Fighting in South Ossetia

by Nathan Hamm on 7/8/2004 · 2 comments

Georgian, South Ossetian Forces Clash

Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania has said that Georgian troops and South Ossetian forces clashed in South Ossetia today, wounding two Georgians.

Zhvania also said that one Georgian soldier was abducted. He said the clash happened between the villages of Kurti and Tamarasheni. He gave no other details.

Earlier today, a group of separatists disarmed and detained 30-40 Georgian peacekeepers in the village of Venati.

South Ossetia is now gradually releasing troops

South Ossetia’s separatist government says it is processing a group of Georgian soldiers seized earlier today and gradually releasing them to the care of their relatives.

Meanwhile, Georgia is showing restraint and working with Russia and the US to isolate South Ossetia.

Georgian authorities claim that “the criminal regime” of Eduard Kokoev, the President of self-styled South Ossetian Republic, seeks to provoke Tbilisi into engaging in an armed conflict. “War is the only way for Kokoev to retain his power. But we will not yield to his provocations,” Georgian Security Minister Vano Merabishvili said at a news briefing on July 8.

“We knew that Kokoev was planning provocations and we were ready for this. The Georgian government is capable of dealing with the current situation and we will not be involved in armed clashes,” Vano Merabishvili added.

International efforts are underway to resolve the current crisis. “We are engaged in frequent contacts with our colleagues in the United States, Russia and other countries. I can say for sure that Kokoev’s regime does not enjoy support from Moscow,” the Georgian Security Minister said.

Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania held phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on July 8 and discussed satiation in breakaway South Ossetia. “Mr. Powell expressed readiness to help Georgia in overcoming the current crisis. He also welcomed Georgian government’s efforts to avoid armed confrontation in the conflict zone,” Avto Pavlenishvili, spokesman of the Georgian Prime Minister told Civil Georgia.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Anna July 12, 2004 at 10:43 am
Anna July 12, 2004 at 10:44 am

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