Meanwhile, In The Caucusus…
Ceasefire in South Ossetia Ends
One rather disturbing quote from the article:
Interfax quoted the president of North Ossetia, a Russian area bordering South Ossetia, *as saying hundreds of volunteers were heading to join the fight “and we can’t stop them.” *As many as 1,000 volunteers from Abkhazia, another Georgian breakaway region with close ties to Russia, planned to go to South Ossetia, Interfax quoted Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh as saying.
And from Stratfor:
According to Stratfor sources in the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali, Georgian security forces are about to storm the city after the brief cease-fire between South Ossetia and Georgia was broken Aug. 7.
Thus far we know that Georgia has only moved its Joint Peacekeeping Forces (JPKF) — which are interior troops — and the military’s 5th Battalion to the front lines with South Ossetia. There are contradictory rumors with the South Ossetian officials saying that Georgian tanks are on the border near the capital but sources within the city saying that thus far just the JPKF are at least bombarding, if not storming, Tskhinvali.
The South Ossetians have been saying for the past hour that Russian tanks are crossing the border through North Ossetia, through the two-lane Roki Tunnel, though it will take them at least three hours to get from the border to the conflict zone and the tunnel will be a key chokepoint. Moreover, the Russians could respond with combat aircraft and helicopter gunships, but the Russians do not work best at night and it is currently just past 4 a.m. in the country, leaving the next few hours for the Russians to either get their tanks to the point of conflict or prepare their air operations.