05/08/08 - 1 year later
On August 5, some more units of armored machinery, 40 artillery systems and reconnaissance battalion of the 33rd of separate mountain-rifle brigade crossed the Georgian-Russian border through Roki tunnel and entered South Ossetia. Other 30 artillery pieces were redeployed to Georgia through Kudari path. Initiators and war leaders were not concealing, that the aims of Russian-Abkhazian-South Ossetian coalition in the starting warfare could have been fare from the territorial borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Mikhail Mindzaev – the minister of internal affairs of South Ossetia announced, that South Ossetia might claim several areas of so-called central Georgia, including Borjomi and Bakuriani, and promised to “bomb Gori, Kareli and one of the health resort zones”. Dmitry Medoev – the permanent representative of South Ossetia in Moscow promised to start a “railway war” in Georgia, and added, “We’ll see how Georgia will be able to carry out its obligations on international oil transit”. On August 5, Sergei Shamba – the minister of foreign affairs of Abkhazia, in his interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Independent Newspaper), has not denied the possibility of opening the second front against Georgia. An undisclosed source in intelligence services of Abkhazia predicted, “Specially prepared saboteurs can blow up the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline”. He was right: in twenty-four hours due to the blast near a Turkish city, Erzinjan the oil pipeline was temporarily closed.
By the evening of August 5, the 135th and the 693rd motorized infantry regiments of the 19th division of the 58th army, the 104-th and the 234th airborne regiments of the 76th guards airborne division, the 217th airborne regiment of the 98th airborne division and the 31st separate airborne brigade were situated near the northern entrance of Roki tunnel. Their forces were composed of 11 693 military man, 891 units of armored machinery and 138 artillery pieces.