Georgia: War in South Ossetia

See Global Voices special coverage page on the South Ossetia crisis.

Following clashes and allegations of the shelling of Georgian villages by separatists in the breakaway territory of South Ossetia, there are fears that war will once again rage in the volatile South Caucasus. With the media reporting that Georgian troops have surrounded the capital, Tskhinvali, all eyes are on how Russia reacts to the latest developments. Writing on BattleForums, Uncle_Vanya says that this is war.

The war has just begun yesterday, Georgia began massive military operations to capture South Ossetia, so far the civilian bodycount is 15 dead. South Ossetian capitol of Tshinvali is surrounded by Georgian forces and is being pounded by Georgian airforce. A few minutes ago Russian Peacekeeper HQs in the region reported that there were direct artillery hits on the barracks of the Russian peacekeepers and there were wounded. Russia is going to war, we haven't moved the troops yet but with our peacekeepers wounded we now have no choice, Russia is at a defacto state of war with Georgia. There is a report by Georgian ministry of Defense of a pack of Russian Su-24 ground attack aircraft dropping bombs of a Georgian city of Karel, the main city police building has been heavily damaged with bombardment, no reports of casualties as of yet. As I said, weeks later Russian forces have already been assembling at the North Ossetian-South Ossetian border and will most likely begin mobilizing towards the conflict zone some time today. […]

Georgia already considers Russian peacekeepers in the territory to be a party to the conflict, and the situation is made even more volatile by the fact that most South Ossetians hold Russian passports. Some media sources also report that Russia is alleged to have struck targets in Georgia proper. B & C Go To Georgia, a Peace Corps blog, already reports there are some signs that this might be true.

Brenden left for Khashuri this morning to go to a session for the trainees […], whereas I remained in Tbilisi. He was supposed to come back to Tbilisi this afternoon, but at some point after they passed Gori, the highway by Gori was blown up (this is my understanding–this hasn't been reported in English language media yet). […]

With all that said, the situation here is worse than it has been in the time we've been in Georgia. This is my own personal opinion (not the opinion of Peace Corps or the U.S. government), but I think this might develop into a full-scale war.

Aid Worker Daily posts a video and ominously titles the entry “South Ossetia – If this isn’t war I don’t know what is,” while Horizons Unlimited advises global travelers to stay away from Georgia.

Its all booting off now in Georgia … The Georgian military have stormed into one of the two wannabe breakaway zones, South Ossetia … and the Russians are vowing to defend their “compatriots”. Russian peacekeepers have been among the casualties. President Medvedev has summoned his security council, PM Putin has vowed there will be a response from Russia. Georgian President Saakashvili has called up all reservists.

Might be an area to avoid.

Nachspiel at Polemarchus’ says that the conflict in South Ossetia is a test for the New World Order, but is unsure whether the United States or Russia will allow it to escalate further.

[…] I’m not an expert on this matter, or even on international relations at all. But I do notice one thing: an absence of the kind of confronational rhetoric categorizing the cold war. Admittedly, the big guys themselves haven’t started commenting yet, leaving the speaking to the diplomats. But that might also mean neither Moscow nor Washington are prepared to let this escalate into a major international crisis.

This is a test of the new world order after the Cold War, as fighting erupts on Russia’s doorstep. Let’s hope this won’t be proof of the new cold war neoconservative Robert Kagan claims is in the making. As yet it’s too early for an uninformed being to make predictions. I’m waiting for European and later American commentators to wake up and tell me what we can expect.

groul as a'housekeeper [RU] is updating its readers on the situation, but also reports that several web sites in South Ossetia might already have been hacked or blocked. But in a region where frozen conflicts and ethnic tensions threaten stability, perhaps the last word should be left to two cups of tea which says that “war is killing beautiful South Ossetia.”

War has come to a new part of our world today. As in all wars, innocent lives are affected in tragic ways. This does not come as a surprise on any of the party’s involved in the conflict.

It is sad however that Georgia, Russia and South Ossetia cant come to a peaceful solution.

[…]

We can only hope and pray peace, brotherhood and the willingness to listen to the people of Ossetia and Georgia, will win over pain and war.

More updates will be posted later.

248 comments

  • Belsky Michael

    Hmmm… Russia want more areas? Do you know who started this war and how did they do it? In the night 7 to 8-th august georgian MLRS battarey attacked sleeping Tskhinvali… By the way, do u know that fire from even one of this unit covers several sqare kilometers? Damn! don’t u see that it’s nothing but ACT OF TERROR against civilians! It’s not a pointed strike on military base of \separatists\! I saw on BBC that \Russian tanks entered Southern Ossetia, that caused war\ or smthn, but they came there only after russian peecekeepers (don’t remember how it’s called, smthn like UN forces in Irque) were attacked, what was actually an act of aggression against Russia by the Georgia. The fact that Saakshvili decided to solve the problem with Ossetia in a force way shows that he has no real political power in his own country and his order is supported only by army. And at last, ask Ossetians from Tskhinvali persanaly, where did they run when their home city was attacked, to Northen Ossetia, or to Georgia?..

  • Belsky Michael

    By hte way, Andrea Thompson, if yo’re from USA I won’t even try to proove you that it’s not Russia who leads agressive politic, iterrupts to buisness of countries like Jugoslavia, Iran, Iraque and some others, because your american minds have degradated so much, that youor actions and words is nothing more that marasm to me, ИМХО! (I Have Oppinion That You Will Never Argue!:)) Sorry, if I’m wrong. I only try to open your eyes on truth… And don’t tell me that everyone has his own truth! Not this time! When YOUR truth brings pain to other people, it’s the worst form of LIE!

  • speaks the truth

    to Bjorn Borgonson, Georgian_Wolf, Andrea Thompson…
    1. First of ALL, Georgia destroyed the whole city, kill over 1400 people before the Russia even think to do something, any comments about this?! Hey people!
    2. Russia do not want more territories, it is ridiculously, do you see the map? Russia have enough.
    3. “Russia has always had a strong thirst for power and it is no surprise…..” – you do not think that you are with someone confused Russia, U S may be?

  • Georgia and everyone who helps ’em will pay for every Russian piecemaker and every Russian citizen killed or injured during this war. We still got SS-18 «Satan» ;)

  • […] Games, the picture will hopefully become clearer (I’m counting on you bloggers out there – yes, you too) and hopefully less […]

  • peter

    How many people – are so much and opinions

    I want to tell only one – listen other to other.
    All that occurs now in Ossetia – only big game of politicians, namely they operate our countries and create to us our point of view! If you consider that you have the personal point of view – you are mistaken. To you and me of it have given politics. Very good example represents TV (I can judge the Russian channels, BBC, SNN – everywhere only one propagation). Germans too spoke that their concentration camp – bases of rest.

    Therefore it is not necessary to be so confident the words. The truth is not known by anybody.

    Therefore give all together we shall pray that this has faster ended to nobody the necessary war because people there perish.

    P. S. I apologize for my bad English

  • Raymond

    Most Ossettians are citizens of Russian Federation! And they were under heavy attack from Georgia. Russia is protecting there own citizens.

  • Susan Winters

    American volunteers are head for Georgia. Military experience required. Sniper experience desired. A friend of mine fighting the Russians tells me they are castrating captured Russian soldiers. If Russia wants a war they’ll get one. The bastards will get thrown out of Georgia the same way they got thrown out of Afghanistan.
    Georgia will triumph! Death to the Russians, with rifles and with guns. Burn them, blast them, drown them, for Georgia’s unborn sons!

  • A guy from Russia

    Yes, let`s pray that there will be peace at last.
    And that people will get use of their brains and stop to have them brainwashed.

  • American_Anarchist

    Again another example of Russian agression when it justifies its needs. Why are the russians crossing into the soveriegn nation of Georgia? As they claim, “To Protect Rusian Citizens” what a bunch of bullshit! South Ossetia was never an independant nation, it is still considered part of Georgia. But because the Russians conveniently gave the South Ossetians Russian Passports, Russia will now use that as an excuse to violate a nations sovereinty. How convenient! If they live within the borders of Georgia are they not first “Georgian” citizens? If they want to be Russian citizens first then therefore shouldn’t they leave Georgia and go to Russia?

    The real reason Russia is going to war is because now they realize that all these former USSR republics have great wealth in Natural Gas and possibly oil that they themselves could not exploit because of there limited technologies. Now that these countries such as Georgia, Azerbajan, Kazakstan, Turkmenistan, are developing the Natural Gas exports, with the assistance of western democracies (Turkey included)Russia wants a piece of the pie. This lie is no better than the lie our American President used to invade Iraq. So you see there is a reason Vladimir Putin and George Bush get along so well. They are both made of the same cloth,with the exception that our American President doesn’t assasinate his enemies. At least not yet anyways!

    Ultimately, the innocent are the ones that suffer, I hope Georgia limits its violence against the innocent non combatants.

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