The prelude to the conflict began with violent clashes on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 with both sides claiming having been fired upon by the other. The Georgian interior ministry indicated Georgian forces had returned fire only after South Ossetian positions shelled Georgian-controlled villages and accused the South Ossetian side of "trying to create an illusion of serious escalation, an illusion of war." South Ossetia denied provoking the conflict.
On 4 August 2008, five battalions of the Russian 58th Army (approx. 5.500 men) were moved to the vicinity of the Roki Tunnel that links South Ossetia with North Ossetia.
On 7 August, Georgian and Ossetian forces agreed on a ceasefire.
In the first hours of 8 August 2008, a massive attack by Georgian troops, armour and airforce commenced on South Ossetian-controlled territory, plus repeated artillery shelling of the capital, Tskhinvali, with multiple rocket launchers. On the same day, twelve Russian peacekeepers were killed and nearly 150 injured.
At least one former Georgian government official has testified that Georgia started the war with the approval of the United States government. Erosi Kitsmarishvili, Georgia's former ambassador to Moscow and a confidant of President Mikheil Saakashvili, testified to the Parliament of Georgia that Georgian officials told him in April 2008 that they planned to start a war in Abkhazia, one of two breakaway regions at issue in the war, and had received a green light from the United States government to do so. He said the Georgian government later decided to start the war in South Ossetia, the other region, and continue into Abkhazia.
Other articles related to "2008 war, 2008, war":
... On August 8, 2008, the same day as the 2008 Olympic Games officially commenced, Georgian armed forces moved forward to take control of Tskhinvali ... an extraordinary session for August 25, 2008 to discuss recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia ...
... of serious escalation, an illusion of war." In addition, the commander of the Georgian peacekeeping unit, General Kurashvili, accused the Russian peacekeepers of participating in the shelling of the Georgian ... However, in the first hours of 8 August 2008, Georgia launched a massive attack ... Though it was widely claimed by Georgian Authorities that the war was started by Russians, the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia led by Heidi ...
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“The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.”
—Thomas Jefferson (17431826)