International

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Musa Sadulayev/AP
A column of Russian tanks rolls near the town of Dzhava in the separatist Georgian
province of South Ossetia, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008. (AP)

Russia Orders End to Fighting, But Hostilities Continue in Georgia

August 12, 2008 11:13 AM
by Josh Katz
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for an end to fighting in the five-day mini-war that has has racked Georgia.

30-Second Summary

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Although Russia has declared an end to the fighting, Georgia claims that its villages are still under attack. According to The Guardian, “There were also separate reports today of witnesses seeing 135 military vehicles driving through Georgia towards the other separatist province of Abkhazia.”

Medvedev said a final settlement could occur only if Georgian troops pulled back to their preliminary positions, were “partly demilitarised,” and there was “a binding agreement on the non-use of force.” Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said the country’s military will remain ready for action until a binding agreement is reached.

On August 7, Georgia responded to opposition in South Ossetia by launching a military offensive to assert control over the region. Russia says it sent in its military to defend Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia after several died in the Georgian offensive.

During the five-day conflict, Russia earned international criticism for bombing the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and launched air strikes on the Georgian military and transportation center of Gori, where Russian troops are amassing, in addition to battling the Georigan military in South Ossetia where the fighting began.

On Russian television, Medvedev said his military had punished Georgia for its aggressive actions and had protected civilians and Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia.

The conflict stems from the separatist unrest Georgia faced in Abkhazia and South Ossetia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1993, Georgian troops were forced out of the region, and Russia has tacitly supported Georgian opposition movements ever since. Russia has also pressured other members of NATO to deny Georgia membership.

Headline Links: ‘Attacks on Georgia continue despite Russian president’s calls to halt’

Background: Tensions between Georgia and Russia mount in April

Opinion & Analysis: How serious is the conflict?

Related Topics: Russia upset over U.S. missile defense plans; the ‘color revolutions’

Reference: Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia

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