Up to 30 Georgians, mainly servicemen were killed, as a result of heavy fights and air strikes carried out by the Russia warplanes on August 8, President Saakashvili said.
In a live televised address President Saakashvili said that the breakaway region’s capital Tskhinvali was the Georgian forces “full control,” as well as most of the areas of the entire region, except of the Java district.
“We stand firmly on our positions,” he said. “It was heavy and extremely difficult battle for each building. Our soldiers have shown huge heroism.”
Earlier on August 8, conflicting accounts of situation in Tskhinvali was reported. Both the Georgian and South Ossetian sides have claimed that they controlled most of the part of the breakaway region’s capital.
The secessionist authorities, however, said that their troops started forcing out the Georgian troops out of the city as a result of a counter-offensive. They have also claimed destroying four Georgian battle tanks.
Independent information from the ground is not available.
Shortly after the President Saakashvili’s address the Rustavi 2 TV reported that shootout was resumed in Tskhinvali.
Meanwhile, the South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity, has claimed that about 1,400 people mainly civilians have been killed since the heavy fire broke out in the region early this month.
And the Russian command of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces said that ten Russian peacekeepers were killed and about thirty wounded after their barracks were hit in Georgian shelling.
President Saakashvili reiterated in his televised address that Georgia faced the Russia’s military aggression, which was a challenge not only for Georgia, but for Europe as well.