Georgia PM calls Russia ‘aggressor’ on anniversary of war over breakaway region

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili branded Russia an “aggressor” Tuesday as he marked 15 years since the two countries fought a war over a breakaway region.

Russia sent thousands of troops into Georgia on August 8, 2008 after Tbilisi launched a large-scale military operation against South Ossetian separatists who had been shelling Georgian villages in the region.

“We have known for a long time that Russia was an aggressor, we know that and the whole world knows that,” Garibashvili told reporters.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Garibashvili’s government has been criticized by the opposition for having pro-Russian leanings.

Russia routed Georgia’s small army in 2008, occupying large swathes of territory over five days before a ceasefire was mediated by the then French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who authorized the military action in 2008, defended Moscow’s actions in a statement marking the anniversary.

“Our armed forces quickly and harshly punished the arrogant nationalists in five days,” he said on social media.

He also criticized the West for supporting the then Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, drawing parallels with the West’s backing for Kyiv during Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“As in August 2008, our enemies will be crushed, and Russia will achieve peace on its own terms,” he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday that Kyiv stood in solidarity with Tbilisi, and that Russia would “pay the most” for its aggression.

“Ukrainians stand in solidarity with the people of Georgia, and I thank all Georgian citizens who are defending freedom with us,” he said.

Hundreds of soldiers and civilians from both sides were killed during the 2008 war. The United Nations said around 120,000 people were displaced, though many returned to their homes afterwards.

Read more:

Georgian ambassador says he will leave Ukraine under Zelenskyy’s order

Leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan say lasting peace possible despite differences

Iceland becomes first European country to suspend embassy operations in Russia

Top Content Trending