Georgia-Russia Conflict Timeline (includes South Ossetia and Abkhazia)

A timeline of the Georgia-Russia Conflict

Compiled by Alexis Crow


26 August 2008 – Russian President Medvedev formally recognizes the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and accuses Georgian President Saakashvili of using ‘genocide to solve his political problems.’

22 August 2008 – Russia promises a 'partial' withdrawal of troops by the end of the day, but claims some “peacekeepers” will be left inside Georgia. US General Craddock calls the move 'far too little, far too slow'.

21 August 2008 – Thousands protest in Abkhazia, pleading Russia to recognise its own independence.

21 August 2008 – In response to statement by NATO, Russia suspends its military co-operation arrangements with Russia until further notice.

20—21 August 2008 – As Russia pushes its own proposal forward, the UN Security Council remains deadlocked over the conflict; Western powers demand Russia to step up its troop withdrawal from Georgia.

20 August 2008 – US and EU countries reprimand Russia for failing to adhere to the EU-brokered ceasefire agreement.

19 August 2008 – NATO freezes its partnership with Russia, and declares normal relations with Russia to be impossible. Statement issued by NAC (North Atlantic Council) emphasizes concern over Georgia´s territorial integrity and the humanitarian situation.

19 August 2008 – Medvedev tells Sarkozy that—contrary to the EU ceasefire—Russian troops will remain in a buffer zone inside Georgia proper on the border with South Ossetia, and the remainder of troops will go back to South Ossetia and to Russia.

17 August 2008 – Medvedev tells President Nicolas Sarkozy in a telephone conversation that Russian troops will begin to withdraw from Georgia on Monday 18th of August.

16 August 2008 – President Medvedev signs six-point EU-brokered ceasefire, which includes a promise to withdraw troops to pre-conflict positions.

11 August 2008 – French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner visits recent bombardments in Gori, approximately 50km outside of Tbilisi. Kouchner and French President Sarkozy expected to travel to Moscow on the evening of 11 August.

11 August 2008 – As 2,000 Georgian troops prepare to leave Iraq and return home, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticize the US for facilitating the move of troops ‘practically to the conflict zone.’

11 August 2008 – Russia has stationed more than 9,000 paratroopers in Abkhazia, thus exceeding the limit of 3,000 from the 1994 peace agreement. It continues to move more troops and armour across the border; there are reports that the movement also includes T-72 tanks and Hurricane rocket launchers.

11 August – European Commission calls on Russia to ‘stop immediately all military activity on Georgian territory.’

11 August 2008 – Russia delivers an ultimatum to Georgia: that it must disarm 1,500 troops in Zugdidi, near Abkhazia, which Georgia rejects.

11 August 2008 – Kouchner arrives in Georgia in the hope of brining about an armistice between Russia and Georgia, while the two sides continue fighting.

11 August 2008 – Russia moves troops and armour into Abkhazia.

10 August 2008 – Georgia reports to have offered Russia a peace deal, saying it would withdraw its troops from South Ossetia. Russia denied any cessation of armed conflict by the Georgians, and demanded an unconditional withdrawal from South Ossetia.

10 August 2008 – Georgia reports death of 130 Georgian civilians and 1,165 injuries. Russia rejects the claim that it has hit civilians.

10 August 2008 – US President George W. Bush declares Russia’s troop build-up to be a ‘disproportionate response’; UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband denounces Russia’s bombing of targets ‘well beyond’ South Ossetia.

10 August 2008 – Reports of bombs dropped outside of Tbilisi, near a military airport.

10 August 2008 – Russian diplomat reports death count of 2,000 in South Ossetia; the numbers have not been verified.

9 August 2008 – Georgia claims to have shot down two Russian warplanes.

9 August 2008 – Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba claims Abkhaz forces have embarked upon an operation to drive Georgian forces out of the hotly-disputed Kodori gorge.

8 August 2008 – President Saakashvili declares a ‘state of war.’

8 August 2008 – Both South Ossetia and Georgia lay claim to the disputed territory during intense shelling of Tskhinvali by both sides. Georgia accuses Russia of provoking ‘undeclared war.’ Russia warns Georgia that its ‘aggression’ will not go ‘unpunished.’

7 August 2008 – Georgia claims South Ossetia igniting a ‘war’; Russia calls the situation ‘extremely dangerous.

1 August 2008 – Explosion in South Ossetia; Georgia reports injury of two policemen.

22 July 2008 – UN Security Council holds a special closed session regarding reports of the flight of Russian jets over South Ossetia; no unanimous decisions are made.

29-30 July 2008 – South Ossetia accuses Georgia of shelling villages outside of Tskhinvali. Georgia asserts that South Ossetians directed fire towards its monitoring group.

10 July 2008 – In a press conference with President Saakashvili, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for an end to violence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

3-4 July 2008 – Explosions in South Ossetia prompt Russia to accuse Georgia of military intervention and to condemn its ‘aggression’.

30 June-2 July 2008 – Blasts in Sukhumi market and Russian peacekeepers’ checkpoint on Georgian-Abkhaz border. Russia blames Georgian special forces for the incidents.

17 June 2008 – Four Russian peacekeepers detained in Abkhazia for allegedly transporting illegal ammunition; Russian Defence Ministry demands their return.

14-15 June 2008 – Reports of an ‘intensive’ exchange of fire outskirts of Tskhinvali between Georgian and South Ossetian troops.

6-7 June 2008 – Saakshivili and Medvedev meet, but agree that they cannot resolve ‘all of their problems’; Georgia declares the two sides must meet for a longer discussion.

5 June 2008 – EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana declares EU’s will to ‘try to assist all sides in lowering the temperature’ in Abkhazia.

June 2008 – Abkhazia breaks all ties with Georgian government

31 May 2008 – Russia deploys 300 ‘unarmed’ soldiers to Abkhazia, claiming they are required for railway repair works. Georgia indicts Russia in planning a military intervention.

26 May 2008 – UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) confirms Georgian UAV shot down by Russian jet in Abkhazia on 20 April; Russian Foreign Minister claims video has ‘serious inconsistencies’.

15 May 2008 – Reports of Russian warning of troop increases in South Ossetia.

15 May 2008 – Russian defence chief Yuri Baluyevsky urges NATO to help stop the ‘military build-up’ in Georgia, and names the US, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria the top providers of military resources to Georgia.

9 May 2008 – Reports that Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze maintains that war between Georgia and Russia could break out ‘tonight, tomorrow, anytime.’

5 May 2008 – Georgian news agency reports of the construction of a new Russian military base for peacekeepers in Abkhazia.

4 May 2008 – Separatist forces in Abkhazia declare they have shot down two Georgian UAVs, bringing the total to four since March. Georgia claims the flight of drones is its ‘sovereign right’, and any aggression against them would be seen as a ‘blatant violation of sovereignty’.

2 May 2008 – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expresses Washington’s concern over rise in troop levels in Abkhazia.

30 April 2008 – NATO points to Russia’s role in ‘raising tensions’, stating that its troop deployment ‘undermines’ Georgia’s ‘territorial integrity’.

25 April 2008 – Russian Foreign Ministry claims Georgia is potentially planning a military intervention in Abkhazia.

25 April 2008 – Russia vows to use ‘all’ its resources to protect Russian citizens in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

25 April 2008 – Russia tells Tbilisi not to rely on NATO to resolve conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

April 2008 – Tbilisi accuses Moscow of mapping out ‘de facto annexation’ of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after Russia formalizes ties with both territories.

April 2008—At NATO Bucharest Summit, members postpone decision on Georgian membership until December.

March 2008 – Georgia’s request to join NATO provokes Russian parliament to push for complete independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

February-March 2008 – Kosovo declares independence, triggering South Ossetia’s push for recognition of independence by the international community.


October 2007 – OSCE talks on South Ossetia collapse.

August 2007 – Georgia claims Russia intruded its airspace twice; rebuffed by Moscow.

June 2007 – South Ossetia asserts Tskhinvali shelled by Georgian mortar and sniper fire; claim rejected by Tbilisi.

April 2007 – Tense relations between Georgia and Russia as Georgian parliament elects to create a provisional government in South Ossetia.

November 2006 – South Ossetia formalises break from Tbilisi in a referendum. Georgian foreign minister accuses Russia of provoking a potential war in its support of South Ossetia.

September 2006 – Tensions flare when Georgian helicopter carrying Defence Minister Okruashvili is shelled in South Ossetia.

July 2006 – Georgian parliament insists on the departure of Russian peacekeepers from South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and requests international troops in their place.

July 2006 – Official opening of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.

January 2006 – Blasts on Russian side of border with Georgia cuts gas and electricity. President Saakashvili implicates Russia in the disruption of supplies.

May 2005 – Shooting in South Ossetia results in death of Georgian policeman and four South Ossetians.

January 2005 – Georgian President Saakashvili offers a plan for eventual autonomy of South Ossetia, who rejects it in favour of complete independence. Saakshivili presents same proposal for Abkhazia, on the condition of right of return of Georgian refugees from 1993 conflict.

October 2004 – Presidential elections in Abkhazia not recognized by Tbilisi. Electoral tension in Abkhazia between presumed winner Sergei Bagapsh and allegedly Moscow-backed Raul Khadzhimba.

January 2004 – Mikhail Saakashvili elected president of Georgia.

November 2003 – Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze ousted in bloodless putsch, dubbed the ‘Rose Revolution’.

May 2003 – Work begun on the BTC pipeline.

2002 – South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity requests Moscow’s recognition of autonomy of South Ossetia, and its eventual anschluss to Russia.

March 2001 – Georgia and Abkhazia sign a peace deal not to use armed force against one another.

May 1998 – Fighting erupts between Abkhazians and Georgians in Gali in Abkhazia, resulting in displacement of 40,000 Georgians from Abkhazia.

November 1996 – Election of first South Ossetian president.

1994 – Ceasefire between Abkhazia and Georgia, allowing for the deployment of up to 3,000 Russian peacekeeping troops. UN-led mediation with Russia designated ‘special role’ as a ‘facilitator’ of the peace process.

July 1992 – Abkhazia declares independence from Georgia, resulting in intense fighting through 1994, mass displacement of people, and eventual Georgian military defeat.

June 1992 – Officials from Georgia, Russia, and South Ossetia meet in Sochi for a peace deal, which includes the formation of a peacekeeping force of 500 troops from each of three parties.

December 1990 – Renewed fighting between Georgia and South Ossetia until 1992.

November 1989 – South Ossetia declares ‘autonomy’ from Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, resulting in three months of armed conflict.



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