08TBILISI2413, GEORGIA: RUSSIAN FORCES RE-ENTER PEREVI

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. #08TBILISI2413.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI2413 2008-12-17 15:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO8570
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2413 3521506
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 171506Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0588
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4746
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2226
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 002413 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/17/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: RUSSIAN FORCES RE-ENTER PEREVI 
 
REF: TBILISI 02111 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary and Comment.  Russian forces once again 
control the checkpoint at Perevi.  After dismantling the 
checkpoint and withdrawing on December 11, Russian spetsnaz 
forces returned on December 13 after Georgian Ministry of 
Internal Police (MOIA) police, and later MOIA special forces, 
moved in to man the checkpoint. The arrival of these special 
forces, whom the Russians claimed they believed to be 
military or considered essentially military, in numbers far 
greater than the Russians found acceptable, is what the 
Russians claim brought them back.  However, the Georgians 
claimed that they notified the Russians directly, as well as 
the EUMM, of the exact composition of their forces going back 
into Perevi well in advance.  The OSCE reported that they 
were also involved in ongoing negotiations to facilitate a 
Russian withdrawal and Georgian return, prior to the initial 
Russian departure.  Therefore, the arrival of MOIA special 
forces should not have been a surprise to the Russians.  The 
Russian reaction seems to be a well planned demonstration of 
their power and a message to the Georgians that the Russians 
are in control. Access to Perevi by international 
organizations is again restricted, and a delegation of EU 
ambassadors was denied access on December 13.  End Summary 
and Comment. 
 
2. (C) On December 11, Russian forces began dismantling the 
Perevi checkpoint and left Perevi that evening.  At the time, 
Russian commanders seemed open to OSCE-brokered discussions 
with the Georgian Interior Ministry about handing over 
control of the checkpoint.  According to the OSCE, Georgian 
and Russian forces agreed before the Russian withdrawal that 
Georgian Interior Ministry criminal police, in small numbers, 
would re-enter Perevi after the Russians left.  According to 
Speaker of Parliament David Bakradze, the Georgians notified 
the Russians and the EUMM well in advance of the exact 
composition of their forces going into Perevi after the 
initial withdrawal.  The first Georgian forces to arrive in 
Perevi on December 12 were indeed criminal police, but early 
on December 13, an additional 50-60 Interior Ministry special 
forces arrived in unmarked vehicles, for an estimated total 
of 90-100 Georgian police.  Russian forces claimed to the 
OSCE that the Georgians had sent in 500 troops, including 
military forces.  The Russians then sent their own forces 
back into Perevi.  They did not, however, return with the 
same soldiers that were there previously; instead they sent 
in the spetsnaz. 
 
3. (C) The OSCE noted that all the Georgian forces were in 
fact from the Interior Ministry, not the military, but 
commented that the unmarked vehicles and weapons could have 
made it difficult to make the distinction.  Estimates vary on 
the number of Russian troops now in Perevi; one OSCE report 
mentioned 100; the EUMM reported 300, including paratroopers; 
and the press cited an Interior Ministry figure of 500.  For 
several hours during the day on December 13, Georgian and 
Russian forces each had a presence in Perevi, within a few 
hundred yards of each other.  Georgian forces eventually 
withdrew, so that by the evening of December 13, the location 
of the two sides was essentially the same as it had been 
before the Russian withdrawal (although the number of forces 
may have changed): Russian forces staffed a checkpoint just 
south of the village of Perevi, and Georgian forces were in a 
Qsouth of the village of Perevi, and Georgian forces were in a 
checkpoint south of that. 
 
4. (C) EUMM and OSCE report that access to Perevi is again 
restricted; neither has been able to pass the Russian 
checkpoint since it was re-established, and international 
organizations will again apparently need to clear any visits 
to Perevi in advance.  A delegation of EU ambassadors, led by 
French Ambassador Eric Fournier, was refused access to Perevi 
on December 13.  The press reported that on the evening of 
December 14, 50 Russian tanks entered the area, however, OSCE 
could not confirm this report and was skeptical of it.  Press 
reports also indicate that villagers, primarily women and 
children, left the village, but the EUMM reports that a local 
teacher said on December 15 that the situation in the village 
was calm and school was in session.  However, UNHCR did enter 
Perevi on December 16 and recorded that between December 13 
and 16, a total of 57 families, out of a population of 
approximately 300 families, had left the village, reportedly 
due to a general felling of insecurity.  They also noted that 
the number of children attending school had decreased from 
130 persons last week to 100 persons this week. 
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: