October 20, 2008 |
Police in South Ossetia have been ordered to shoot back if they come under fire -- a directive that increases the threat of new violence between Georgia and the Russian-backed separatist region. South Ossetia's top police official issued the order after a police post came under automatic-weapons fire Saturday from the ethnic Georgian village of Nikozi, the separatist government said. Acting Interior Minister Mikhail Mindzayev said no one was hurt. Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili denied that Georgian forces fired at a South Ossetian post and said Nikozi came under fire early Saturday from South Ossetian-controlled territory.
October 4, 2008 |
A car exploded Friday, killing seven soldiers outside Russia's military headquarters in South Ossetia, and Russian authorities said it was a terrorist bombing meant to wreck the tense cease-fire that ended the war with Georgia. Georgia's Interior Ministry blamed Russia, accusing it of arranging the blast to provide a pretext for delaying next week's scheduled withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgian territory around South Ossetia and another Kremlin-backed separatist region, Abkhazia.
October 1, 2008 |
European Union monitors started their patrols of Georgian territory near the separatist republic of South Ossetia today, in line with a French-brokered peace deal. The monitors are unarmed and traveling in light armored vehicles. Russia, which backs South Ossetia and another breakaway republic, Abkhazia, warned Tuesday that it would not allow monitors into a buffer zone around South Ossetia. The Russian statement appeared to be another example of Moscow stalling on compliance with the cease-fire agreement it reached after the August war with Georgia.
September 18, 2008 |
Russia cemented its ties with Georgia's two breakaway provinces by signing friendship treaties envisaging close economic and military cooperation. President Dmitry Medvedev pledged that Russia would protect Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russia recognized as independent after its war last month with Georgia. Georgia dismissed the treaties as legally void, saying the regions remain part of Georgia. In Australia, a parliamentary committee recommended that the nation not ratify a treaty that would allow its uranium to be sold to Russia for power generation, partly because of the Russian troop presence in Georgia.
August 22, 2008 |
Russian flags waved and Russian music was performed at a patriotic concert Thursday in this war-torn city, the capital of Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia, as Moscow and its loyalists tightened their grip on territory that was the focus of clashes this month. In front of a badly damaged government building, a Russian orchestra performed pieces by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich as 1,000 or so residents held up candles and the flags of Russia and South Ossetia, the catalyst in this month's conflict between Russia and Georgia.
August 18, 2008 |
A visit to this war-strafed city Sunday turned up no proof of Russian claims that more than 2,000 people died here. Nor were there any ready signs of what Prime Minister Vladimir Putin referred to as "genocide." The downtown of Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia, sustained heavy damage in a five-day barrage of rockets and missiles as Russian troops and their local allies battled Georgian forces, and dozens of deaths have been documented. There is still no running water in the city, and residents are tremulous and shellshocked.
August 12, 2008
Re "U.S. asks: How far will Russia go?," Aug. 11 Here we go again. The Russians are coming, blasting their way south through South Ossetia. According to Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili "must go" because he has become "an obstacle." "Regime change," Churkin says, is an "American expression." Why then doesn't the Russian government urge the residents of South Ossetia to undertake a nonviolent, mass effort to remove Saakashvili from office and elect a responsible leader?
August 11, 2008 |
Only the rumble of distant artillery fire punctured the silence Sunday here in the capital of Georgia's rebel South Ossetia region, but residents wondered how long the relative calm would last. The town remained on edge, its shocked residents venturing out from cellars for the first time after three days of ferocious fighting to find bodies uncollected and streets strewn with rubble and broken glass from wrecked buildings.
August 11, 2008 |
Russia dismissed signs of a Georgian military retreat and rejected calls for a cease-fire Sunday, pursuing a raging conflict with the former Soviet republic. The international community scrambled to bring an end to the expanding conflict, which broke out late last week after Georgian troops apparently attempted to retake the pro-Russian breakaway republic of South Ossetia in a battle that left hundreds dead and Georgia, a strategic partner of the West, vulnerable.
August 8, 2008 |
Heavy fighting erupted in Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia overnight, as national troops backed by warplanes bombed the republic's capital and local officials reported mounting civilian casualties. The clashes in the remote region of the Caucasus, which raged unabated into this morning, broke out just hours after the two sides had declared a cease-fire. The attacks are the most serious to date in a series of escalating confrontations between U.S.