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True in Russian - Georgian conflict!

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Soviet man, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    This was seen in another thread that was closed since, but I liked it. I hope I'm not contravening anything, as I found the post useful and informative.

     
  2. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    A view from an American military book author:

     
  3. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    [​IMG]
    Boy! :D
     
  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Great photo ops, at least

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    I've already lost count of how many different Russian camos schmes I've seen! These were the last three:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See how inclined roads can be in the Caucasus? :D


    [​IMG]
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    South Ossetia seeks permanent Russian base - Yahoo! News UK

    Kokoity denied Tbilisi's claims of ethnic cleansing in Georgian villages in South Ossetia but said Ossetian refugees would be moved to the villages after ethnic Georgian women and children were provided with a humanitarian corridor to leave.

    Kokoity said Georgians in those villages had shot at South Ossetian forces during the Georgian attack and that the settlements were now controlled by South Ossetian armed forces.

    When asked what had happened to the populations of the Georgian villages he said: "I would like to ask you what has happened to the Ossetians who after 1992 were refugees on the territory of North Ossetia? They will be moved there."

    "Georgia has talked a lot about the law on the restoration of property to refugees. But no Ossetian has been returned to his village. Today we will restore to them with our own forces what was stolen and taken from them."

    "We, contrary to the Georgians, have not shot any civilians, we built a humanitarian corridor and took them out of there," he said. "We built a corridor and took out all the woman and children."

    When asked about the ethnic Georgian men, he said: "Those who showed resistance, who fought against us, were exterminated."

    Kokoity said Georgia -- and its international backers -- was responsible for a genocide in South Ossetia.

    He said more than 1,000 -- perhaps more than 2,000 -- people in South Ossetia were killed by Georgians but that he had no exact figures as many bodies remained unburied and many people had simply disappeared.

    "I can not give exact figures on the numbers of those who were killed, on those who were butchered by the animals who worked for Georgian special forces," he said.

    He denied looting in Georgia by South Ossetian groups and said Georgia was fabricating reports to discredit Russia and South Ossetia. He also denied South Ossetian militias were shooting men in villages in Georgia.
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    tss that's your Red Rabbi sitting on a Russian tank speaking. I always knew he sold out to mother Russia
     
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Russia-Georgia conflict: Why both sides have valid points | csmonitor.com

    Russia-Georgia conflict: Why both sides have valid points

    As Russian troops prepare to withdraw from Georgian bases and cities they invaded last week, a look at the two contradictory stories of what happened and why.

    from the August 19, 2008 edition
    ------------

    As Russia's flash war with Georgia winds down, two distinct – and contradictory – stories about what happened and why are taking shape. The Moscow press paints a one-sided picture of a beleaguered Russia forced to respond to naked aggression by a pro-Western adventurer, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, in order to save Russian citizens from "genocide." In the West, some depict the war as a replay of the USSR's invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Afghanistan, and warning that a resurgent, oil-rich Russia is returning to Soviet-style domination of its neighbors with brute force.

    But close examination reveals a more complex picture – one that suggests each side also has some valid points in its defense. Correspondent Fred Weir gives an overview from his longtime perch in Moscow.

    Who started the conflict?

    There seems little doubt that the conflict began with a massive military assault, launched overnight by Georgia on Aug. 7-8, apparently aimed at retaking the breakaway republic of South Ossetia before Moscow could react.

    Human rights monitors and Western journalists now being admitted to the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali can find little evidence to back up Russian claims that the Georgians committed genocide.

    But their reports so far implicate the initial Georgian artillery and rocket bombardment of the city of 10,000 people as causing the massive destruction they're finding, including schools, churches, and the main hospital.

    Also crucial, from Moscow's point of view, is that the Georgian attack on Aug. 8 killed 15 Russian peacekeeping troops, stationed there under 1992 peace accords, and injured dozens.

    But the causes of the conflict run deep and, like the layers of an onion, the conflict has many different levels.

    What is Georgia's view?

    When the USSR broke up in 1991, Georgia won its independence and was admitted to the United Nations as a sovereign state within its Soviet-era borders. Under international law, therefore, the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia belong to Georgia. Tbilisi alleges, with considerable evidence, that Russian meddling during the bitter civil wars that followed helped the two statelets win their de facto independence and that Moscow's support has been crucial to keeping them going ever since.

    In 2003, the pro-democracy "Rose Revolution" brought Mr. Saakashvili to power on pledges to reunite the country and lead it into the premier Western military alliance, the North American Treaty Organization (NATO). Georgia claims that Russia, which brutally suppressed its own separatist uprising in Chechnya, backed the Ossetian and Abkhazian rebels in order to keep Georgia weak and dependent upon Moscow.

    After Saakashvili was elected, Russia began upgrading its relations with the two rebel statelets and issued Russian passports to the majority of its citizens – in preparation, Tbilisi says, for a showdown. It contends that this year, as NATO considered Georgia's application for entry, the Russian 58th Army – which roared into South Ossetia 10 days ago to blunt the Georgian assault – massed provocatively near Georgia's border.

    The separatists' case?

    Abkhazians and Ossetians are both distinct ethnic groups with a long history of tense relations with their Georgian neighbors. Both groups claim that they were folded into the Soviet Republic of Georgia against their will by dictator Joseph Stalin (an ethnic Georgian), who also ordered Georgian settlers to flood into their territories. Abkhazia and Ossetia argue that their citizens were Soviet citizens, never Georgians, and therefore they had a right to declare independence as Soviet Union was collapsing. Tbilisi's reaction, which was to attempt to suppress both rebellions with military force, invalidated Georgia's rights to sovereignty, they say.

    Abkhazian Deputy Foreign Minister Maxim Gunjia says that Tbilisi's latest attempt at reconquest settles the issue. "Neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia will ever be part of that country; Georgia has shown us its true face," he says in a telephone conversation from Sukhumi, Abkhazia.

    Georgia has traditionally responded to such claims by saying that any independence referendum in the breakaway territories must take into account the views of the Georgian population displaced by the wars of the early 1990s. Nearly a quarter of a million Georgians were driven out of Abkhazia in 1993 and workers from the New York-based Human Rights Watch have found evidence that ethnic Georgian civilians were targeted in the latest fighting in South Ossetia, where nearly a third of the population was Georgian.

    The UN refugee agency says more than 150,000 have been displaced by fighting in Georgia, including 30,000 in South Ossetia.

    What is the Russian position?

    Many Russians bristle defensively in the face of Western accusations of "aggression" against Georgia, maintaining that the Kremlin was left with few choices when the Georgians began bombarding Tskhinvali – the capital of South Ossetia, where 9 in 10 residents carry a Russian passport.

    Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while calling some of Russia's actions "disproportionate" after meeting with President Medvedev, said that "it is rare that all the blame is on one side. In fact, both sides are probably to blame. That is very important to understand."

    Many Russian officials here argue that it's not so strange that, as the successor state to the Russian Empire and the USSR, post-Soviet Russia should have ongoing obligations to former subjects such as the Ossetians and the Abkhazians. Russia was a key party to the accords that ended the cycle of conflicts in the early '90s, which left Russian peacekeeping troops holding the tripwire position in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Under a 1992 law that entitled any former Soviet citizen to apply for a Russian passport, most inhabitants of the two breakaway republics have since acquired Russian citizenship.

    Alexei Mukhin, director of the independent Center for Political Information in Moscow, says that Americans ought to be more understanding, since the US has guaranteed the security of at least one breakaway statelet, Taiwan, with its own military force for over half a century.

    More recently, Russian officials point out, NATO fought a 1999 war that was labeled a humanitarian intervention, which wrested the Albanian-populated province of Kosovo away from Serbia. Despite the fact that Serbia, a member of the UN, includes Kosovo within its sovereign territory, most Western powers recognized Kosovo's self-declared independence earlier this year.

    Russia opposed the Kosovo war and later argued that the West should preserve Serbia's territorial integrity by convincing the Kosovars to accept Serbian offers of sweeping autonomy instead of independence. Now that Kosovo's independence has been effectively granted – though it has not been admitted to the UN – the Kremlin warns the West has upset the rules that formerly covered separatist movements around the world.

    Some extreme nationalist politicians in Moscow, jubilant about this Kosovo precedent, say it's only a matter of time before Russia follows suit, and unilaterally recognizes Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and perhaps other breakaway statelets in the post-Soviet region as well.

    Are President Saakashvili's democratic credentials solid?

    The West has rallied around Georgia and its embattled president, Saakashvili, who was overwhelmingly elected by Georgians after leading the "Rose Revolution," which culminated in Saakashvili and his supporters storming the parliament building mid-session. But no Georgian transition of power has ever occurred in a constitutional way: Saakashvili's predecessors, Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Eduard Shevardnadze, were removed by revolutions, not democratic elections.

    Saakashvili's own record in power has been mixed. He's made great strides in fighting Georgia's endemic corruption and, in 2004, he peacefully persuaded another breakaway region, Adjaria, to return to central government control.

    But last November, he shocked many by ordering riot troops to violently disperse peaceful protesters in Tbilisi, and declaring a draconian state of emergency – though he quickly rescinded it. His decision to invade South Ossetia has Georgia's opposition muttering that it may be time for him to go.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    If the separatists truly want independence like they say, sooner or later, if the Russian army stays in South Ossetia for a longer time, there is bound to happen some shooting....Then we´ll truly see what everybody is wanting...
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    The Russians are in Georgia as close as 40km from Tbibilsi with their advancing "Peace keeping" labeleld tanks and are digging trenches in a buffer zone, not between South Ossetia and Russia, but between South Ossetia and Tbilissi....... They are still ocupying the Harbour of Poti too.
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Well, the Israelis have been less than 40km from Damascus since June 1967 and they haven't budged yet :D
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Good point, I should have remembered that Soviet occupations in the former East bloc lasted several decades :D
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    What occupations? Arrangements deriving from military alliances! The GSFG had as much right to be in the DDR as that Dutch Corps had to be stationed in the BRD. So there :D
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Wow! Peace on its way?

    Russia moves SS-21 missiles into Georgia: US defense official - Yahoo! News

    Russia has launched about two dozen short-range missiles during the course of the conflict, which erupted August 7 with a Georgian military incursion into South Ossetia and escalated with an all-out Russian offensive two days later, a senior US defense official said last week.

    The SS-21 is the NATO designation for what the Russians call the "9K79-1 Tochka-U," which Nogovitsyn said was "widely used" by Russian forces.

    A tactical ballistic missile, the SS-21 can carry conventional, chemical or tactical nuclear warheads.
     
  17. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    See that Red Rabbi is dictating again :p
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Kai, that Yahoo News link is, shall we say, rather obfuscated ;)
     
  19. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    A Caucasian journey

    Aug 21st 2008 | GORI, TSKHINVALI AND VLADIKAVKAZ
    From The Economist print edition

    Our correspondent travels the route north from Tbilisi to Beslan

    [​IMG]

    THE road from Tbilisi to Vladikavkaz (see map) told several stories this week: of Russia’s advance into Georgia, of Georgia’s economic success and its disastrous foray into South Ossetia, of the biggest confrontation between Russia and the West since the cold war. In Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, cafés and business hotels overflowed with foreign journalists and diplomats, mulling over the war. The drive to Tskhinvali, the ruined capital of South Ossetia, along a modern, almost empty highway then stopped abruptly after 26 miles (40km) at the village of Igueti, where about a dozen Russian armoured personnel carriers blocked Georgia’s main artery.

    Russian armour had advanced to the edge of Tbilisi on August 15th, the day that Condoleezza Rice, America’s secretary of state, demanded an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops. The clear message was: “Nobody will tell us what to do here.” More than a week after agreeing to a ceasefire, the Russian army still occupied swathes of Georgian territory, including the town of Gori. On August 19th Russia and Georgia exchanged prisoners-of-war, but soon afterwards the Russians bound and blindfolded another 21 Georgian soldiers in the port of Poti. The Georgians, said Shota Utiashvili, a spokesman, were there to protect the port from looting.

    The road from Tbilisi is repeatedly signposted to Sukhumi, as a pointer of the political aim of Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili. Sukhumi is the capital of Abkhazia which, with South Ossetia, Mr Saakashvili had promised to reintegrate into Georgia. The Tbilisi-Sukhumi highway was part of this plan. It was this kind of stunt that made the Abkhaz so suspicious of Georgia. And, even as Russian soldiers sat by the unfinished flyover, the Abkhaz were raising their flag in the upper Kodori gorge, previously held by the Georgians. Neither of the two separatist regions is likely to rejoin Georgia for many years.

    The Russian advance towards Tbilisi was unchallenged, as the Georgian army had withdrawn from the conflict. Russian soldiers chatted with Georgian police armed with handguns and automatic rifles. The soldiers said they were paid about $1,000 a month, complained about lack of work, high inflation and corrupt officials “who steal from us”, and envied the Georgian police uniforms. “We have to buy our own kit and boots, because what they give us is rubbish,” said one. This may explain the looting of Georgian military bases. “They are taking everything, old shoes, even the lavatories. Why do they need those?” asked Mr Utiashvili.

    The Russian soldiers in Igueti came from the 71st motorised rifle regiment stationed in Chechnya. Many were recruited from nearby Dagestan and Ingushetia. “I respect the Georgians. They are proud people and they helped our Imam Shamil. We really should not be here,” says a soldier from Dagestan. Few Russian soldiers could say why they were in Georgia. The Georgian police were generally calm. “I have never been to Tbilisi,” said one Russian soldier. “I will take you and show you good time if you take off your uniform,” replied a Georgian policeman. Mr Saakashvili’s anti-Russian rhetoric has never been that popular in Georgia. But whatever goodwill Georgians had for Russians has been destroyed by the war.

    Past Igueti on the way to Gori, Georgian fields and woods were burning. The fertile land was turning into smoke and black earth, a sight even more depressing than the ruined houses. The Georgians accuse the Russians of burning the ancient forests of Borjomi, admired by the old Russian aristocracy. Gori has been largely empty except for Russian troops. Russia bombed Gori a few times; it dropped a cluster bomb, outlawed by many countries, killing several civilians and a foreign journalist. Cluster bombs kill people but cause little other damage, so the town’s statue of Stalin was undamaged.

    The entry into South Ossetia proper is now marked by Russian and South Ossetian flags. Here the smell of smoke was overpowered by the smell of death, with rotting corpses still strewn around Tskhinvali. Parts of this town of some 10,000 people look like Grozny, in Chechnya, after the Russians flattened it. The residents wandered through the rubble and shattered glass that marked their old homes.

    Much of the damage was done by the Georgians, says Human Rights Watch (HRW), a monitoring group. Shortly before midnight on August 7th Mr Saakashvili ordered a bomb barrage using Grad multiple-rocket launchers. This lasted through the night. Even his supporters agree that the use of indiscriminate Grad rockets, which killed civilians, was disproportionate and merciless. Mr Saakashvili said he was restoring “constitutional order”. But then so did Russia when it bombed Grozny in 1994. That Russia provoked Mr Saakashvili consistently is clear, but it is equally clear that Mr Saakashvili allowed himself to be provoked. “He wanted to fight,” says one of his allies.

    Perhaps Mr Saakashvili did not count on Russia’s response; perhaps he banked on America’s support. If so, say some observers in Georgia and Russia, America bears some responsibility for allowing Mr Saakashvili to interpret its backing as a security guarantee and for failing to restrain him. That Mr Saakashvili could make such a decision by himself also testifies to the excessive concentration of power in his hands, and to the weakness of proper democratic institutions that can hold him accountable for his actions.

    When Russian troops pull out of Georgia, as President Dmitry Medvedev has promised they will by the end of this week, Mr Saakashvili will face tough questions from his one-time supporters, including Nino Burdjanadze, a former speaker of parliament. “When this is over, we will have to build a different country here with proper institutions,” says one of his own supporters. Ironically, what is now keeping Mr Saakashvili in power is the presence of the Russian army on the ground.

    It is hard to imagine either Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, or Mr Medvedev facing similar questions about Russia’s disproportionate use of force in Georgia. If Georgian democratic institutions are weak, Russian ones are feebler. When Mr Medvedev, Russia’s commander-in-chief, held an emergency meeting of security chiefs on August 8th, Russian jets were already bombing Georgia’s positions in South Ossetia and beyond. Only an hour after Mr Medvedev pledged to protect his citizens (Russia has long been distributing its passports among South Ossetians) Russian news agencies reported that Russian tanks had arrived in Tskhinvali. (The journey from the Russian border takes more than two hours by car.)

    Russia first claimed that 2,000 people were killed as a result of what it calls Georgia’s “genocide” in South Ossetia. HRW says these figures are wildly inflated (Tskhinvali’s city hospital registered just 44 dead and 273 wounded). Now even the Russians are talking of only 133 civilian deaths. HRW also cannot confirm many other atrocities ascribed by the Kremlin to the Georgians. Most residents in Tskhinvali who hid in basements tell identical stories of Georgian horrors, stoked by the Russian media, but few witnessed them at first hand. Although the Russian army is keen to show the damage inflicted by the Georgians, it is less keen for foreign journalists to see Georgian villages torched and looted by the South Ossetian militia and Russian irregulars.

    Yet the evidence of ethnic cleansing of Georgians is obvious. In the neighbourhood of Tskhinvali, many Georgian villages have been burnt and most homes destroyed. “Forward to Tbilisi,” says a sign in Russian painted on the gates of one ruin. As one South Ossetian intelligence officer told an HRW representative, “we burned these houses. We want to make sure that they [the Georgians] can’t come back, because if they do come back, this will be a Georgian enclave again and this should not happen.”

    As a group of foreign journalists made its way up to the Roki tunnel, a long convoy of armoured vehicles, tanks and lorries rumbled back towards Tskhinvali. Shortly before the journalists arrived at the tunnel, the Russian media said the Georgians were preparing a provocation there. “Rubbish,” said the Russian military intelligence officer guarding the entrance to the tunnel. “There are so many lies here.” Days later Russia’s security services gave warning of a possible Georgian terrorist attack (which might justify a new invasion).

    This journey ends not in Vladikavkaz but in nearby Beslan, where four years ago some 330 Russians, mostly children, were killed by Chechen terrorists when the Russian security services stormed the school. In a way, it also started there. Beslan prompted Mr Putin to take more powers into his own hands and to accuse foreigners of scheming to weaken Russia. The war in Georgia is best understood as part of the chain of events that followed.
     
  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    The Commersant should be better than Pravda even if the translation is so-so :)

    -----------
    Russia Stringing Posts around S. Ossetia

    Aug. 21, 2008

    The Russian military has made some of its plans known. It will not leave Georgian territory, in spite of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s assurances that Russian forces will stay in Georgia only until August 22. A security zone will be created around South Ossetia and Russia posts will be set up on South Ossetia’s borders. A Kommersant source in the Georgian government says there are worries there that Russia “is thereby trying to establish control over central Georgia in order to prevent the implementation of hydrocarbon transit projects from the Caspian to Europe.”

    Deputy Chief of the General Staff Anatoly Nogovitsyn revealed the military’s plans yesterday. He said Russian troops will gradually leave Georgian territory, but not fully. Along the administrative border of South Ossetia, a security zone will be established with two lines of posts. In the eight posts on the first (interior) line, 272 Russian peacekeepers will be stationed. The second line, consisting of ten posts, will follow the administrative border of South Ossetia; 180 peacekeepers will be stationed there.

    The gradual departure of Russian forces is confirmed by Georgian sources as well. Lado Vardzelashvili, governor of the Shida Kartli province, sated yesterday that the situation in Gori is stable and the number of Russian military checkpoints is being reduced. Nonetheless, the Georgian Foreign Ministry calls the Russian forces’ actions in Gori “regrouping 15 km. within the security zone that Russia itself set up around the perimeter of South Ossetia.”

    That security zone is causing serious worry in Tbilisi. There, they say that it encompasses practically all of the central part of the country, including Gori and the only highway that connects the eastern and western parts of the country. They are worried in Tbilisi that Russia will continue to control the city and the road with the only difference that the 58th Army will be replaced by peacekeepers. Peacekeepers have already appeared with the soldiers on the outskirts of Gori.

    “What Russian forces are doing now in Georgia has nothing to do with South Ossetia,” Georgian Minister of State for Reintegration Timur Yakobashvili told Kommersant. “Russia’s goal is geopolitical. It is trying to establish control over central Georgia to prevent the implementation of projects to transport hydrocarbons from the Caspian basin through the South Caucasus to Europe, which are already being implemented.”

    Georgian political scientist Nika Imnaishvili thinks the Georgian authorities’ worries are justified. “Whoever controls central Georgia, which all communications pass through, controls all of Georgia,” he told Kommersant. “Whoever controls Georgia controls all of the South Caucasus and the Caucasus as a whole. Whoever controls the Caucasus controls all of the Black Sea – Caspian basin, including Central Asia.”

    Gen. Nogovitsyn emphasized yesterday that “Gori is not included in the security zone around South Ossetia.” He did not say whether or not any of the strategically important east-west roadway is included in the security zone.

    Nogovitsyn did accuse Georgia of “energetically continuing to take measures to restore the combat-readiness of its forces,” while “Georgian special forces are preparing diversions.” As an example of Georgia’s aggressive intentions, Nogovitsyn noted a recognizance flight by a Georgian pilotless aircraft on Tuesday evening. In the general’s words, “at 9:50 p.m. Moscow time, the flying apparatus was destroyed.”
     

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