12 Years Since Russia-Georgia War

This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war when the Russian Federation invaded the country and occupied two Georgian regions, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, so-called South Ossetia. 

August 7, 2008, is one of the most tragic dates in the modern history of Georgia. The war lasted for five days (7–12 August).

It has been 12 years since Russian tanks rolled through the Roki tunnel in an invasion that brought Russian forces 40 kilometers from Georgia’s capital. Today, 20% of Georgian territory remains invaded.

228 civilians, 170 military officers and 14 police officers lost their lives in the war, while 1747 people were wounded. Almost 150 thousand people were forced to leave their homes, 30,000 of which still remain as IDPs. Five soldiers also went missing. 

Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia (Georgia’s breakaway region) and "South Ossetia" on 26 August 2008. On August 28, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. In response, the Georgian government severed diplomatic relations with Russia. Russia only partially fulfilled its obligations defined by the 6-point ceasefire agreement, and its forces remained in the village of Perevi until October 18, 2010. 

On October 23, 2008, the Georgian government passed the Law on Occupied Territories, giving the areas the status of occupied territories of Georgia by Russia. 

Two Georgian regions, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, remain occupied by Russia up to now and Russia continues discrimination and violence against ethnic Georgians, restrictions on the right of education in the native language, the right to property and even the right to life. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees are still prevented from returning to their homes.

By Ana Dumbadze 

Image: Georgian soldiers in August 2008 War

07 August 2020 12:15