UPDATE: Russian Army Dig In Outside Tbilisi (hat tip Michael)
RUSSIA'S WAR ON GEORGIA AIMED AT THE WEST Vladimir Sokor Eurasia Daily
16:00 Russian military are exploding barracks and other installations of the Senaki military base.
13:00 Russian Troops start movement towards Sachkhere and Borjomi.
11:00 Russian Troops Blocked Road near Kaspi Again.
19:30 More bridges mined by Russian Military in Kaspi district
Russian soldiers are mining two local bridges in Kaspi district.
16:30 Supsa oil terminal approached by Russian armored vehicle
One Russian armored vehicle approaches the Supsa oil terminal on the Black Sea coast.
14:05 Russians are mining roads in Svaneti
Russian troops are mining the road and bridges south of Mestia, Svaneti region.
13:25 Russian military helicopters land in Senaki
Eight Russian military helicopters have landed at the Senaki military base
Forced Labor in South Ossetia (hat tip Michael)
"Labor even turns monkeys into humans," said a Russian officer, who along with armed Ossetians escorted one group of about two dozen Georgians through the streets of the capital.
The Russian officer threatened to arrest an Associated Press photographer if he took pictures, and would not give his name.
It appeared to be the first sign of abuse of Georgians in the Russian-controlled province.
Russian armored vehicles move in Orjosani, between the capital Tbilisi and strategic town of Gori, Georgia, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a truce with Georgia on Saturday, a definitive step toward ending the fighting there despite the uncertainty on the ground reflected by Russian soldiers digging in just 30 miles from the Georgian capital. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
IGOETI, Georgia (AP) - Russian forces built ramparts around tanks and posted sentries on a hill in central Georgia on Saturday, digging in despite Western pressure for Moscow to withdraw its forces under a cease-fire deal signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The United States and France said it appeared Russia was defying the truce already. Russian troops still controlled two Georgian cities and the key east-west highway between them Saturday, cities well outside the breakaway provinces where earlier fighting was focused.
UPDATE: In this week’s issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD Dan Blumenthal and Christopher Griffin warn that Russia’s invasion of Georgia could have devastating effects on Taiwan. The Chinese are wary of democratic, pro-American Taiwan, just as the Russians are concerned with democratic, pro-American Georgia. The slow American response to the Georgian situation might encourage the Chinese to act aggressively and follow in Putin’s footsteps.
UPDATE: Estonia, Google Help 'Cyberlocked' Georgia (Updated)
UPDATE: Click below for INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING UPDATE (hat tip Michael)
INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING UPDATE
AUGUST 2008 UPDATE
Independent Tank Battalion HQ Gori
Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion HQ Kobuleti -
1st Infantry Brigade HQ Gori
2nd Infantry Brigade HQ Senaki
3rd Infantry Brigade HQ Kutaisi
4th Infantry Brigade HQ Vaziani
5th Infantry Brigade HQ Khelvachauri (not fully operational)
with around 150 older light armoured Vehicles
Infantry weapons included some 800 Mortars, 150 SA-7 grail MANPAD Systems, several thousand RPG Anti-tank Rocket Launchers and a small number of Anti-tank missile systems. Reasonably well equipped with modern small arms -
The 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades along with the Independent Tank Battalion and most of the front line artillery units are no longer combat capable. There have been very significant losses in weapons, ammunition stocks and damage done to the military infrastructure -
Artillery Brigade HQ Gori
Artillery Regiment HQ Gori
Artillery Regiment HQ Khoni
Equipment included around 150 towed 122mm & 152mm Artillery; 90 assorted self-propelled 122mm, 152mm & 203mm Artillery and 200 Mobile 122mm Multiple Rocket Launchers -
Independent Air Defence Battalion HQ Kutaisi
Equipment included around 100 towed/static AA Artillery and some SAM including SA13 Gopher mobile missile systems -
Significant quantities of new offensive military equipment; large stocks of ammunition and spare parts for a protracted campaign have been acquired since 2004 when preparations for a major military operation against South Ossetia, Georgia and were working closely with the Georgian Armed Forces. Since the signing of the 1999 GUAM agreement, Georgia has been the recipient of extensive US military aid. Barely a few months ago, in early May 2008, the Russian Ministry of Defence accused Washington, "claiming that [US as well as NATO and Israeli] military assistance to Georgia is destabilizing the region." The Russian Defense Ministry said there were plans to deliver to Georgia 145 armored vehicles, 262 guns and mortars, 14 combat aircraft including four Mirazh-2000 destroyers, 25 combat helicopters, 15 American Black Hawk aircraft, six surface-to-air missile systems and other arms." (Interfax News Agency, Moscow) US troops and civilian contractors, who he said were stationed in the area around Tblisi" (AFP, 9 August 2008).
In fact, US-NATO military presence in Georgia is on a larger scale to that acknowledged in official statements. The number of NATO personnel in Georgia, [text missing] Tblisi announced the opening of a second military base at Gori which would also "comply with NATO regulations in terms of military requirements as well as social conditions." (Ria Novosti, 26 May 2006). The Gori base has been used to train Georgian troops dispatched to fight under US command in the Iraq war theater.
It is worth noting that under a March 31, 2006, agreement between Tblisi and Moscow, Russia's two Soviet-era military bases in Georgia - Akhalkalaki and Batumi [text missing]
[Text missing] Israel, from the Czech Republic – six MLRS RM-70.
What is more, from Ukraine and the Czech Republic, Georgia has bought 86 T-72 tanks, 52 infantry combat vehicles BMP-2 and 30 armoured carriers BTR-80, as well as self-propelled howitzers 2S3 "Akacia". A part of the tanks is modernized to level SIM1, i.e. is provided with navigation receivers, connection systems and termovisors to detect the target in complete darkness. Over 400 recently bought trucks KrAZ and Japanese pick-ups Toyota Hilux supply Bulgaria and licensed in the times of the Soviet Union. -
Ukrainian Defense Ministry confirms weapons supplies Georgia The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has confirmed statements by the South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoyty that Ukraine supplied weapons to Georgia. Commenting on the issue, the Moscow-based Nezavisimaya Gazeta reminds its readers about an article that was published on the Russian Defense Ministry's website in May. The article titled "On Foreign Military Aid to Georgia" unveils how many and what types of weapons Georgia received from Ukraine.
Mikhail Pogrebisnky, the head of the Center for Political Studies and Conflictology in Kyiv, remarks in this connection that there is common international practice to refrain from arms supplies to regions fraught with potential military conflicts. In the analyst's opinion, Ukraine sends weapons to Georgia in order to create problems for US.
A subsidiary of BAE Systems Ltd, will supply anti-tank weapons to the Georgian army. The weapons that will be supplied is Bill 2 ATGW, the NLAW light anti-tank weapon and the anti-tank artilly shells, Bonus and Excalibur. The anti tank weapons are to delivered to the Georgian army during the 4th quarter 2008. The commander of the Georgian Land Forces, LTC Alexander Osepaishvili, says that "the new anti-tank weapons will significantly increase the capabilities of the Georgian army. The new weapons are for self defence only and are not to be regarded as offensive".
An obstacle has been that the weapons are developed and produced in Sweden by BAE Systems AB Bofors and Saab Systems AB, but by supplying the anti-tank weapons through BAE Inc in the US, the Swedish government approves to the sales. -
Offensive military training with large numbers of armoured vehicles, artillery and ground attack aircraft has been carried out regularly since June 2005. -
Several Battalions of Special Operations Forces have received significant training and large supplies of modern military equipment from the [text missing] -
22 Su-25KM; 13 Su-25UB; 11 L-39 and 2 L-29 Ground Attack aircraft -
(Unconfirmed presence of 5 Su-17, 4 Su-24, 12 MiG-25, 18 MiG-21 and numerous Su-25 airframes at the TAM Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing (Tbilaviamsheni" former Soviet GAZ-31 factory), though at least one MiG-21UM was in flying condition. However this facility which produces the upgraded Su-25 Ground Attack fighter with technical support from Israel was heavily bombed on several occasions during the conflict and significant damage resulted) -
3 Operational Combat Helicopter Squadrons operate: 1 Mi-35 "Hind" ; 19 Mi-24-P "Hind" and 21 Mi-24-V "Hind" Attack helicopters Other units operate: 18 Mil Mi-14 ; 16 Mi-8 "Hip"; 6 Bell-212; 40 UH-1H and 2 Mil Mi-2 Transport helicopters (many of which have now been armed) -
Main Military Air Bases Vaziani MAB (2-3 kilometers from Tbilisi), International Kopitnari AB (several kilometers from Kutaisi) -
Air Defence Missile Units included around 10 old SA2 Guideline static, 38 SA3 Goa static, 40 SA4 Ganef mobile and SA5 Gammon static missile systems. Air Defence Artillery Units included 35 ZSU-23-4,15 C-60 and 40 MT-LB with towed ZU-23 Some rather more modern Western missile systems are reportedly now available. -
NAVY OF GEORGIA Mobilized - around 900 Officers and Men 7 ex-French La Combattante II Fast Patrol Boats armed with 2 OTO-Melara 76 mm/L62 guns, modified anti-aircraft guns, and Exocet missiles 11-13 P 269 Lindos Fast Patrol Boats armed with 2 C802 anti-ship missile batteries and AK-630M guns (Most vessels have been destroyed) -
NATIONAL GUARD OF GEORGIA (Mobilized - around 25,000 Officers and Men)
Chief Researcher - AFI Research
David McKenzie - Consultants - AFI Research
Richard M Bennett Giorgi Robakidze