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Russias On Edge Of South Ossetia Capital

From an elated Reuters:

Russia forces on edge of South Ossetia capital: website

By Margarita Antidze

MEGVREKISI, Georgia (Reuters) – Russian armored vehicles have entered the northern edges of the capital of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, the separatists’ press service reported on its website on Friday.

“Russian armored vehicles have entered the northern suburbs of Tskhinvali,” the website cominf.org reported, adding that Georgian troops had started to retreat.

Moscow said its troops were responding to a Georgian assault to re-take the breakaway region, and Georgia’s pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili said the two countries were at war.

Russia would cut air links with Georgia from midnight on Friday, the Russian Transport Ministry said.

Saakashvili told BBC World television Russia had been massing troops on the northern border of Georgia for months.

” They have been calling it training exercises, but they have not been concealing the fact that they are training these troops for use inside Georgia,” he said.

“The way the escalation went was we came first under extensive artillery barrage from the separatists … but in the end I was told that Russian armored vehicles started to cross the Georgian border. And that was exactly the moment when I had to take this decision to fire back.”

The United States on Friday asserted its support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and urged an immediate ceasefire. NASTO [sic] and the European Union have joined calls for a halt to fighting…

A South Ossetia minister said more than a thousand people had died in overnight shelling by Georgian forces of their capital Tskhinvali, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

“According to our information, as a result of the night-time shelling of Tskhinvali … the number of fatalities is more than a thousand,” Nationalities Minister Teimuraz Kasaev told the news agency by telephone.

A senior Georgian security official said Russian planes had bombed the Vaziani military outside the Georgian capital Tbilisi. The Interior Ministry said later three Georgian soldiers were killed…

Saakashvili, who wants to take his small Caucasus nation into NATO, has made it a priority to win back control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another rebel region on the Black Sea.

The issue has bedeviled Georgia’s relations with Russia, angered by Tbilisi’s moves towards the Western fold and its pursuit of NATO membership…

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the Georgians of driving people from their homes. “We are receiving reports that a policy of ethnic cleansing was being conducted in villages in South Ossetia, the number of refugees is climbing, the panic is growing, people are trying to save their lives,” he said in televised remarks from the ministry…

Medvedev vowed to defend Russian “compatriots” in South Ossetia, where most people have been given Russian passports.

“We will not allow their deaths to go unpunished,” Interfax quoted him as saying

Isn’t it funny how the Soviet Union Russia always waits for the world’s attention to be elsewhere when they do their little incursions.

In this case it is the Olympics. Back in 1979, it was Christmas when they invaded Afghanistan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the Georgians of driving people from their homes. “We are receiving reports that a policy of ethnic cleansing was being conducted in villages in South Ossetia, the number of refugees is climbing, the panic is growing, people are trying to save their lives,” he said in televised remarks from the ministry.

Another well known Soviet Russian ploy.

Indeed, Hitler said the same thing right before he went into Czechoslovakia.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, August 8th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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