue to be evacuated. Other nationals are also escaping to Armenia, including 180 Pols, 130 US citizens, and hundreds from other nations. It's expected that 130 Italians will arrive.

The MFA emphasized that the decision was made not to require visas of or apply the usual exit tax at the airport to foreign nationals evacuated from Georgia. Border Control and Customs has made it as easy as possible to enter Armenia.

IA Regnum

Tskhinvali is ours. [from Tskhinvali soldier's blog]

This is my third translation of a Tskhinvali citizen's/soldier's blog.

Цхинвал наш.

10 August, 2008 12:08 pm

"This morning we broke into a warehouse with weapons. Now, almost everyone has a gun.

Finally the Russian army has arrived. They've surrounded the entire city. The Georgians have left for home. Now we're occupying positions along the city.

Today, the rest of the women and children left. Many have been killed.

A Georgian prisoner said that yesterday, of the 500 tank men only 100 survived. He himself is a tank mechanic. The guys took away their tank, boarded it and went to shoot the Georgians. The prisoner fought with all his might.

That's what's happening.

Calm in Tskhinvali: People briefly emerge from cellars

В Цхинвале затишье: люди ненадолго вышли из подвалов

At around 08:00 on August 10 in Tskhinvali there is calm, reports an IA Regnum correspondent. Some of those who have been sitting in cellars emerged onto the streets. A clean-up operation is under way in the city. A team of Georgian snipers have taken up positions in a building of the factory "Emalprovod." As far as can be visually determined, there are many bodies of Georgian soldiers, Ossetian, fewer. Fighting continues in the southern suburbs. Russian tanks patrol the city.

Early reports indicate that Georgian resistance in the villages of Tamarashen and Kexkhvi has been supressed.

During the course of the night, artillery fire continued from both sides. Georgian forces fired on Tskhinvali from neighboring heights.

There are around 5 thousand civilians left in the city. Georgia hasn't created a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of civilians.

Last night, a sabotage team, numbering 30 persons, penetrated the village of Tbet, through which people have been getting out of Tskhinvali. Now a car, shot by them, sits on the road filled with massacred people. A family has been found shot in a home in Tbet, children are among the dead.

A third session of the UN Security Council has ended again without result. Russia's ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin was adamant that the word "genocide" be used in the document.

IA Regnum