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  • Georgia says Russian aircraft bombed its air bases

    Let the good times roll!


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    Georgia says Russian aircraft bombed its air bases

    By MUSA SADULAYEV, Associated Press Writer
    20 minutes ago

    DZHAVA, Georgia - Russia sent columns of tanks and reportedly bombed Georgian air bases Friday after Georgia launched a major military offensive Friday to retake the breakaway province of South Ossetia, threatening to ignite a broader conflict.


    Hundreds of civilians were reported dead in the worst outbreak of hostilities since the province won defacto independence in a war against Georgia that ended in 1992. Witnesses said the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali was devastated.

    "I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars," said Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, who had fled with her family to Dzhava, a village near the border with Russia. "It's impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged."

    The fighting broke out as much of the world's attention was focused on the start of the Olympic Games and many leaders, including Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Bush, were in Beijing.

    The timing suggests Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili may have been counting on surprise to fulfill his longtime pledge to wrest back control of South Ossetia — a key to his hold on power.

    Saakashvili agreed the timing was not coincidental, but accused Russia of being the aggressor. "Most decision makers have gone for the holidays," he said in an interview with CNN. "Brilliant moment to attack a small country."

    Diplomats called for another emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, its second since early Friday morning seeking to prevent an all-out war.

    The United States was sending an envoy to the region Friday to meet with the parties involved. "We support Georgia's territorial integrity," State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos told reporters. "We are working on mediation efforts to secure a cease-fire."

    Georgia, a staunch U.S. ally, has about 2,000 troops in Iraq, making it the third-largest contributor to coalition forces after the U.S. and Britain. But Saakashvili told CNN that the troops would be called home Saturday in the face of the South Ossetia fighting.

    Georgia, which borders the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia, was ruled by Moscow for most of the two centuries preceding the breakup of the Soviet Union. Georgia has angered Russia by seeking NATO membership — a bid Moscow regards as part of a Western effort to weaken its influence in the region.

    Ten Russian peacekeepers were killed and 30 wounded when their barracks were hit in Georgian shelling, said Russian Ground Forces spokesman Col. Igor Konashenkov. Russia has soldiers in South Ossetia as peacekeeping forces but Georgia alleges they back the separatists.

    Georgia's Foreign Ministry accused Russian aircraft of bombing two military air bases inside Georgia, inflicting some casualties and destroying several military aircraft. Rustavi 2 television said four people were killed and five wounded at the Marneuli air base.

    Russia's Defense Ministry said it was sending reinforcements for its peacekeepers, and Russian state television and Georgian officials reported a convoy of tanks had crossed the border. The convoy was expected to reach the provincial capital, Tskhinvali, by evening, Channel One television said.

    Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili said government troops were now in full control of Tskhinvali, but the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Konashenkov as saying late Friday that Russian tanks were firing on Georgian positions in the city.

    "We are facing Russian aggression," said Georgia's Security Council chief Kakha Lomaya. "They have sent in their troops and weapons and they are bombing our towns."

    Putin has warned that the Georgian attack will draw retaliation and the Defense Ministry pledged to protect South Ossetians, most of whom have Russian citizenship.

    Chairing a session of his Security Council in the Kremlin, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also vowed that Moscow will protect Russian citizens.

    "In accordance with the constitution and federal law, I, as president of Russia, am obliged to protect lives and dignity of Russian citizens wherever they are located," Medvedev said, according to Russian news reports. "We won't allow the death of our compatriots go unpunished."

    An AP reporter saw tanks and other heavy weapons concentrating on the Russian side of the border with South Ossetia — supporting the reports of an incursion. Some villagers were fleeing into Russia.

    "I saw them (the Georgians) shelling my village," said Maria, who gave only her first name. She said she and other villagers spent the night in a field and then fled toward the Russian border as the fighting escalated.

    Yakobashvili said Georgian forces had shot down four Russian combat planes over Georgian territory but gave no details. Russia's Defense Ministry denied an earlier Georgia report about one Russian plane downed and had no immediate comment on the latest claim.

    Yakobashvili said that one Russian plane had dropped a bomb on the Vaziani military base near the Georgian capital, but no one was hurt.

    More than 1,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers were at the base last month to teach combat skills to Georgian troops. Georgia has about 2,000 troops in Iraq, making it the third-largest contributor to coalition forces after the U.S. and Britain.

    South Ossetia officials said Georgia attacked with aircraft, armor and heavy artillery. Georgian troops fired missiles at Tskhinvali, an official said, and many buildings were on fire.

    Georgia's president said Russian aircraft bombed several Georgian villages and other civilian facilities.

    A senior Russian diplomat in charge of the South Ossetian conflict, Yuri Popov, dismissed the Georgian claims of Russian bombings as misinformation, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

    Russia's Defense Ministry denounced the Georgian attack as a "dirty adventure." "Blood shed in South Ossetia will weigh on their conscience," the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.

    Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev later chaired a session of his Security Council in the Kremlin, vowing that Moscow will protect Russian citizens.

    "In accordance with the constitution and federal law, I, as president of Russia, am obliged to protect lives and dignity of Russian citizens wherever they are located," Medvedev said, according to Russian news reports. "We won't allow the death of our compatriots go unpunished."

    Saakashvili long has pledged to restore Tbilisi's rule over South Ossetia and another breakaway province, Abkhazia. Both regions have run their own affairs without international recognition since splitting from Georgia in the early 1990s and built up ties with Moscow.

    Relations between Georgia and Russia worsened notably this year as Georgia pushed to join NATO and Russia dispatched additional peacekeeper forces to Abkhazia.

    The Georgian attack came just hours after Saakashvili announced a unilateral cease-fire in a television broadcast late Thursday in which he also urged South Ossetian separatist leaders to enter talks on resolving the conflict.

    Georgian officials later blamed South Ossetian separatists for thwarting the cease-fire by shelling Georgian villages in the area.
    “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

    "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

  • #2
    I was just looking at this...What's up w/ Russia?...
    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3
      Russia (Putin) is trying to regain it's prior glory and empire status. Putin's been trying to build up the country for some time but the govt has been very poor. Due to oil drilling the gov't can now afford to impose it's will once again and a breakaway province threatens the reemergence of the Russin Empire.

      Comment


      • #4
        I thought Putin was no longer the president?...
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PB3021 View Post
          Russia (Putin) is trying to regain it's prior glory and empire status. Putin's been trying to build up the country for some time but the govt has been very poor. Due to oil drilling the gov't can now afford to impose it's will once again and a breakaway province threatens the reemergence of the Russin Empire.
          Sorry, meant to say Sekalashi or however it's spelled is trying and Putin had been

          Comment


          • #6
            I have a difficult enough time remembering my own leaders sometimes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Putin is the Prime Minister... he "supported" Sekalashi or whoever when he "ran" for office

              (helped he also JAILED all his opponents..)
              “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

              "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

              Comment


              • #8
                I just hope South Carolina doesn't intervene.


                "Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it". George Constanza.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ex Army MP View Post
                  I just hope South Carolina doesn't intervene.
                  Now that's funny!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    HA!

                    So, with Georgia recalling 1K troops from Iraq, us having "advisors" in Georgia, and Georgia being a BIG time ally of ours... do you think we'll get involved?

                    I've always wanted to see Russia....
                    “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

                    "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by justhomp View Post
                      HA!

                      So, with Georgia recalling 1K troops from Iraq, us having "advisors" in Georgia, and Georgia being a BIG time ally of ours... do you think we'll get involved?

                      I've always wanted to see Russia....
                      Well, if your in the Nat'l guard your lucky!

                      The UN also called for "EMERGENCY" Meetings to be held now for what happened:

                      some guy1: Russia is attacking Georgia, we are the U.N. wtf do we do?

                      some guy2: Well, we could send some French troops over there and maybe put a sanction on them for using military action

                      some guy3: meeting over.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Tell Jimmy Carter that this is home state of Georgia and ask him to mediate or do something there. Maybe he'll want to stay.
                        from another site.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Taylor13 View Post
                          Well, if your in the Nat'l guard your lucky!

                          The UN also called for "EMERGENCY" Meetings to be held now for what happened:

                          some guy1: Russia is attacking Georgia, we are the U.N. wtf do we do?

                          some guy2: Well, we could send some French troops over there and maybe put a sanction on them for using military action

                          some guy3: meeting over.
                          The French will taunt them into submisssion. "Your father was a shrew and your mother smelled of elderberrys! Now go away before I taunt you a second time!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PB3021 View Post
                            Sorry, meant to say Sekalashi or however it's spelled is trying and Putin had been
                            The President of Russia is Dimitry Medvedev, Putin is still Prime Minister and holds considerable sway over the country

                            the President of Georgia is Mikheil Saakashvili

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My apologies for incorrect info. I went off the top of my head, looking it up would've meant putting my drink down....

                              Comment

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