The Georgian shelling of its breakaway region of South Ossetia has been labelled by Russia as an “open act of aggression”. The claim came after the full mobilisation of South Ossetian separatist forces, a move criticised by a Georgian defence official.
Batu Kutelia, Georgia’s Deputy Defence Minister said: “This is absolutely counterproductive and this will escalate the situation on the ground. Any move of additional heavy military equipment into the conflict zone will be considered as a serious provocation and it will be adequately reacted to, not only from our side but from the international community.”
Georgia is determined to restore its authority in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, where separatists have retained close links with Russia. South Ossetian officials say Georgian shelling last night killed at least two people and wounded 11 others. Tblisi claims its troops were reacting to separatist attacks on villages in Georgian territory.