GEORGIA: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS AUG. 10
August 10, 2008
Updates will be made as more information becomes available. All times are local Georgian time and listed by most recent event first.
10:32 p.m.: Russian navy ships fire on and sink a Georgian missile boat after the Georgian boats make two attempts to attack the Russian vessels, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman tells Interfax.
9:46 p.m.: French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit Moscow the week of Aug. 10, Reuters reports, citing the Kremlin press service. Plans for the visit reportedly were made during Sarkozy's second Aug. 10 conversation with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Sarkozy's office cannot confirm the visit.
9:28 p.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tells U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili "must go," Reuters reports, citing a statement the U.S. envoy to the United Nations made to the U.N. Security Council.
9:23 p.m.: The Russian Defense Ministry denies reports of a bombing hitting the Georgia's Tbilisi International Airport.
9:03 p.m.: Russia's U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin says Russia is "ready to put an end to the war," and make peace with Georgia, The Associated Press reports. Churkin accuses the U.N. secretary-general's office of siding with Georgia. B. Lynne Pascoe, U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, tells the U.N. Security Council that Georgia is prepared to start immediate talks with Russia.
8:32 p.m.: French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner travels to Tbilisi on an EU mediation effort to try to end the conflict in South Ossetia, Reuters reports. Kouchner, whose country is the current EU president, is set to meet with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili before traveling to Moscow on Aug. 11 to talk with Russian leaders.
8:18 p.m.: Reuters reports that Georgia's Tbilisi International Airport was also hit by a Russian airstrike, about 200 yards away from a runway.
7:48 p.m.: A Georgian statement says President Mikhail Saakashvili has ordered a cease-fire and notified Russia of his willingness to immediately start negotiations on a truce, Agence France-Presse reports. Saakashvili called the cease-fire at 5 a.m. local time, and a note offering talks was delivered to a Russian diplomat in Tbilisi, the statement says. It adds that Georgian troops in the Tskhinvali area of South Ossetia have ceased fire and that all troops have pulled out of the conflict zone. An unnamed Russian Foreign Ministry official tells Interfax that such a note was received, but that Georgian forces have not stopped firing.
7:44 p.m.: A Russian military official says there are no hostilities in Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia, Interfax reports.
7:33 p.m.: About 15 loud explosions are heard near South Ossetia's capital of Tskhinvali, Reuters reports.
7:18 p.m.: Russia bombs a military airport on the outskirts of Tbilisi, Georgia, Interfax reports, citing the Georgian Interior Ministry.
6:53 p.m.: The United States plans to present a U.N. security council resolution condemning Russia's military action against Georgia as "unacceptable to the international community," Reuters reports, citing a spokesman for the U.S. delegation at the United Nations.
5:00 p.m.: Sergei Bagapsh, president of Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia, has declared martial law in parts of the province, Interfax reports. Martial law is in place in the Gali, Tkvarcheli, Ochamchira and Gulripsha districts, and part of the Sukhumi district for 10 days as of midnight Aug. 10. Abkhazia also declares a partial military mobilization.
4:55 p.m.: Georgian forces are not leaving South Ossetia, only regrouping, Interfax reports, citing an unnamed Georgian minister.
3:36 p.m.: The Black Sea Fleet is interacting with Russian troops in South Ossetia, but no offensive steps have been taken, Interfax reports, citing the Russian General Staff.
3:18 p.m.: Russian troops do not plan to go beyond South Ossetia's borders, Interfax reports, citing the Russian General Staff.
2:40 p.m.: Only two Russian planes have been lost in Georgia, not 12 as some reports have maintained, the Russian General Staff announces.
2:26 p.m.: Ukraine's Foreign Ministry in a Web site statement says it might block Russian navy vessels from returning to their base in Crimea, in Ukrainian territory, until the conflict in Georgia is resolved. The statement says Ukraine would bar the Russian ships, which have been deployed to Georgia's coast, in order to prevent Ukraine from being drawn into the conflict.
2:20 p.m.: The evacuation of civilians from the district center of Zugdidi near the border with Abkhazia has begun, Georgian media reports.
1:09 p.m.: The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic will decide on how to handle oil exports through Georgia on Aug. 11, Interfax reports.
12:53 p.m.: Georgian troops will be pushed out of the Kodori Gorge, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh says.
12:44 p.m.: Abkhazia "utterly rejects" dialogue with Georgia, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh says.
12:38 p.m.: Abkhazia has introduced troops into the safety area in Gali district near Abkhazia in a bid to restore order in the peacekeeping forces' responsibility zone in Abkhazia and in Georgia's Zugdidi district, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh says.
12:35 p.m.: Georgia announces that Russian troops have entered Tskhinvali.
12:09 p.m.: Abkhazia's Security Council has backed "increased combat alert mobilization," Interfax reports.
11:27 a.m.: The Russian Black Sea Fleet is blockading Georgia, Interfax reports, citing a fleet source.
11:22 a.m.: Diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia have been maintained, Interfax reports, citing Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.
11:04 a.m.: Abkhazia will provide humanitarian aid to Georgian refugees, Interfax reports.
11:01 a.m.: The Georgian city of Gori is being evacuated, Georgian media outlets report.
10:38 a.m.: A general mobilization may be declared in Abkhazia in several hours after an 11 a.m. meeting to discuss the proposal of general mobilization, Interfax reports.
10:38 a.m.: Georgia did not take its armed forces out of South Ossetia despite Georgian statements to the contrary, the assistant to the head of the Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia said, Interfax reports.
10:35 a.m.: Inhabitants of Georgian villages near the boundary with Abkhazia are entering the Abkhazian region of Galskiy en masse, Interfax reports, citing eyewitnesses reports.
10:25 a.m.: Following incessant airstrikes from the Russian aircraft that continued almost all night, the Georgian armed forces have relocated to new positions, Georgian National Security Council Secretary Alexander Lomaia says. He adds that Tskhinvali has been practically effaced from the face of the earth as a result of the airstrikes.
10:18 a.m.: The Russian Black Sea Fleet has strengthened peacekeepers on the Abkhazian coast near Sukhumi at the request of the peacekeepers after Georgian warships reportedly tried to enter Abkhazian waters, Interfax reports, citing a deputy of the Abkhazian president.
10:09 a.m.: U.N. observers have left the Kodori Gorge, Abkhazian media reports.
10:02 a.m.: Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has sent his foreign minister, Vladimir Orgyzko, to Tbilisi for consultations with the government of Georgia, the Ukrainian press service reports.
10:02 a.m.: The Russian Defense Ministry has advanced two conditions for a cease-fire in South Ossetia -- one, that Tbilisi remove all of its troops from the zone of conflict, and two, immediately sign an agreement about the non-applicability of force with South Ossetia -- Interfax reports.
10 a.m.: Georgian forces have withdrawn from the separatist enclave of South Ossetia and Russian troops are now in control of the regional capital, Tskhinvali, the British Broadcasting Corp. reports, citing a spokesman from the Georgian Interior Ministry.
* 9:26 a.m.: The Georgian city of Zugdidi, located on the border of the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia and Georgia proper, is being prepared for evacuation, Interfax reports. One of the city's residents says Zugdidi is full of police cars equipped with loudspeakers, and announcements are being made to the population to evacuate.
* 8:39 a.m.: The Abkhaz army begins advancing into the safety zone in the Galskiy region on the border with Georgia, according to Interfax.
* 8:35 a.m.: Georgian troops are not leaving the upper part of Kodori Gorge, and military operations in this region are continuing, Interfax reports.
* 8:30 a.m.: The planned evacuation of civilians from South Ossetia has been postponed due to safety concerns and is planned for noon local time Aug. 10, Interfax reports. Maj. Gen. Marat Kulakhmetov, commander of the mixed peacekeeping forces, says he negotiated with representatives from Georgia and "we agreed to terms about the evacuation of the injured from the conflict zone."
* 8:23: Interfax reports that the Russian commander of the mixed peacekeeping forces in Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone, Maj. Gen. Marat Kulakhmetov, says that the situation in the area is tense overall and that "both sides are actively preparing for another round of combat."
* 8:01 a.m.: Russian aircraft are once again bombing the Kodori Gorge in Georgia, according to Georgian media. The village of Azhara in the gorge's upper portion reportedly has been targeted.
* 7:40 a.m.: About 30 injured Russian soldiers were taken from South Ossetia overnight, Interfax reported Aug. 10. The hospital administration said the soldiers' injuries were not major.
* 7:02 a.m.: The bodies of numerous Georgian soldiers are in the streets of Tskhinvali, the capital of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia, Interfax reeports, citing comments from South Ossetian government representative Irina Gagloeva. Gagloeva says she cannot confirm how many Georgian soldiers were dead and that six incapacitated Georgian tanks are in the city streets.
* 6:51 a.m.: Calm has settled over Tskhinvali, the capital of the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia, Interfax reports. Irina Gagloeva, an official representative of South Ossetia's government, says there is relative calm after an "intensive skirmish and artillery barrage in the heights above Tskhinvali" and that only short bursts of automatic gunfire are being heard.
* 6:40 a.m.: Interfax reports that fighting continued the entire night around Tskhinvali. South Ossetia's Committee for Information and Media reported that Georgian forces continued "bombardment of the city and a number of other populated areas of South Ossetia" and that the city was nearly destroyed.
* 6:18 a.m.: Citing Georgian media, Interfax reports that Russian forces have bombed the Tbilaviastrov factory in Tbilisi, Georgia, which refurbishes Su-25 fighter jets used by the Georgian military.
* 4:40 a.m.: Haaretz reports that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has recommended a complete cessation of the sale of arms and security-related equipment to Georgia in light of the situation in South Ossetia. The ministry recommends that the issue be re-examined after the fighting ceases and the situation stabilizes, but the Defense Ministry will make a final decision in the coming days.
* 3:59 a.m.: The Georgian government asks the U.S. government to airlift approximately 2,000 Georgian soldiers from Iraq so they can defend their homeland, according to ABC News.
* 1:41 a.m.: Xinhua reports that Russia plans to send warships to the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia. An unidentified U.S. State Department official reportedly said the United States has "been notified that Russia has plans to move elements of its Black Sea fleet to Abkhazia, to Ochamchira, ostensibly to protect their civilians . . . a couple of cruisers, or large-scale naval vessels."