The Battle of Kodori Valley was a military operation in the Upper Kodori Valley, during the 2008 South Ossetia war, the only part of Abkhazia, which remained under Georgian control after the War in Abkhazia from 1992 to 1993. Hostilities started, during the 2008 South Ossetia war, the Abkhazian military launched an operation to remove the remaining Georgian troops from the disputed gorge. The Georgian side denied an all-out Abkhazian attack and said, they were ready to stop any attacks. On August 9, 2008, the Abkhazian Air Force began a sortie against Georgian positions, while Abkhazian ground forces moved to invest the valley.
Abkhazian and Russian army mobilization
Russia also sent a naval squadron to blockade Georgia's Black Sea coast. According to the Georgian government, 6,000 Russian troops rolled into South Ossetia from the neighbouring Russian province of North Ossetia and 4,000 more landed in Abkhazia. According to the commander of Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia, Alexander Novitsky, Russia has boosted its forces in Abkhazia and now deploys more than 9,000 paratroopers and 350 armoured vehicles.
Ultimatum to Georgia
The president of Abkhazia, Sergei Bagapsh, gave Georgia a deadline for removing its troops from the Upper Kodori Gorge, a part of the region controlled by Georgia.
Abkhaz warplanes and artillery continued to pound Georgian positions for a second day in a row. The president of Abkhazia said, that "around 1,000 special Abkhaz troops" were involved in operations against Georgian forces. "They were attacking Georgian positions using warplanes, multiple rocket launchers and artillery. The operation will enter the next phase as planned and you will learn about that", he said, adding "that he would create a humanitarian corridor", allowing residents in the district to flee.
A report from Interfax cited the Abkhaz defense headquarters as saying Abkhaz troops had launched an operation on August 12, 2008, to push Georgian forces out of the northern part of the Kodori Gorge. A Georgian government report said, Abkhaz infantry and armor had begun attacking Georgian defense. Abkhazia's president said "Russian troops were not involved in the operation."
Sergei Bagapsh, the president of Abkhazia, said Abkhaz forces had taken the villages of Azhara and Chkhalta and were advancing to the Georgian border. He said, Abkhazia controls most of the Upper Kodori Gorge. A group of 250 Abkhaz soldiers was reported to have clashed with Georgian forces in the gorge at the edge of Abkhazia.
Georgia's Deputy Interior Minister Eka Zhguladze said "Georgian troops had withdrawn from the Kodori Gorge as a gesture of goodwill."
Casualties and damage
Before the war the around 2000 people lived in the upper Kodori Valley, most of which fled during the Georgian retreat. The Abkhazian authorities have appealed for the refugees to return, but by late March 2009 only 130 people continued to live in the upper Kodori Valley.
According to visitors to Azhara, military posts had been damaged and shops looted, but houses were almost unharmed.
Operations outside Kodori Gorge
Russian troops moved into undisputed Georgian territory from Abkhazia. Russian forces launched a raid on the town of Senaki to stop Georgia from attacking Russian forces in South Ossetia.
The Assistant Commander of Russian forces Alexander Novitsky claimed, that, during a reconnaissance mission the Russian Air Force shot down two Georgian helicopters at the Senaki airbase. The helicopters were purportedly identified as a MI-8 and a MI-24, belonging to the Georgian Air Force.
According to the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Abkhaz moved the border of their state in direction to the Inguri river. The troops occupied two villages near Zugdidi, 13 villages in the region of Tsalenjikha and the surrounding area of the water power station near the Inguri river. The Ministry said, that it was hard to estimate, how far the military actions had gone.
- Russian Forces capture Military Base in Georgia
- Abchasen räumen Minen und suchen versprengte georgische Truppen im Kodori-Tal
- Russian troops raid Georgian town, scores dead[dead link]
- Abkhazia launches operation to force Georgian troops out
- Abkhazian Forces Push out Georgian Troops, August 9, 2008
- Russian news agencies report sunken Georgian ship, August 10, 2008, Sunday
- Russia boosts forces in Abkhazia to 9,000, August 11, 2008, Monday
- Обращение Президента Республики Абхазии к согражданам, August 10, 2008, Sunday
- Georgia Pulls Out of Ossetia as Second Front Opens, August 10, 2008, Monday
- Abkhazia: Moscow sends troops into second enclave, August 11, 2008, Monday
- "Report: Abkhaz troops pushing Georgians from gorge". International Herald Tribune. August 12, 2008. Archived from the original on August 13, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080813170953/http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/08/12/europe/EU-Georgia-Abkhazia.php. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- "Russia ups pressure on Georgia, diplomats push for ceasefire". The Earth Times. August 12, 2008. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/225093,russia-ups-pressure-on-georgia-diplomats-push-for-ceasefire.html. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- "French pres set to arrive in Russia as conflict widens in Georgia". Hurriyet. August 12, 2008. http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/home/9640090.asp?gid=244&sz=23317. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- "Abkhazia says it controls most of Kodori Valley". Monsters and Critics. August 12, 2008. http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/home/9640090.asp?gid=244&sz=23317. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- "Russians Bomb Georgian City". Sky News. August 12, 2008. http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Georgia-Russia-War-Civilians-Killed-And-Wounded-As-Bombers-Attack-Georgian-City-Of-Gori/Article/200808215075784?lpos=World%2BNews_1&lid=ARTICLE_15075784_Georgia-Russia%2BWar%253A%2BCivilians%2BKilled%2BAnd%2BWounded%2BAs%2BBombers%2BAttack%2BGeorgian%2BCity%2BOf%2BGori. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- "Georgia Pulls Out of Abkhazia as France Seeks Russia Cease-Fire". Bloomberg. August 12, 2008. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601100&sid=aa3Ha2pG8bIE&refer=germany. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- Choladze, Irma; Natia Kuprashvili (January 22, 2009). "Kodori Gorge Refugees in Limbo". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. http://www.iwpr.net/?p=crs&s=f&o=349387&apc_state=henicrs200901. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- "Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1808 (2008), 1839 (2008) and 1866 (2009)". United Nations Security Council. May 18, 2009. pp. 7. http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N09/333/74/PDF/N0933374.pdf?OpenElement. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- Kuprashvili, Natia (August 7, 2009). "Kodori Refugees Only Dream of Returning". Georgia War Anniversary. Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Archived from the original on September 4, 2009. http://web.archive.org/web/20090904101641/http://www.iwpr.net/?p=crs&s=f&o=355017&apc_state=henpcrs. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- Russians advance in west Georgia, August 11, 2008, Monday
- "Российские военные уничтожили два грузинских вертолета - миротворцы" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. Archived from the original on August 12, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080812183653/http://rian.ru/osetia/20080811/150287090.html. Retrieved August 11, 2008.
- Georgia says Abkhazia separatists seize villages, August 16, 2008, Sunday
- Abkhaz separatists strike disputed Georgia Gorge
- President: Georgia defeats Abkhazia's attacks on Kodori Gorge
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