Georgia: President slams Russia for South Ossetian and Abkhazian separation

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated on Tuesday that Russia attempted to split Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Georgia decades before the South Ossetian conflict, while speaking at a round table meeting with Lithuanian, Polish, Latvian and other leaders in Tbilisi. Margvelashvili said that the areas were “occupied a lot earlier, in about 1992-1993” and added that the “The background of... Еще these decisions [of Russia] differ from the speculations used by Russian propaganda, which try to connect what happened in 2008 to NATO or the European Union. These decisions were fuelled by Georgia’s attempt to become a sovereign and independent country, by Georgia’s decision to rule its own destiny.» The meeting came on the tenth anniversary of the South Ossetian conflict, which started on the night of August 7, 2008, as Georgia launched an intensive air campaign against the South Ossetian town of Tskhinvali. The attack left casualties among Russian peacekeepers and Ossetian militia defending the territory captured by Georgian forces. In response, Russia deployed units of the Russian 58th Army and Russian airborne troops, and four days of fighting ensued, leaving up to 1,000 civilians dead with the heaviest fighting taking place in Tskhinvali. The five-day conflict came to an end August 12, 2008 when both sides agreed to a preliminary ceasefire.

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