Georgia withdraws from South Ossetia
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The government of Georgia has announced that it has withdrawn all its troops from South Ossetia, in what it described as "a necessary step to protect civilians". The Georgian military has made clear that they are not admitting military defeat by withdrawing.
This comes just one day after Mikheil Saakashvili, the President of Georgia, declared that his country was in a state of war. "I have signed a decree on a state of war. Georgia is under a state of total military aggression by the Russian navy, air force, large-scale ground operations," he said in a televised meeting that was broadcast on national television yesterday.
The decree stated that "The state of war will be valid for 15 days [from yesterday]." It is not known if the state of war will continue after this withdrawal.
The crisis broke out after days of heavy fighting in the region. On August 7, Georgian troops launched an offensive against the Ossetian town of Tskhinvali, the capital. The next day Russian forces entered the territory of Georgia and bombed several targets in the country.
On August 10th, Russian Black Sea Fleet began a naval blockade of Georgian port of Poti and landed several thousand Russian troops in Abkhazia in western Georgia. The Ukraine threatened to bar Russian warships dispatched to the Abkhazian coast from returning to their Ukrainian base of Sevastopol if they engage in any military action.
At the same time Poland dispatched a government airplane to evacuate its citizens, as well as citizens of the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Estonia from Georgia. The Polish evacuation was followed by the government of Italy.
The conflict is continuing and reports state that the death toll for civilians could range in the thousands.
- Helen Womack, Mark Tran. "Russia takes control of South Ossetian capital after Georgian retreat" — , 10 August 2008
- "Polish minister wants EU peace mission for Georgia" — , 10 August 2008
- "Georgia 'pulls out of S Ossetia'" — , August 9, 2008
- "Georgia parliament approves a "state of war"" — , August 9, 2008
- "Georgia declares official 'state of war'" — , August 9, 2008
- "Putin vows retaliation for Georgian action in South Ossetia" — , August 8, 2008
- "N. Ossetia president: Georgian planes bomb out humanitarian aid convoy for S. Ossetia" — , 8 August 2008
- "Official: Warplane Drops Bomb Outside Gori" — , 8 August 2008
- "Official: Over 10 Russian peacekeepers killed in S. Ossetia" — , 8 August 2008
- "Official: Russia sends reinforcements to S. Ossetia to help peacekeepers - DefenseMinistry" — , 8 August 2008