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August 11, 2008

War in South Ossetia

On Thursday, August 7th, Georgian armed forces entered into the breakaway region of South Ossetia to assert Georgian governance of the region - a de facto (yet largely unrecognized) independent republic that has support from neighboring Russia. Russia responded on August 8th by sending its own military into Georgia - not only into region of South Ossetia - but also into the nearby breakaway republic of Abkhazia and deeper into Georgia itself. Many Airstrikes and ground skirmishes have taken place since, with several parties calling for a cease-fire, but no agreement as yet. Those paying the highest price for the war are the South Ossetian civilians, which may have suffered (depending on who is reporting) between 100 and 2,000 deaths to date. (29 photos total)

A convoy of Russian troops makes its way through the Caucasus Mountains toward the armed conflict between Georgian troops and separatist South Ossetian troops, in the South Ossetian village of Dzhaba on August 9, 2008. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili declared a "state of war" as his troops battled it out with Russian forces over the breakaway province of South Ossetia. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP)

Last month, separatist authorities in the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia arrested four Georgian soldiers in Tskhinvali on July 8, 2008. South Ossetian authorities said they had arrested the soldiers amid heightened tensions in the mountainous province. The soldiers were later released. (KAZBEK BASAYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

A soldier of Georgian peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia and a police officer look at what they say is a shell hole caused by gunfire from South Ossetian separatist government forces in the ethnic Georgian village of Nikozi, on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008. Six people died in fighting that broke out late Friday and early Saturday, including sniper and mortar fire between South Ossetian and Georgian forces. (AP Photo/George Abdaladze)

A refugee girl from the Georgian region of South Ossetia sits on a bed after her arrival to Russian territory in Vladikavkaz, the capital of Russian North Ossetia early on August 4, 2008. Refugees have been leaving South Ossetia for days now, anticipating possible heavy conflict. (KAZBEK BASAYEV/AFP)

Russian troops stand on a tank near a herd of cows during their journey through the mountains toward the armed conflict between Georgian troops and separatist South Ossetian troops, in the South Ossetian village of Dzhaba on August 9, 2008. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP)

A convoy of Russian troops makes its way through the mountains toward the armed conflict between Georgian troops and separatist South Ossetian troops in the South Ossetian village of Dzhaba on August 9, 2008. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP)

Georgian soldiers walk in Gori, central Georgia, on August 9, 2008. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili declared a "state of war" on August 9 as his troops battled it out with Russian forces over the breakaway province of South Ossetia. Earlier, Russian warplanes bombed the Georgian city of Gori, killing civilians, Georgia's Public TV reported. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP)

A Russian fighter jet fires on a Georgian position near Tskhinvali on August 8, 2008. Georgia has lost control of parts of the South Ossetian rebel capital of Tskhinvali amid Russian bombardment, a spokesman for Georgia's interior ministry said, after earlier claiming control of the city. (VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

A Russian military helicopter flies over a main road connecting South Ossetia's main city of Tskhinvali with the Georgian town of Gori on August 10, 2008. As helicopter gunships hovered over Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia, newly occupied by Russian forces, a stream of refugees fled the area, testifying to days of heavy bombardment. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

An unidentified fighter jet drops munitions near the Georgian town of Gori, on Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/George Abdaladze)

A wounded Georgian woman lies in front of an apartment building, damaged by a Russian airstrike, in the northern Georgian town of Gori, on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008. According to photographer the wounded woman was later helped by her neighbors and evacuated her to a safe area. Russia sent hundreds of tanks and troops into the separatist province of South Ossetia and bombed Georgian towns Saturday in a major escalation of the conflict that has left scores of civilians dead and wounded. (AP Photo/George Abdaladze)

Georgian soldiers pass by a building hit by bombardments in Gori on August 9, 2008. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP)

Georgian troops fire rockets at seperatist South Ossetian troops from an unnamed location not far from Tskhinvali on August 8, 2008. Georgia is taking measures to prevent Russian "mercenaries" from infiltrating the country, its prime minister said as Georgian forces attacked the Russian-backed breakaway province of South Ossetia. (VANO SHLAMOV/AFP)

A man carries a boy, who was injured in South Ossetian province capital Tskhinvali and evacuated in the town of Dzhava, South Ossetia, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008. Georgia, a U.S. ally whose troops have been trained by American soldiers, launched a major offensive overnight Friday to retake control of it's breakaway province. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)

Georgian villagers evacuate near the city of Tskhinvali, in the breakaway Georgian province South Ossetia, Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/George Abdaladze)

Residents of Dzuarikau throw gifts of food, drink and cigarettes to Russian soldiers in armoured personnel carriers on their way to the South Ossetia conflict zone on August 9, 2008. (KAZBEK BASAYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

President of the breakaway South Ossetia region, Eduard Kokoity stands near Russian tanks and troops in the South Ossetian town of Dzhava on August 9, 2008. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP)

A man looks at unidentified men killed fighting for the South Ossetian side in the conflict in the town of Dzhava, South Ossetia on August 9, 2008. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said "dozens" of people had been killed in Georgian attacks on South Ossetia, contradicting a claim by Moscow's separatist allies of 1,500 dead. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP PHOTO)

A South Ossetian soldier gets aboard of his APC in the village of Dzhava early on August 10, 2008. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images)

A South Ossetian doctor stands next to a wounded man in the basement of a destroyed hospital in Tskhinvali on August 10, 2008. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images)

People hold candles during a protest front of the Georgian embassy in Moscow August 10, 2008. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner flew to Tbilisi on Sunday on an EU mission to mediate an end to the conflict in Georgia's rebel South Ossetia region, which was under Russian control after Georgian forces retreated. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

A car passes as fire engulfs the woods near the Georgian town of Gori, just outside the breakaway province of South Ossetia, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008. Georgian troops retreated from South Ossetia on Sunday and their government pressed for a truce, overwhelmed by Russian firepower as the conflict threatened to set off a wider war. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

A Georgian man rides a three-wheeled vehicle as he flees in South Ossetia near the village of Troiavi on August 10, 2008. Russian troops are heading towards the Georgian town of Gori, which Georgian forces are positioned to defend, Georgia's national security council chief Alexander Lomaia said Sunday. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP)

Russian troops launch rockets in the Ardon Valley, Russia, near the Georgian border, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008. It was not clear what the target or targets may have been. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)

A Georgian soldier lays dead on a street, after earlier fighting on outskirts of Tskhinvali on August 10, 2008. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images)

Georgian policemen evacuate a Georgian soldier wounded in battle with South Ossetian separatists, in the town of Gori on August 8, 2008. Russia's defence ministry said that more than 10 of its troops deployed as peacekeepers in South Ossetia have been killed amid a Georgian offensive in the breakaway region, Russian news agencies reported. (VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian military transport planes land in Sukhumi airport in Sukhumi, Georgia, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008. More Russian troops arrived in the capital of Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia in addition to peacekeepers deployed there for more than a decade, heading toward the border with Georgia. In a potential widening of the conflict in nearby South Ossetia, separatist authorities in Abkhazia have mobilized the army and called up reservists to drive Georgian government forces from a small part of the province still under Georgian control. (AP Photo/Vladimir Popov)

Bodyguards escort Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, center, to shelter under a threat of Russian air attack in Gori, Georgia, Monday, Aug. 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

An unidentified crying Georgian woman is calmed by her husband after finding out that her child was killed in a neighboring village, in Gori, about 80 km (50 miles) from Tbilisi, August 11, 2008. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich) (edit, added reason for grief)

More links and information
Russia seizes Georgia base, opens second front - Boston.com 8/11
Georgia Fight Spreads, Moscow Issues Ultimatum - NYTimes.com 8/11
Georgia - NYTimes.com Topics Page
South Ossetia War - Wikipedia Entry
Georgia - Wikipedia Entry

 
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