russian georgian war, 1 year later

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On August 2, 2008, four film crews of the central Russian TV channels, comprising of 15 journalists with all necessary equipment, arrived to Tskhinvali from Moscow for reporting on upcoming war, while no one doubted about it in Georgia. Early in the morning of August 2, 2008, another group of Russian journalists moved from the capital of Dagestan, Makhachkala to South Ossetia. Entrance to the territory of South Ossetia was prohibited for the foreign journalists, with the exception of a film crew of “Inter” TV channel from Ukraine, which was connected to the Party of regions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia explained it with “problems with their documents”. By August 7, 2008, number of Russian journalists sent to Tskhinvali, reached 50 people.

On August 2, 2008, the military trainings “Caucasus-2008” were officially completed. However, Russian troops, participating in maneuvers, have not left their positions. Moreover, number of North-Caucasian military district sub-units crossed state boundary and continued trainigs on the territory of Georgia in South Ossetia. In addition, before the evening of August 7, 2008, total number of two “peacekeeping” battalions – Russian and Ossetian – was illegally increased from 1000 to 1700 military man, while number of Georgian peacekeepers remained in conformity with Dagomys treaty – 500 soldiers.

On August 2, 2008, South Ossetian authorities started evacuation of the women and children from the villages surrounding Tskhinvali.By midnight of August 7, 2008, more than 20 000 civilians were evacuated from South Ossetia. This accounted more than 90% of the population of the future warfare zone and more than half of the population controlled by administration of Kokoity. Practically it was reach similar proportion of number of evacuated to the population size of region, as during the Kosovo crisis in 1999. But, significant differences have been revealed. Albanians from Kosovo fled from their homes when Yugoslavian army started ethnic cleansing. In South Ossetia ethnic cleansing of Georgian population by the South Ossetian sub-units were conducted after evacuation of the South Ossetian women and children.

On August 2, 2008, practically simultaneously completely different people like Sergey Mironov, Teimuraz Mamsurov and the commander of airborne troops of Russia Valery Evtukhovich, made declarations, promising that Russian forces would enter Georgia “in order to defend Russian citizens and assist the peacekeepers”.

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