NewsWar Chronicle

Russo-Georgian War: August 9, 2008

Nine years have passed since the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008. uses its archives and other sources to provide a daily recap of the events of the war. We start on August 1, 2008, amid the final stage of pre-war escalation, and will continue up to the occupation of Akhalgori Municipality by the Russian troops on August 16.

August 9

  • After a series of Russian air bombings across the country, governmental buildings in Tbilisi begin to be evacuated
  • In the morning, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrives in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia to oversee Russia’s military action, says Georgia’s territorial integrity has suffered a “deadly blow.” 
  • At 09:25 Russian air force bombs Kopitnari Airport, near the western Georgian city of Kutaisi. 
  • Between 09:50-11:05 Russian jets bomb the city of Gori and nearby village Shavshvebi. 
  • Forces of the 76th Air Assault Division (based in Pskov) enter Georgia through the Roki Tunnel around 10:00. 
  • Forces of the 98th Airborne Division (based in Ivanovo) are sent towards Georgia in the early hours of 9 August.  Russian military leadership says it will also send the 45th Separate Reconnaissance Regiment (of the Airborne Forces) to the warzone. 
  • Around 11:00 a battalion of the Russian 693rd Motor Rifle Regiment enters Tskhinvali town from the north-west. 
  • The Russian-backed Sokhumi forces concentrate in the lower parts of Kodori Valley at 7:00. After 12:00 they launch attack against the Georgian forces in the Valley. They also demand from the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) to immediately leave the area. UNOMIG complies and leaves
  • In the afternoon, commander of the Russian 58th Army Lieutenant General Anatoly Khrulev decides to accompany the 1st Battalion of the 135th Motor Rifle Regiment, as it advances from the Galuanta heights to enter the south-western area of Tskhinvali town. In the outskirts of Tskhinvali the Russian column unexpectedly meets Georgian troops from the Reconnaissance Company of the 2nd Brigade. Very close quarter fighting ensues, with both sides suffering casualties. Khrulev himself is wounded and evacuated. The 135th Regiment’s 1st Battalion continues its advance. 
  • Between 13:40-14:40 Russian air force bombs Tbilisi-controlled villages in Kodori Valley. 
  • Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says that the Russian military forces in Georgia are “enforcing peace.” 
  • Georgian Parliament approves the presidential order on declaring a 15-day martial law. 
  • Around 15:30 the Russian 135th Regiment’s 1st Battalion reaches south-western area of Tskhinvali and encounters Georgian forces. The Russian column suffers casualties, loses a number of its armored vehicles and disperses.
  • Following the defeat of the 1st Battalion, Russian air force and artillery concentrate their attacks on the Georgian forces in Tskhinvali area, while various Russian Special Forces units, which had entered Tskhinvali town previously, also actively engage Georgian forces. 
  • Russian-backed Sokhumi leadership publicly announces attack on Kodori Valley. 
  • Russian naval blockade of the Georgian coast begins by 16:00. At 16:40 Russian navy blocks Moldovan ship “Lotus-1,” carrying wheat, from entering the Poti port. 
  • Between 16:05-18:35 Russian air force bombs Oni District in western Georgia. 
  • President Saakashvili addresses Russian President Medvedev, calls for immediate ceasefire. 
  • U.S. President George W. Bush calls for the return to the August 6 status quo in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. 
  • Around 22:00 forces from the 7th Air Assault Division (based in Novorossiysk) begin landing on Abkhazian coast from their amphibious vessels. 
  • OSCE Chair and Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb says that Russia is “a party in this conflict, not a mediator.” 
  • Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt says Russia “has not the right to invade other countries,” adds that accepting such precedent would have “devastating consequences.” 
  • Russian jets once again bomb Tbilisi-controlled villages in Kodori Valley at 22:20. 
  • By 22:30 Georgian forces retreat from Tskhinvali, spend the night south of the town. 
  • At 22:30, after evacuation of civilian population from the Georgian villages of Didi Liakhvi valley north of Tskhinvali, Georgian police and troops of the Georgian peacekeeping battalion begin to withdraw from Didi Liakhvi via Eredvi-Kheiti road, fully reaching Eredvi by 02:00. 
  • At 23:50 Russian air force bombs the town of Senaki in western Georgia. Overall, 28 sorties are conducted by the Russian jets on August 9, down from 63 on the previous day. The fall in intensity is apparently caused by the losses suffered by the Russian air force, which lost several of its planes to both Georgian air defense and friendly fire on August 8 and 9. 

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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