Russia Invades Georgia

Bombed Building in Gori

In August 2008 Russia invaded Georgia ostensibly in support of South Ossetian rebels. The invasion resulted in Russia recognzing the breakaway areas and ensuring that Georgia would not enter NATO.

In 1991 when Soviet Union fell apart the Republic of Georgia declared its Independence. When it did so a separatist movement in South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast which had been an autonomous part of Georgia revolted from Georgia demanding independence. A ceasefire was reached and a joint peacekeeping force of Georgians Ossetians and Russians were established. A similar situation developed in the region of Abkhazia.

When a Pro Western government was elected in Georgia led by Mikheil Saakashvili relations between Russia and Georgia deteriorated.Georgia wish to become a member of NATO meanwhile the breakaway regions requested recognition as independent countries by Russia. Russia warned Georgia that if it continued to try to become a member of NATO it would recognize the rebellious regions.

On April 16, 2008 under the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian government recognized the separatist sections of Georgia.

On August 1, 2008 Ossetian soldiers began shelling nearby Georgian areas and the Georgians returned fire. Russian officials arranged for the women and children of Ossetians to be evacuated to Russia as shelling intensified. Georgia announced on August 7th a unilateral ceasefire, which was ignored by the rebels. The Georgian army then moved on rebel position and by 10 AM of August 8th had reached key positions ini the town of Tskhinvali. Russia then began bombing Georgian positions. The Russian Security Council then met and authorized aid to the Ossetians. A Russian armored brigade emerged from the Roki Tunnel and soon surrounded the Georgian troops who were forced to withdraw. The Russians bombed Georgian cities from the air especially the strategic town of Gore. The Russian troops advanced from Tskhinvali to Gori a distance of 25 kilometers warning civilians they would not spare them unless they surrendered to the Russians. On August 13th the Russians captured Gori. The Russians also occupied the town of Poti and bombed the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

On August 12th the Russians announced a ceasefire stating they achieved their goals. On August 14th an agreement was reached that included no recourse to force, permanent ceasefire, and withdrawal of Russian and Georgian forces from disputed areas. On August 25, 2008 the Russian parliament recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.