Russo-Georgian War

  • russo-georgian war
    part of the abkhaz–georgian conflict and the georgian–ossetian conflict
    2008 south ossetia war en.svg
    location of georgia (including abkhazia and south ossetia) and russian north caucasus
    date7–12 august 2008
    (5 days)
    location
    georgia
    • south ossetia
    • abkhazia
    result

    russian, south ossetian and abkhaz victory

    • expulsion of ethnic georgians from south ossetia and the kodori gorge[1][2]
    • recognition of south ossetia and abkhazia by russia[3]
    • russian military bases established in abkhazia and south ossetia[4]
    territorial
    changes
    georgia loses control of parts of abkhazia and former south ossetian ao
    belligerents
     russia
     south ossetia[note 1]
     abkhazia[note 2]
     georgia
    commanders and leaders
    russia dmitry medvedev
    russia vladimir putin
    russia anatoliy serdyukov
    russia vladimir boldyrev
    russia marat kulakhmetov
    russia vladimir shamanov
    russia vyacheslav borisov
    russia a. khrulyov (wia)
    south ossetia eduard kokoity
    south ossetia vasily lunev [ru]
    south ossetia anatoly barankevich [ru]
    abkhazia sergei bagapsh
    abkhazia mirab kishmaria
    abkhazia anatoly zaitsev [ru]
    georgia (country) mikheil saakashvili
    georgia (country) davit kezerashvili
    georgia (country) zaza gogava
    georgia (country) mamuka kurashvili
    georgia (country) david nairashvili
    georgia (country) alexandre lomaia
    georgia (country) vano merabishvili
    strength

    russian armed forces
    in south ossetia:

    • 58th army
      (about 70,000 soldiers)[5][6]
    • russian airborne troops
    • 4th air force command
    • 42nd guards motor rifle division
    • spetsnaz gru
      • chechen battalions "vostok" and "zapad"

    in abkhazia:

    • 7th guards airborne division
    • 76th guards air assault division
    • black sea fleet

    total in abkhazia: 9,000 soldiers[7][8]
    south ossetia 3,000 regular soldiers[citation needed]

    abkhazia 1,000 special troops[9]

    georgian armed forces
    in south ossetia:

    • 10,000–11,000 soldiers (including mia special forces)[10]

    in georgia proper (gori):

    • 10,000 reservists mobilised[5]

    in iraq:

    • 2,000 soldiers[11]

    ministry of internal affairs

    • c. 5,000 mia police officers[12]
    casualties and losses

     russia
    russian armed forces:

    • killed: 65–67[13]
    • wounded: 283[14]
    • mia: 1[13]
    • pows: 12[15]

    north ossetian and cossack volunteers:

    • killed: 10–15[16]

     south ossetia

    • pows: 27[12]

    ministry of defence:

    • killed: 27[17]
    • wounded: 69[18]

    reservists and militiamen:

    • killed: c. 50[17]

    ministry of internal affairs:

    • killed: 10[17]

     abkhazia

    • killed: 1[19]
    • wounded: 2[16]
    total: 163–170 killed, 354 wounded, 1 missing, 39 captured

     georgia
    georgian armed forces:

    • killed: 169[20]
    • wounded: 947[21]
    • mia: 1[20]
    • pows: 39[12]

    ministry of internal affairs:

    • killed: 11[21]
    • wounded: 227[21]
    • mia: 3[21]
    • pows: 10[12]
    total: 180 killed, 1,174 wounded, 4 missing, 49 captured

    civilian casualties:
    south ossetia: 162, according to russia;[22] at least 365, according to south ossetia;[23][24] 255 wounded, according to russia[22]
    georgia: 224 civilians killed and 15 missing, 547 injured[21]
    one foreign civilian killed and 3 wounded[25]


    refugees:
    192,000 civilians displaced,[26] (including 30,000 south ossetians that moved to russia; and 15,000 georgians from south ossetia per unhcr that moved to georgia proper).[27] estimate by georgian official: at least 230,000.[28]

    the russo-georgian war was a war between georgia, russia and the russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of south ossetia and abkhazia.[note 3] the war took place in august 2008 following a period of worsening relations between russia and georgia, both formerly constituent republics of the soviet union. the fighting took place in the strategically important transcaucasia region. it was regarded as the first european war of the 21st century.[29]

    the republic of georgia declared its independence in early 1991 as the soviet union began to fall apart. amidst this backdrop, a war between georgia and separatists left parts of the former south ossetian autonomous oblast under the de facto control of russian-backed but internationally unrecognised separatists. following the war, a joint peacekeeping force of georgian, russian, and ossetian troops was stationed in the territory. a similar stalemate developed in the region of abkhazia, where abkhaz separatists had waged war in 1992–1993. following the election of vladimir putin in russia in 2000 and a pro-western change of power in georgia in 2003, relations between russia and georgia began to deteriorate, reaching a full diplomatic crisis by april 2008. by 1 august 2008, south ossetian separatists had begun shelling georgian villages, with a sporadic response from georgian peacekeepers in the area.[30][31][32][33][34] artillery attacks by pro-russian separatists broke a 1992 ceasefire agreement.[35][36] to put an end to these attacks and restore order, the georgian army was sent to the south ossetian conflict zone on 7 august.[37] georgians took control of most of tskhinvali, a separatist stronghold, in hours.

    russian troops had illicitly crossed the russo-georgian state border and advanced into the south ossetian conflict zone by 7 august before the georgian military response.[36][38][39][40][41] russia accused georgia of "aggression against south ossetia",[37] and launched a large-scale land, air and sea invasion of georgia on 8 august with the stated goal of a peace enforcement operation.[42] russian and south ossetian forces fought georgian forces in and around south ossetia for several days, until georgian forces retreated. russian and abkhaz forces opened a second front by attacking the kodori gorge held by georgia. russian naval forces blockaded part of the georgian coast. the russian air force attacked targets beyond the conflict zone, in undisputed parts of georgia. this was the first war in history in which cyber warfare coincided with military action. an information war was also waged during and after the conflict. nicolas sarkozy, the president of france, which had the presidency of the european union, negotiated a ceasefire agreement on 12 august.

    russian forces temporarily occupied the georgian cities of zugdidi, senaki, poti and gori, holding on to these areas beyond the ceasefire. the south ossetians destroyed most ethnic georgian villages in south ossetia and were responsible for an ethnic cleansing of georgians. russia recognised the independence of abkhazia and south ossetia from georgia on 26 august and the georgian government severed diplomatic relations with russia. russia mostly completed its withdrawal of troops from undisputed parts of georgia on 8 october. russian international relations were largely unharmed. the war displaced 192,000 people and while many returned to their homes after the war, 20,272 people, mostly ethnic georgians, remained displaced as of 2014. since the war, russia has occupied abkhazia and south ossetia in violation of the ceasefire agreement of august 2008.[43]

  • background
  • prelude
  • campaign
  • ceasefire agreement
  • aftermath
  • humanitarian impact and war crimes
  • reactions
  • combatants
  • see also
  • notes
  • references
  • further reading
  • external links

Russo-Georgian War
Part of the Abkhaz–Georgian conflict and the Georgian–Ossetian conflict
2008 South Ossetia war en.svg
Location of Georgia (including Abkhazia and South Ossetia) and Russian North Caucasus
Date7–12 August 2008
(5 days)
Location
Result

Russian, South Ossetian and Abkhaz victory

Territorial
changes
Georgia loses control of parts of Abkhazia and former South Ossetian AO
Belligerents
 Russia
 South Ossetia[note 1]
 Abkhazia[note 2]
 Georgia
Commanders and leaders
Russia Dmitry Medvedev
Russia Vladimir Putin
Russia Anatoliy Serdyukov
Russia Vladimir Boldyrev
Russia Marat Kulakhmetov
Russia Vladimir Shamanov
Russia Vyacheslav Borisov
Russia A. Khrulyov (WIA)
South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity
South Ossetia Vasily Lunev [ru]
South Ossetia Anatoly Barankevich [ru]
Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh
Abkhazia Mirab Kishmaria
Abkhazia Anatoly Zaitsev [ru]
Georgia (country) Mikheil Saakashvili
Georgia (country) Davit Kezerashvili
Georgia (country) Zaza Gogava
Georgia (country) Mamuka Kurashvili
Georgia (country) David Nairashvili
Georgia (country) Alexandre Lomaia
Georgia (country) Vano Merabishvili
Strength

Russian Armed Forces
In South Ossetia:

In Abkhazia:

Total in Abkhazia: 9,000 soldiers[7][8]
South Ossetia 3,000 regular soldiers[citation needed]

Abkhazia 1,000 special troops[9]

Georgian Armed Forces
In South Ossetia:

  • 10,000–11,000 soldiers (including MIA special forces)[10]

In Georgia proper (Gori):

  • 10,000 reservists mobilised[5]

In Iraq:

Ministry of Internal Affairs

  • c. 5,000 MIA police officers[12]
Casualties and losses

 Russia
Russian Armed Forces:

North Ossetian and Cossack volunteers:

 South Ossetia

Ministry of Defence:

Reservists and militiamen:

Ministry of Internal Affairs:

 Abkhazia

Total: 163–170 killed, 354 wounded, 1 missing, 39 captured

 Georgia
Georgian Armed Forces:

Ministry of Internal Affairs:

Total: 180 killed, 1,174 wounded, 4 missing, 49 captured

Civilian casualties:
South Ossetia: 162, according to Russia;[22] at least 365, according to South Ossetia;[23][24] 255 wounded, according to Russia[22]
Georgia: 224 civilians killed and 15 missing, 547 injured[21]
One foreign civilian killed and 3 wounded[25]


Refugees:
192,000 civilians displaced,[26] (including 30,000 South Ossetians that moved to Russia; and 15,000 Georgians from South Ossetia per UNHCR that moved to Georgia proper).[27] Estimate by Georgian official: at least 230,000.[28]

The Russo-Georgian War was a war between Georgia, Russia and the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.[note 3] The war took place in August 2008 following a period of worsening relations between Russia and Georgia, both formerly constituent republics of the Soviet Union. The fighting took place in the strategically important Transcaucasia region. It was regarded as the first European war of the 21st century.[29]

The Republic of Georgia declared its independence in early 1991 as the Soviet Union began to fall apart. Amidst this backdrop, a war between Georgia and separatists left parts of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast under the de facto control of Russian-backed but internationally unrecognised separatists. Following the war, a joint peacekeeping force of Georgian, Russian, and Ossetian troops was stationed in the territory. A similar stalemate developed in the region of Abkhazia, where Abkhaz separatists had waged war in 1992–1993. Following the election of Vladimir Putin in Russia in 2000 and a pro-Western change of power in Georgia in 2003, relations between Russia and Georgia began to deteriorate, reaching a full diplomatic crisis by April 2008. By 1 August 2008, South Ossetian separatists had begun shelling Georgian villages, with a sporadic response from Georgian peacekeepers in the area.[30][31][32][33][34] Artillery attacks by pro-Russian separatists broke a 1992 ceasefire agreement.[35][36] To put an end to these attacks and restore order, the Georgian Army was sent to the South Ossetian conflict zone on 7 August.[37] Georgians took control of most of Tskhinvali, a separatist stronghold, in hours.

Russian troops had illicitly crossed the Russo-Georgian state border and advanced into the South Ossetian conflict zone by 7 August before the Georgian military response.[36][38][39][40][41] Russia accused Georgia of "aggression against South Ossetia",[37] and launched a large-scale land, air and sea invasion of Georgia on 8 August with the stated goal of a peace enforcement operation.[42] Russian and South Ossetian forces fought Georgian forces in and around South Ossetia for several days, until Georgian forces retreated. Russian and Abkhaz forces opened a second front by attacking the Kodori Gorge held by Georgia. Russian naval forces blockaded part of the Georgian coast. The Russian air force attacked targets beyond the conflict zone, in undisputed parts of Georgia. This was the first war in history in which cyber warfare coincided with military action. An information war was also waged during and after the conflict. Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France, which had the presidency of the European Union, negotiated a ceasefire agreement on 12 August.

Russian forces temporarily occupied the Georgian cities of Zugdidi, Senaki, Poti and Gori, holding on to these areas beyond the ceasefire. The South Ossetians destroyed most ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia and were responsible for an ethnic cleansing of Georgians. Russia recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia on 26 August and the Georgian government severed diplomatic relations with Russia. Russia mostly completed its withdrawal of troops from undisputed parts of Georgia on 8 October. Russian international relations were largely unharmed. The war displaced 192,000 people and while many returned to their homes after the war, 20,272 people, mostly ethnic Georgians, remained displaced as of 2014. Since the war, Russia has occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of the ceasefire agreement of August 2008.[43]