Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Russian occupying army relocating to Gori

რუსული საოკუპაციო ჯარები ქალაქ გორში გადაადგილდებიან

The influx of new Russian occupying forces into Gori has stopped. "Interpressnews" was informed of the development by Shida Kartli's police chief Davit Tabutsadze.

According to Tabutsadze, the Russian army returned to Gori by armored vehicles just a short while ago. "There is no new influx. They are relocating to the center of the city. It's difficult to say just how many pieces of military equipment the Russians have brought in. We can only see a few armored vehicles in the entrance to the city," said Tabutsadze.

A unit of the Russian occupational army left Gori today--only to return in the evening.

Interpressnews [Georgian news agency]

South Ossetian capital gradually returning to normalcy

Столица Южной Осетии постепенно возвращается к мирной жизни

The capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, is gradually returning to normalcy. City municipal services are making every effort to clean and restore the city's infrastructure. A few social establishments and daily services have resumed function. Refugees are returning to their own homes; nevertheless, there are few people to be seen on the streets. Many have been forced to remain outside the republic as many of their homes were completely destroyed.

According to South Ossetian Minister of Health Nugzar Gabaraev, beginning August 21st, all clinics and pharmacies will be open. "The Republican hospital is already operating at partial capacity. Task groups from the Ministry of Health will visit different regions of the republic to deliver aid to local residents," noted the minister.

IA Regnum

Occupying Russian army tightens security in Gori

გორში რუსეთის საოკუპაციო ჯარმა დაცვა გაამკაცრა

In Gori, the Russian occupational army has tightened its grip. Representatives of the government found it rather difficult to pass through villages near Gori today. As news channel "Rustavi-2" reports, not even Georgian Security Council Secretary Alexander "Kakha" Lomaia, who was trying to deliver aid to residents, could enter the nearby village of Karaleti.

"Three days ago we were in this village. Russia swore then before the international community that it would begin withdrawing the next day; however, as we can see, its grip has only tightened. Today, only one government vehicle managed to enter Karaleti," remarked Lomaia.

Just today, Russian soldiers detained a "Human Rights Watch" humanitarian mission near the entrance to Gori. American journalists were among them. On their way from Gori to Igoeti, a PACE delegation led by MP Matyas Eorsi was stopped and prevented from continuing on its way.

Interpressnews [Georgian news agency]

State of Emergency could be extended in Georgia

В Грузии, возможно, будет продлено чрезвычайное положение

The 15-day state of emergency in Georgia, set to expire on August 22nd, could be extended.

As Shota Malashkhia, chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for Issues on Restoration of Territorial Integrity, stated, considering that Georgia is dealing with a "schizophrenic country," it is impossible to determine Russia's next step, and the decision [to extend the state of emergency] will be made the day it expires. As Malashkhia noted, "the Russians don't plan to withdraw their armies from Georgia, since they intend to stay in the country." "Even though the international community is telling them not to behave like this, they can't comprehend," stated Malashkhia. As a result of the military activities in Georgia on August 8th, a 15-day state of emergency was put into effect, and it will expire on August 22nd.

IA Regnum

Investigative committee of Russia: All training sessions for Georgian servicemen conducted by US army officers

Следственный комитет РФ: Все тренировочные сборы грузинских военнослужащих проводились офицерами армии США

All training sessions for Georgian servicemen were conducted by officers of the US army. The statement was made on August 20th at a Moscow press conference by Dmitry Shalkov, chairman of the military department of the Investigations Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office, reports an IA Regnum correspondent.

The representative of the prosecutor's office revealed the findings from the interrogations of six Georgian servicemen, who confirmed that the Georgian attack on South Ossetia was not spontaneous but rather a carefully planned military operation.

Boris Salmaksov, deputy head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor's Office, stated that Russian investigators are familiar with seized Georgian maps, which contain a step-by-step plan for a military campaign in South Ossetia. According to the Prosecutor's Office, the testimonies of the detained Georgian soldiers are evidence that the operaton was planned in advance. Salmaksov quoted one soldier as saying "we were going to free our territory from Ossetians." Another Georgian soldier said that on August 7th, he was given orders to prepare a rocket artillery system to bombard Tskhinvali.

According to the interrogated prisoners, all training sessions for the Georgian army were conducted by officers of the US armed forces. Georgia also used photographs of the region taken by American satellites, stated representatives of the Investigative Committee of Russia.

IA Regnum

Abkhazia parliament appeals to Russian leadership to recognize independence of republic

Парламент Абхазии принял обращение к руководству России признать независимость республики

On August 20th, the parliament of Abkhazia appealed to the leadership of Russia "with the request to recognize the independence of the republic." At an emergency session of parliament, the deputies approved President Sergey Bagapsh's appeal to the Russian leadership. As an IA Regnum correspondent reports, in the proposal, Bagapsh calls on Russia to recognize Abkhazia as a sovereign state and to sign a bilateral treaty of friendship and mutual aid.

On August 21st, a national conference will also take place in Sokhumi where an appeal to Russia to recognize the independence of the republic will also be made.

IA Regnum

In Georgia there's already talk about dissolving government

В Грузии уже говорят об отставке правительства

Minority MP of Georgia Paata Davitaia is not satisfied with the efforts of Parliament. According to Davitaia, as martial law is still in effect, it is still too early to discuss the topic, but as soon as the situation stabilizes, he will ask for the dissolution of the government.

Davitaia noted that the current situation clearly demonstrates the ineffectiveness of a divided government. According to him, when there was criticism, the parliament worked much more effectively for Georgia and more efficiently solved organizational problems. "Changes must take place in the government; it is necessary to replace some of the ministers," noted Davitaia, however, he refrained from naming them.

IA Regnum