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Russian forces head towards Tbilisi 'in breach of ceasefire agreement'

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by iceberg, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    btw - if world leaders are comdening moscow, how can we say "bad georgia" for their "aggressive" stance to their "own" people?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4522720.ece

    Philippe Naughton, and Charles Bremner, Moscow

    A Russian armoured column comprising at least 100 vehicles rolled south from the Georgian city of Gori this afternoon towards the capital, Tbilisi, in an apparent breach of yesterday's French-brokered ceasefire to end the conflict in the Caucasus.

    Civilians fleeing the region also told how separatist militias backed by Russian troops were attacking and killing Georgian villagers in the hills around the town, which is around 17km from the borders of disputed South Ossetia.

    The Russian column, which included armoured personnel carriers, troop-carrying trucks and support trucks with anti-aircraft guns, was witnessed by Times correspondent Tony Halpin, who said: "The ceasefire agreement specified that they were meant to go backwards. They are clearly going forwards."

    Gori, about 17km from the disputed enclave of South Ossetia, has been blocked off, but other witnesses saw at least half a dozen Russian tanks patrolling the town. News agency reports suggested that some tanks had joined the Russian advance.

    Simon Sebag Montefiore says retaking Ossetia is just one part of Russia's campaign to reassert dominance and defy the US.

    Halpin said that the column turned off the Tbilisi road after about 20km and headed east to the village of Orjosani, where the Russians appeared to be preparing some kind of supply base. Many of those with the column were Ossetian irregulars identified by a piece of white cloth tied around their right arms.

    Curiously, Georgia's deputy interior minister confirmed that Russian troops had left Gori but said that they were not advancing towards Tbilisi. "I’d like to calm everybody down. The Russian military is not advancing towards the capital," Ekaterine Zguladze told a news conference.

    In a possible explanation for the advance, a spokesman for the Russian peacekeeping force in South Ossetia said that the force was removing military hardware and ammunition from an arms depot outside Gori.

    "In the vicinity of Gori, a big military depot was discovered containing Georgian military hardware," he told Reuters. "The depot was unguarded and the military hardware there was battle-ready. In the interests of demilitarising the conflict zone and ensuring the safety of the population, the military hardware and ammunition are now being removed."

    Halpin was blocked at a checkpoint manned by a Russian unit from Chechnya but said that civilians fleeing the region claimed that South Ossetian militiamen backed by other Chechen soldiers were "killing people in the villages". Smoke could be seen rising from nearby hillsides.

    As machine-gun fire rang out behind them, the soldiers manning the checkpoint confirmed that there were no Georgian forces left in the enclave.
    Halpin told Times Online: "I am witnessing a huge column of Russian vehicles coming out of Gori on the road towards Tbilisi. There are something like 100 Russian lorries, support trucks and some armoured personnel carriers in a column that has taken something like 20 minutes to pass me.

    "Gori has been sealed off by Russian troops. I was able to get about a kilometre from the city until I got to a checkpoint manned by Chechen troops who are under orders to stay there and have set up shooting positions."


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  2. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Those damned Georgians.
  3. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    thabigp just told me the "invasion" is moving at a glacial pace to almost gauge reaction first.
  4. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    oops - page 2:
    The Russian actions were clear breach of a ceasefire brokered yesterday by President Sarkozy of France, the current European Union chairman, under which both sides are meant to withdraw to their positions from before the conflict erupted last Thursday night.

    An AFP journalist reported that a convoy of around 60 tanks and APCs had left Gori. The reporter said that Russian soldiers were leaning out of the windows of the trucks shouting "Tbilisi! Tbilisi!" and waving Russian flags. The trucks were loaded with tents and supplies. Gori lies about 75 km (45 miles) from Tbilisi.

    In the Georgian capital itself, Alexander Lomaia, who heads Georgia's Security Council, said: "Russia has treacherously broken its word."

    Earlier, Kremlin officials and army chiefs had denied Georgian claims that 50 Russian tanks were in Gori, which the Georgian army abandoned two days ago.

    Instead, Russia continued to vent its anger on what it called Georgian aggression and atrocities and said that its troops would only return to their positions from before the conflict once Georgian soldiers had returned to their barracks.

    Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister, also ruled out the continuing participation of Georgian troops in the international peace-keeping force which has been stationed in the disputed territory for over a decade. The Georgians were "traitors" who had turned round and fired on their Russian colleagues, he said.

    Russia said that it had suffered 74 dead, 171 wounded and 19 missing from its armed forces in the brief conflict. It continued to accuse Georgia of "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" against the Russian majority in South Ossetia.

    Russia says that some 2,000 civilians were killed and 100,000 displaced. Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, urged Mr Lavrov in a telephone call to desist from using the two expressions in relation to Georgia's actions, the Russian minister said. President Medvedev also used the terms yesterday with Mr Sarkozy.

    While the war of words raged on between a humiliated Georgia and a re-emboldened Kremlin, the West acknowledged that the five-day war had opened a new chapter in its relations with the former superpower that was once again flexing its muscles.

    The United States cancelled joint military exercises and David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said that Europe should reassess its ties with Russia after its "aggressive" behaviour in Georgia.

    General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy head of the Russian General Staff, said that Ukraine, Georgia's main weapons supplier, along with Nato countries, had pushed it to attack the Russian forces. "If Saakashvili had not been armed up to the teeth, he would never have made such a decision," he said.

    As the dust settled on the Caucasus conflict, it was becoming clear that Georgia's assaults on Russian forces in its separatist province had backfired. Mr Saakashvili's conduct came under fire from Eduard Shevardnadze, the Soviet elder statesman who was Georgia's President for eight years until 2003.

    "Georgia should not have intervened in [South Ossetian capital] Tskhinvali in such an ill-prepared manner. This was a grave mistake," Mr Shevardnadze told Bild, the German newspaper. "The situation is extremely tense and very complicated. What happens next is uncertain. I hope that the talks of President Saakashvili with his Western partners will lead to an end to the conflict," he said.
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Lets see what the geniuses of Yeah Yeah, Benny and company have to say.
  6. yeahyeah

    yeahyeah New Member

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    If the Russians breach the ceasefire then they are in the wrong...what should I say? They both agreed to it.
  7. PosterChild

    PosterChild New Member

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    Told ya. They'll set up a puppet govt and effectively cntrl that area and its riches.
  8. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    i thought we were the only ones who did that.
  9. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    They learned it from watching us! :eek:
  10. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    damn that bush....
  11. utrunner07

    utrunner07 Well-Known Member

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    Shhhhhhhh! Don't wake up the libs!

    (reads more of thread)

    Too late...
  12. ThaBigP

    ThaBigP New Member

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  13. ThaBigP

    ThaBigP New Member

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    This could be an absolutely brilliant counter move by Washington. Russia invades under the guise of "protecting" its "citizens" in a foreign nation in order to establish a military presence there.

    Counter move - use the humanitarian deliveries to establish a US military presence there.

    Could get hot, of course, with their forces and ours in the same theater where hostilities are sporadically on-going. But Putin's gamble all along was that the West would be blindsided, and then impotent, to respond. Much as the Georgian President gambled when he sent forces into South Ossetia in the first place. But never lose sight of the fact that South Ossetia *is* part of Georgia, even as recognized by Russia when they crossed the border.
  14. ThaBigP

    ThaBigP New Member

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    This also - human rights observers are pretty much coming to the conclusion that Russian accusations of Georgians committing "genocide" are wildly exaggerated:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4525079.ece

    so the pretext gets flimsier and flimsier by the moment.

    International press has, however, reported first-hand accounts of Russian forces driving civillians before them, burning and looting homes. Georgian's accuse Russia of "rounding up" civillians and "concentrating" them in various areas, though that has yet to be confirmed by impartial sources as far as I can tell.
  15. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Just another reason I wish Powell would join the race...

    One gem which the audience enjoyed was the retelling of Powell and President Bush’s first encounters with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As Powell recalled it after the meeting he and Bush were reviewing events and comparing notes and seemingly they disagreed. At one point Bush looked at his Secretary of State and said (with a suitable Texas twang) “Powell, I looked into Putin’s eyes and I saw his soul” to which Powell replied: “Mr. President, I looked into President Putin’s eyes and I saw the KGB”.

    Nice to see that W is finally seeing past his soul and seeing more of what Powell saw.
  16. utrunner07

    utrunner07 Well-Known Member

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    This AND Georgia's Judo man beat the Russian Judo man in the Olympics....that will wake Russia up!
  17. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed...part 2 Zone Supporter

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    wow. didn't know that, bp.
  18. Rampage

    Rampage Benched

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    so they're leaving Georgia because we kinda said "were coming and by the time we get there you better be gone"?
  19. utrunner07

    utrunner07 Well-Known Member

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    And now its has been confirmed that the Georgonians have defeated the Russians in womens volleyball....its over Russia...
  20. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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