Units of the Russia’s 58th army, which managed to reach outskirts of Tskhinvali and launched preparation for the peace enforcement operation, an aide to the Russian land forces said.
Igor Konashenkov said that the mission was to suppress firing positions, including with use of air forces, in the zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping troops in the region.
Interfax quoted him as saying that tank, artillery, motorized and reconnaissance units of the Russia’s 58th army were deployed in the region.
He also said that the Russian convoy managed to reach Tskhinvali despite Georgian forces’ attempts to stop their advance.
Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, however, said the Russian troops and military hardware was in Java failing to advance further towards Tskhinvali. It was reported that the bridge at the Gupta village on the road linking Java with the breakaway region’s capital was destroyed.
Meanwhile the Russian Defense Ministry said that three more of its soldiers, serving in the peacekeeping forces, were killed as a result of overnight fighting, bringing to 15 the total number killed.
Meanwhile, in New York the UN Security Council session – the second in last couple of days - has again failed on the wording of the statement on situation in breakaway South Ossetia.
Belgium’s UN ambassador Jan Grauls, who is the Council president this month, told that some members requested for more time for consideration and added that discusses would be resumed next day.
And Russia’s UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, accused Georgia of “ethnic cleansing.” “How else can we call it when hospitals are being destroyed, schools, residential areas, when scores of thousands of refugees are leaving the republic?” he said.
Georgia’s UN ambassador, Irakli Alasania, Russia was using that groundless allegation as “a pretext to justify its military aggression against Georgia.”