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Georgia: A Timeline of Events Aug. 7-8

24 MINS READAug 8, 2008 | 22:07 GMT
VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Updates will be made as more information becomes available. All times are local Georgian time and listed by most recent event first.

Aug. 8, 2008

  • 11:42 p.m.: Reuters reports that the United States has urged Russia to withdraw from Georgia and halt its air attacks. The news agency also reports that the U.S. envoy who will go to Georgia to attempt to broker a cease-fire will be Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza.
  • 10:40 p.m.: The Pentagon is monitoring events in Georgia and has had some contact with Georgian authorities, but has not received requests from them for help since Russian forces entered the country, Reuters reports, citing a U.S. Defense Department spokesman. The spokesman says 127 U.S. defense personnel and contractors, including 35 civilians, are in Tbilisi. All are accounted for, none are injured and there is no plan to redeploy them, he adds.
  • 10:37 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she is working with European partners to launch "international mediation" on South Ossetia.
  • 10:24 p.m.: Russian peacekeeping forces are engaged in fierce fighting with Georgian troops on the southern outskirts of Tskhinvali, Interfax reports, citing a representative of Russian peacekeepers in the area. Shooting has resumed in Tskhinvali after several hours of quiet.
  • 10 p.m.: A convoy of about 20 Georgian military trucks leave from Batumi heading in the direction of South Ossetia, Interfax reports, citing eyewitnesses. According to the witnesses, there are about 10 armed soldiers in each truck, bringing the total in the convoy to about 200 soldiers.
  • 9:55 p.m.: Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Yeliseyev meets with Georgian Charges D'affaires ad interim Zurab Dvalishvili to discuss the conflict in South Ossetia, Ukrainian Radio reports. Yeliseyev reportedly emphasizes the need for a cease-fire in order for talks to begin. Dvalishvili informs Yeliseyev about the current situation and thanks Ukraine for its willingness to help settle the issue.
  • 9:54 p.m.: Reuters reports that envoys from the United States, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will travel to Georgia to try to broker a cease-fire in South Ossetia as quickly as possible.
  • 9:22 p.m.: Interfax reports that South Ossetia has called on the international community to recognize it as an independent state in a message published on a number of South Ossetian Web sites. The message, addressed to the people and governments of the world, says: "For South Ossetia there is only one path in life — a recognition of its independence in the world community. We call on all decent people of the world not to remain indifferent to the fate of the Ossetian people."
  • 9:15 p.m.: Ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor's lower their long-term ratings of Georgia, Gazeta reports. Fitch issues a statement saying it has cut Georgia's long-term rating and foreign currency from a B+ to a B- and forecast the future rating as negative.
  • 9:06 p.m.: Russia's Gazeta, citing a report from television station "First Channel," reports that Georgian forces have left Tskhinvali. After 2 p.m. local time, Russian soldiers took over several dominant positions in the city and shelling continued from those positions. By evening, Russian peacekeepers managed to gain control of the airspace over the city. The Georgian army has retreated to the town of Gori, where the offensive began last night.
  • 9 p.m.: Officials are working to get personnel from the U.S Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, out of the city, a source in Tbilisi tells STRATFOR.
  • 8:46 p.m.: Thousands of South Ossetian residents are making their way into Russia to escape escalating fighting, Interfax reports. Most are thought to be seeking shelter with relatives in North Ossetia.
  • 8:14 p.m.: Nearly all the houses in South Ossetia's capital city, Tskhinvali, have been destroyed by shelling, but shooting has virtually stopped, Interfax reports. Two demolished Georgian tanks and the bodies of Georgian soldiers can be seen from a Russian peacekeepers' post.
  • 7:55 p.m.: Gazeta cites a Russian army spokesman as saying Georgian troops are in firing range of the Russian Army's Unit 58 in South Ossetia, and any shooting in the breakaway territory "will be severely punished."
  • 7:30 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is telephoning top Georgian and Russian officials and calling for calm in the area, The Associated Press reports, citing a U.S. State Department spokesman. A U.S. envoy is dispatched to the region to meet with allies in an attempt to bring the conflict to an end.
  • 7:23 p.m.: Georgia's Foreign Ministry says several Georgian military aircraft at the Marneulskoy air base have been destroyed by Russian airstrikes, Interfax reports. The ministry also says Russia has carried out missile strikes and bombings on the aerodrome in the city of Bolnisi.
  • 7:10 p.m.: Air Services between Russia and Georgia have not been impacted by hostilities in South Ossetia, and OAO Aeroflot-Russian Airlines does not plan to halt flights from Moscow to Tbilisi, a spokesman tells Interfax.
  • 6:46 p.m.: Turkey begins delivering electricity to neighboring Georgia at Georgia's request, Gazeta reports, citing Turkey's NTV. The volume of electricity Turkey is supplying reportedly equals about 40 megawatts per day. Georgia has not confirmed the deliveries.
  • 6:43 p.m.: Georgian forces continue to shell the Republican Hospital in Tskhinvali, Interfax reports, citing South Ossetian government representative Irina Gagloeva. Gagloeva says only two floors of the hospital remain, and that patients have been moved to the hospital's basement.
  • 6:19 p.m.: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov condemns Georgia’s actions against South Ossetia and says Chechnya is prepared to help halt the bloodshed, Interfax reports.
  • 6:14 p.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity says South Ossetian forces are gradually retaking control of the region's capital, Tskhinvali, Interfax reports. Kokoity says South Ossetia's 4th Army Battalion, which is responsible for the southbound defense direction in Tskhinvali, has begun to crowd out Georgian troops in their part of the city.
  • 6 p.m.

  • 5:58 p.m.: Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh calls a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the military actions in South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports. The meeting, the second Security Council meeting of the day, is scheduled to be held in the Abkhaz city of Ochamchira.
  • 5:45 p.m.: Georgian official Temur Yakobashvili says Tskhinvali is under full control of Georgian troops, Gazeta reports. Yakobashvili says Georgian forces have shot down four Russian jets, and he denies Russian media reports that Russia had sent troops into South Ossetia.
  • 5:32 p.m.: Reuters reports that Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus says he will send Foreign Minister Petras Vaitekunas to Georgia on a fact-finding mission. Adamkus made the decision after a talk with his ally, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, and with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Vaitekunas is expected to share his findings about the situation with the European Union.
  • 5:11 p.m.: U.S. military personnel are said to be among those at Georgia’s Vaziani military base when it was bombed by Russian fighter jets, Rustavi-2 TV reports. A bomb reportedly hit a cafeteria building at the base. There has been no word about casualties.
  • 5:03 p.m.: Gazeta reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused Georgia of carrying out ethnic cleansing in South Ossetian villages. Lavrov says Georgia's actions have called into question its viability as a responsible state in the global community. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has issued orders to help refugees and residents of South Ossetia, Lavrov adds.
  • 4:36 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says Georgia's 2,000 troops in Iraq will be recalled on Aug. 9, Civil Georgia reports.
  • 4:35 p.m.: Russian NATO envoy Dmitry Rozogin sends an official note to all NATO member countries on the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia, Interfax reports. Russia's NATO mission has begun consultations with envoys from other NATO states, and will hold consultations with NATO military envoys Aug. 9, Rozogin's note says. Russia will caution other NATO members against supporting Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who launched an "aggression" with the moral support of foreign sponsors, Rozogin says in the note. He adds that Georgia's most powerful propaganda support is coming from the West.
  • 4:35 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in a CNN interview says Russia is fighting a war with Georgia on its own territory. Georgia is in a self-defense situation and its forces are not comparable to Russia’s, Saakashvili says, adding that it would be “suicide” for his country to provoke Russia. It was “blunt Russian aggression” when Russian tanks moved into Georgia at midnight local time, he says, and he confirms that Georgian forces shot down Russian planes he said were attacking civilians. Saakashvili compares Georgia’s response to Russia’s actions in South Ossetia to “when Poland invaded Germany in 1939.” Georgia wants to be part of NATO, and it is democratic and free, and “people in the Kremlin” don’t like a democratic neighbor as an example to other former Soviet satellite states, he says. Saakashvili says the United States should live up to its principles and defend Georgia’s democracy.
  • 4:50 p.m.: U.S. European Command in Germany says 130 U.S. military and civilian personnel are in Georgia right now as part of a training mission for Georgian military, CNN reports. One strategy for evacuating the U.S. personnel reportedly would be to get them to an airfield where a few C-130s from the U.S. air base in Incirlik, Turkey, would be able to pick them up. Helicopter runs from the base to Georgia are also possible.
  • 4:34 p.m.: Kazbek Friev, battalion commander for South Ossetian peacekeepers, says that the shelling of Tskhinvali has stopped and some people are coming out of their bomb shelters, Gazeta reports. Friev says the city has been virtually destroyed and houses are in ruins, adding that there is no electricity, little water and almost no telephone service.
  • 4:16 p.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity says he is in Tskhinvali and that South Ossetian forces have regained control of much of the city, inflicting heavy losses on Georgian troops. He predicts that South Ossetia will retake the entire city "soon."
  • 3:55 p.m.: The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe calls for a cessation of fighting in South Ossetia.
  • 4:26 p.m.: German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls on Georgia and South Ossetia to "exercise the maximum restraint and prudence," Russian Internet newspaper Gazeta reports, citing the German government's deputy spokesman. The spokesman says Merkel has reacted to escalating violence in Georgia and South Ossetia with great concern, and that she has demanded an immediate halt to any use of force.
  • 3:55 p.m.: Russia's Gazeta reports that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has announced plans to send a special representative to Georgia and South Ossetia to support the organization of peace talks.
  • 3:41 p.m.: A Russian armored convoy enters Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia's separatist region of South Ossetia, and clears the Zarskaya road of Georgian troops, Gazeta reports. Four Georgian tanks reportedly are destroyed by the Russian column in the space of half an hour.
  • 3:47 p.m.: One hundred fifty Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles cross the border into South Ossetia and are expected to reach the region's capital, Tskhinvali, within a few hours, The Associated Press reports, citing Russian Channel 1 television.
  • 3:21 p.m.: Georgian soldiers are reportedly withdrawing from the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, Interfax reports.
  • 3:13 p.m.: Russian troops begin moving into South Ossetia, the British Broadcasting Corp. reports, citing Russia TV.
  • 3:08 p.m.: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says Georgia's actions in South Ossetia are clear violations of international law and Russian mandates, RIA Novosti reports. Medvedev says that the Russian presence in South Ossetia was legitimate because Russia was "fulfilling a peacekeeping mission in accordance with international agreements."
  • 3:03 p.m.: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says that Russia has been and remains the guarantor of security of the peoples of the Caucasus, RIA Novosti reports.
  • 3 p.m

  • 2:52 p.m.: About 70 people begin picketing outside the Foreign Ministry building in Moscow in support of South Ossetia, Interfax reports. Most of the attendees are Ossetians living in Moscow. While the police are present, they do not interfere.
  • 2:46 p.m.: About 2,000 volunteers from North Ossetia, mostly men who have been serving in the Russian army, are ready to deploy to South Ossetia, Interfax reports. Many of these volunteers have experience fighting in hot spots.
  • 2:37 p.m.: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says that volunteers from Russia and elsewhere in South Ossetia are gathering to retain peace in the region, Interfax reports. Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov reportedly tells journalists that Putin made this statement during a short meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
  • 2:29 p.m.: The mixed commander of peacekeeping forces in Tskhinvali, Maj.-Gen. Marat Kulahmetov, denies reports that Georgia is providing a "security corridor" for the residents, saying that "no exit corridor for civilians" has been granted, Interfax reports. Kulahmetov says the fierce fighting continues in the city, and residents are unable to leave the area.
  • 2:29 p.m.: Georgia says it plans to open a corridor allowing women and children to evacuate, Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava was quoted as saying by Georgian television, Reuters reports Aug. 8.
  • 2:25 p.m.: Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava says Georgia will initiate a three-hour cease-fire beginning at 3 p.m. local time, to allow civilians to evacuate the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali via Ergneti pass, RIA Novosti reports, citing News-Georgia press agency. The cease-fire will last until 6 p.m. local time, "provided that the other side will not attack," Ugulava says.
  • 1:58 p.m.: The Russian Defense Ministry denies reports from Georgian media of alleged attacks by Russian aircraft over Georgia, Interfax reports.
  • 1:50 p.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili asks Russia to stop bombing "peaceful towns" in Georgia, calling the bombing an act of international aggression, RBC News reports.
  • 1:32 p.m.: The European Union joins NATO in calling for an end to violence in South Ossetia, Reuters reports. A spokesman for EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana says the union is in contact with international partners, including Russia, the United States, Georgia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
  • 1:32 p.m.: Chechnya begins preparing bed space in Chechen hospitals to be ready for any wounded and casualties from South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
  • 1:15 p.m.: Russia says its citizens and peacekeepers in South Ossetia will not be left unprotected, Interfax news service reports.
  • 1:14 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia have increased their level of combat readiness, Interfax reports. Their commander, Gen. Sergei Chaban, says the troops are prepared to advance if necessary. Chaban also says that he has told the government of Abkhazia not to cross the armistice line or enter into the Galskiy region.
  • 1:06 p.m: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov says the Chechens are willing to go to South Ossetia as peacekeepers.
  • 12:51 p.m: NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Aug. 8 calls for an immediate end to the violence in South Ossetia, Reuters reports.
  • 12:51 p.m.: North Ossetia is now reportedly receiving wounded from South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
  • 12:49 p.m. Ukraine’s Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko condemns Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and his policies that have led to “an escalation of the situation in the Caucasus region,” Interfax reports. Symonenko says Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko should recall all service personnel who are in Georgia and “stop supplying arms to Saakashvili.”
  • 12:45 p.m.: A university building in the South Ossetia capital is reportedly on fire and the republic hospital has been destroyed, Russian sources tell Interfax. The university building is situated about 500 meters from the staff of peacekeeping forces.
  • 12:40 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers have reportedly been killed in South Ossetia, the Commander of the Mixed Peacekeeping Forces, Maj. Gen. Marat Kulakhmetov, tells Interfax by phone from Tskhinvali. He also confirms that there was furious fighting for Tskhinvali.
  • 12:40 p.m.: Russia has approved the formation of Cossack regiments to send to Georgia's separatist enclave of South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports.
  • 12:27 p.m.: Residents of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, reportedly ask the Russian leadership for help, Interfax reports Aug. 8.
  • 12:25 p.m.: The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia denies attacking Russian peacekeepers in Tskhinvali, Interfax reports.
  • 12:16 p.m: In a televised address to the nation, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili accuses Russia of conducting a large-scale military operation against his country, after Tbilisi said Russian aircraft bombed two Georgian towns, Reuters reports.
  • 12:14 p.m.: Russian Duma Security Committee head Vladimir Vasilyev accuses the United States of assisting Georgia in invading South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports. Tbilisi would not have been able to initiate a military offensive without U.S. help, he says.
  • 12:10 p.m.: A representative of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev charges that Georgia plans to carry out "ethnic cleansing" in South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
  • 12:06 p.m.: Russia's Emergency and Disaster Relief Ministry and Ministry of Defense are preparing to evacuate Russian citizens from South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports. The report says the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali is "completely destroyed" with large numbers of civilian casualties.
  • Noon

  • 11:59 a.m.: Four warplanes entering Georgia from Russia bomb the city of Gori, near the South Ossetian border, Interfax reports, citing Georgian television.
  • 11:52 a.m.: South Ossetian forces are continuing to hold the capital city, Tskhinvali, against advancing Georgian forces, South Ossetian media report.
  • 11:50 a.m.: The United States calls for an immediate cease-fire, RIA Novosti reports.
  • 11:46 a.m.: After advancing to the boundary with Georgia, Abkhazian troops have not started to enter Georgia, Interfax reports. The Russian peacekeeper in charge of the border zone reportedly has requested that the Abkhazian troops not enter Georgia.
  • 11:45 a.m.: Humanitarian catastrophe is threatening South Ossetia, and the permanent representative of South Ossetia in the Russian Federation has said that they are requesting immediate humanitarian assistance, Interfax reports.
  • 11:34 a.m.: Georgians have targeted Russian peacekeepers directly, the Russian peacekeepers' command in Georgia says.
  • 11:33 a.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says that a large part of South Ossetian territory has passed to the control of Georgian troops. “We have completely freed Tsinagarskiy region, a number of villages and battle has already passed into the center of Tskhinvali. The outskirts of the capital are under our control,” the president said in a address to the nation.
  • 11:30 a.m.: Russia will protect its citizens in South Ossetia, Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov says.
  • 11:24 a.m.: Georgia has completely destroyed five South Ossetian populated areas, and Tbilisi is using “scorched-earth tactics,” Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says.
  • 11:20 a.m.: China and the United States oppose war in South Ossetia, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says from Beijing.
  • 11:14 a.m.: The Security Council of South Ossetia requests Russian aid within an hour. Security Council Anatoliy Barankevich says that if the troops are not sent within an hour, there will be many victims.
  • 11:13 a.m.: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili declares a general mobilization, saying the move was “only so we will be able to save our side.”
  • 11:09 a.m.: Combat is occurring in the center of Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, and major portions of the city are under Georgian control, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili says.
  • 10:56 a.m.: The head of Russia’s peacekeepers in South Ossetia has been killed by Georgian troops, RIA Novosti reports. The report has not been confirmed.
  • 10:54 a.m.: Georgian “aggression” against South Ossetia will cause reciprocal actions, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said from Beijing.
  • 10:41 a.m.: Georgia is asserting that it has taken control of almost all of South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports.
  • 10:39 a.m.: South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity is in Java, South Ossetia, where he is meeting with the head of North Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports. Separately, three columns of 40 buses from North Ossetia reportedly have advanced to South Ossetia to evacuate women and children, while another 100 buses remain on standby in Alagir, North Ossetia.
  • 10:38 a.m.: Georgia reportedly is trying to confirm reports that Russian aircraft flew into Georgian territory and dropped several bombs, RIA Novosti reports. A high-ranking official from the Georgian Defense Ministry reportedly said that "If this is the truth, then you understand that we are dealing with a completely different category of events."
  • 10:20 a.m.: Georgian troops are engaged in a fight for Tskhinvali, and now control 11 villages and all hills around the South Ossetian capital, Georgian TV network Rustavi-2 reports. There are now about 600 soldiers in Tskhinvali, which some Georgian media outlets are saying has fallen to Georgia, RIA Novosti reports.
  • 10:07 a.m.: Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze promised to give amnesty to the representatives of South Ossetia and to allocate more than $35 million for the restoration of the breakaway region, RIA Novosti reports.
  • 9:20 a.m.: Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze says Georgia is prepared to negotiate on allowing South Ossetia broad autonomy. South Ossetia also has said it is prepared for negotiations with Georgia.
  • 9:11 a.m.: The Cossacks of Don from Vsevelikogo, from Rostov-on-Don, Russia, will hold a council of chieftains at which they will consider sending voluntary formations to aid South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports.
  • 9:10 a.m.: Radio station Imedi reports that Georgian troops have taken over Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, citing its correspondent located on the ground. The development has not been confirmed by other sources, including RIA Novosti, which cannot get in touch with its correspondent.
  • 8:07 a.m.: RIA Novosti reports that Georgian troops control eight villages on the approach to Tskhinvali, and that explosions have been heard outside the South Ossetian capital.
  • 7:36 a.m.: RIA Novosti reports that firing in Tskhinvali has ceased for the past hour.
  • 7:25 a.m.: Citing a Russian commander, Interfax reports that five Georgian combat aircraft attacked the South Ossetian village of Tkverneti.
  • 7:10 a.m.: Georgian media report that Tbilisi has announced the mobilization of reservists.
  • 6:53 a.m.: A South Ossetian government official says Georgian forces have failed to fully enter Tskhinvali.
  • 6:51 a.m.: Interfax reports that armored vehicles, artillery and infantry units from the Abkhazian army have started moving from Abkhazia's Ochamchir region to the Georgian border.
  • 6 a.m.

  • 5:20 a.m.: RIA Novosti reports that the only hospital in Tskhinvali is unable to treat the wounded due to shooting and intense fighting, according to representatives from South Ossetia's state committee on information.
  • 5:16 a.m.: A representative from Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says, "It is not too late for Georgia to pull back."
  • 5:08 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgian aircraft are being deployed and tanks are attacking in Tskhinvali.
  • 4:33 a.m.: The South Ossetian parliament and civic organizations call on Russia for help to avoid genocide. Members of the U.N. Security Council agree to hold a rare late-night session at Russia's request.
  • 4:28 a.m.: Georgian public television reports that Georgian armed forces are in control of six villages in the Tskhinvali region: Muguti, Dmenisi, Didmukha, Okona, Akut and Kohati. It is also reported that Georgian forces entered the village of Hetagurovo.
  • 4:13 a.m.: RIA Novosti reports that North Ossetian President Taimuraz Mamsurov has left for South Ossetia.
  • 4:08 a.m.: Russia requests a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
  • 4:06 a.m.: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says Georgia's "aggressive acts" in South Ossetia will provoke a response from Russia, Interfax reports. Heavy equipment and artillery have been moved into South Ossetia, tanks have been engaged, and people have been killed and wounded, including Russian peacekeepers, Putin says. He makes the comments while meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Beijing.
  • 4:06 a.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity says, "We are going to defeat and disgrace Georgia on our own and will not seek the assistance of Russia."
  • 4 a.m.: Civil.ge reports that Russian jets dropped two bombs on the Vaziani military base outside Tbilisi; no injuries or major damage are reported.
  • 3:46 a.m.: Reports are received that Tskhinvali is in "complete darkness."
  • 3:44 a.m.: A tank attack in the southern outskirts of Tskhinvali is reported.
  • 3:43 a.m.: South Ossetian Government Chairman Yuri Morozov says Georgian forces have destroyed the village of Hetagurovo and caused major damage in the village of Dmenisi.
  • 3:37 a.m.: Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh tells North Ossetian President Taimuraz Mamsurov that Abkhazia will send 1,000 volunteers to South Ossetia.
  • 3:29 a.m.: A Georgian government official says Georgian forces have surrounded Tskhinvali and are advancing toward the city.
  • 3:23 a.m.: The people of South Ossetia request help from Russia and the international community.
  • 3:16 a.m.: The Georgian government extends a state of emergency and confirms its readiness to peacefully resolve the conflict.
  • 3:15 a.m.: Reports are received that government buildings are on fire in Tskhinvali.
  • 3:12 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgian forces are shelling the northern part of Tskhinvali and Zarskuyu Road.
  • 3:10 a.m.: The Georgian joint peacekeeping forces commander releases a statement that Russian-brokered talks between Georgian and South Ossetian officials will go forward Aug. 8.
  • 3:08 a.m.: RIA Novosti confirms that Russian troops are moving through the Roki Tunnel.
  • 3:06 a.m.: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s schedule could be adjusted depending on the developments in South Ossetia, Interfax reports.
  • 2:50 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgia is shelling the village of Ubiat.
  • 2:45 a.m.: Reports are received of Georgian troops occupying the villages of Didmukha, Muguti and Dmenisi.
  • 2:44 a.m.: Reports are received of shelling outside Prisi and Tamarasheni.
  • 2:43 a.m.: Geo Times reports that Russian Su-25 aircraft intensively bombed territory between the villages of Ksuisi and Khelchua in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone for 20 minutes.
  • 2:41 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgian forces engaged the South Ossetian villages of Didmukha and Muguti.
  • 2:38 a.m.: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity gives a radio address.
  • 2:06 a.m.: Reports are received that Russian forces are moving through the Roki Tunnel to South Ossetia.
  • 2:03 a.m.: The United States urges Russia to press South Ossetia to "stop fire."
  • 1:59 a.m.: Leaders of Georgia's other separatist region, Abkhazia, convene the region's military council.
  • 1:53 a.m.: Reports are received that Georgian troops and tanks are outside Tskhinvali.
  • 1:47 a.m.: Interfax reports that "hundreds" of volunteers from Russia and Abkhazia are heading to South Ossetia to join the separatists fighting Tbilisi.
  • Aug. 7, 2008

  • Midnight: A defense ministry official from Georgia says that Georgia has decided to "restore constitutional order to the entire region" of South Ossetia.
  • Approximately 11:55 p.m.: An aide to the commander of Russia's peacekeeping forces tells Interfax in an interview that South Ossetia's capital city, Tskhinvali, is being shelled from GRAD-type multiple rocket launchers.
  • 10:30 p.m.: South Ossetia breaks a cease-fire agreement with Georgia, according to the secretary of the Georgian National Security Council, Kakha Lomaia. Lomaia said the "separatists opened fire at the two Georgian villages of Prisi and Tamarasheni."

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