Viel können die georgischen Diplomaten bei der Nato derzeit nicht unternehmen. Ihre winzigen Büros sind in einem Nebengebäude des Nato-Quartiers in Brüssel untergebracht, und auch bündnispolitisch pflegten sie – bisher – eine randständige Existenz. Georgien ist kein Nato-Mitglied, aber es Teil des Partnership for Peace-Programms (PfP) der Allianz. Aber informieren, genauestens informieren, wollen die Georgier nun wenigstens die Nato-Staaten über die Lage in ihrem Land.
Ständig schicken sie Mitteilungen über Truppenbewegungen, Bombardements und Opfer an die Missionen aller 26 Länder im Brüsseler Hauptquartier. Am Donnerstag, dem 7. August 2008 um 22.30 Uhr meldeten sie Alarmierendes. Trotz Waffenruhe, hieß es in einem Communiqué, seien „georgische Zivilisten“ in Südossetien von „separatistischen Rebellen“ angegriffen worden. Hunderte von russischen Soldaten sowie schweres Material seien zudem aus Russland nach Georgien eingerückt.
Das Protokoll der Ereignisse ab dem 6. August, das Georgien in der Nato-Zentrale verteilte, ist diesem Beitrag angehängt (von unten nach oben zu lesen).* Aus der Zeitleiste ergibt sich das Bild hoher Aggressivität von beiden Seiten.
„Für uns ist die Sache ganz klar“, sagt Alexander Maisuradze, der stellvertretende georgische Missionschef bei der Nato, „wir sind Opfer einer großangelegten militärischen Intervention. Die Aktionen des russischen Militärs verstoßen fundamental gegen die euro-atlantischen Werte. Es geht darum, die Regierung des Präsidenten Mikheil Saakashvilis zu stürzen. Georgien selbst ist unmittelbar bedroht.“
Russland stellt die Sache anders da: Zuerst hätten georgische Soldaten der „Friedenstruppe“ für Südossetien russische Soldaten desselben Verbandes getötet.
Im Internationalen Brüsseler Pressezentrum sagte der russische Nato-Botschafter Dimitri Rogozin am Montag, 18 russische „Friedenssoldaten“ seien getötet worden, 14 würden vermisst, 150 seien verwundet. „Alle Fakten, die von internationalen Medien berichtet werden, sind einseitig und unzutreffend“, so Rogozin. Georgien habe das Feuer in der südossetischen Hauptsstadt Tschinwali eröffnet. Seitdem seien 2500 Zivilisten getötet worden, zudem schössen georgischen Soldaten wahllos auf Zivilisten, überrollten Unschuldige mit Panzern und vergewaltigten Frauen.
Georgien praktiziere in Südossetien „Völkermord oder ethnische Säuberungen“, so Rogozin.
Sowohl Georgien wie auch Russland (es ist ebenfalls Mitglied des PfP) haben für Dienstag eine Sondersitzung der Nato-Botschafter beantragt. Zuerst werden die 26 Abgesandten des Bündnisses wohl mit den Vertretern Georgiens, dann mit denen Russland zusammentreffen.
Rogozin machte klar, dass Russland nicht mit dem georgischen Präsidenten Saakaschwili reden werde. Vielleicht, sagte er, werde man aber erwägen, mit denjenigen georgischen Regierungsvertretern zu reden, die dem Präsidenten kritisch gegenüberstehen. Diese Bermerkung wurde von georgischen Beobachtern als weiterer Beleg für die These gewertet, dass es Moskau in Wahrheit darum gehen, die pro-westliche Regierung in Tiflis zu stürzen.
Zu diesem Eindruck trug allerdings auch bei neutralen Beobachtern ein Satz Rogozins bei, der über die übliche Rauhbeinigkeit des Russen hinausging.
“America’s favourite child“, sagte er über Saakaschwili, „is going to hell right now.”
* Ablauf der Eskalation laut der georgischen Mission bei der Nato:
Late on 6 August, separatists opened mortar fire at Georgian populated villages of Eredvi, Prisi, Avnevi, Dvani and Nuli. Georgian government forces fired back in order to defend the positions and civilian population. As a result of intensive cross-fire during the night, two servicemen of the Georgian battalion of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces were injured. Separatist regime also claimed several injured persons on their side. Despite the targeted attacks on peaceful population and villages, as well as on the Georgian police and peacekeeping forces, the central authorities decided not to respond through heavy exchange of fire, in order not to injure the local population.
Temur Yakobashvili, Georgian chief negotiator and state minister for reintegration, said in late night televised remarks on August 6 that it was the position of the Georgian government that only a direct dialogue with Tskinvali authorities would solve the deteriorating security situation. Mr. Yakobashvili also stressed that Ambassador-at-large Yuri Popov would attend the talks as a facilitator. South Ossetian chief negotiator, Boris Chochiev, refused to take part in negotiations.
During the night and early morning intensive fire came from the Ossetian villages of Khetagurovo, Dmenisi, Sarabuki, and Ubiat. Separatist authorities continued shelling Georgian law enforcers and Peacekeeping units with mortars and artillery. The central authorities responded with limited fire in order to defend the positions.
In the morning interview with Russian news agencies, South Ossetian de facto president Eduard Kokoity declared that if the Georgian government did not withdraw its military forces from the region, he would start “to clean them out.”
President Saakashvili speaking with journalists in the military hospital in Gori, where he visited the two injured Georgian servicemen, said that despite attacks on the Georgian villages, Tbilisi was showing “maximum restraint.” Saakashvili also called on Russia to “to recall its officials” from South Ossetia, who consider themselves as the so-called South Ossetian government.
Temur Yakobashvili, visited the conflict zone in the morning of August 7 to meet with representatives of the separatist government. The State Minister met with Marat Kulakhmetov, commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces, in Tskhinvali. But, the separatists refused to negotiate with him.
The chairman of the separatist republic’s Security Council, Anatoly Barankevich threatened that armed groupings of Cossacks from North Ossetia were headed towards South Ossetia to fight against Georgian forces.
The separatists resumed shelling of Georgian villages Nuli and Avnevi by 16:00. Three Georgian servicemen were injured after the South Ossetian separatist forces blew up an infantry combat vehicle belonging to the Georgian peacekeeping battalion in Avnevi. Georgian police responded by firing towards the separatist armed grouping in village Khetagurovo, where two separatist militiamen were killed and two more wounded. Later, the check-point of Georgian peacekeepers was bombed in Avnevi and several Georgian servicemen and civilians were killed.
Georgia has decided to “unilaterally cease fire” in a sign of Tbilisi’s willingness to defuse tensions, Temur Yakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, announced at a press conference in Tbilisi at 6:40pm. Yakobashvili said that he was not able to get in touch with the separatist authorities.
President Saakashvili said in a live televised address made at 7:10pm, that he had ordered the Georgian forces to cease fire in South Ossetia. He said there were casualties, both dead and many people wounded. Saakashvili said that he ordered to cease fire “on purpose” to again offer the South Ossetian secessionists to resume talks.
Despite Georgia’s decision not to return fire, the Georgian village of Avnevi again came under fire of the South Ossetian militiamen at about 8:30pm. It can be said that the village was totally destroyed as a result.
The South Ossetian separatist armed groupings fired at the Georgian-controlled village of Prisi at about 10:30 pm. The attack left several people wounded on the Georgian side.
The separatist authorities opened fire at all Georgian positions around the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali at about 23:30, including the villages of Tamarasheni and Kurta. The police stations in Kurta was destroyed as a result of heavy shelling.
22:40 According to Ministry of Defense, Russian planes violated Georgian airspace a total of 22 times.
22:15 The type and place of Russian planes taken down during the day not located yet.
21:45 Policemen and reservists who were surrounded in the Znauri school bulding, five kilometers west of Tskinvali, are rescued by government forces.
21:11 The separatist authorities claim to have altogether 1400 people dead and wounded. At the same time, the Russian Ministry of Defense announces that there are 10 dead among Russian “peacekeepers”.
20:30 After severe clashes in Tskinvali, Georgian forces start to withdraw from the center of the town, holding their positions at its southern outskirts. Russian tanks enter the eastern part of Tskinvali.
19:20 2 Russian planes pass over Ambrolauri, which is 170 kilometers northwest of Tbilisi and is outside the conflict zone.
19:18 5 Russian airplanes were shot down during the day. Last one is shot down at approximately 19:00 near Tskhinvali.
18:45 Georgian Gori artillery brigade is bombarded by 5 Russian airplanes.
18:44 A motorcade of Russian tanks, armored vehicles and trucks loaded with different kinds of weapons reach Tskinvali by the Dzara by-pass road, 2 kilometers west of Tskinvali. The Russians opens intensive fire towards Georgian forces located in Tskinvali and on the neighboring heights. A second motorcade, which also came from Russia via the Roki tunnel, is stopped near the Georgian government controlled area of Dmenisi, 7 kilometers north of Tskinvali, and Russians open heavy fire toward Georgian forces.
18:32 Frone gorge, northeat of Tskinvali, is under intensive artillery fire by Russian forces. Villages Avnevi and Phrisi, in the Tskinvali region, are bombarded by Russian military aircraft.
17:35 Marneuli military airbase, 20 kilometers south of Tbilisi and outside the conflict zone, is bombed for the third time resulting in 1 death and 4 injured. As a result of three bombings, three grounded AN-2 type planes and military vehicles stationed there are destroyed.
17:00 Marneuli military airbase is bombed for the second time causing casualties.
16.30 Russian aviation bombs Marneuli and Bolnisi military airbases, 20 kilometers and 35 kilometers south of Tbilisi respectively. Two aircrafts were destroyed on ground. Also several buildings were destroyed and there are casualties.
16:03 Two Russian planes enter Georgian airspace from the North. One more flies over Djava. Two more fly across the border near Chechnya.
By 16:00 about 40 officers of Criminal Police and Reservists are trapped in Znauri school.
15:30 Ossetian separatists destroyed 3 Georgian tanks at Dzari by-pass road.
15:05 Russian military plane enters Georgia from the direction of Tedzami, just south of Gori, and drop two bombs on the Vaziani military airport and turned back.
14.30 Almost 100% of Tskhinvali is controlled by Georgian forces. Just several small groupings are still resisting.
14.15 Georgian government announces a ceasefire from 15.00 till 18.00 to let civilian population leave Tskhinvali. Separatists are also offered amnesty and humanitarian aid if they surrender.
13:00 Part of Thskinvali is controlled by Georgian army and fighting continues in the center. The civilian population does not resist. They are ordered to stay inside their houses.
12.05 One Su-24 enters Georgian air space from Russia and remained over Tskhinvali till 12.15.
By 12.00 Eight Georgians (6 military and 2 civilians) have died and 87 are injured. 1 military truck with ammunition was destroyed.
11:45 Emergency Service of Civil Aviation report receiving a signal from a crashed flying object (presumably Russian fighter plane) near Iuri range, 17 km south from Gori.
11.45: Four Su-24 Russian jet enter Georgia from the direction of Stepantsminda (Kazbeg), northeast of the Roki tunnel and outside of the conflict zone. Two of them pass Tbilisi and make two circles around Marneuli. The other two make a circle above Gudauri.
10:57: Two of the six Russian aircraft drop three bombs in Gori. One of these fell near the stadium, the second near Gorijvari slope and third near a artillery brigade.
10.50: Six Su-24 fighter planes enter from the Roki pass.
10.30 Russian Su-24 bombs the village of Variani in the Kareli district, 75 kilometers west of Tbilisi and outside the conflict zone. Seven civilians were injured as a result.
9.45: A Russian military fighter plane drops about 3-5 bombs near the village of Shavshvebi, on the highway between Poti and Tbilisi and is 300-500 meters from Georgian military radar.
By 9:00 Georgian Forces control the villages of Gromi, Artsevi, Tsinagara, Znauri, Sarabuki, Khetagurovo, Atotsi, Kvemo Okuna, Dmenisi, Muguti and Didmukha.
8:00: First group of Russian troops together with Gufta Bridge are destroyed by a Georgian aerial bombardment. Later two more groups of Russian troops enter South Ossetia through the Roki tunnel, which connects Russia and Georgia, but could not cross the Gufta Bridge which was destroyed and moved by the Geri-Dmenisi road.
5:30: First Russian troops enter through Roki tunnel South Ossetia, passed Java, crossed Gufta bridge and moved by Dzara road towards Tskhinvali.