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2008 Russo-Georgian War Recap: August 13

Nine years have passed since the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008. Civil.ge 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 13:

  • Around 02:00 a Russian military helicopter fires a rocket at a group of hospital staff members in a Gori hospital yard, killing one physician. The attack takes place despite the ceasefire agreement and the fact that the roof of the hospital building is marked with a red cross.
     
  • Georgia states that ethnic cleansing campaign has been launched against the Georgian villages in the warzone.
     
  • By 09:20 additional Russian troops with armor enter Gori city.
     
  • Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish leaders call for a stronger Western support to Georgia in the face of the Russian aggression at a joint press conference in Tbilisi.
     
  • At 16:10 Russian troops start to move eastward from Gori along the main highway.
     
  • Georgian authorities register 23 000 displaced persons from Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and nearby areas as of the evening of August 13. They are placed in 210 buildings, including schools and kindergartens.
     
  • U.S. President George W. Bush makes a statement, saying he is receiving reports that Russia’s actions are inconsistent with the ceasefire and Moscow’s statements that it is not trying to change the government of Georgia. “We are concerned about reports that Russian units have taken up positions on the east side of the city of Gori, which allows them to block the East-West highway, divide the country and threaten the capital Tbilisi,” says Bush. In response, the U.S. President announces a humanitarian operation in Georgia to be conducted by the American military: “I have also directed Secretary of Defense Bob Gates to begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia headed by the United States military. This mission will be vigorous and ongoing. A U.S. C-17 aircraft with humanitarian supplies is on its way. And in the days ahead we will use U.S. aircraft, as well as naval forces, to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies. We expect Russia to honor its commitment to let in all forms of humanitarian assistance. We expect Russia to ensure that all lines of communication and transport, including sea ports, airports, roads and air space remain open for delivery of humanitarian assistance and for civilian transit.”

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