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11 August 2008
Russians advance into Georgia: Sanaki captured
In a surprise development, Russian troops have advanced out of Abkhazia and have captured the Georgian town of Sanaki. No mention has been made in the reports of Zugdidi falling, but since it is on the road to Sanaki, it is logical to suppose that it has been taken as well. In any event, if these reports are true, then Russian forces are today at least thirty miles inside Georgia on the Abkhazi front.

On the South Ossetia front, the Russians have not advanced from their overnight positions, and have not cut the main east-west highway, the capture of which would split Georgia in two.

This makes the Sanaki move all the more puzzling, since a drive out of S. Ossetia to capture the city of Gori, and then link up with the forces that have taken Sanaki would leave Russia in control of about a quarter of Georgian territory. However, as things stand, the Russian strategy of advancing our of Abkhazia and holding the line in S. Ossetia seems to be a bit of a puzzle.

Just what the Russian aim is may become clearer as the day goes on, but for the moment I am as bewildered as you are.

Update, 12.35pm: I am no longer bewildered: Sanaki just happens to be the home of Georgia's largest airbase, which the Russians have now occupied. They have also advanced out of South Ossetia and cut the main east-west highway.

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8 Comments:

Check out this map.

That existing oil pipeline looks very in line with Sanaki.

http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/transportation-network-in-the-caucasus-ecoregion

11 August 2008 at 16:55  

But news (from the defence breifing)also has it that Russia has gained total air superiority over Georgia in order to prevent any further attack by their bombers, thats a good thing.

Another one is that they have destroyed the Suchoi 25 factory producing israeli upgraded warplanes of russian origin.

Now Russia should go for the rest of their veapons of mass destruction from the jewish apartheid state a long with it´s mercenaires and THEN split the country in two...

11 August 2008 at 17:05  

From what I can see, Sanaki is a forward holding position, to isolate Poti.

The pipelines to Europe, therefore are held under Russian control.

Poti, is one half of the Georgian pipeline next to Europe.

Russia, doesn't yet have the Georgian Oil refineries, under their control, but they're only a little above that... and have the main line out of the oil refinery.

It's like a Y with the Poti/Sanaki line and the refinery, meeting in the main pathway to Europe.

That's my guess, and th Russian warships are just above Poti, in Abkhazian waters...

Do I win any prizes for that theory?

11 August 2008 at 17:07  

note.
Google earth has disabled Georgian maps, but as of right now, satellite views of the Oil refineries and ports are live. This is bizarre, and I hope only a technical glitch by Google.

Multimaps are operational for Georgia.

http://www.multimap.com/maps/?title=Poti%2C%20%2C%20Georgia&t=l&map=42.1509,41.6678|13|4&loc=GE:42.1509:41.6678:13#map=42.1509,41.6678|11|4&loc=GE:42.1509:41.6678:13

11 August 2008 at 17:29  

http://current.com/items/89183881_google_deletes_georgia_from_the_map

Google appears to have deleted Georgia,

This is amazing.

It's deleted 3 whole countries surround Georgia.

Talk about propaganda.

11 August 2008 at 17:35  

As I understand it, the only pipeline that doesn't pass through Russian territory is the one pictured on the map above my posting. It runs far to the south of the fighting and doesn't connect to Sanaki or the port at Poti.

11 August 2008 at 18:28  

Georgian leader says Russian troops blocking central highway

21:56 | 11/ 08/ 2008

Print version

TBILISI, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said on Monday that the Russian military has blocked a central highway linking east and west Georgia.

Russia troops entered the main part of Georgia's territory earlier on Monday, as Russia continued its peace enforcement operation to prevent further Georgian incursions into breakaway South Ossetia.

Saakashvili said in press briefing at the Georgian Security Council: "This evening they [Russian troops] managed to reach the central highway and cut off eastern Georgia from the country's west."

He compared the situation to 1921, when Soviet forces entered Georgia.

"We now face one of the greatest threats in the country's history, when we stand to lose our independence," he said.

Alexander Novitsky, a senior Russian peacekeeping official, said on Monday that Russian aircraft had destroyed two Georgian helicopters at the Senaki airbase in western Georgia, near the border with breakaway Abkhazia, during a reconnaissance and patrol mission. He identified the helicopters as an Mi-8 and an Mi-24.

11 August 2008 at 19:18  

According to one poster (see link below) on CiF (I don't know where his info is coming from), Russian forces are leaving Sanaki airfield, having immobilised Georgia's military capacities there. That's what they call preventative action. And it makes sense.

For a terrible article by Richard Holbrooke click here.

Happy birthday, by the way.

11 August 2008 at 21:47  

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