On August 7, Imedi TV’s main news program Kronika aired a story dedicated to the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Journalist Nata Makhviladze claims in the story that on August 8, Russia, whose peacekeepers were deployed in the region, brought its troops into South Ossetia in response to the military operation launched by Georgia a day earlier with the aim of seizing Tskhinvali.
Nata Makhviladze, journalist: “The war between Georgian troops and South Ossetian separatists backed by Russian army started with a conflict in the Tskhinvali Region. After several days of uninterrupted shelling from Ossetian settlements, on August 7 Georgia launched a military operation to seize Tskhinvali. Next day, Russia, whose peacekeepers were deployed in the region, carried out mass deployment of its troops and military hardware in the Tskhinvali Region, in response to Georgia’s attack.”
Imedi TV, Kronika, August 7
Myth Detector offers you a material “2008 Russo-Georgian War Recap: August 7” prepared by online edition Civil.ge, which provides a detailed chronicle of aggression carried out by Russia against Georgia on August 7, 2008.
- Between 03:00 and 04:00 Georgian intelligence intercepts South Ossetian servicemen’s phone calls, discussing Russian troops and armor crossing from Russia into Georgia through the Roki Tunnel. Among the incoming Russian troops they mention Colonel Kazachenko – Commander of the Russian 58th Army’s 693rd Motor Rifle Regiment, which later took extensive part in the fighting.
- Exchanges of fire in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia continue throughout the early hours of August 7.
- Russian Foreign Ministry says in a press release that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin spoke with South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity on the phone on August 6, and that their “assessments of the tense situation in the conflict zone coincide.”
- In the morning Eduard Kokoity goes to Java District (the Roki Tunnel area) to meet with representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry.
- Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs says the shelling of the Georgian villages of Nuli and Avnevi resumed around noon.
- The Abkhaz leader Sergei Bagapsh announces, after a conversation with Eduard Kokoity, that “a battalion from the [Russian] North Caucasus Military District has entered” Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
- Georgian Foreign Ministry issues a statement, asking for a joint monitoring of the Roki Tunnel and an increase in the number of OSCE observers in the conflict area, as well as placing responsibility for “recent developments” on Russia.
- Two Georgian peacekeepers are killed and five are wounded when at 14:00 their checkpoint in village Avnevi is shelled with 100mm and 120mm artillery by Tskhinvali forces located in Khetagurovo village. A Georgian armored vehicle is destroyed as a result of the attack.
- Georgian authorities receive new intelligence that the Russian troops near the Georgian border in the North Caucasus have received orders to prepare to move towards the Georgian border. At 14:30 Georgian Defense Ministry orders military forces in various parts of the country to move towards Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
- Anatoly Barankevich – a Russian military officer serving as the head of Tskhinvali security council – accuses Georgia of launching “military aggression against South Ossetia.”
- At 18:40 Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili says at a press conference that Georgia has decided to “unilaterally cease fire” in a sign of its willingness to defuse tensions. Yakobashvili says the decision is made after his meeting with Marat Kulakhmetov – the Russian head of the peacekeeping force. He also says he is unable to reach the chief South Ossetian negotiator Boris Chochiev.
- At 19:10 Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili confirms Tbilisi’s ceasefire announcement in a televised address, calls for resumption of talks in any format, and offers a number of concessions to the Russian Federation.
- Russian chief negotiator Yuri Popov says an agreement to hold talks at 13:00, August 8 has been reached.
- Georgia’s Ministry of Interior reports violation of ceasefire, with village Avnevi coming under fire again around 20:30, followed by Prisi, and later Tamarasheni and other Tbilisi-controlled areas in the conflict zone.
- A cyber attack, which continued during the following days, is launched against Georgia, with several Georgian servers and the Internet traffic seized and placed under external control.
- The Georgian leadership is convinced by intelligence reports that Russian troops have launched invasion into Georgia through the Roki Tunnel. The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew J. Bryza asks Georgian officials not to engage the incoming Russian troops.
- At 23:35 President Saakashvili issues the orders to the Joint Staff of the Ministry of Defense to: halt the movement of regular units of the Russian Federation through the Roki Tunnel inside Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia; neutralize the firing positions from which the fire against civilians, Georgian peacekeeping units and police originated; protect civilians in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.