For Two Years Moscow Has Been Looking For An Excuse
16 August, 2012
For Two Years Moscow Has Been Looking For An Excuse

The artillery fire opened by Georgian Army on 7 August from Gori surroundings in the Tskhinvali direction was used by Moscow as an excuse to move its armored columns towards the Roki tunnel. 

Till today a question of who started the August 2008 war stirs incessant debates. One thing is clear: the armed forces intruded the Georgian sovereign state from Russia and it speaks volumes about who is an aggressor in reality.

As for Russia, an anonymous movie “Lost Day” that appeared

on the Russian scene right on the fourth anniversary of the August war caused quite a hype.  Unknown authors of the movie try to prove that then President Medvedev was late by one day to order Russian troops to move to Georgia. Ex Russian generals, who are now on pension, including former Head of Russian HQ Yuri Baluevski claim in the movie that had it not for the PM Putin’s pressure, President Medvedev would not have managed to issue the invasion order. Baluevski and other generals featured in the film are sure that if Medvedev had sent the troops into Georgia on 7 August lives of many Ossetian and Russian soldiers would have been saved.

Medvedev – now Russian PM – has responded to the accusation of the generals by saying that he ordered the operation exactly when it became necessary, not earlier or later. He did not specify it but it is a fact that Medvedev made his mind right after the fire opened by the Georgian artillery in the 7 August night. That this fire served as an excuse for the invasion of the Russian armed forces is confirmed in one of interviews by General Lieutenant Anatoly Khrulev, ex-head of the 58th Army of the North Caucasian Military District (he was wounded in Tskhinvali by Georgian militaries). The Russian general admits that he received the order from the head of the North Caucasian Military District as early as 5 August to enforce Russian troops in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone. He was instantly informed about the start of the fire by the Georgian artillery by General Kulakhmetov, Commander of the Russian peacekeepers stationed in the conflict zone.

At 0.03am, 8 August (i.e. in few minutes after the Georgian artillery fire) Khrulev had the secret envelop opened in the Army HQ; it contained a plan of invasion into Georgia by Russian military units via the Roki tunnel. General Khrulev claims that on 8 August, at 1.40am, the Roki tunnel was passed by the first battalion tactic group, while the northern end of the tunnel was approached by the second group.

Andrei Kazachenko, Commander of 693th artillery squadron, says that he received the order to start movement towards Tskhinvali at 0.20am, 8 August. At 6.30am his battalion tactic group was in Java already. His group was followed by motorized artillery which opened fire at the Georgian army in Tskhinvali surroundings at 3.00pm, 8 August.

Had President Medvedev started the intrusion of Georgia on 7 August, it would have represented an unquestionable, best confirmation of the Russian military aggression. Medvedev however waited for the right moment, an excuse to win the information war too. And the moment came. It was the mass fire by the Georgian artillery opened on late 7 August.

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