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8 Aug, 2020 17:12

Georgian actions amounted to declaration of war on Russia – former President Medvedev has no regrets about 2008 conflict

Georgian actions amounted to declaration of war on Russia – former President Medvedev has no regrets about 2008 conflict

Russia had to intervene to protect people in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008, when Georgia shelled civilians and "peacekeepers," former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said, calling the move a 'difficult decision."

At the time, Georgia was led by Mikhail Saakashvili, who later fled to Ukraine and remains wanted on criminal charges back home. Medvedev called the behavior of Saakashvili “criminal,” and criticized the “scoundrels” who ordered troops to open fire on the houses of civilians and Russian “peacekeepers.”

“I made a difficult, but the only possible decision – to stand in defense of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” he wrote on social media network VKontakte, reflecting on the events of 12 years ago.

“Firstly, to protect them from aggression, and then, at the request of their citizens, recognizing their complete independence.” Otherwise the region would have turned into a “powder keg,” he explained.

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On the night of August 8, 2008, Georgian forces started shelling the breakaway region of South Ossetia where Russian peacekeepers were stationed. In response, the Russian military entered the area.

Meanwhile, another breakaway region of Abkhazia announced a mobilization, fearing the renewal of fighting with Georgia. After five days, Medvedev announced that the operation had been completed.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia at the end of the month following the requests of the two regions which had been in conflict with Tbilisi since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most of the world still considers them to be part of Georgia. 

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