11 August 2008
800 Georgian troops arrive home as others surrender to Russia
The Novosti news agency has reported that the Americans have so far returned 800 Georgian troops to their homeland along with their vehicles and equipment. The airlift involved eight transport aircraft and flew directly into Georgia.
They have arrived just in time to replace the large numbers of Georgian troops who are either dead, like the one pictured on the left, or who are surrendering to the Russian forces in South Ossetia, after having been left surrounded by Moscow's lightening advance. Amongst the prisoners are many men that the Russians have called "mercenaries". Most of these 3,000 or so troops are from the rest of Eastern Europe and are commanded by the up to 1,000 American military advisers who are also in Georgia. The Americans are not allowed to take part in the fighting, so it does not look as if any of them have been captured. That said it will be interesting to see what those foreign troops have to say once the Russians put them on TV - which they surely will.