9 years after Russia-Georgia war - Occupation continues
08 August, 2017
9 years after Russia-Georgia war - Occupation continues
August 8, 2008, is one of the most tragic and sad dates in the modern history of Georgian. It is a day full of tears, fear and blood.

9 years have passed since Russia’s aggression and yet another occupation of Georgian territory, as a sovereign, independent state.

It has been nine years since Russian tanks rolled through the Roki tunnel in an invasion that brought Russian forces 40 kilometers from Georgia’s capital. Twenty percent of Georgian territory remains invaded.
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civilians, 170 military officers and 14 police officers died, while 1747 people were wounded in the war. Almost 150 thousand people were forced to leave their homes, 30,000 of which still remain as IDPs. 5 soldiers also went missing.

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Georgian-Russian relations were especially tense after the NATO Bucharest Summit. At the summit, which took place on April 1st, 2008, the leaders of the Alliance member states openly stated that Georgia will definitely become a NATO member.

The announcement caused Russia's dissatisfaction. Sergei Lavrov, the country's minister of foreign affairs, said Moscow would do its best to prevent Georgia from joining NATO. Vladimir Putin noted that Russia was ready to respond to NATO's position on "internal drafts".

On May 31 Russia dispatched railroad troops to Abkhazia with the purpose of restoration of the railway line that was completed a week before the August war broke out. Meanwhile the situation in Tskhinvali region was getting more strained. Georgian villages were bombed almost every day.

On 30th July, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia released a special statement saying that the treat of launching armed confrontation between Georgia and so-called South Ossetia was real.


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Intensive bombing of Georgian villages of the Tskhinvali region began at the end of July 2008. To put an end to these deadly attacks and restore order, the Georgian Army was sent to the South Ossetia conflict zone. The most serious clash between Ossetia’s armed formation and Georgians took place on 1 August, leaving 6 Ossetians dead and 7 injured. Meanwhile Russia was moving non-peacekeeping units into the country.

Russia accused Georgia of "aggression against South Ossetia" and launched a large-scale land, air and sea invasion on Georgia on 8 August. Georgian armed forces got involved in a conflict with separatists and the Russian army. 15 thousand Russian military officers came from Roki tunnel and Psou border. Russian military aviation carried out an air attack on military units and air bases in Georgian cities. Gori was bombed twice, including its military base. Russian jets bombed Vaziani base in Tbilisi, airplane factory, port of Poti, military bases in Senaki and Marneuli.

The Russian army occupied Kodori Gorge on 12 August and the Akhalgori region on 16 August. Russian military officers occupied the village of Igoeti and locked down the road linking West and East parts of country with armored vehicles.

Operations were ceased after mediation by the President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered a 6-point ceasefire agreement on September 8.
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According to the agreement, all Russian forces had to withdraw from areas of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by October 10. Moreover, Sarkozy and other leaders - President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, President of Poland Lech Kaczynski and President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko visited Tbilisi. On 15 August U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Georgia.

Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia (Georgia’s breakaway region) and South Ossetia on 26 August. On August 28th, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. In response, the Georgian government severed diplomatic relations with Russia. Russia only partially fulfilled its obligations defined by 6-point ceasefire agreement and its forces still remained in the village of Perevi until October 18, 2010.

On October 23, 2008 Georgian Government passed the law on the occupied territories according to which, these areas where given the status of occupied territories of Georgia by Russia.

Two Georgian regions, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia) remain occupied by Russia up to now.

Related stories:

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