08TBILISI906, UNOMIG REPORT CONCLUDES RUSSIAN JET SHOT DOWN

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #08TBILISI906.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI906 2008-05-30 13:50 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7222
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0906 1511350
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301350Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9528
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 000906 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT. FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: UNOMIG REPORT CONCLUDES RUSSIAN JET SHOT DOWN 
GEORGIAN UAV 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 675 
     B. 07 TBILISI 674 
     C. 07 TBILISI 2062 
 
1.  Summary:  On May 26, the United Nations Observer Mission 
to Georgia (UNOMIG) released the results of its international 
fact finding team investigation into the April 20 downing of 
a Georgian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Abkhazia (ref 
A).  The report concluded that a Russian military jet, either 
a MIG-29 "Fulcrum" or a SU-27 "Flanker", shot down the 
Georgian UAV.  The report underscored that third party (in 
this case, Russian) enforcement of the separation of forces 
and ceasefire regime is "fundamentally inconsistent" with the 
1994 Moscow Ceasefire Agreement, and noted that the incident 
took place very close to an international airway when 
civilian aircraft were flying.  The report also concluded 
that flights of Georgian UAVs over the zone of conflict also 
constituted a breach of the Moscow Agreement.  The Georgian 
government reacted swiftly to the report, summoning the 
Russian Ambassador to Georgia to the Foreign Ministry on May 
27 and presenting him with a list of demands including an 
official apology, compensation for the lost UAV, and the 
reinstatement of economic and military sanctions on Abkhazia 
(reported septel).  End Summary. 
 
The Team 
-------- 
2.  On May 26, UNOMIG released the results of its 
international fact finding team investigation into the April 
20 downing of a Georgian UAV over Abkhazia.  The team 
consisted of military radar specialists, fighter pilots and 
video and satellite imagery experts from several European 
countries.  Neither the Abkhaz nor the Georgian side 
participated in the investigation, but the Georgian side 
cooperated fully, providing unfettered access to its video 
and radar data, which the report concluded to be authentic. 
The team based its conclusions on extensive video and radar 
analysis supported by eyewitness accounts from local 
residents and CIS peacekeepers. 
 
The Conclusion: a Russian jet did it 
------------------------------------ 
3.   Based on the evidence presented, the report concluded 
that either a MiG-29 "Fulcrum" or a SU-27 "Flanker" jet shot 
down the Georgian UAV.  According to the radar data, the jet 
flew south to intercept the UAV, shot it down with a short 
range AA-11 Archer air-to-air missile, and then proceeded 
north toward Krasnodar into Russian airspace.  Absent 
compelling evidence to the contrary, the report states, "this 
leads to the conclusion that the aircraft belonged to the 
Russian air force."  The report also noted that the incident 
took place "very close to, or even inside" an international 
airway at a time when civilian aircraft were flying.  The 
report could not confirm whether the Russian jet took off 
from the Russian military base in Gudauta.  The report 
underscored that the enforcement of the separation of forces 
and ceasefire regime by a third party, namely Russia, is 
"fundamentally inconsistent" with the 1994 Moscow Ceasefire 
Agreement and undercuts the ceasefire regime.  Georgian UAV 
flights over the conflict zone also constituted a breach of 
the Moscow Agreement, the report concluded, because such 
military intelligence gathering flights are "bound to be" 
interpreted by the Abkhaz as a precursor to military action. 
 
Comment 
------- 
4.  Unlike previous international investigations into 
suspected Russian incursions over Georgian territory, 
including a March 2007 attack on Georgian government 
buildings in the Upper Kodori Gorge and an August 2007 
missile incident near the Georgian village of Tsitelubani 
(refs B & C), the May 26 UNOMIG report explicitly names 
Russia as the responsible party.  The Kodori and Tsitelubani 
investigations both provided compelling evidence of direct 
Russian involvement, yet their final reports did not name 
Russia.  This is the first time the UN has actively indicated 
Russian involvement, perhaps because the fact finding team 
did not have to compromise its conclusions in response to 
Abkhaz or CIS PKF objections that have watered down previous 
reports. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: