lunes, 11 de agosto de 2008

Russia and Georgia are involved in an armed conflict in Ossetia ...

"Unfortunately, my conclusion is that it will be very difficult if not impossible to find sufficient common ground to develop a joint statement"

Jan Grauls, president of shift of the Security Council of the UN.

The history of conflict between Georgia and the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South have long-standing. For more than a decade suroseto has fought the government for its formal independence, following his declaration of emancipation in the early 90. However, their separation from Georgia has not been recognized by any other country, despite being de facto independent. The situation in Abkhazia is quite similar, because like the surosetios have no control over its territory.

+ Lasts a bone Roero

The war in the Caucasian province of Ossetia may seem at first glance a battle between the giant Russian uneven and the small Georgia, but on the battlefield, things are a little different. The president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili has managed to form a powerful army with the help of the United States. Russia may destroy it, but it will not be neither quick nor easy.

Troops of the U.S. special forces, later replaced by the Marines, was spent during the last half a decade to train selected units from Georgia following the NATO standards. The Soviet tradition whereby the soldiers not firing their weapons until they started the conflict is already history.
The infantry forces in Georgia are so powerful as the Russian army that now faces them, and in some respects, possibly higher. The question is whether Saakashvili or the Kremlin is prepared to sacrifice more soldiers in what promises for the moment become a more bloody conflict.

Correspònsal analysts and the agency DPA in Georgia.

Conflict is spreading to Abkhazia and Georgia asks Russia to cease fire

The separatists in Abkhazia, a region which also wants independence from Georgia, took the Russian offensive in South Ossetia to Georgian soldiers face. At the same time, the president of Georgia declared the country into "state of war", while Moscow continued attacks against Georgian troops and even bombed some villages outside South Ossetia.

The wick was lit definitely in the Caucasus. One day after Russia invaded South Ossetia, in response to the military action initiated by Georgia to regain control of the rebel region, the conflict spread to Abkhazia, another Georgian separatist province which is fighting for its independence from Thilisi.

Along with Russian forces, rebel troops entered the Abkhazian border district of Gali, in most inhabited by Georgians, and attacked with artillery and aircraft to the forces Georgina.

The fighting spread throughout Georgia with hundreds of deaths

1 • The president Saakachvili decreed the "state of war" and the return from Iraq of all its military
2 • Medvedev says that Russian soldiers seeking "to force peace" in Ossetia from Tbilisi after the attack.

DMITRI Polikarpov

The war between Russia and Georgia over control of the separatist republic of South Ossetia was extended yesterday to a large part of Georgian territory and claimed hundreds of fatalities among military and civilians. The Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, decreed a "state of war" and ordered the immediate return of the 2,000 soldiers deployed in Iraq to deal with the "Russian invasion".

Taking advantage of the advance of Russian troops in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, another self-proclaimed republic in northwestern Georgia, was launched the attack against the Georgian military stationed in the Kodori gorge, inhabited by Georgians and faithful to the Government of Georgia. "The armed forces of Abkhazia began an operation to expel Georgian troops from the upper Kodori gorge," said the foreign minister of Abkhazia, Sergei Shamba.

The Georgian television said that Russian aviation supported the Abkhaz separatists bombing several villages in Kodori Georgians. Since the beginning of the conflict in South Ossetia, Abkhazia concentrated their troops on the border with Georgia and has sent a thousand troops in support of the rebel republic.

The Russian troops, who entered South Ossetia on Friday to intervene in the armed conflict between Georgians and Ossetians, bombed targets in the Georgian towns of Kutaisi, Poti and Gori, causing several deaths, including civilians, as reported by the Ministry Georgian Interior. In Kutaisi was attacked airfield Kopitnari. In Gori, located about 20 kilometres from South Ossetia, Russian aircraft annihilated a satellite telecommunications.

According to Russian president said, Dmitri Medvedev, the Russian shock troops were sent to the region to "enforce peace" after the attack detachments Georgian military bases of Russian peacekeepers deployed in South Ossetia since 1992 by mutual agreement between Russia and Georgia.

Putin, in the Caucasus

The Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, yesterday traveled to the capital of North Ossetia (Russia), Vladikavkaz, to coordinate the military operation, and to ensure humanitarian aid to thousands of refugees concentrated in the Russian border with Georgia. "According to international agreements, Russia is obliged to intervene in cases where one party fails to observe the ceasefire to protect the other party. This is what we have done in relation to South Ossetia," said Putin, who warned that the Georgian integrity "has received a fatal wound." "It's hard to imagine how they can now persuade South Ossetia to be part of Georgia," he said.
The fierce fighting were accompanied by an intense propaganda war between Moscow and Tbilisi. While the Russian military reported the Kremlin that Tskhinvali was under their control, their Georgian counterparts belie this information boast of many "trophies". Thus, the Georgian defense minister, Bato Kutelia said they had shot down 10 planes, while the Russian General Staff acknowledged the loss of just two bombers. The Georgian television showed images of what supposedly was the corpse of a Russian pilot. According himself Saakashvili, the Georgian troops annihilated in the area of Tskhinvali "60 commandos" of the Russian special troops.

More refugees

Some 30,000 people are trying to flee the fighting zone in neighbouring North Ossetia to seek refuge in Russia, according to the Russian deputy prime minister, Sergei Sobianin. Among the refugees trapped on the outskirts of Tskhinvali, there are several dozen Russian and foreign journalists. The Moscow daily Komsomolskaya Pravda reported yesterday that its special envoy, Alexander Kotz, was wounded by gunfire but could not leave the zone of combat because of the intense shelling.
The group of 50 journalists sent an appeal to the international community for urgent evacuation of the conflict zone for them and for a group of refugees who were hiding in the bombing. "We are here as hostages, because we can not leave because of the intense fire," the letter stated.

The UN waives the ceasefire due to lack of consensus

1. • France calls for EU membership and proposed a plan to end the conflict in Ossetia
2. • Bush condemns attack Russian and Moscow denounced the "savage" in Tbilisi

El Periodico Beijing / Moscow / Warsaw

The Council of the UN Security resigned yesterday, the third meeting in less than 48 hours at the possibility of issuing a joint appeal to a ceasefire in Georgia for lack of consensus and warned of the spread of the conflict outside Ossetia South. "Unfortunately, my conclusion is that going to be very difficult if not impossible,
find common ground sufficient to produce a joint statement, "said the chairman in office of the Security Council, the Belgian ambassador Jan Grauls, after the Council meeting.

Numerous world leaders, from U.S. President George Bush to Pope Benedict XVI, through the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, were mobilized during the day yesterday to limit the scope of armed conflict and avoid its spreading to other areas the volatile Caucasus region. The French presidency of the EU announced a meeting of foreign ministers "at the beginning of next week" to try to end the fighting, while the U.S. president, George Bush, declaring alarmed by the escalation of war and unambiguously condemned the bombings in remote areas of South Ossetia and inhabited by civilians by aviation in Russia.


The head of French state plan proposed a ceasefire and return to the status quo before the outbreak of hostilities, after talking with their counterparts in Georgia and Ukraine and with the prime ministers of Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy. The French presidency of the EU proposes the "immediate cessation of hostilities" and the "withdrawal of Russian and Georgian forces to previous positions" at the beginning of the fighting.
"The attacks occur in remote regions of Georgia in the conflict zone in South Ossetia; violence threatens regional peace," Bush said from Beijing, where he attends the Olympic Games. "We demand an end to the bombings that Russian and both sides return to the status quo of August 6 before the Georgian offensive," he continued, before reiterating his support for Georgia's territorial integrity. "Georgia is a sovereign country and its territorial integrity must be respected," he recalled.

A joint delegation of U.S. and the EU was preparing to travel to Georgia yesterday in an attempt to mediate, as stated by the British defense minister, Des Browne.
The head of the Russian state, Dmitri Medvedev, telephoned to inform his colleague on the U.S. "savages" actions of Georgia against the civilian population suroseta. During the conversation, Medvedev estimated at "thousands" of dead and "tens of thousands" of refugees because of the bombing of the Georgian artillery and aviation.

Not only allies Georgia and South Ossetia - U.S. and Russia respectively - had something to say during the day yesterday. NATO also took letters on the matter and reiterated the call for a ceasefire made the previous day by its secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and urged both parties to the conflict to negotiate and stop the violence immediately. "We have always supported the territorial integrity of Georgia," said the spokesman attached, Carmen Romero. NATO is closely following developments and hoped that diplomatic efforts bear fruit soon, said Romero. Georgia wants to enter NATO, something that Moscow opposes.

Concerned at Warsaw

The Russian offensive has also aroused great fears in countries that one day belonged to the Warsaw Pact dissolved or become part of the USSR. Poland and exsoviéticas the three Baltic republics - Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia - condemned yesterday in a joint statement, come from Russia into Georgia. The four countries urged NATO and the EU to "act accordingly", which, in the words of Kaczynski, resulting in sanctions against Moscow. The Polish authorities have asked the French presidency urgent convening of an extraordinary EU summit on Georgia.

Russia denies that Georgia has put an end to military operations

1. • The Georgian army withdrew its troops from the capital of South Ossetia
2. • Tbilisi calls on U.S. to make "a mediator before the Russians"

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has admitted today that Georgia has surrendered to the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi a note in which it announced after the cessation of military operations today, but has denied that there has been a halt in hostilities by the Georgian side.

"The memo actually exists, but the Georgian side has not stopped military operations in South Ossetia, its troops continued firing," explained a spokesman for the agency Interfax.

Previously, the same source had stated that the Russian Foreign Ministry had not received any note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
Shortly before, Russia has imposed a sea blockade of Georgia and has taken control of Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, shortly after that Tbilisi has announced the withdrawal of its forces from nearly all the territory of the separatist region prorrusa. Georgia has appealed to the United States and has asked the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, who made "to mediate the Russians", has announced the secretary of the Georgian Security Council, Alexandre Lomaïa.

The White House has informed Russia that the conflict can make an impact "important" in their long-term relationships and that Russia's reaction to the Georgian withdrawal would be "a test". The head of French diplomacy, Bernard Kouchner, whose country presides the EU, is scheduled to visit the region to propose an "exit crisis."

Plan France

During his visit, Kouchner will present a three-point plan that includes respect for the territorial integrity of Georgia, the immediate cessation of hostilities and restoring the situation that prevailed earlier in the area. The conflict represents an "escalation" of violence "at the gates of Europe" which "reminds too" which devastated the Balkans, said in an interview with Le Parisien.

The visit by the head of French diplomacy taking place immediately after a warning from the EU in the sense that the continuation of Russian military operations in Georgia "affect" the relationship between the European Community with Russia.

Good provision Georgian

This morning has claimed that Georgia has withdrawn from almost all of South Ossetia as a sign of readiness and willingness to halt military confrontation, "according Lomaïa said Alexandre. Shortly afterwards, the spokesman for the Georgian Ministry of Interior, Chota Outiachvili, has announced that "Russian forces occupy Tskhinvali," center of the battle between Georgians and Russians.

This information has been confirmed by Anatoli Nogovitsyne, head of General Staff of the Russian armed forces, has said that its army controls "most" of the capital. The Georgian forces have fired methodically against Tskhinvali overnight, "said a government spokesman of the separatist region, Irina Gagloïeva, has said that the attack had originated about 20 dead and 150 wounded.

"Tskhinvali is almost destroyed. The people took refuge in basements," said Executive of the republic on its website. "Missing the food staples. There is neither gas nor electricity," he added. The Russian fleet has sent warships in the direction of the Georgian cities in order to achieve a sea blockade. According to the Interfax agency, which has ordered the Russian fleet is "preventing weapons and other military supplies reach Georgia by sea".

Ukraine warns Russia

Ukraine has intervened in the conflict threatening to prohibit returning to the base of Ukrainian port of Sevastopol, in southern Crimea, to ships of the Russian Black Sea fleet for the conflict with Georgia. According to the chairman of the Georgian Parliament, Russia is preparing to attack western Georgia near the separatist republic of Abkhazia.

Moscow has asked the United Nations to withdraw its observers from the territory located between Abkhazia and Zougdidi, said Georgian Interior Ministry. The Georgian government has stated that Moscow had sent 6,000 men to reinforce in South Ossetia and that 4,000 Russian soldiers have downloaded from warships in Abkhazia, another Georgian separatist region for Russia.

Tbilisi also has accused Russia of having intensified its air raids on Sunday in his territory, attacking a military airport near the capital. "There was no plane (Georgian). Their mission was to damage the tracks," said the secretary of the Georgian Security Council.

The Russian aviation has continued its bombing in the Kodori Gorge, an area of the pro-Russian separatist republic of Abkhazia controlled by the Georgians, and has begun to attack the Zougdidi region in western Georgia, said ministry spokesman Georgian Interior.

Humanitarian Corridors

According to Alexandre Lomaïa, overnight Russia has come into South Ossetia "a hundred pieces of heavy weaponry" and has formed "a large number of armoured vehicles" near the Russian-Georgian border at about 35 kilometers from this region independence.

At the humanitarian level, Russia and Georgia have agreed to open two humanitarian corridors in South Ossetia to evacuate wounded, refugees and journalists, according to the Ria-Novosti agency, citing a source in Russian forces interposition.

More than 2,000 people, "the vast majority of Russian citizens", have died in South Ossetia since the beginning of the Georgian offensive, according Grigori Karassine, a Russian deputy minister of Foreign Affairs. The Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that the armed conflict in South Ossetia had caused "tens" of deaths and hundreds injured. "

For his part, the Georgian president Mikheïl Saakachvili, called yesterday for "obvious lies" reports that the dead stood at 1,500 in South Ossetia and stated that "virtually no civilians were killed."

Concern International

Given the concerns internationally, on Saturday night the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, called for their immediate cessation of hostilities. "If negotiations are positive, all armed contingents that are not authorized to be in the area by the respective agreements on South Ossetia should leave the conflict zone," have explained in a statement.

In Washington, an official of the U.S. State Department, who spoke speaking on condition remain anonymous, has found that Georgia has a share of responsibility in the conflict. "Throughout this period, we call forcefully and vigorously to Georgian government to show initiative and avoid at all costs a military conflict with Russian forces and an escalation. We were very clear," he said.



Georgia signed a ceasefire and diplomatic giving first fruits

The foreign ministers of France and Finland carried the document to Moscow for the Chairman Dmitri Medvedev ratify it.

The President of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, today signed a unilateral ceasefire, first fruit of the diplomatic efforts of the European Union (EU) for the cessation of hostilities in South Ossetia.

Saakashvili signed the ceasefire document in the presence of the foreign ministers of France, Bernard Kouchner, and Finland, Alexander Stubb, who arrived last night to Tbilisi to mediate the conflict.

According to Georgian television, which offered images of the moment of signature, the document will be handed over to the Russian side by Kouchner and Stubb, who will travel to Moscow to meet with the Russian leadership.

Kouchner, who presented today at the Georgian leader a "plan for a ceasefire" in the area, scene of fighting for the fourth consecutive day, stated that Saakashvili is "determined to achieve peace."

"President Saakashvili has accepted almost all the proposals that we have done," said a French television Kouchner, which exercises this semester the presidency of the Council of EU ministers.

And he stressed that the aim of his visit to the area was "propose a truce" in the form of immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities, signed a pledge not to use force and withdrawal of troops.

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, travels tomorrow to the Russian capital, where he plans to address the situation with the Russian leader, Dmitri Medvedev, and also will move to Tbilisi.

Meanwhile, Medvedev said today that it had concluded "a large part" of the military operation to "impose peace" to the Georgian side. "Tskhinvali (capital suroseta) is under control of the reinforced contingent of Russian peace," Medvedev said at a meeting with Defense Minister, Anatoly Serdiukov, according to the Russian agency Interfax.

The Russian Army General Staff reported that Russian troops carried out operations in these moments of "disarmament" capture "and" cleansing "of recent armed groups in the Georgian capital suroseta.

"Today, the Georgian soldiers to shoot sporadically Russian troops for peace," said a Russian diplomatic source.

Meanwhile, the deputy commander of the Russian General Staff, General Anatoly Nogovitsin said that Georgia, with help from the United States, had repatriated 800 troops from Iraq.

"From Iraq to Georgia have been moved 800 troops and military equipment," said general Nogovitsin in a press conference, broadcast live by radio.

The C5 transport aircraft took to Tbilisi to members of Thirteenth Infantry Battalion of Georgia, seen as the most effective fighting force of the Transcaucasian republic by its experience in operations in the desert and training received by the U.S. Armed Forces.

In this regard, the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, criticized the aid from Washington to the Georgian authorities stating that the West confused with the real aggressors and victims in the conflict in the separatist region of South Ossetia.

"It's a pity that some of our partners do not help us, but that attempt to put obstacles. I refer also to transfer by military transport aircraft the U.S. military contingent from Iraq Georgia practically until the conflict zone," said Putin.

The head of the Cabinet of Ministers stressed that facts like these "will not change anything," but represent a "movement in the opposite direction to the settlement of the situation."

"Surprisingly, of course, not cynicism, since politics, as they say often is something cynical itself. Surprisingly, the magnitude of this cynicism. (...) Is surprising how the aggressor is presented as a victim of aggression and was blames the victims responsibility for the consequences, "he said.

Putin compared the current de facto leaders of Georgia with "Saddam Hussein, who annihilated several Shiite villages, which were hung and current Georgian leadership, which in an instant destroyed ten villages Oset, with tanks crushed children and the elderly, who burned Live civilians, these people, of course, we must defend it, "he said, sarcastic, the prime minister.

La Tercera, Chile 11/08 / 2008

For U.S., Russia wants to topple the government of Georgia
Warships Russians sank a boat launchers in the Georgian Black Sea.
Tbilisi. United States yesterday accused Russia of wanting to topple the pro-Western Georgian government, while the Russians continued shelling in Georgia and the French foreign minister came to Tbilisi to mediate the conflict in the Georgian pro-Russian separatist region of South Ossetia.

The U.S. ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad made the comments referring to accusations of Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, who would have said that the Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, "was beginning."

"It is completely unacceptable and beyond," said Khalilzad.

Lavrov denied shortly after having made those statements in a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

"A man who gave the order to commit war crimes (...) can not be considered as a partner of Russia," Lavrov said however on Saakashvili.

Khalilzad also stated that a draft UN resolution, which calls for an immediate ceasefire between Georgia and Russia, would be presented in the next few hours at the meeting maintained that the Security Council.

On the ground, military operations were continuing yesterday, with a bombing at a Russian military base near Tbilisi, which was confirmed by the UN.

Observers from the UN also confirmed the aerial bombardment of villages in the only sector controlled by Tbilisi in Abkhazia, another Georgian separatist region.

The Russian army denied having bombed anywhere in Georgia where you are civilians, came as saying Tbilisi.

The Georgian public television on Saturday announced the deaths of civilians in aerial bombardments of residential areas in Gori, in northern Georgia.

The Georgians also accused the Russians of having sent planes to bomb the port of Poti on the Black Sea, as well as an airbase on the outskirts of Tbilisi and the international airport area of the Georgian capital, attack the latter denied that Russia .

Georgia also accused Russia of preventing the entry of doctors Georgians in Tskhinvali, capital of South Ossetia.

However, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that its warships had sunk a boat yesterday launchers attempted attack on Georgian Black Sea.

During the day Moscow withdrew two warships sent off Georgian.

Russia had sent several ships off the coast of Georgia to prevent the shipment of arms to that country.

For its part, Georgia announced an almost complete withdrawal of its troops from South Ossetia and a ceasefire, while the Russian army took control of Tskhinvali.

"Georgia does know that it is ready to immediately start negotiations with Russia on a ceasefire and the cessation of hostilities," said the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

However, Russia accused Georgia of continuing hostilities. Saakashvili appealed to the United States to intervene diplomatically.

The White House warned Moscow that the conflict could have an impact "important" on bilateral relations in the long run, as did the European Union on Saturday.

The head of French diplomacy, Bernard Kouchner, arrived in Tbilisi yesterday and said it was preparing to meet with the Georgian president. The Kremlin and the Elysee palace announced that the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who assured the EU presidency, will come to Moscow at the beginning of next week.

The EU also released one million euros of aid to civilians affected by conflict, the Commission announced.

More than 2 thousand dead

More than 2,000 people, "the vast majority of Russian citizens", have been killed in South Ossetia since the beginning of the Georgian offensive on Thursday night, said Grigory Karasin, Russian deputy minister of Foreign Affairs.

From the Georgian side, the official balance sheet is 92 dead, including 40 civilians. Some 30,000 people-half the population-had fled the fighting in South Ossetia, and 10,000 in Georgia, announced a spokesman for the International Red Cross (ICRC).

Half of the 2,000 Georgian soldiers deployed in Iraq returned to Georgia on Sunday, where waiting to be sent to the conflict zone. Agency AFP

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