August 2008: South Ossetians Faced Total Annihilation
Republic Information Agency (South Ossetia)
August 7, 2012
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia: Courage of the defenders of South Ossetia and the decisive intervention of Russia saved the people from extermination
Tonight, August 7 at 22:00 in the Republic of South Ossetia, there will begin commemorative events on the fourth anniversary of the armed aggression of Georgia against South Ossetia with an exhibition called War Through Paintings’ Eyes which will be held at the Theater Square in the center of Tskhinval.
The action of sorrow “We`ll be remembering everything …” will start at 23:35: it is the time when in August 2008 the first volleys of artillery struck on the sleeping city.
The Georgian side used modern technology, heavy artillery and aircraft for the elimination of civilians and Russian peacekeepers. As a result, hundreds of civilians in Tskhinval and in the neighbouring settlements and dozens of Russian peacekeepers were killed, and the number of wounded and injured was immeasurably greater. The scale of the devastation was truly appalling.
In those difficult days only the courage of defenders of South Ossetia and resolute and timely intervention of Russia, which had carried out the operation to force Georgia to peace, saved the people of South Ossetia from total annihilation.
Commemorative events will continue on August 8, when it is planned to hold a round table discussion titled “Iron Nykhas” with representatives of the Ossetian Diasporas from the far and near abroad under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia
Republic Information Agency
August 7, 2012
South Ossetia is commemorating the fourth anniversary of the August tragedy
Today South Ossetia is commemorating the fourth anniversary of one of the most tragic pages in the history of the Ossetian people – the beginning of the Georgian aggression in August 2008.
The open invasion of the Georgian armed forces into the territory of the Republic was preceded by planned aggravation of the situation in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.
In early August 2008 special units of Georgian law enforcement agencies, with the active participation of the Georgian part of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces, began systematic artillery and sniper attacks on Tskhinval and Ossetian villages, as well as the positions of law enforcement agencies of the Republic and the North Ossetian Battalion of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces.
The fire was delivered from Georgian border settlements located directly on the territory of South Ossetia’s Georgian enclaves. During the first week of the month dozens of civilians been killed and injured. The government of the Republic began evacuating women and children.
The efforts of the Russian and South Ossetian JCC units and the command of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces to prevent the onset of a full-scale war were in vain. The Georgian side in words declared its commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but in fact brought the negotiation process to a standstill. At the same time, Georgia was actively preparing for military aggression, beginning a build-up of strike forces consisting of selected units of Georgian law enforcement agencies at the borders of South Ossetia.
Shortly before midnight on August 7, they hit with all their might on sleeping Tskhinval and nearby Ossetian villages. Throughout the night the town was being subjected to continuous rocket and artillery fire and air strikes.
In addition to cannon artillery, the Georgian army used against the civilian population multiple-launch Grad rocket systems and cluster aerial bombs, which are considered weapons of mass destruction.
No less intensively the South Ossetian villages of Khetagurovo, Dmenis, Preece, Sarabuk, Satikar, Mugut, Didmukha, Galuanta and others were shelled.
On the morning on August 8, Georgian tanks attacked the southern outskirts of Tskhinval; the barracks of the Russian peacekeepers in the Upper Town were also attacked. The defenders of the town and the peacekeepers engaged in an unequal battle; the streets of Tskhinval were enveloped in flames from exploded Georgian armored vehicles. Fierce street battles continued throughout the day.
Despite statements of the Georgian authorities about the seizure of Tskhinval, all attacks were repulsed, but hundreds of civilians and defenders of the town were killed and thousands of people were injured.
Virtually, not any building escaped destruction in the capital of the Republic.
In this critical situation, President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev made a decision to force the aggressor to peace, and units of the Russian 58th Army entered South Ossetia. Within two days Tskhinval was completely relieved, and Georgian troops were forced out of the Republic and defeated.
South Ossetia will never forget the heroism of the defenders of the homeland and the Russian soldiers who saved the population of the Republic from extermination at the cost of many victims. For the fourth year the memory of the victims of those tragic events has been commemorated by mourning events. They will also be held today.