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Russia Conducts Naval Blockade of Georgia

Posted August. 11, 2008 06:49,   


Russia has conducted a sea blockade of Georgia in the escalating armed conflict over the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia, global media reported yesterday.

Georgia withdrew its troops from South Ossetia, but Interfax said Russian warships blocked the sea routes to and from the former Soviet republic to prevent weapons from reaching the country.

Citing a statement issued by the Georgian government, AFP said Moscow dispatched Saturday an additional 6,000 troops and armored vehicles to South Ossetia, which is pro-Moscow. Another 4,000 Russian troops were sent to Abkhazia, another pro-Russia enclave on Georgia’s Black Sea coast.

Georgian officials said Russian bombers bombed a military airstrip near the international airport around the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and other areas.

The conflict has claimed more than 1,600 civilian lives and wounded more than 700 troops on both sides.

Georgia`s Security Council chief Alexander Lomaia said his government’s troops withdrew from South Ossetia to end the confrontation with Russia. He said Tbilisi asked U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to broker a peace deal.

Moscow rejected a truce proposal from Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili Saturday, demanding Georgia’s withdrawal from the region and promise not to use force again.