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Thread: War has started - Putin says - Russia invades Georgia

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default War has started - Putin says - Russia invades Georgia

    Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said ``war has started'' over the breakaway region of South Ossetia as Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili accused its neighbor of a ``well-planned invasion.''

    Saakashvili said in a Bloomberg Television interview that his nation of 4.6 million people is ``fighting to secure its borders'' amid a ``full-blown military aggression'' involving thousands of Russian troops. Aerial bombings and widespread fighting in and around the region killed an unknown number of civilians and wounded ``scores'' more, Saakashvili said.

    Putin earlier today told George W. Bush in Beijing that ``volunteers'' were pouring over the border to help defend South Ossetia from Georgian forces, according to Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

    ``War started today in South Ossetia'' when Georgia attacked Russian peacekeepers in the disputed region, Putin said. The Defense Ministry later said it deployed ``reinforcements.''

    The ruble dropped the most against the dollar in 8 1/2 years and Russian stocks tumbled today on concern the conflict will worsen. The U.S., U.K., European Union and NATO, which Georgia is seeking to join, all called on both sides to end hostilities.

    South Ossetia, which has a population of about 70,000 and is less than half the size of Kosovo, broke away from U.S.-backed Georgia in the early 1990s and now is a de facto independent state with Russian peacekeepers and economic support.

    Fighting escalated throughout the day, with Russian planes dropping four bombs on the Vaziani military base, which the North Atlantic Treaty Organization uses for training, Georgian Security Council chief Kakha Lomaia said by phone. The base is about 15 kilometers from the Georgian capital.

    Georgian forces have shot down three Russian planes since the fighting began, Lomaia said. Russia earlier bombed two Georgian towns, Gori and Kareli, he said.

    Russia's Defense Ministry denied losing aircraft and declined to comment on the bombing report.

    ``We will not allow the death of our compatriots to go unpunished,'' Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, 42, told state television after the Interfax news service said Russian troops were killed in Georgian shelling of a barracks and checkpoint. ``The guilty will get the punishment they deserve.''

    Saakashvili, 40, said Russia amassed troops for months on its northern border before hostilities began. The Russian government earlier denied bombing Gori, Stalin's birthplace, and Kareli, and accused Georgia of ``unleashing a dirty, reckless scheme.''

    ``There are so many claims and counter-claims that it's impossible to know who started it,'' said James Nixey, manager of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, a research institute based in London. ``Both sides have been antagonistic and easy to antagonize. It's a cold war that's suddenly gotten very hot.''

    Georgia last month increased the size of its military to 37,000 soldiers and today Saakashvili called up reservists and urged the nation to defend ``every meter'' of land. Russia has a standing army of about 1.1 million.

    Russian television showed tanks heading over the border to South Ossetia from the Russian region of North Ossetia at about 3:30 p.m. Moscow time. Interfax reported at about the same time that Russian warplanes were bombing Georgian targets.



    ``Fighting continues,'' Russian Major General Marat Kulakhmetov, commander of Russia's peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia, said by mobile phone. The peacekeepers have suffered casualties, although it's too early to say how many, he said.

    Georgia is a key link in a U.S.-backed ``southern energy corridor'' that links the Caspian Sea region with world markets, bypassing Russia, the world's biggest energy producer. Two pipelines pass through the country linking Azerbaijan and Turkey.

    The BP Plc-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which has been closed since Aug. 5 due to an explosion in Turkey, runs about 100 kilometers south of the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.

    The most recent violence in the region erupted on Aug. 1, when South Ossetia said Georgian shelling of the regional capital Tskhinvali claimed six lives. Georgia said South Ossetian forces sparked the fighting.

    ``The conflict might be short and hot, but my sense is that neither party wants a prolonged conflict,'' said Michael Denison, associate fellow at London-based research group Chatham House and a professor of international security at the University of Leeds.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aseroDzA.EQs&refer=home
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I hope they kick Russia's ass just like the Chechnyans did.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Putin is a weasel. Greasy little weasel.

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    The same day China's games divert our attention Russia roles the tanks .... shocker.

    Worst part is, with Afghanistan and Iraq NATO doesn't have a leg to stand on to exert any pressure.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Is georgia even a part of NATO?

    Ah, they were bidding to get in and it pissed off Russia. They aren't in now though. If they were, there'd be WW3
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    As I understood it the whole stand off was over the fact that NATO was trying to exercise influence on Georgia b/c of its energy pipeline, and Georgia welcomed NATO's alliance ... Russia wasn't willing to let another piece of the old republic slip away so they exerted pressure on a specific piece of Georgia called Ossetia which voted to rejoin Russia at some point - which led them to today.


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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    meh, let them bomb the crap out of each other, wtf do i care. People are fucking stupid.
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    ^ya ... just inflate your tires! (j/k)

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    maybe if they all inflated their tires there wouldn't need to be a pipeline
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    Gold Member mella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snuffy View Post
    The same day China's games divert our attention Russia roles the tanks .... shocker.

    Worst part is, with Afghanistan and Iraq NATO doesn't have a leg to stand on to exert any pressure.

    Well Georgia started it.

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    Elite Member KristiB's Avatar
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    By MUSA SADULAYEV, Associated Press Writer
    12 minutes ago



    Russia sent columns of tanks and reportedly bombed Georgian air bases Friday after Georgia launched a major military offensive Friday to retake the breakaway province of South Ossetia, threatening to ignite a broader conflict.

    Hundreds of civilians were reported dead in the worst outbreak of hostilities since the province won defacto independence in a war against Georgia that ended in 1992. Witnesses said the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali was devastated.

    "I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars," said Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, who had fled with her family to Dzhava, a village near the border with Russia. "It's impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged."

    The fighting broke out as much of the world's attention was focused on the start of the Olympic Games and many leaders, including Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Bush, were in Beijing.

    The timing suggests Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili may have been counting on surprise to fulfill his longtime pledge to wrest back control of South Ossetia — a key to his hold on power.

    Saakashvili agreed the timing was not coincidental, but accused Russia of being the aggressor. "Most decision makers have gone for the holidays," he said in an interview with CNN. "Brilliant moment to attack a small country."

    Diplomats called for another emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, its second since early Friday morning seeking to prevent an all-out war.

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had spoken to the parties involved and was working to end the fighting, State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos told reporters.

    Georgia, a staunch U.S. ally, has about 2,000 troops in Iraq, making it the third-largest contributor to coalition forces after the U.S. and Britain. But Saakashvili told CNN that the troops would be called home Saturday in the face of the South Ossetia fighting.

    Georgia, which borders the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia, was ruled by Moscow for most of the two centuries preceding the breakup of the Soviet Union. Georgia has angered Russia by seeking NATO membership — a bid Moscow regards as part of a Western effort to weaken its influence in the region.

    The U.N. refugee agency said Friday that hundreds were fleeing the fighting in South Ossetia and seeking safety elsewhere in Georgia or neighboring Russia.

    The leader of South Ossetia's rebel government, Eduard Kokoity, said about 1,400 people were killed in the onslaught, the Interfax news agency reported. The toll could not be independently confirmed.

    Ten Russian peacekeepers were killed and 30 wounded when their barracks were hit in Georgian shelling, said Russian Ground Forces spokesman Col. Igor Konashenkov. Russia has soldiers in South Ossetia as peacekeeping forces but Georgia alleges they back the separatists.

    Georgia's Foreign Ministry accused Russian aircraft of bombing two military air bases inside Georgia, inflicting some casualties and destroying several military aircraft. Rustavi 2 television said four people were killed and five wounded at the Marneuli air base.

    Russia's Defense Ministry said it was sending reinforcements for its peacekeepers, and Russian state television and Georgian officials reported a convoy of tanks had crossed the border. The convoy was expected to reach the provincial capital, Tskhinvali, by evening, Channel One television said.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross, citing local medical officials, said that Tskhinvali's main hospital had closed down after coming under fire from artillery.

    Water, electricity and telephone lines in the city also have been cut off, ICRC spokeswoman Maia Kardava said by telephone from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

    Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili said government troops were now in full control of Tskhinvali, but the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Konashenkov as saying late Friday that Russian tanks were firing on Georgian positions in the city.

    "We are facing Russian aggression," said Georgia's Security Council chief Kakha Lomaya. "They have sent in their troops and weapons and they are bombing our towns."

    Putin has warned that the Georgian attack will draw retaliation and the Defense Ministry pledged to protect South Ossetians, most of whom have Russian citizenship.

    Chairing a session of his Security Council in the Kremlin, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also vowed that Moscow will protect Russian citizens.

    "In accordance with the constitution and federal law, I, as president of Russia, am obliged to protect lives and dignity of Russian citizens wherever they are located," Medvedev said, according to Russian news reports. "We won't allow the death of our compatriots go unpunished."

    On Friday, an AP reporter saw tanks and other heavy weapons concentrating on the Russian side of the border with South Ossetia — supporting the reports of an incursion. Some villagers were fleeing into Russia.

    "I saw them (the Georgians) shelling my village," said Maria, who gave only her first name. She said she and other villagers spent the night in a field and then fled toward the Russian border as the fighting escalated.

    Yakobashvili said Georgian forces had shot down four Russian combat planes over Georgian territory but gave no details. Russia's Defense Ministry denied an earlier Georgia report about one Russian plane downed and had no immediate comment on the latest claim.

    Yakobashvili said that one Russian plane had dropped a bomb on the Vaziani military base near the Georgian capital, but no one was hurt.

    More than 1,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers were at the base last month to teach combat skills to Georgian troops. Georgia has about 2,000 troops in Iraq, making it the third-largest contributor to coalition forces after the U.S. and Britain.

    South Ossetia officials said Georgia attacked with aircraft, armor and heavy artillery. Georgian troops fired missiles at Tskhinvali, an official said, and many buildings were on fire.

    Georgia's president said Russian aircraft bombed several Georgian villages and other civilian facilities.

    A senior Russian diplomat in charge of the South Ossetian conflict, Yuri Popov, dismissed the Georgian claims of Russian bombings as misinformation, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

    Russia's Defense Ministry denounced the Georgian attack as a "dirty adventure." "Blood shed in South Ossetia will weigh on their conscience," the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.

    Saakashvili long has pledged to restore Tbilisi's rule over South Ossetia and another breakaway province, Abkhazia. Both regions have run their own affairs without international recognition since splitting from Georgia in the early 1990s and built up ties with Moscow.

    Relations between Georgia and Russia worsened notably this year as Georgia pushed to join NATO and Russia dispatched additional peacekeeper forces to Abkhazia.

    The Georgian attack came just hours after Saakashvili announced a unilateral cease-fire in a television broadcast late Thursday in which he also urged South Ossetian separatist leaders to enter talks on resolving the conflict.

    Georgian officials later blamed South Ossetian separatists for thwarting the cease-fire by shelling Georgian villages in the area.

    ___

    Georgia says Russian aircraft bombed its air bases - Yahoo! News

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Russia has in the past made ominous noises about any attack on Iran by the US and/or Israel. With this diversion, I sure hope some crazy folks in DC don't get any ideas.

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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    Did the U.S. Prep Georgia for War with Russia?

    By Nathan Hodge August 08, 2008 | 12:52:00 PMCategories: Crazy Ivans



    Georgia and Russia are careening towards war. And the U.S. isn't exactly a detached observer in the fight. The American military has been training and equipping Georgian troops for years.

    The news thus far: Georgia, which has been locked in a drone war over the separatist enclave of Abkhazia, has launched an offensive to reclaim another breakaway territory, South Ossetia. Latest reports indicate that Georgian forces are laying siege to Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital. And Russia, which has backed the separatists, is sending in the tanks.
    So why should we care? Oh, just the prospect of a larger regional war that could drag in Russia – and involve the United States as well. Since early 2002, the U.S. government has given a healthy amount of military aid to Georgia. When I last visited Tskhinvali, Georgian troops patrolled the streets -- decked out in surplus U.S. Army uniforms and new body armor.
    The first U.S. aid came under the rubric of the Georgia Train and Equip Program (ostensibly to counter alleged Al Qaeda influence in the Pankisi Gorge); then, under the Sustainment and Stability Operations Program. Georgia returned the favor, committing thousands of troops to the multi-national coalition in Iraq. Last fall, the Georgians doubled their contingent, making them the third-largest contributor to the coalition. Not bad for a nation of 4.6 million people.

    Leaving aside the question of Russian interference (see below), the larger concern has been that Georgia might be tempted to use its newfound military prowess to resolve domestic conflicts by force.
    As Sergei Shamba, the foreign affairs minister of Abkhazia, told me in 2006: “The Georgians are euphoric because they have been equipped, trained, that they have gained military experience in Iraq. It feeds this revanchist mood… How can South Ossetia be demilitarized, when all of Georgia is bristling with weaponry, and it’s only an hour’s ride by tank from Tbilisi to Tskhinvali?”
    One of the U.S. military trainers put it to me a bit more bluntly. “We’re giving them the knife,” he said. “Will they use it?”
    Did the U.S. Prep Georgia for War with Russia? | Danger Room from Wired.com

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    cute, the cold war all over again.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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