Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

August 26, 2008

Russian Attack: Summary

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 2:07 pm

Altogether, Georgia’s sovereign territory was subjected to aerial bombardment 42 times. The areas bombed far exceeded the putative conflict zone of South Ossetia.

The bombs and missiles were delivered during up to 158 illegal incursions into Georgia’s airspace, of which 96 are fully confirmed.

At least 165 bombs and missiles were used, including cluster bombs and other weapons banned by international agreements. At least three of the attacks directly targeted civilians in civilian areas.

Bombing runs before ceasefire

The list below indicates the areas bombed, the minimum number of times each was bombed, their distance from the conflict zone and/or Tbilisi, and the date(s) of the attack(s).

Target # times bombed Distance Date
Shavshvebi village 1 30 km 08.08.08
Variani village 1 20 km, 75 km from Tbilisi 08.08.08
Gori 5 17 km 08-10.08.08
Vaziani Airfield 2 2-3 km from Tbilisi 08-09.08.08
Marneuli 3 20 km from Tbilisi 08.08.08
Bolnisi 1 35 km from Tbilisi 08.08.08
Senaki 1 213 km from Tbilisi 09.08.08
Oni 1 09.08.08
Village Urta 1 330 km from Tbilisi 10.08.08
Tbilisi Airplane Factory 2 Tbilisi 09-10.08.08
Knolevi (Kareli district) 1 10.08.08
Urta (Zugdidi district) 1 10.08.08

In Upper Abkhazia, the Russian air force bombed villages and positions at least 4 times. The gorge was invaded by airborne Abkhaz and Russian troops on 10 August.

Bombing runs after Georgian ceasefire offer

At 17:30 on 10 August, the Georgian Foreign Ministry hands a diplomatic note offering an immediate Georgian ceasefire to the Russian Embassy. The Russian Air Force continues its attacks for three more days.

Anaklia (Zugdidi district) 10.08.08
Settlements near Batumi (Khelvachauri district), close to Turkish border 11.08.08
Shiraki airfield (Kakheti region) 11.08.08
Gori, twice 11-12.08.08
Senaki military airport 11.08.08
Kodori gorge, Upper Abkhazia 11.08.08
Senaki military base 11.08.08
Kere and Sakasheti (Gori district) 11-13.08.08
Kaspi (30 km from Tbilisi) 11.08.08
Tkhviavi (near Tskhinvali) 11.08.08
Vaziani military base (on the outskirts of Tbilisi) 12.08.08
Orchosani (Gori district) 12.08.08
Sakoritno (Kaspi district) 12.08.08
Ruisi village (Kareli district) 12.08.08

Occupation of Georgian towns and villages

Zugdidi (11.08.08);
Beloti village near Eredvi, Tskhinvali district (11.08.08);
Shindisi, Gori district (11.08.08);
Senaki (11.08.08);
Gori, the only connection between East and West connection blocked by Russians (11.08.08);
Khaishi, Svaneti region (12.08.08);
Upper Abkhazia (12.08.08);
Additional troops enter Gori (13 – 14.08.08);
Atosi village, Kareli district, East of Gori (13.08.08);
Pakhulani village, Tzalenjikha district (13.08.08);
Additional troops enter Zugdidi twice (14.08.08);
Mejvriskhevi village, Gori district (14.08.08);
Ruisi and Tzveri villages, Kareli district (14.08.08);
East deep from Senaki (14.08.08);
Abashistzkali village, 40 km.s away from the second largest city of Georgia, Kutaisi (15.08.08);
Igoeti (15.08.08);

Tbilisi Intrusion Threat:
12 August
15 August

Occupation of Georgian towns and villages after French-mediated ceasefire

Following the signature of the ceasefire agreement by all parties (Georgia, France and Russia), the Russian offensive should have ceased and a pullback to positions held before August 7th engaged. Instead, Russia deepened its occupation of Georgia, entering and occupying towns and villages far away from the conflict zones.

Igoeti, Kaspi district, 40 km.s away from Tbilisi (15.08.08);
Khashuri, 30 km.s west from Gori (15.08.08);
Surami, west of Khashuri (15.08.08);
Sachkhere parts, Western Georgia (16.08.08);
Akhalgori, 40 km.s North-West of Tbilisi (16.08.08);
Aditional Russian troops entered Senaki military base (17.08.08)
South Ossetian separatist paramilitaries entered additionally to Akhalgori (17.08.08)
Russian armored vehicles advanced towards Supsa oil terminal near Poti (17.08.08)
Russian Troops advanced and blocked road near Kaspi again (18.08.08)
Russian troops advanced towards Sachkere (19.08.08)
Russian troops entered Poti port again (19.08.08)
Russians opened checkpoints in Poti entrance (20.08.08)
Russians occupy village Chogha of Chkhorotsku district, Samegrelo region, in western Georgia (20.08.08)
Russian militaries occupy villages Perevi, Sachkhere in Sachkhere district, Imereti region, western Georgia (20.08.08)

Mines

Roads in the Svaneti Region were mined on 17.08.08. Road bridges on the old Gori road south of Kaspi were mined on the same date.

Russian troops used explosive devices to destroy military installations in the Senaki base on 18.08.08 and the Osiauri base on 23 and 24 August.

A landmine blew up a crude oil train 5 km west of Gori on 24 August. Other mines and buried artillery shells were subsequently found at other spots of the tracks.

Landmines and bomblets left by the departing Russian army are targeting civilans. A blast killed a woman in Gori on 24 August and injured a man in Tirdznisi on the same date.

Mines of the “frog” type have been found in civilian gardens and orchards in Gori. These are antipersonnel mines that, when stepped upon, jump into the air and explode at chest or head height.

Cluster bombs

The use of cluster bombs against civilian targets has been confirmed by Human Rights Watch. Cluster bombs explode at altitude in order to scatter bomblets over a wide area. Most bomblets explode on impact. The effect of hundreds of bomblets exploding at the same time is to saturate the targeted area with high-speed shrapnel, killing everything alive. Because the bomblets can be scattered over a wide area, these are among the most destructive antipersonnel conventional weapons.

Bomblets that fail to explode on impact become landmines.

The exceptionally destructive power of these weapons has led them to be banned by 107 countries, including all of the European Union.

Current civilian, military and journalist casualty figures

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 2:07 pm

The information below is accurate to the best of our knowledge, but is subject to verification. They do not include data on South Ossetian and Russian casualties, which they government of Georgia has no way of assessing.

The numbers of dead and wounded are based exclusively on bodies received by Georgian morgues, and does not include those kept, buried, burned or otherwise disposed of within the area of Russian control.

About 160 military personnel remain unaccounted for.

The number of registered IDPs only includes those IDPs who fled to areas of Georgian control, and does not include those who fled to Russia or who are displaced within areas of Russian occupation.

Georgians wounded:

Total: 2231
Military: 1964
Civilian: 267
Discharged: 1069

Georgians killed:

Total: 216
Military: 143
Civilian: 73

Journalists:

Killed: 3 (1 international, 2 Georgians).
Injured: 6 (3 internationals, 3 Georgians).
Detained by Russians/Ossetes: 10 (8 internationals, 2 Georgians).
Attacked by Russians/Ossetes: 3 (2 internationals, 1 Georgian).
Robbed by Russians/Ossetes: 12 (all internationals).

Number of registered IDPs:

119, 000

Russian Ceasefire Agreement Breaches: Checkpoints

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 1:44 pm

The Russian Army has illegally established a number of checkpoints deep within sovereign Georgian territory, contravening the ceasefire agreement. On average, they consist of about 4 armoured vehicles, 60 soldiers, support vehicles and sometimes fortifications such as concrete blocks, razor wire, trenches or earthen berms.

When the number of vehicles or personnel differs significantly from this average, details are given.

The checkpoints regularly dispatch armoured patrols into surrounding towns and villages.

This map gives an overview of the current checkpoint situation:

Central Georgia

At 22:00 on 25 August, the Ministry of Interior confirmed 12 checkpoints in central Georgia (Shida Kartli and other areas adjacent to South Ossetia, as well as in parts of South Ossetia that were never part of the conflict). Their location is given on the map below, a list follows.

List of checkpoints in Central Georgia

  1. Perevi (Sachkhere district)
  2. Ghodora (Sachkhere district)
  3. Muguti (Znauri district)
  4. Ali (Khashuri district)
  5. Ptsa (Kareli district)
  6. Variani (Gori district)
  7. Karaleti (Gori district)
  8. Shavshvebi (Gori district)
  9. Ergneti (Gori district)
  10. Tsiara (Java district)
  11. Ikoti (Akhalgori district) 7 infantry combat vehicles, 1 armoured vehicle, 6 Ural-type vehicles, 2 Gaz-66 vehicles, 1 military power shovel, 1 mobile medical unit, 2 grenade launchers, trenches, and 100 soldiers
  12. Meghvrekisi and Brotsleti (Gori district) A large concentration of about 150 vehicles, most of them armoured, are stationed between the villages.

Western Georgia

At 22:00 on 25 August, the Ministry of Interior confirmed at least 20 checkpoints in western Georgia (Samegrelo, Svaneti, Upper Kodori, Gali, Ochamchire). Their location is given on the map below, a list follows.

Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region

  1. Teklati (near Senaki) – 5 armoured vehicles, 1 crane, 2 Ural-type vehicles, 1 vehicle with communication systems, 1 UAZ-type vehicle, 1 GAZ-type car, 1 large army tent, trenches are dug, 40 Russian servicemen
  2. Pirveli Maisi (Khobi district) – Near former Georgian police check-point: armoured vehicles, 2 Ural-type vehicles, 1 UAZ-type vehicle, 1 large army tent, trenches are dug, 40 Russian servicemen
  3. Between Shua Khorga and Chaladidi (Khobi district) – Near the turning to Kulevi oil terminal: 4 armoured vehicles, 2 Ural-type vehicles, 1 large army tent, 30 Russian servicemen
  4. Menji (Senaki district) – In the Bakaraia neighborhood of the town, on the grounds of the Menji sanatorium, about 10 meters from the railroad: 3 armoured vehicle, 4 Ural-type vehicle, 2 cranes, 1 military power shovel, 1 large army tent, 40 Russian servicemen
  5. Kantisubani (Tsalenjikha district) – On the Tsalenjikha-Chkhorotsku road: (3 armoured vehicles, 2 Ural-type vehicles, 1 large army tent, trenches are dug, 30 Russian servicemen
  6. Chale and Muzhava (Tsalenjikha district) – At the entrances of the two villages: 3 armoured vehicles, 1 Ural-type vehicle, 20 Russian servicemen
  7. Chkhorotsku – On an old airfield, near the Senaki-Chkhorotsku highway: 3 armoured vehicles, 2 Ural-type vehicles, 1 vehicle with electricity generator, 2 large army tents, 40 Russian servicemen
  8. Nabada (a suburb of Poti) – 2 armoured vehicles, 1 Ural-type vehicle, 1 UAZ-type vehicle, 1 military power shovel, 1 large army tent, 30 Russian servicemen
  9. Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge

    Sources report substantial Russian and Abkhaz deployments in the region. Howver, access is currently impossible, precluding an accurate count of Russian and Abkhaz personnel deployed.

  10. Gentsvisi
  11. Omarishara
  12. Sakeni
  13. Chkhalta
  14. Kvapchara
  15. Additional chekpoints

    Colonel-general Anatoly Nogovitsin, the deputy head of the Russian General Staff, listed the following additional checkpoints during a press conference on 22 August:

  16. Khudoni
  17. Jikmuri
  18. Ochamchire
  19. Gupagu
  20. Meore Gudava
  21. Anaklia
  22. Mount Kvira

Estimated number of personnel and equipment at illegal checkpoints:

  • Russian servicemen: 970
  • Armoured vehicles: 66
  • Infatry combat vehicles: 7
  • Grenade launchers: 2
  • Ural-type vehicles: 22
  • UAZ-type vehicle: 3
  • Gaz-66 vehicles: 2
  • Vilis-type car: 1
  • Military Army tents: 8
  • Cranes: 3
  • Military power shovel: 3
  • Vehicle with communication systems: 1
  • Vehicle with electricity generator: 1
  • Mobile medical unit: 1

Summary of Damage Inflicted by Russia

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 1:25 pm

Russia’s invasion is inflicting massive damage to the economy, infrastructure, and environment of Georgia. This document assesses the destruction caused by Russia during August 8-25, the period of ongoing occupation of Georgia.

The Russian army has significantly destroyed the country’s transport, energy, administrative, social, and civilian infrastructure, as well as damaged environment. Their actions have inflicted severe damage to the property of hundreds of Georgian and foreign companies, and to the houses and flats of thousands of civilians. Russian military planes intentionally set fire to large swathes of Georgia’s forests, resulting in a major environmental catastrophe and the potential loss of crucial natural assets, including endemic species.

The destruction by Russia catalogued in this document took place beyond the conflict zone, often close to Tbilisi. Damage caused by Russia inside the conflict zone cannot be assessed by the Government, since it has no access to the areas in question.

This document does not attempt to calculate the economic, environmental and commercial losses caused by Russia’s invasion and occupation of Georgia, since large areas of the country are still beyond the reach of Georgian authorities. Thus the exact estimation of the damage in monetary terms is the task for future.

Types of infrastructure damaged:

  1. Transport infrastructure
  2. Energy infrastructure
  3. Industrial enterprises
  4. Administrative, social & civilian Infrastructure
  5. Intentional Forest Fires
  1. Transport Infrastructure

    Ports:

    • August 9 and 13, Russian military jets bombed the Port of Poti on the Black Sea, in western Georgia. The bombs damaged Container Terminal #7, the largest and best-equipped terminal for handling containers. One of the two energy generators and fire control systems of the port were damaged.
    • Russia’s bombs killed 5 workers and injured more than 15 others. The Port of Poti is the main link on the TRACECA East-West transport corridor that handles cargo between Europe, Central Asia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
    • August 12, Russian troops have entered Poti Port and occupation of port is continuing till present.

    Main Railway Bridge:

    • August 16, Russian forces blew up the Grakali bridge on the central railway route connecting the eastern and western parts of Georgia. Passenger and cargo transport, including the transport of humanitarian aid was abruptly stopped.
    • The destruction of the bridge has disrupted international cargo traffic between Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Azerbaijani oil exports through Georgia were stopped. Armenia was effectively cut off from the world. Petrol rationing is in force there, and food prices have risen dramatically.
    • It will take at least two weeks to repair the bridge.
    • Ralway bridge in Marneuli 25 km from Tbilisi damaged.

    Road Bridges:

    • 17 August, Russian troops mined the road to the highly mountainous region of Svaneti (close to Abkhazia, Georgia, another conflict zone), thus potentially cutting off the region from the rest of Georgia and preventing goods and services from reaching its population.
    • August 17, two bridges in Kaspi mined.

    Railways:

    • The Russian Air Force bombed the Kaspi and Senaki rail stations, located 52 and 230 km respectively from Tskhinvali, Georgia, thus destroying vital rail infrastructure

    Maritime Blockade:

    • Since August 10, Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet has been blockading the territorial waters of Georgia, preventing ships carrying civilian cargo from entering the Port of Poti for example the cargo ship “Lotus – 1”, loaded with wheat and other civilian goods, was prevented from entering Poti Port by Russian military forces (August 8-9).
    • This is resulting in massive commercial losses for companies and transporters, and preventing needed supplies from reaching Georgia and other countries in the region.

    Civilian Airports:

    • 9 August, Russia bombed Kopitnari Airport (20 km from Kutaisi, Georgia’s second largest city, and a full 180 kilometers from Tskhinvali, South Ossetia). The main runway was damaged.

    Civilian Radar Stations:

    • 13 August, a civilian radar station serving the civil aviation system of Georgia, located 5 km north of downtown Tbilisi on Makhata Mountain, was bombed and destroyed by Russian warplanes.

    Damage to Roads & Highways:

    • August 9, Russian jets bombed the bypass road of the Rikoti road tunnel, which connects the eastern and western parts of Georgia, therefore cutting country’s transport infrastructure.
    • Several hundred kilometers of roads and highways have been mined and damaged by the movement of heavy Russian military vehicles.
  2. Energy Infrastructure

    International energy pipelines:

    • Areas adjacent to all three international pipelines – BTC, SCP, and Baku Supsa – were attacked by fighter jets between August 8 and August 12.
    • The bombed locations were 20 km east of Tbilisi, far beyond the conflict zone. Several bombs were dropped only 5 meters from the Baku Supsa oil pipeline on August 8. Russian rockets caused an explosion on the 27th kilometer of the Baku-Supsa crude-oil pipeline near Tbilisi.

    Electricity:

    • August 12, Russian bombers damaged electricity transmission lines leaving more than four thousand civilians without power.
    • Three transmission lines connecting the western and eastern parts of Georgia also have been damaged: “Kavkasioni” and “Kartli 2,” and “Liakhvi” .
    • At present, the eastern and western parts of Georgia’s energy infrastructure are operating as separate systems.
  3. Industrial Enterprises

    Aircraft plant:

    • August 10, an aircraft plant adjacent to Tbilisi International Airport was bombed twice with long-delay blasting bombs. The landing strip and adjacent infrastructure was destroyed.

    Cement factory:

    • August 12, a cement factory in Kaspi owned by German manufacturer Heidelberg Cement was bombed; the factory is 30 km from Tbilisi.

    Wine factory:

    • August 16, Russian jets dropped unidentified devices on the wine factory in the village of Okami, in the Kaspi district, 52 kilometers from Tbilisi.
  4. Administrative, Social & Civilian Infrastructure

    Administrative buildings:

    • Russian forces and paramilitary troops have robbed and damaged nearly all the administrative buildings they have occupied. A precise damage assessment can only be made after the Russian Army withdraws.

    Damage to Civilian Police Equipment:

    • August 18, Russian armored vehicles intentionally drove into and damaged several police cars in Kaspi, 52 kilometers from Tskhinvali.

    Schools and Kindergarden:

    • Four schools in Gori district – Gori school #7, Nikozi, Tviti and Karzji schools were partially destroyed and several schools were damaged.
    • As A result of Russian jets bombing a kindergarten in Gori was destroyed.

    Cemetery:

    • August 11, Bombs hit a cemetery and fields near Batumi, 15 kilometers from the Georgian-Turkish border.

    Hospital:

    • August 12, a bomb exploded in the backyard of the hospital in Gori (30 kilometers from Tskhinvali), killing a doctor and significantly damaging the hospital.

    University:

    • August 12, the University of Gori was hit by numerous bombs, destroying parts of the main building in the central square of the city.

    Market:

    • August 12, the main market in Gori was bombed.

    TV Broadcasting Station:

    • August 12, Russian troops destroyed the Gori TV broadcasting station. As a result, TV and radio broadcasting has been interrupted in Gori and surrounding areas. One employee was killed, three wounded.

    Tele-communication:

    • More then 30 base stations of leading mobile operators “MAGTI” and “GEOCELL” in Gori and Kaspi were completely destroyed.
    • Two fider-optic lines, following the railway and the highway in Gori and Kaspi was damaged.

    Civilian Homes:

    • In every territorial-administrative unit invaded by the Russian Army, its forces have robbed and/or burnt civilian houses. A precise assessment of damage can only be made after the Russian Army withdraws.
    • Thousands of houses in villages across South Ossetia and in the villages north of Gori have been looted and burned. A precise assessment is impossible at the moment, but the likely scale of the damage is suggested by satellite maps of burning Georgian villages published by UNOSAT.
  5. Environmental Damage

    Forest Fires:

    • According to UNOSAT, about 450 hectares of forest in southwestern Georgia, about 108 kilometers from Tskhinvali, burned after being intentionally set ablaze by Russian military helicopters on August 15. This has caused an ecological catastrophe and damaged the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park.
    • August 16, helicopters set fire in the Kaspi district and in Surami, Khashuri district.
    • August 20, Russian military helicopters dropped fire setting bombs in Djevera (Gori district) and in Kiketi, 10km west of Tbilisi. The latter area was firebombed again after the fire was put down the next day.

August 25, 2008

President Medvedev to recognize independence

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 10:51 am

The information below is accurate to the best of our knowledge,
but is subject to verification.

25 AUGUST

10:40 – Upper House of the Russian Parliament – Council of the Federation recommends President Medvedev to recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Meeting with NATO representative Robert Simmons

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 6:31 am

On 22 August 2008 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Eka Tkeshalashvili held a meeting with NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for South Caucasus and Central Asia Robert Simmons.

The sides discussed the issues of NATO’s assistance to Georgia in various fields with focus on the Alliance’s firm and steadfast support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Note was also taken of the Alliance’s general approach to Russia’s aggression against Georgia and the urgency of immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Georgia.

The sides focused on details of setting up a NATO-Georgia commission as well.

Following the meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative held a joint press conference.

Timeline for 24th August, to 12:50

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 6:25 am

24 AUGUST

12:50 Forest is on fire in the surroundings of village Gldani on the outskirts of Tbilisi.

11:30 Georgian police release AP journalists detained by Russian soldiers
• An AP TV crew operating near Poti was arrested this morning by the Russian army because they did not have Russian media accreditation. They were taken to the Georgian police station in Poti and released there.

11:00 US Navy destroyer McFaul enters Batumi port.

10:30 Train carrying petroleum explodes on the railroad west of Gori.
• A train carrying 34 tanks of crude oil exploded at about 10:30 near the village of Skra, 7 km west of Gori, when moving from Azerbaijan to Batumi. 13 tanks are burning. The cause is suspected to be a Russian mine: Skra had been under full Russian control until the Russian pull-out of Gori. No casualties reported.

Intentionally set fires

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 6:24 am

Intentionally set fires

Intentionally set fires


Active Tskhinvali fires

Active Tskhinvali fires

Timeline for 23rd August, to 12:00

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 6:17 am

23 AUGUST

12:00 Chief of staff of Russian Army Anatoly Nogovitsin names at the press conferense places where Russian intends to organize checkpoints. In violation of the ceasefire agreement they are well out the conflict zone, namely in: Perevi – near Sachkhere; Ali – 90kms from Tbilisi and 7 Km from east-west highway, on the way from Khashuri to Sachkere and South Ossetia; Kvenatkotsa – in Kareli district near Agara, 1 km from eas-west highway; Variani – 10km north of Gori, on the road from Gori to Tskhinvali; Karaleti – 10km north of Gori, on the road to Tskhinvali; Shavshvebi – 40km west of Tbilisi on the east-west Highway, Monasteri – 35 Kms noerth-west from Tbilisi on the way to Akhalgori and 7kms from eastwest highway, Ikoti – 40Kms north-west from Tbilisi near town Akhalgori and 12kms from east-west highway.

11:30 Parliament of Georgia prolongs Martial Law till September 8.

Meeting with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Filed under: Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia — georgiamfa @ 6:16 am

On 22 August 2008 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, President of Ukraine’s special representative Konstantin Eliseev.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia provided his Ukrainian counterpart with exhaustive information concerning the situation resulting from the unlawful actions of the Russian occupation army as well as on the population affected by ethnic cleansing.

Mr Eliseev reaffirmed the Ukrainian side’s readiness to assist Georgia in overcoming the crisis. He also focused on the measures considered to be expedient in terms of Ukraine’s national security interests.

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