GRU Sponsored Terrorist Act in Gori and Sabotage Acts in Shida Kartli Region
•In 2004-2005, under the cover of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces deployed in the Georgian- Ossetian conflict zone, the Russian special services gathered intelligence and organized subversive/terrorist acts against Georgia,violated Georgia’s airspace, admitted agents on Georgia’s territory.
•On February 1, 2005, a white “VAZ-2101” type vehicle exploded in front of the building of Shida Kartli regional division of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Gori. The accident left three police officers dead, more than thirty people wounded, buildings and cars in the vicinity damaged.
•The investigation conducted by the Counter-Intelligence Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia found out that this terrorist act was prepared and carried out by employees of Russian special services (namely, GRU and FSB) acting under the cover of the Russian peacekeeping battalion of the JPKF and military advisers to the South Ossetian proxy regime:
Anatoly Sisoev, GRU Colonel, Military adviser to the South Ossetian de facto president
Mikheil Abramov, Deputy Commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces;
Roman Boyko, Lieutenant Colonel of the Russian peacekeeping battalion of the JPKF.
•On October 23 2005, the MIA of Georgia arrested Roman Boyko and later, as a gesture of good will, handed him over to the Russian embassy in Georgia.
•In 2004, GRU Colonel Anatoly Ivanovich Sisoev was sent to Tskhinvali as an adviser to the de facto president of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity, where he established a subversive-intelligence unit in the proxy regime’s Ministry of Defense, the so-called “Ossetian GRU,” consisting of up to 120 men, which were sent to North Ossetia and trained by Russian military instructors in subversive activities on the ground of the 58th Russian Army.
•The “Ossetian GRU” carried out the following subversive acts in central Georgia:
The explosion of 500 kilowatt electricity lines “Kartli-2” no. 365 and “Liakhvi” no. 57 near village Shavshebi in Gori district on October 9 2004;
The explosion of “Grakali-Metekhi” railroad section in Kaspi district on October 9 2004;
The explosion of a radio transmission station serving the oil pipeline near village Chorchana in Khashuri distric on November 17 2004.
Russian Military Intelligence Network in Georgia
•On September 28 2006, the Counter-intelligence Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia uncovered the spy network of Russian Military Intelligence (GRU) which acted on the Georgian territory under the cover of the Group of Russian Troops in the Trans-Caucasus.
•The spy network was managed from Armenia by Colonel Anatoly Sinitsin, chief of station in Yerevan serving at military division no. 44843 of the Russian armed forces located in Yerevan. Sinitsin, together with Sisoev planned the above-mentioned terrorist act in Gori.
•On 28 September 2006, the MIA detained 4 Russian GRU officers in Tbilisi and Batumi:
GRU Vice-Colonel Alexander Savva, the chief of the spy network operating in Georgia;
GRU Vice-Colonel Dmitry Kazantsev;
GRU Vice-Colonel Aleksey Zavgorodny;
GRU Major Alexander Baranov.
•GRU Vice-Colonel Konstantin Pichugin was hiding in the building of the Russian Military Headquarters in Tbilisi.
•Later, as a gesture of good will the MIA of Georgia handed over the Russian officers to the chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Karel De Gucht.
Subversion Plot by Russian Sponsored Political Organizations
•On September 7 2006, the MIA arrested 13 leading members of Moscow’s satellite political organizations in Georgia, namely Political Party “Justice,” Conservative-Monarchist Party, Caucasian Democratic Institute and Anti-Soros Movement, which had illegally purchased fire arms and were planning to stage the shooting of a protest rally in Tbilisi in order to instigate civil unrest throughout Georgia.
•This plot was masterminded and entirely financed from Russia by Georgian Ex-Minister of State Security in exile Igor Giorgadze, wanted by Georgian police and Interpol for organizing a terrorist act against Georgia’s former president Eduard Shevardnadze in 1995.
Air and Artillery Attack on Upper Abkhazia
•On 11 March 2007, from 22:10 until 24:00, the Kodori Gorge suffered from simultaneous artillery and air attacks. At least 17 “BM-21/Grad” type missiles were fired from the ground, and at least one “AT-9/Ataka” type guided missile from the air. The target of the air-attack was the administration building in the village of Chkhalta. The targets of the artillery attack were: the administration building in the village of Chkhalta, the storehouse of oil and fuel materials and the police station in the village of Ajara. The highly precise air attack by modern missiles, the night flight of helicopters in a mountainous area and the massive artillery bombing indicate that this was a well-organized and planned military operation, which could have been conducted in this region only by Russian forces.
•On August 6, 2007, at approximately 19:30, two Russian frontline SU-24 type aircraft violated Georgian airspace and fired a 1-ton precision-guided anti-radar missile “X-58” that fell near a Georgian village Tsitelubani, located more than 80 kilometers from the Russian-Georgian border, near the town of Gori.
•According to Georgian civil and military radar reports and multiple eye witness accounts, the planes entered Georgian airspace at 19:31 flying at low altitude in a southerly direction over Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia before launching the missile at the village of Tsitelubani. Georgian radars indicate that the planes took off from the Russian military airbase located in Mozdok, in the Autonomous Republic of North Ossetia, Russia. It must be admitted that Georgian armed forces posess neither “SU-24” type planes, nor “X-58” type missiles.
•No casualties took place as the missile failed to explode on impact. The Georgian Government in cooperation with the OSCE and other members of the international community are currently investigating the incident.
Subversive Group in Upper Abkhazia
•On 20 September 2007, a special task unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia neutralized an armed grouping of 10 people in the Kodori Gorge which had planned an attack on the new road connecting Upper Abkhazia with the rest of Georgia.
•The commander of the grouping and his deputy were killed in the exchange of fire. They were identified as:
Igor Muzavatkin (Vice-Colonel of Russian armed forces, a former member of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces, who served on the contract basis in the border troops division of the Abkhazian separatist security service); and
Artur Zorin (Major of Russian armed forces, also a former member of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces).
•Seven members of the subversive group that identified themselves as members of the border troops division of the Abkhazian separatist security service, were arrested and later, as a gesture of good will, released and handed over to the Abkhazian separatist government.
The Chronology of Russian Aggression against Georgia in 2008
Chronology of Events: March-June 2008
•On March 6, Russia withdrew from the 1996 CIS agreement, which prohibited CIS member states from political, military and economic relations with Abkhazia (see annex 1).
•On March 21, Russian State Duma passed a declaration, calling upon the Russian government to actively defend the rights of Russian citizens living in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and to discuss the recognition the independence of these breakaway territories (see annex 2).
•On April 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a letter to the de facto leaders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in which he mentioned that Georgia’s integration into NATO would have negative implications and henceforth Russia’s support of Abkhazia and South Ossetia would bear a substantive and not a declarative character (see annex 3).
•On April 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree instructing the Russian government to establish direct relations with the de facto authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (see annex 4).
•On April 17, several “Ural” type trucks carrying 300 Russian contract soldiers entered the military base in Ochamchire seaport (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•On April 20, at 10:00, a Russian fighter plane, attacked and shot down a Georgian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle “Hermes-450” above village Gagida, Gali district. This fact was confirmed by the UN special investigation (see annex 5).
•On April 29, the Russians started to increase their peacekeeping contingent deployed in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone, as stated by the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (see annexes 6 and 7).
•On April 29, an echelon of 30 train cars crossed the Georgian-Russian border near the river Psou by railway carrying 26 units of camouflaged armor vehicles, among them BMDs, D-30 type howitzers, etc. The echelon had 4 additional passenger cars, carrying soldiers from the Novorossiysk military base. The cargo was unloaded in Sokhumi railway station and from there the soldiers and armament were distributed to Maiak military base in Sokhumi, to Tsebelda military site (in the direction of Kodori Gorge), to Ochamchire seaport, as well as to Tkvarcheli and Gali districts (see annex 8 for photos).
•On May 1, additional checkpoints were opened on almost every strategically important road in Ochamchire and Tkvarcheli districts, among them at villages Nakarghali, Arasadzikhi and Akamara in Abkhazia, Georgia.
•On May 3, 5 units of 120mm artillery systems and several antiaircraft defense systems BUK- M1 were located at the military base in Ochamchire seaport (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•On May 6, the Russian deployment of additional airborne battalion (at least 400 soldiers) of the Novorossiysk and Pskov Airborne Divisions into Abkhazia that had started on April 29 was
completed. This fact was further confirmed by numerous media reports, including the Russian Defense Ministry’s official newspaper “Krasnaya Zvezda” (see annexes 9, 10, 11).
•On May 16, on a road near village Ditsi in Little Liakhvi valley, Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, a Georgian police car exploded on mine placed by the de facto regime irregular forces. As a result of the explosion Georgian police officer David Korashvili was injured.
•On May 31, the Russian Ministry of Defense deployed 400 soldiers of Volgograd’s 76th Unit of Railway Forces in Abkhazia. These forces began reconstruction of the railway from Sokhumi to Ochamchire, as well as reinforcing platform, thus preparing railway for the transportation and unloading of the heavy military equipment (see annexes 12 and 13).
•In April-June, Russia reinforced the military bases in Sokhumi (Maiak), Bombora (Gudauta), Ochamchire and Okhurei with:
o3 BUK air defense systems;
o40 D-30 type howitzers;
o10 BM-21 “Grad” systems;
o20 Shilka, ZU-23-2, ZU-23-4 AA guns;
o120 anti-tank missiles.
o2 MI-24 helicopters;
o50 aviation specialists;
o30 military experts;
o100 communication and antiaircraft defense experts;
•On June 6, several SU-25 and SU-27 type fighter planes in armed condition were detected at the Bombora military base in Gudauta (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•On June 14, a 14 year-old resident of village Ergneti Karlo Inauri exploded on a mine placed by South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces near the administrative border with Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. The boy died of severe injuries.
•On June 16, 8 “Ural” type trucks loaded with anti-tank rockets and landmines entered the town of Tskhinvali (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•On June 23, Georgian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs delivered a letter to Russian President Dimitry Medvedev containing additional details in line with the peace initiatives launched earlier by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Unfortunately, all were rebuffed in the response letter from President Medvedev on July 1.
•On June 25, the Commander of Russian Land Forces, General Aleksei Maslov visited Tskhinvali. Maslov held meetings with the leadership of the Russian peacekeeping forces and the officials of South Ossetian proxy authorities (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
Chronology of Events: July-August 2008
•On July 3, at 10:00, South Ossetian de facto regime irregulars attempted to assassinate Dimitry Sanakoev, the Head of the Temporary Administration of South Ossetia. An explosive device, placed on the Eredvi-Kheiti bypass road near the Tsveriakho Mountain, was set off when Sanakoev’s motorcade passed by it. As a result of the explosion, five police officers accompanying Sanakoev were wounded (see annexes 14 and 15). In order to provide protection to the bypass road used extensively by civilians in the area, a Georgian peacekeeping checkpoint was immediately opened on Sarabuki heights.
•On July 3, at 23:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces opened fire from automatic rifles and grenade launchers in the direction of the central government controlled villages Nikozi, Ergneti, Eredvi, Zemo Prisi, Vanati, Tamarasheni and Avnevi. At 23:40, Georgian police responded with fire.
•On July 4, 6 artillery guns were transported from Java district to village Dmenisi and handed over to the local unit of South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces (Georgian intelligence data, SIGINT).
•On July 4-6, 10 armored vehicles entered Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetian from the Russian Federation via the Roki Tunnel (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•On July 8, additional Russian soldiers, 4 BTR-70 and 4 BRDM type military vehicles and several anti-aircraft systems were deployed at the Okhurei military base in Tkvarcheli district (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•On July 9, four Russian military aircraft violated Georgian airspace on the eve of the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Georgia. This fact was confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (see annex 16).
•On July 11, a squadron of Su-27 fighters was moved from the Leningrad Military District to the North Caucasus Military District (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•On July 13-14, 13 T-72 type tanks were reported moving from the town of Alagir, North Ossetia towards the Roki Tunnel, as well as 6 “Ural” type truck loaded with soldiers were driving from village Zaramag, North Ossetia towards the Roki Tunnel (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•On July 15, several hundred Russian soldiers and 44 military vehicles were observed at the Bombora military base (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•On July 15 – August 2, Russia launched large-scale military exercises “Caucasus 2008” in the immediate vicinity of Georgia’s northern border. 8000 soldiers and 700 armored vehicles mainly from the North Caucasian Military District participated in these trainings, including airborne units, air force units, air defense units, Black Sea and Caspian Sea fleets, federal security service and interior troops. Airborne units from Pskov and Novorossiysk (that later took part in the invasion of Georgia) were practicing at the Roki and Mamisoni passes connecting Russia with Georgia. A leaflet entitled “Know Your Enemy” was distributed to the soldiers participating in the training, listing the composition and armaments of the Georgian Army as their main target. Most of the troops participating in the exercises did not re-deploy from the region after the exercises finished (see annexes 17, 18 and 19). Deputy Commander of Russian Airborne Troops, General Viacheslav Borisov who was put in charge of the Russian armed forces grouping operating on the South Ossetian and central Georgian directions in August 2008 also confirmed that just one week earlier the units under his command had undergone military trainings in those areas, where the actual hostilities took place and hence Russian airborne troops carried out a march on Tskhinvali much better than other units of the Russian army (see annex 19 A).
•On July 18, Abkhazian de facto and Russian authorities rejected a German-mediated peace plan and refused to attend peace talks scheduled in Berlin at the end of July.
•On July 20, the website of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (www.president.gov.ge) was rendered unavailable due to a multi-pronged distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
•On July 22-24, the EU tried to hold talks in Brussels between representatives of the Georgian government and the South Ossetian de facto regime with the participation of the Russian Federation. The de facto authorities refused to participate, initially objecting to the title of Minister Yakobashvili – “Minister of Reintegration.” In response, the Georgian government appointed Mr. Yakobashvili as a Special Envoy to Conflict Resolution. The de facto authorities once again refused to attend the talks on unspecified grounds.
•At the end of July, OSCE Chairman in Office, Finish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, proposed talks in Helsinki in early August between South Ossetian de facto authorities and Georgian government. The de facto regime rejected the proposal.
•On July 23, a group of 120 Russian doctors/medics were reported to have arrived in Tskhinvali and started working at the Tskhinvali hospital (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•By the end of July (exact date and time unknown), large tents have been set up on the territory of the new Russian military base in the northwestern part of Tskhinvali (for about 1500-2000 persons). According to the information circulating among the Russian peacekeepers, soldiers from the 33rd Motor Rifle Mountain Brigade (centered in Botlikh, Dagestan) were soon to be deployed there (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•At 05:00, two tank platoons of South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces were located close to village Andzisi in the conflict zone (Georgian intelligence data, SIGINT).
•At 10:00, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces opened fire at members of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces and an OSCE observer group moving near village Andzisi, Tskhinvali district (see annex 20 for the report).
•At 16:00, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces shelled the central government controlled villages in Big Liakhvi valley for 40 minutes, using mortars and grenade launchers.
•At 22:00, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces shelled the Georgian peacekeeping checkpoint on Sarabuki heights with 100mm and 120mm artillery. Such large caliber artillery was used for the first time since the hostilities in the 1990s.
•At 08:05 and again at 08:12, a Toyota pickup truck carrying six police officers of the MIA of Georgia was hit by two remote-control explosive devices on the Eredvi-Kheiti bypass road. Five police officers were severely wounded (see annexes 21 and 22). After this incident the Eredvi- Kheiti bypass road was closed for civilians and the central government controlled villages in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia were cut off from the rest of Georgia.
•From 21:30 onwards, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces shelled Georgian villages Zemo Nikozi, Kvemo Nikozi, Avnevi, Nuli, Ergneti, Eredvi and Zemo Prisi with mortars and
cannons. The shelling continued overnight and stopped only in the morning on August 2. This fact, as well as the earlier shelling of Georgian peacekeeping checkpoint on Sarabuki heights, was later confirmed by the Joint Peacekeeping Forces in their 4 August report (see annex 23). Six civilians and one police officer were wounded as a result of the shelling (see annexes 24 and 25).
•At 12:23, South Ossetian de facto regime announced the evacuation of civilian population from the town of Tskhinvali and from the de facto regime controlled villages of the region. The evacuation continued through August 6 (see annexes 26 and 27).
•During the day, Russian newspaper reporters and TV crews began to arrive massively to Tskhinvali. The mobilization of Russian journalists on the territory of South Ossetia continued for the next several days (see annex 28 for the list of journalists and links to their testimonies, as well as an interesting article from RFE/RL).
•At 06:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces deployed in village Velebi, Znauri district opened fire towards the Georgian police checkpoint located near village Dvani in Kareli district (see annex 29).
•In a morning interview with Georgian news agency “Medianews,” South Ossetian de facto Minister of Internal Affairs Mikhail Mindzaev threatened to bomb “the towns of Gori, Kareli and one of the health-resort zones” in Georgia (see annex 30).
•Units of the separate reconnaissance battalion of the the 19th Motor Rifle Division of the 58th Russian Army was reported to be deployed in Java district through the Roki Tunnel (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•During the night, 10 units of armor (BTR/BMP vehicles) were brought into Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia from the Russian Federation and distributed among the de facto regime irregular forces. Two vehicles were handed over to the de facto regime irregular forces unit located in village Dmenisi, Tskhinvali district (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•At 07:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces deployed in village Dmenisi, Tskhinvali district opened fire towards Georgian peacekeeping checkpoint on Sarabuki heights. The exchange of fire continued for 30 minutes. No one was injured.
•In a morning interview with Russian media outlet “Caucasian Knot”, head of South Ossetian proxy authorities Eduard Kokoity announced that 300 “volunteers” (i.e. mercenaries) from North Ossetia had already arrived in South Ossetia and their number would eventually increase up to two thousand (see annex 31).
•At 18:40, head of South Ossetian proxy authorities Eduard Kokoity received a telegram from the Commander of Don Cossack Forces and member of Russian State Duma Viktor Vodolatsky promising him military support, while the Commander of the second Don Cossack Forces Nikolai Kozitsin announced that he could send from 10 to 15 thousand “volunteers” (i.e. mercenaries) to South Ossetia (see annex 32).
•At 00:15, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces shot 3 grenades from village Ubiati, Znauri district towards the Georgian police station in village Nuli, Frone valley. Two of them hit the building.
•At 01:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces fired at Georgian peacekeepers located on Sarabuki heights. The attack lasted until 06:30 in the morning. Two members of the Georgian battalion of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces were wounded (see annex 33 for the list of casualties among Georgian peacekeepers).
•At 09:01, the MIA of Georgia intercepted a telephone call, according to which the de facto Minister of Internal Affairs of South Ossetia Mikhail Mindzaev ordered a massive attack and the elimination of Georgian village Dvani in Kareli district (see annexes 34 and 35 for the telephone intercept and its transcript).
•From 10:00 to 17:00, the MIA of Georgia organized a tour around the central government controlled villages: Ergneti, Nikozi, Avnevi and Nuli, that experienced excessive damage during the recent attacks by the de facto regime irregular forces. Representatives of international media and foreign diplomatic missions in Georgia, including the Russian Ambassador Viacheslav Kovalenko had an opportunity to visit all Georgian peacekeeping and police checkpoints, where no build-up was observed contrary to Russian officials statements (see annex 36 for media stories).
•At 15:10, approximately 150 additional “volunteers” (i.e. mercenaries) from the North Caucasus arrived in Tskhinvali as reported by the Russian media (see annex 37). The flow of mercenaries from the North Caucasus into Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia continued through at least August 10. The MIA of Georgia has intercepted official documents of the Prosecutor’s office of Russia (North Ossetia) related to the death of one such “volunteer” on the territory of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia in August 2008, including testimonies of Russian citizens that entered Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia from North Ossetia, Russia in order to take part in the hostilities as “volunteers” (i.e. mercenaries). In addition to that, a photo taken at the recruitment spot of mercenaries in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia is also available (see annexes 37 A and B).
•At 18:05, in an interview with Russian radio station “Echo Moskvi,” Deputy Commander of Don Cossack Forces Vladimir Voronin confirmed that “volunteer” (i.e. mercenary) battalions had been formed in Southern Russia and were ready to be deployed in South Ossetia, while the representative of South Ossetian de facto authorities in Moscow Dimitry Medoev declared that the first squads of “volunteers” (i.e. mercenaries) from Russia had already reached South Ossetia (see annex 38).
•During the day, 40 units of self-propelled artillery and a reconnaissance battalion of the 33rd Motor Rifle Mountain Brigade from Botlikh, Dagestan were deployed in South Ossetia through the Roki Tunnel, in addition to that 30 artillery guns were brought into Java district. Some units of the 58th Army were reported to be mobilized near the Roki Tunnel in North Ossetia, Russia, including the 135th Separate Motor Rifle Regiment from Prokhladniy, Kabardino-Balkaria and the 693rd Motor Rifle Regiment from Zaramag, North Ossetia (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•In the evening hours, several tanks and military trucks with armed soldiers were seen moving towards the central government controlled village Avnevi, Frone valley (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•August 5-6, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili sought phone conversation with President Medvedev. All attempts were declined by the Russian side.
•During the night, several units of armor (including BTR and BMP vehicles, as well as self- propelled artillery systems) were brought into South Ossetia from the Russian Federation and deployed near the southern entrance of the Roki Tunnel (Georgian intelligence data, HUMINT).
•In the morning Russian and local employees working on the Russian military base in Tskhinvali were temporarily dismissed. Shops and other offices were closed, as reported by the de facto regime’s local television.
•At 16:00, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces opened mortar fire from villages Prinevi, Ubiati, and Khetagurovo (the latter was the main artillery base of the de facto regime irregular forces) at the central government controlled villages Eredvi, Zemo Prisi, Avnevi, Dvani and Nuli. Georgian police and peacekeeping checkpoints in village Nuli were additionally targeted by armored vehicle and machine-gun fire. This attack continued until 19:00.
•At 18:00, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces attacked Sarabuki heights, where Georgian peacekeepers were stationed wounding three members of the Georgian battalion of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces (see again annex 33).
•At 20:00, artillery attacks from Khetagurovo on the central government controlled villages Eredvi, Zemo Prisi, Avnevi, Dvani, and Nuli resumed and lasted until 06:00.
•From August 6 onwards no monitoring has been conducted by the Joint Peacekeeping Forces in the conflict zone, despite of the request by the Georgian battalion of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces.
•At 00:15, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces began attacking villages Eredvi, Zemo Prisi and Vanati with artillery, including mortars and grenade launchers. The fighting in this area continued until approximately 10:00 in the morning.
•At 03:25, the MIA of Georgia obtained the first communication intercept according to which a Russian military unit that included tanks and military trucks loaded with soldiers entered the Roki Tunnel (see annexes 39 and 40 for the telephone intercept and its transcript).
•At 03:41, a large number of armored vehicles, tanks and military trucks of the Russian regular army streamed into the Roki Tunnel and deployed in Java district as confirmed by two mobile telephone conversations intercepted by the MIA of Georgia (see annexes 41-46 for the telephone intercepts and their transcripts). Numerous articles in the Russian press also confirm that Russian army units, namely parts of the 693rd and 135th motor rifle regiments of the 58th army, had entered South Ossetia prior to August 8 (see annexes 47-67 for media stories). As reported by South Ossetian de facto regime ’s main newspaper “ Iuz naia O ssetia”, on that night
head of South Ossetian proxy authorities Eduard Kokoity travelled from Tskhinvali to Java district “in order to meet with representatives of the Russian Ministr y of Defense” (see annex 68).
•At 09:30, the MIA of Georgia intercepted a telephone conversation in which a member of South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces revealed their plans to attack Georgian villages Avnevi in Frone valley and Dvani in Kareli district (see annexes 69 and 70 for the telephone intercept and its transcript).
•The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia released an alarmed statement that Russian military hardware and armament, which had been used to raid peaceful villages in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia kept penetrating Georgia through the Roki Tunnel. The MFA assessed this as a step of aggression by the Russian Federation. The statement was also distributed by the Georgian Embassy in the European Union (see annex 71).
•In a 10:42 interview with Russian TV and news agencies, head of South Ossetian proxy authorities Eduard Kokoity declared that if the Georgian government did not withdraw its forces from the region, he would start “to wipe them out” (see annexes 72 and 73 for Kokoity’s statement), referring to Georgian peacekeepers and police.
•At 11:00, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces resumed the shelling of the central government controlled villages Nuli and Avnevi from village Khetagurovo, Znauri district. Georgian police officers returned fire towards Khetagurovo, where the shelling came from.
•At around 12:00, head of Abkhazian proxy authorities Sergey Bagapsh announced that he had put Abkhazian armed forces on alert in order to provide military assistance to South Ossetia and that a battalion from the North Caucasus military district of Russia had already entered Tskhinvali Region (this statement was broadcasted by Russian TV at 17:00, see annex 77).
•At 12:30, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, speaking with journalists at the military hospital in Gori (where he visited the three Georgian peacekeepers wounded on August 6), reaffirmed that despite the deadly attacks on the central government controlled villages, the Georgian government was showing maximum restraint. Saakashvili also called on Russia to “to recall its officials” serving in the proxy regime (see annex 74).
•At 14:00, the Georgian peacekeeping checkpoint in Avnevi was heavily shelled with 100mm and 120mm artillery again by a South Ossetian proxy regime irregular forces unit located in village Khetagurovo, destroying the Georgian peacekeeping unit’s armored vehicle, killing two Georgian peacekeepers Shalva Trapaidze and Vitali Takadze and wounding five others (see again annex 33). The shelling continued until 16:00. Georgian peacekeepers and police returned fire in self-defense. Later the MIA of Georgia intercepted a phone call, during which a member of the de facto regime irregular forces confirmed the fact of blowing up an armored vehicle of Georgian peacekeepers in Avnevi with a cannon (see annexes 75 and 76 for the telephone intercept and its transcript).
•At the same time, Georgian authorities received military intelligence that Russian troops (which had never re-deployed from July’s North Caucasus military exercises) were put on high alert and have received orders to prepare to move towards the Georgian border.
•After the attack on Avnevi peacekeeping checkpoint and responding to the increasing invasion risk, at 14:30, the Ministry of Defense of Georgia declared the mobilization of its forces, including armored vehicles, tanks and artillery in the direction of the administrative border of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
•From about 15:00 to 17:00, Georgian Special Envoy and State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili visited the conflict zone to meet with representatives of the proxy authorities. After the refusal, meeting was arranged with the Commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces General Marat Kulakhmetov in Tskhinvali, who stated that he could not contact Eduard Kokoity and that Russian peacekeepers could not stop the attacks by the de facto regime irregular forces. Meanwhile, the Special Envoy of the Russian Foreign Ministry Yuri Popov, failed to arrive in Tskhinvali and mediate preliminary agreed ceasefire talks, citing “a flat tire” and refusal by the de facto authorities (in a phone conversation with Yakobashvili).
•At around 17:00, after the Commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces Marat Kulakhmetov refused to give additional security guarantees to Georgian peacekeepers stationed in the town of Tskhinvali, the Commander of Georgian peacekeepers Mamuka Kurashvili ordered officers of the Georgian peacekeeping battalion to leave the headquarters of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces in Tskhinvali.
•At 17:10, in spite of casualties among Georgian peacekeepers and the shelling of the central government controlled villages, Georgian law enforcers and peacekeepers unilaterally ceased fire to defuse tensions. This decision was communicated by Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili to the Commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces General Marat Kulakhmetov at 17.00.
•At 18:40, Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili said at a press conference in Tbilisi that he still sought to contact South Ossetian de facto authorities, but without success.
•At 19:10, in a nation-wide televised address, President Saakashvili confirmed unilateral ceasefire and called the Russian authorities and de facto regimes for negotiations (see annex 78 for Saakashvili’s statement).
•At 19:55, the MIA of Georgia intercepted a phone call, according to which members of South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces planned an artillery attack on Georgian villages (see annexes 79 and 80 for the telephone intercept and its transcript).
•At 20:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces resumed the shelling of Georgian peacekeepers and police officers located in village Avnevi, Frone valley. The fire again came from Khetagurovo. The OSCE MMOs confirmed the ceasefire broken at 22:00.
•At 22:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces fired at the central government controlled villages Zemo Prisi and Tamarsheni in Big Liakhvi valley from Tskhinvali and the mountain of Tliakana.
•At 23:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces intensified artillery fire on all positions of Georgian police and peacekeepers in Big Liakhvi, Little Liakhvi and Frone valleys, especially villages Avnevi, Nuli, Tamarasheni and Kurta. The police station in Kurta was destroyed.
•At the same time, Georgian government received multiple human intelligence reports that about 150 armored vehicles and trucks with Russian soldiers were approaching the Roki Tunnel from Russia and moving towards Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. Later multiple intercepts of phone conversations among the de facto security and military officials that took place in between 02:20 and 04:30 on August 8 confirm that Russian military columns were stretched from the Roki Tunnel to village Java (see annexes 81-86 for telephone intercepts and their transcripts).
•Late in the evening, a cyber attack was launched against Georgia’s governmental and civilian internet facilities. A large number of Georgia’s internet servers were seized and placed under external control (see annex 87 for a detailed study of the Russian-sponsored cyber attack against Georgia).
•At 23:35, in response to the intrusion of Russian regular army into Georgia and the continued shelling of the central government controlled villages in the conflict zone, the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili issued three orders to the Joint Staff of the Ministry of Defense: 1) to protect civilians in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia; 2) to neutralize the firing positions from which the fire against civilians, Georgian peacekeeping units and police originated; and 3) to halt the movement of regular units of the Russian Federation through the Roki Tunnel inside Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. Georgian government forces started military action in order to fulfill the orders of the President.
•At 23:35, Georgian Armed Forces artillery units started firing smoke bombs and, subsequently, at 23:50 opened fire at both fixed and moving targets of enemy forces on the territory of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
•At 00:15, Georgian armed forces launched ground operation on the left and right flanks, supported by the artillery.
•At 00:23, the Commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces Marat Kulakhmetov in a phone conversation with the Commander of Georgian peacekeepers Mamuka Kurashvili admitted that Russian peacekeepers were providing coordinates of the positions Georgian armed forces to the South Ossetian proxy regime militants’ artillery (see annexes 87 A and B for the telephone conversation and its transcript).
•At 02:37, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Grigory Karasin telephoned Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze and informed him that Russian armed forces were starting military operation in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia citing casualties among Russian peacekeepers as a reason for this decision. Although, the first encounter between Georgian forces and Russian peacekeepers took place at 06:00, at least three hours later than Karasin’s phone call.
•At 04:10, Russian ambassador to Georgia Vaicheslav Kovalenko, in the course of a visit to the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Minister Grigol Vashadze that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was removed from the decision-making process and hence all decisions were made by the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
•By 05:00, Georgian armed forces seized control of a significant number of villages around Tskhinvali including Tsinagari, Orchosani, Didmukha, Muguti, Gromi, Okona, Artsevi and part of Dmenisi.
•At 05:20, incoming Russian troops passed village Java crossing the Gupta bridge and advancing on the Dzari bypass road, which is confirmed by a telephone conversation intercepted by the
MIA of Georgia (see annexes 88 and 89 for the telephone intercept and its transcript). At 06:35 Georgian artillery and military aircraft conducted targeted attacks on the Gupta bridge and the moving Russian column (Georgian aviation has made no operational flights since then). Soon after that, two more columns of Russian troops entered the Roki Tunnel and advanced south by the Geri-Dmenisi road.
•By 06:00, Georgian armed forces seized control of village Khetagurovo, by 07:00 of village Znauri and by 08:00 of villages Kokhati.
•At around 06:00, special forces of the MIA of Georgia equipped with “Cobra” type armored vehicles and reinforced by several tanks from the MOD of Georgia, moved from village Zemo Nikozi towards the outskirts of Tskhinvali in order to suppress the fire at that village coming from the proxy regime militants located in the southwestern part of the town, the so called “Shanghai” suburb. The MIA special forces encountered sniper and massive armored vehicle cannon fire from the Russian peacekeeping headquarters “Verkhniy Gorodok” located on the southwestern edge of the town and were compelled to return fire and ask for tank support as well. In fact, the roof of the main building of “Verkhniy Gorodok” was used by enemy for correcting artillery fire against Georgian armed forces, which is confirmed by an article in the South Ossetian press (see annex 90).
•From 09:30 until 11:05, Russian aviation bombed villages in Gori and Kareli districts and the town of Gori.
•At 11:00, special forces of Georgian MIA and MOD with “Cobra” type armored vehicles, reinforced by a tank battalion, entered Tskhinvali from village Zemo Nikozi. They came under fire from different buildings in the town which were used by South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces for combat purposes (see annexes 91-94 for press articles confirming the usage of peacekeeping, administrative and civilian objects as shields by Russian troops and South Ossetian irregular forces (see also annex 37 A, p.14 and Human Rights Watch “Up In Flames – Humanitarian Law Violations and Civilian Victims in the Conflict over South Ossetia,” pp. 87- 127, at http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/georgia0109web.pdf).
•Simultaneously, at around 11:00, Russian military aircraft and artillery started to bomb Tskhinvali, as well as other locations in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia (see annexes 95 and 96 for articles containing evidence that Russian artillery and aviation bombed Tskhinvali). South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces even shot down a Russian SU-25 plane, which was bombing Tskhinvali assuming it was Georgian (see annexes 97 and 98). It is a proved fact that Georgian aviation had only undertaken flights at 06:35 and none of its aircraft has been lost.
•By 14:30, Georgian forces took control of most of Tskhinvali – its southern and central parts, while fighting continued in the northern part of the town.
•At 15:00, Georgian armed forces declared a 3-hour unilateral ceasefire to establish a humanitarian corridor. The Russians used the ceasefire to advance towards Tskhinvali by the Dzari road and towards Dmenisi by the Geri-Dmenisi road.
•In between 15:00 to 19:05, Russian aviation bombed the city of Tbilisi (Vaziani) and the towns of Marneuli, Bolnisi and Gori.
•At 18:45, one column of Russian tanks, armored vehicles and trucks approached Tskhinvali by the Dzari road. Two more columns were stopped near village Dmenisi. Russian forces opened
intensive fire on Georgian armed forces located in Dmenisi, in Tskhinvali and on the neighboring heights.
•At 20:30, Georgian forces withdrew from the center of Tskhinvali and regrouped, holding their positions in the southern parts of the town.
•By 22:00, Russian troops approached Big Liakhvi valley from the north, but failed to enter it, suffering heavy losses caused by Georgian artillery fire and also stopped moving on the Dzari road towards Tskhinvali.
•At 23:45, Russian aviation again bombed Tbilisi (Vaziani).
•At 23:50, Russian forces bombed the town of Poti (in western Georgia) with Tochka-U/SS-21 missile.
•At 00: 40, Russian forces again bombed Poti.
•During the night, Georgian forces maintained control of the southern part of Tskhinvali. Georgian armed forces units stationed in western Georgia, including the brigade at the Senaki military base, were relocated to Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia in order to support the military operation on the left flank.
•Early in the morning, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia to oversee the military operation (see annex 99 for the record of this meeting).
•In the morning, Abkhazian de facto authorities demanded UNOMIG to leave Upper Abkhazia as they, together with the Russian army units, were going to start a military operation in order to oust Georgian police from the Gorge. UNOMIG complied and immediately left the area.
•At 09:25, Russian aviation bombed Kopitnari airport near the city of Kutaisi (in western Georgia).
•In between 09:50 and 11:05, Russian aviation bombed the town of Gori and the nearby village Shavshvebi.
•At 11:40, Russian forces, including airborne troops started to enter Tskhinvali from the north- west and from village Tbeti.
•At 12:00-13.00, additional forces of Georgian MOD entered Tskhinvali and encountered massive resistance from Russian troops abusively using armed vehicles with peacekeepers identification marks.
•From 13:00 to 15:00, Georgian and Russian troops engaged in intensive fighting in the center of Tskhinvali, Georgian forces mostly controlled the southern part of the town, while Russian forces amassed in its northern part.
•In between 13:40 and 14:40, Russian military aircraft bombed the central government controlled villages in Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge, including the district’s administrative center Chkhalta.
•At 15:50, Abkhazian de facto government announced that it had decided to send its armed forces towards the administrative border and to start a military operation in order to oust Georgian police from Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge (see annex 100).
•At 16:00, Russian Black Sea Fleet entered Georgian territorial waters and started to patrol the coast of Abkhazia (see annex 101).
•In between 16:05 and 18:35, Russian aviation bombed the territory of Oni district (western Georgia).
•At 16:40, Russian navy blocked Moldovan ship “Lotus-1,” carrying wheat, from entering the Poti port.
•At 17:00, additional Russian troops entered Tskhinvali. Confronting the Russian air, artillery and ground offensive, Georgian forces maintained control of the southern part of Tskhinvali and the surrounding villages until late in the evening.
•By 21:00, Russian troops advanced on the Geri-Dmenisi road towards Dmenisi.
•By 22:00, Georgian armed forces seized control of villages Tbeti and Galuanti to the west of Tskhinvali.
•Late in the evening, a Russian motorcade consisting of 30 armored vehicles led by the Commander of the 58th Army General Anatoly Khruliov was destroyed by Georgian armed forces at the northwestern entrance of Tskhinvali.
•At 22:20, Russian aviation again bombed Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 22:30, Georgian armed forces began a phased retreat from Tskhinvali and during the night re-positioned themselves south of the town.
•At 23:50, Russian aviation bombed the town of Senaki (in western Georgia).
•During the night and early in the morning, more than 300 Russian tanks and armored vehicles, together with more than 10 000 troops passed through the Roki Tunnel.
•At 04:00, Russian troops occupied Big Liakhvi valley.
•At 05:30, Russian aviation bombed Tbilisi (Vaziani) and Baku-Supsa oil pipeline near Tbilisi.
•In between 06:00 and 11:30, Russian aircraft bombed Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 10:00, Georgian armed forces left Frone valley, which was immediately captured by Russian troops.
•By 11:00, Russian Black Sea Fleet ships approached Ochamchire seaport. More than 4000 airborne troops landed on the coast.
•At around 11:00, Georgian police started to evacuate civilian population from Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•In between 12:20 and 15:15, Russian aviation heavily bombed Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 14.00, Turkish TV crew, heading towards Tskhinvali, was attacked on the road. Two journalists Levent Ozturk and Gurai Ervin were wounded.
•In the afternoon (exact time unknown) two Georgian journalists Alexander Klimchuk and Giga Chikhladze were taken hostages and murdered by South Ossetian militia in Tskhinvali.
•At 15:00, Russian troops started to advance south from Tskhinvali in the direction of village Megvrekisi, Gori district.
•At 15:10, Russian aviation bombed village Knolevi in Kareli district.
•At 15:30 Russian aviation bombed Gori.
•At 15:40 Russian aviation bombed village Anaklia in Zugididi district.
•At 16:10, Russian aviation bombed Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 16:20, Russian aviation again bombed village Anaklia in Zugididi district.
•By 17:00, Russian troops captured village Megvrekisi in Gori district.
•At 17:20, Russian aviation again bombed Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 17:40, head of Abkhazian de facto authorities Sergey Bagapsh declared mobilization and martial law on the territory of Abkhazia (see annex 102).
•By 18:30, Russian troops and Abkhazian de facto regime irregular forces deployed along the administrative border at river Enguri (see annex 103).
•At 18:40, Russian aviation bombed Tbilisi (radar near airport).
•At 19:30, the MFA of Georgia handed a diplomatic note to the Russian Embassy offering an immediate Georgian ceasefire.
•At 19:40, Russian aviation bombed Senaki and Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•In between 20:20 and 22:10, Russian aviation bombed Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 22:30, Russian troops crossed the administrative border at river Enguri and entered Samegrelo region, which was empty of Georgian armed forces since, as noted above, Georgian regular troops staitoned in western Georgia had been relocated to Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia early in the morning of August 9.
•At 23:55, Russian aviation bombed village Shavshvebi in Gori district.
•By late evening, civilian population began to leave the town of Gori and the villages in Gori district.
•By 01:00, Russian troops occupied village Kheiti in Small Liakhvi valley and villages Nikozi and Ergneti south to Tskhinvali, as well as advanced towards villages Khviti and Brotsleti in Gori district.
•In between 00:20 and 03:30, Russian aviation bombed Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•In between 02:45 and 03:20, Russian aviation bombed the territory of Khelvachauri district in Adjara (southwestern Georgia).
•At 04:10, Russian aviation bombed Tbilisi (radar near airport) and Shiraki airfield in Kakheti (eastern Georgia).
•At 05:25, Russian aviation bombed Gori.
•At 07:10, Russian aviation bombed Senaki and villages Ganmukhuri and Anaklia in Zugdidi district.
•At 10:00, Russian artillery bombed village Eredvi. Georgian armed forces started to withdraw to the south in Gori district.
•By 11:00, Russian forces occupied the Small Liakhvi valley, including village Eredvi.
•At 11:30, Russian troops started to advance south towards villages Variani and Tkviavi in Gori district, occupying a number of villages on the way, including Khviti, Kelktseuli, Brotsleti and Tirdznisi.
•By 12:00, Georgian police finished the evacuation of civilian population from Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•By 16:45, Russian troops and Abkhazian de facto regime irregular forces occupied village Khurcha, Zugdidi district.
•By 17:00, Russian troops entered the town of Zugdidi, occupied most administrative buildings and presented an ultimatum to the local police to surrender weapons (see annexes 104 and 105).
•At 17:00, Georgian armed forces in Gori district started to withdrew south to the town of Gori.
•At 18:10, Russian forces occupied village Shindisi, Gori district.
•At 18:20, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces entered village Beloti in Small Liakhvi valley and took the remaining local population as hostages.
•At 19:00, a camp for IDPs was set up in Tbilisi.
•At 19:05, Russian aviation bombed Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•By 19:30, Russian troops entered the town of Senaki in western Georgia and severely damaged the infrastructure of the military base near the town.
•At 20:00, a Russian military column consisting of 70 units of heavy armor and around 600 soldiers moved from Zugdidi district in the direction of the Jvari pass and the town of Khaishi (from where they could eventually access Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge). In order to avoid encirclement by enemy forces, Georgian police started to withdraw from Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•By 20:00, Russian troops continued to move south in Gori district towards the town of Gori and stopped near villages Variani and Tkviavi.
•At 20:25, the Ministry of Economic Development of Georgia was notified that Russian Black Sea Fleet prevented cargo ships “Castor” and “Asha” from entering the Poti port.
•By 22:00, Georgian armed forces withdrew to the town of Mtskheta in order to defend the capital Tbilisi.
•At 01:30, Russian aviation bombed village Ruisi in Kareli district and the town of Kaspi.
•At 03:00, Georgian police finished withdrawing from Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 09:30, Russian aviation bombed Gori.
•At 11:00, Russian airborne troops and Abkhazian de facto regime irregular forces launched a ground attack in Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 11:30 and 12:00, Russian forces bombed Baku-Supsa oil pipeline and the town of Gori with Iskander-M/SS-26 missiles. The missiles were dropped on and near the central square of the town, killing 8 civilians and injuring 15. A cameraman of Dutch TV Stan Storimans was killed, Greek TV channel journalist Filios Stangos and Israeli journalists Zadok Yehezkeli were wounded (later Human Rights Watch found out that this was a RBK-250 cluster bomb, containing 30 PTAB 2.5M sub-munitions, see annex 106 for HRW statement).
•At 12:40, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev announced that he had ordered to end the military operation in Georgia.
•At 14:00, Russian aviation bombed villages in Kaspi and Khashuri districts.
•At 15:00, Russian Black Sea Fleet ships attacked and damaged Georgian Coast Guard vessels.
•By 15:30, Russian troops seized control of many villages in Gori and Kareli districts. South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces started to ravage the occupied Georgian villages, brutally massacring the local population.
•In the afternoon (exact time unknown), a Russian helicopter opened fire at a minibus “Ford- Transit” (no: TBS442) on the main highway near Gori, which was transporting passengers from western Georgia to Tbilisi, killing 9 civilians (see annex 107 for photo).
•By 16:00, Russian troops reached the main highway and cut the road connection between eastern and western Georgia.
•At 16:00, Russian troops entered the town of Gori.
•At 16:30, Russian troops captured TV and Radio transmitter station in village Akhaldaba, Gori district, destroying its equipment, killing one employee: Moris Papuashvili and injuring two: Vakhtang Shavdatuashvili and Merab Khekhelashvili.
•At 17:00, Abkhazian de facto regime irregular forces occupied villages Zemo Ajara and Kvemo Ajara in Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 17:30, Abkhazian de facto regime irregular forces occupied village Ganmukhuri, Zugdidi district and organized a checkpoint there.
•At 18:00, Russian Black Sea Fleet ships attacked and sank Georgian ships harbored in the Poti port (see annex 108).
•By 18:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces ravaged villages Disevi and Karaleti in Gori district, attacking the local civilian population.
•By 19:00, a Russian military column consisting of 70 units of heavy armor and around 600 soldiers moved through the Jvari pass and reached the town of Khaishi (in northwestern Georgia), blocking the road to Upper Abkhazia from the east.
•By 21:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces brutally assaulted and abused the population of villages Kordi, Mereti and Tkviavi in Gori district.
•At 20:40, Abkhazian de facto regime irregular forces fully occupied Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge.
•At 21:50, Russian troops looted the Senaki military base, taking away arms and equipment.
•At 22: 52, three Turkish journalists were robbed and deprived of their car near village Karaleti, Gori district.
•By 23:00, many villages in Gori district, including Berbuki, Rekha, Sveneti, Kheltubani, Karaleti and others, were reported to be ravaged by South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces.
•By late evening, the six-point ceasefire plan was successfully brokered by President Nicolas Sarkozy between Presidents of Georgia and Russia.
Chronology of Russian Air Bombings of Georgia in August 2008
Date and time of air bombing, Area
8 Aug – 09:30-09:44Village Shavshvebi, Gori District
8 Aug – 10:23-10:43VillageVariani, Kareli District
8 Aug – 10:50-11:04Village Tkviavi, Gori District
Town of Gori
8 Aug – 15:07-15:21City of Tbilisi, Vaziani airdrome and airplane factory
8 Aug – 15:50-16:20Town of Marneuli Town of Bolnisi
8 Aug – 16:39-17:06Town of Marneuli
8 Aug – 18:29-18:58Town of Gori
8-9 Aug – 23:44-00:36City of Tbilisi, Vaziani airdrome and airplane factory
8 Aug – 23:50Town of Poti (with “Tochka-U”/SS-21)
8-9 Aug – 23:50-00:23
9 Aug – 00:41-01:04Town of Poti
9 Aug – 09:23-09:45Kopitnari Airport near the city of Kutaisi
9 Aug – 09:52-10:24
9 Aug – 10:21-10:46Town of Gori
9 Aug – 10:29-11:04Village Shavshvebi, Gori District
9 Aug – 13:42-13:50Large part of Kodori Gorge, Upper Abkhazia
9 Aug – 14:03-14:11Village Omarishara, Upper Abkhazia
9 Aug – 14:26-14:39Village Ajara, Upper Abkhazia
9 Aug – 14:26-14:39Village Chkhalta, Upper Abkhazia
9 Aug – 16:04-16:14Village Komandeli, Oni District
9 Aug – 17:39-17:50
9 Aug – 17:39-17:50
9 Aug – 18:24-18:34Jechora Gorge, Oni District
9 Aug – 22:20-22:30Village Chkhalta, Upper Abkhazia Village Gentsvisi, Upper Abkhazia
9-10 Aug – 23:50-00:23Town of Senaki
10 Aug – 05:27-05:47City of Tbilisi, Vaziani airdrome and airplane factory
Baku-Supsa Oil Pipeline, 25 km section
10 Aug – 06:02-09:15Village Ajara, Upper Abkhazia Village Chkhalta, Upper Abkhazia Village Urta, Zugdidi District
10 Aug – 11:25-11:27Village Tsedisi, Oni District
10 Aug – 12:22-12:26
10 Aug – 13:51-13:55Village Chkhalta, Upper Abkhazia
10 Aug – 15:05-15:15Large part of Kodori Gorge, Upper Abkhazia
10 Aug – 15:09-15:24Village Knolevi, Kareli District
10 Aug – 15:29-15:39Town of Gori
10 Aug – 15:40-15:50Village Anaklia, Zugdidi District
10 Aug – 16:09-16:14Large part of Kodori Gorge, Upper Abkhazia
10 Aug – 16:20-16:35Village Anaklia, Zugdidi District
10 Aug – 17:21-17:55Large part of Kodori Gorge, Upper Abkhazia
10 Aug – 18:42-19:16City of Tbilisi, Leninisi Radar Station near Tbilisi International Airport
10 Aug – 19:40-20:05Town of Senaki
Parts of Kodori Gorge, Upper Abkhazia
10 Aug – 20:23-20:27Parts of Kodori Gorge, Upper Abkhazia
10 Aug – 22:03-22:09Village Gentsvisi, Upper Abkhazia
10 Aug – 23:54-00:00Village Shavshvebi, Gori District
11 Aug – 00:19-00:39Parts of Kodori Gorge, Upper Abkhazia
11 Aug – 02:09-02:40Village Chkhalta, Upper Abkhazia
11 Aug – 02:44-03:20Village Sharabidzeebi, Khelvachauri District Village Kapandichi, Khelvachauri District Village Makho, Khelvachauri District
11 Aug – 03:03-03:29Parts of Kodori Gorge, Upper Abkhazia
11 Aug – 04:12-04:50City of Tbilisi, Leninisi Radar Station near Tbilisi International Airport
Shiraki Airfield, Dedopliststkaro District
11 Aug – 05:25-06:15Town of Gori
11 Aug – 07:10-07:20Village Ganmukhuri, Zugdidi District Village Anaklia, Zugdidi District Town of Senaki
11 Aug – 19:05-19:10Parts of Kodori Gorge, Upper Abkhazia
12 Aug – 01:30-02:00Village Ruisi, Kareli District Town of Kaspi, Railway Station
Town of Kaspi, Heidelberg Cement Factory
12 Aug – 09:30-10:55Town of Gori
12 Aug – 11:30Baku-Supsa Oil Pipeline, 27 km section (with “Iskander-M”/SS-26)
12 Aug – 12:00 (approx.)Town of Gori (with “Iskander-M”/SS-26)
12 Aug – 14:00-14:15Village Agara, Khashuri district Village Sakorinto, Kaspi District
13 Aug – morning, exact time unknownVillage Sakasheti, Gori District Village Okami, Kaspi District
Date and time unknownVillage Karbi, Gori District
Date and time unknownOnidistrict(with“Tochka-U”/SS-21),found unexploded
Date and time unknownVillage Sinaguri, Java District (with “Tochka- U”/SS-21), found unexploded
•Russian armed forces used SU-24, SU-25, SU-27 and MIG-29 type military aircraft, as well as strategic bombers TU-22M to attack Georgia.
•Georgian armed forces shot down 14 Russian military aircraft and detained two Russian pilots: Igor Zinov (a pilot of SU-24M) and Viacheslav Malkov (a pilot of TU-22M), which were properly treated at Georgian hospitals and later handed over to the Russian side.
Civilian, Military, Police and Journalist Casualties of the War
Citizens of Georgia killed
*among them 10 are missing in action (see annex 109)
**among them 3 are missing in action (see annex 110)
Citizens of Georgia wounded
Killed:3(1 international, 2 Georgians).
Chronology of Events: August 2008 (continued)
•At 01:05, residents of villages Nikozi, Tkviavi and Karaleti in Gori district were reported taken hostages by South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces.
•By 07:00, Russian aviation bombed villages in Gori and Kaspi districts.
•At 08:00, residents of village Karaleti in Gori district were reported to be attacked and abused.
•At 09:20, additional Russian troops with armor entered Gori.
•By 12:00, Russian soldiers looted and destroyed the military base of artillery brigade near Gori.
•At 13:00, Russian troops entered village Atotsi, Kareli district. South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces followed them and ravaged the village.
•At 13:05, Russian soldiers entered village Pakhulani, Tsalenjikha district.
•At 14:00, Russian troops blew up three Georgian Coast Guard vessels in the Poti port.
•By 15:00, numerous cases of looting reported in Gori.
•At 16:10, Russian troops started to move from Gori on the main highway and turned to the left towards village Orchosani, Akahlgori district.
•At 17:15, atrocities by South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces were reported in villages Tseronisi and Knolevi, Kareli district.
•By 20:00, population fled from the town of Kareli and villages Breti and Aradeti in Kareli district. The abandoned villages were looted by South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces.
•By 11:00, Russian troops continued destroying Georgian military installations in Senaki.
•At 12:00, additional Russian troops entered Zugdidi and Poti.
•At 12:05, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces robbed three journalists of Canadian TV channel CBC near the town of Gori, took away their car, equipment and passports. The accident happened in the presence of Russian soldiers, who did not react.
•At 14:00, additional Russian troops entered Gori.
•At 14:40, additional Russian troops entered village Mejvriskhevi in Gori district and villages Ruisi and Tsveri in Kareli district.
•At 15:40, Russian soldiers robbed several Georgian police officers and took away their car near village Doghlauri, Kareli district.
•At 16:00, four Israeli journalists, including “Haaretz” correspondent Anshel Pfeffer and photographer Nir Kafri, were robbed by Russian soldiers in Gori.
•At 16:30, looting by South Ossetian irregulars reported in villages Brotsleti, Mejvriskhevi, Gorijvari in Gori district and Breti in Kareli district.
•At 17:00, a journalist of the Georgian Public Broadcasting company Tamar Urushadze was wounded by a direct sniper shot in a hand during a live broadcast near Gori.
•At 18:30, lootings reported from villages Agara and Dzevera in Kareli district.
•By 19:10, Russian troops strengthened their checkpoints in Zugdidi.
•In the evening (exact time unknown) South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces robbed three Czech journalists, including Marek Gureba, near Gori, took away their car and equipment.
•At 22:10, about 100 armored vehicles and trucks of Russian army moved from Zugdidi to Senaki.
•At 23:50, looting and abuses of civilians reported from villages Ruisi in Gori district and Mokhisi in Khashuri district.
•In a 15 August interview with Russian newspaper “Kommersant,” head of South Ossetian de facto authorities Eduard Kokoity declared publicly that it was their goal to purge the Georgian enclaves in South Ossetia so as not to allow ethnic Georgians to ever return to their homes (see annex 111 for Kokoity’s statement, as well as annex 112 for a similar statement by the de facto parliament speaker Znaur Gasiev).
•At 08:00, Russian troops with 14 armored vehicles and 4 trucks moved from Senaki and stopped at river Abashistskali, in 40 kms west of the city of Kutaisi.
•At 09:30 about 20 Russian military trucks with soldiers moved from Senaki to Poti.
•At 10:30, South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces robbed Georgian freelance journalist Margarita Akhvlediani near village Sagolasheni, Kareli district, taking away her car, camera and other belongings.
•At 13:00, Russian soldiers detained two journalists in Poti: Lasha Berulava, reporter of radio “Imedi” and Murad Fartsvania, cameraman of TV Company “Odishi.” They were later released.
•At 15:30, several Russian helicopters flew over the Borjomi district and dropped fire setting bombs near village Tsagveri (The fire quickly spread in the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park
and despite the huge efforts taken ultimately spread over 950 hectares of forest land, totally destroying 250 hectares).
•At 16:10, four members of Namgalauri family were kidnapped from village Ghogheti, Kareli district and taken towards village Znauri.
•By 17:00, Russian troops robbed the buildings of Georgian Coast Guard in Poti and drove away several boats towards the Abkhazian coast.
•At 18:30, Russian troops – 9 armored vehicles accompanied by 3 Mi-24 helicopters – started to move across the main highway towards Tbilisi. They stopped and opened a checkpoint near village Igoeti, Kaspi district – in 20 kms from Tbilisi.
•At 21:00, Russian troops entered the town of Khashuri (in central Georgia) and opened a checkpoint there. About 10 Tanks were in the observed in the town.
•At 21:50, Russian troops continued their movement from Khashuri and entered the nearby town of Surami on the main highway.
•At 23:30, Russian troops continued to move west from Khashuri and Surami. As reported by the local population, they intruded into the houses and deprived the population of food. Soon they turned back and stopped in Khashuri.
•At 00:30, looting and abuses of civilians by South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces reported from villages Abisi, Koda, Ptsa in Kareli district.
•At 08:45, an additional column of Russian troops on tanks, armored vehicles and trucks entered village Karaleti, Gori district.
•At 10:15, 10 tanks of the Russian army headed from Igoeti towards Khashuri and seven towards Znauri, while 4 armored vehicles, one crane and 10 army trucks (8 Urals, 2 Kamazs) entered the Poti port.
•At 10:30, Russian aviation dropped fire-setting bombs near village Khandaki in Kaspi district, setting the nearby forest on fire.
•At 12:30, Russian troops blew up the key railway bridge near village Grakali, Kaspi district, cutting the railway connection between eastern and western Georgia.
•At 13:00, two Russian trucks with soldiers moved from Surami through the Rikoti Tunnel (in central Georgia) and passed village Khevi, Kharagauli district (in western Georgia). They were stopped by the patrol police of the MIA of Georgia near the town of Zestaponi.
•By 14:30, 8 Russian armored vehicles with troops moved from Khashuri towards the town of Sachkhere (in western Georgia), but were stopped near village Gomi by the patrol police of the MIA of Georgia.
•At 16:00, Russians denied to provide permission to the Turkish and Ukrainian planes to enter Georgian airspace in order to take part in putting down the forest fires in Borjomi district.
•By 18:00, Russian troops with tanks and armored vehicles entered the town of Akhalgori, the center of Akhalgori district, in 40 kms north-west of Tbilisi.
•At 18:30, Russian aviation dropped fire-setting bombs in the forests around Surami, Khashuri district.
•At 20:00, Russian troops were reported to have started proposing Russian passports to the local population in Akhalgori district.
•At 21:15, additional Russian armored vehicles were deployed at the entrance of the town of Akhalgori.
•At 10:45, 21 Russian military trucks and 4 armored vehicles accompanied by 1 helicopter entered the Senaki military base.
•At 11:25, about 100 members of South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces entered the town of Akhalgori.
•At 11:30, some Russian troops moved towards villages Reka and Menji near Senaki.
•At 13:20, Russian MOD announced that it had seized control over the property of Enguri hydropower plant.
•At 13:25, 8 Russian military helicopters landed at the Senaki military base.
•At 14:05, Russian troops mined roads in Mestia district (in northwestern Georgia).
•At 16:30, a Russian armored vehicle approached the Supsa oil terminal.
•At 19:30, Russian troops mined two bridges near the town of Kaspi.
•At 11:00, Russian troops stationed at village Igoeti blocked the road leading to the town of Kaspi.
•At 13:00, Russian troops started to move towards the towns of Sachkhere (in western Georgia) and Borjomi (in southern Georgia). They were stopped near Borjomi by the Patrol Police of the MIA of Georgia, but they managed to pass village Gomi and reach the Jvari pass in Sachkere district and got stationed there.
•By 16:00, Russian soldiers exploded barracks and other installations at the Senaki military base.
•At 17:30, Russian armored vehicles began movement from village Igoeti towards the town of Akhalgori. Georgian police officers tried to stop them near village Lamiskana, but the Russians crashed Georgian patrol police cars at the roadblock and continued their way towards Akhalgori (see annex 113 for video).
•At 17:30, a Russian military aircraft entered Georgian airspace near Stepantsminda, Kasbegi district (in northeastern Georgia), flew towards the Zhinvali dam, flew over it and returned to Russia.
•At 01:00, 20 servicemen of the MOD of Georgia entered the Poti port in order to protect its infrastructure from looting. At 08:30, Russian troops entered the port, disarmed Georgian soldiers and captured them.
•At 12:30, Russian troops loaded concrete blocks on rails near village Gomi, blocking the possible re-launch of rail transport.
•At 13:20, Russian troops lead 6 blindfolded Georgian soldiers and six US owned Hummer vehicles from the Poti port to the military base in Senaki.
•At 14:50, some Russian troops moved from village Gomi towards the town of Sachkere and stopped at the Jvari pass.
•At 09:40 South Ossetian de facto authorities announced the creation of their administration in Akhalgori district (which they call Leningori), naming Valeri Karaev as the head of the de facto administration.
•At 11:00, Russian troops occupied village Perevi in Sachkhere district (in western Georgia), close to the administrative border with South Ossetia. They deployed over 50 soldiers and 3 tanks there.
•By 11:00, Russian troops did not allow the trucks with humanitarian aid to enter village Karaleti in Gori district.
•At 12:00, Russian troops arrested the governor of Shida Kartli region Lado Vardzelashvili at one of the illegal Russian checkpoints near the town of Gori, as he was trying to release the trucks with humanitarian aid to the local population. He was released from detention after two hours.
•At 14:00, houses were reported put on fire by South Ossetian de facto regime irregular forces in village Dzevera, Gori district.
•At 15:30, Russian troops organized a checkpoint at the entrance of the town of Poti.
•At 16:00, Russian troops entered village Chogha in Chkhorotsku district (in western Georgia), with armored vehicles and started digging trenches.
•At 18:30, Russian military aircraft dropped fire-setting bombs in the forest near village Kiketi, in 10 kms from Tbilisi.
•At 10:30, Russian troops started digging entrenchments in the town of Poti. Russian armored vehicles and “Ural” type trucks were reported deployed at Nabada, at the entrance of the town.
•At 10:35, French ambassador to Georgia Eric Fournier was blocked near Gori by Russian troops on his way from Sachkhere to Tbilisi. He was allowed to continue his drive only by 13:00.
•At 14:00, Russian embassy in Georgia issued a note to the MFA of Georgia, according to which the Russian Ministry of Defense had to be notified in advance of any planned travel of all delegations to the occupied town of Gori.
•At 15:00, the deputy chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces Anatoly Nogovitsin declared that Russian armed forces would establish two lines of checkpoints in “a security zone” near South Ossetia. The first line would include eight checkpoints across the zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers, while the second line – involving 10 checkpoints – would be set across the administrative border of South Ossetia. 272 soldiers would be deployed on these eight checkpoints. The town of Gori would not be included in the zone.”
•At 16:30, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov declared that Russia would create 8 “peacekeeping” checkpoints in Georgia manned by 500 “peacekeepers.”
•At 19:30, Russian troops released 10 soldiers out of 20 captured on August 19 in the Poti port.
•At 21:00, the commander of Russian ground forces, General Vladimir Boldirev declared that the process of withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Georgia would take 10 days and that the remaining “peacekeeping” checkpoints would start operating from August 22.
•At 23:20, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdiukov announced that Russian troops would start to withdraw towards South Ossetia and Abkhazia at 06:00 next morning.
•At 12:00, the deputy chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces Anatoly Nogovitsin announced the establishment of Russian military checkpoints around South Ossetia and Abkhazia, labeling these territories as “security/buffer zones.” According to him, the borderline of the zone near Abkhazia would go across the settlements: Nabada, Chaladidi, Senaki, Kvira, Khudoni, Jikmur, Ochamchire and Anaklia, while the borderline of the zone near would go across the settlements: Perevi, Ghodora, Ali, Variani, Ikoti, Tsiara and Ptsa.
•At 12:30, Russian troops started withdrawing from Igoeti towards Gori. Russian forces also began to leave the local administration and police buildings in Zugdidi.
•At 14:00, about 100 Russian armored vehicles started moving from Senaki towards Zugdidi.
•At 19:30, Russian troops exploded the remaining installations at the military base near Gori.
•At 20:00, Russian troops started leaving Gori and Khashuri in eastern Georgia.
•By late night, Russian forces fully withdrew from the town of Gori.
Chronology of Occupation: August 23 – October 8
On August 23, Russian forces withdrew from the town of Zugdidi, but remained close to it. Russian forces remained in and around the Poti port. They established re-enforced checkpoints and conducted routine and illegal patrols of the town and the surrounding villages.
On August 23, Russian occupational forces organized 28 illegal checkpoints deep inside Georgian territory:
•In eastern Georgia (Shida Kartli and Mtskheta Mtianeti regions) Russian troops got stationed in/near the following villages:
1.Perevi (Sachkhere district)
2.Ghodora (Sachkhere district)
3.Ali (Khashuri district)
4.Ptsa (Kareli district)
5.Variani (Gori district)
6.Karaleti (Gori district)
7.Shavshvebi (Gori district)
8.Ergneti (Gori district)
9.Ikoti (Akhalgori district)
10.Between Meghvrekisi and Brotsleti (Gori district)
11.Odzisi (Akhalgori district)
12.Mosabruni (Akhalgori district)
•In western Georgia (in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti and Upper Abkhazia regions) Russian troops got stationed in/near the following villages:
13.Teklati (near Senaki on the main east/west highway)
14.Pirveli Maisi (Khobi district)
15.Between Chaladidi and Shua Khorga (Khobi district, near Poti)
16.Nabada (at the entrance of Poti)
17.Menji (Senaki district)
18.Kantisubani (on the road between Tsalenjikha and Chkhorotsku)
19.Chale and Muzhava crossroads (Tsalenjikha district)
20.Mount Kvira (Tsalenjikha district)
21.Chkhorotsku (Chkhorotsku district)
22.Anaklia (Zugdidi district)
23.Khudoni (Mestia district)
24.Gentsvisi (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge)
25.Omarishara (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge)
26.Sakeni (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge)
27.Chkhalta (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge)
28.Kvabchara (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge) (See annex 114 for the map of checkpoints)
•On August 24, at 10:30, a train carrying 34 tanks of crude oil from Azerbaijan to Batumi exploded on a Russian planted land mine near village Skra, 5 km west of Gori. Other mines and buried artillery shells were subsequently found at other spots along the tracks.
•On August 24, at 11:00, USS “McFaul” loaded with humanitarian aid entered the Batumi port.
•On August 24, at 11:10, one civilian was killed and one was wounded as a result of land mine explosions: Nana Matrasidze died at the northern entrance of the town of Gori and Mikheil Kaidarashvili was wounded in village Tirdznisi.
•On August 25, Russian troops dug entrenchments in village Chuberi near the Enguri power plant. Military presence of Russian troops was also reported at the dam infrastructure of power plant.
•On August 25, at 10:00 Russian soldiers with two armored vehicles entered the territory of Coast Guard infrastructure in the Poti port. They stole office equipment and air conditioners.
•On August 25, both houses of the Russian Parliament passed unanimous resolutions calling on the President of Russia to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
•On August 26, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev signed two presidential decrees, recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, sanctioning the drafting of “treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance” with the “new states” (see annex 115).
•On August 26, Russian warships docked in Sokhumi, including the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, guided missile cruiser “Moscow.”
•On August 28, Georgian Parliament passed a unanimous resolution, declaring the Russian armed forces deployed on the territory of Georgia as occupational forces and South Ossetia and Abkhazia as Russian occupied territories.
On September 13, Russian troops pulled out of five locations in western Georgia, including Poti, but remained at 23 illegal checkpoints:
•In eastern Georgia (Shida Kartli and Mtskheta Mtianeti regions) Russian troops were left in or near the following villages:
1.Perevi (Sachkhere district)
2.Ghodora (Sachkhere district)
3.Ali (Khashuri district)
4.Ptsa (Kareli district)
5.Variani (Gori district)
6.Karaleti (Gori district)
7.Shavshvebi (Gori district)
8.Ergneti (Gori district)
9.Ikoti (Akhalgori district)
10.Between Meghvrekisi and Brotsleti (Gori district)
11.Odzisi (Akhalgori district)
12.Mosabruni (Akhalgori district)
•In western Georgia (in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti and Upper Abkhazia regions) Russian troops were left in or near the following villages:
13.Kantisubani (on the road between Tsalenjikha and Chkhorotsku)
14.Chale and Muzhava crossroads (Tsalenjikha district)
15.Mount Kvira (Tsalenjikha district)
16.Chkhorotsku (Chkhorotsku district)
17.Anaklia (Zugdidi district)
18.Khudoni (Mestia district)
19.Gentsvisi (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge)
20.Omarishara (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge)
21.Sakeni (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge)
22.Chkhalta (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge)
23.Kvabchara (Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge) (See annex 116 for the map of checkpoints)
Thus, Georgian government lost control over 189 villages, which it used to administer before the August war:
Big Liakhvi valley
Little Liakhvi valley
Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge
On September 17, Russian president Dimitry Medvedev signed the treaties of “friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance” with the de facto authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
On October 8, Russian forces withdrew from the so-called “security/buffer zones,” but are still occupying South Ossetia and Abkhazia, including Big Liakhvi valley, Little Liakhvi valley, Frone valley, Akhalgori district and Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge, thus violating the August 12 cease- fire agreement.
At present, Georgian government cannot exercise control over 128 villages, which used to be under its administration prior to the August war:
Big Liakhvi valley
Little Liakhvi valley
Upper Abkhazia/Kodori Gorge