Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Russia ‘invades’ Georgia

Press Trust of India
MOSCOW, Aug. 8: Russia today sent tanks and troops to South Ossetia after Georgia launched a major military offensive to reclaim the breakaway republic, triggering heavy street fighting that is said to have left hundreds dead or injured. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who had earlier claimed that the government troops have “liberated” South Ossetia, accused Russia of being the aggressor and said it has sent aircraft to bomb Georgian territory. Russia has denied the claim.Addressing an emergency session of the National Security Council, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow will punish those guilty of killing Russians in South Ossetia.The worst outbreak of hostilities since the pro-Moscow province won de-facto independence in a war against Georgia in 1992 broke out after Georgian artillery and air assault hit provincial capital Tskhinvali. Ten Russian peacekeepers were killed and 30 wounded in Georgian shelling in their barracks last night, Russian officials said. Russian tanks and armoured personnel carriers crossed the border and moved towards Tskhinvali, while the defence ministry said it has sent reinforcements for its peacekeepers.Quoting its sources, NewsGeorgia web news portal confirmed that at least 100 tanks and armoured vehicles have crossed through the Roksky Tunnel linking Russian and Georgian parts of Ossetia.Over 90 per cent of the population of South Ossetia, which declared its independence from Georgia after Soviet collapse, are Russian passport holders.
The Statesman, 9August, 20008

No comments: