09 August 2008, 23:51
Georgian tanks and infantry invade Tskhinvali
The infantry of Georgia has entered the capital of South Ossetia, and several Georgian tanks have broken through the defence line and also entered Tskhinvali. South Ossetian fighters show resistance to the invasion. The city is shelled.
A spokesman from the Ministry of Defence of South Ossetia has informed the ITAR-TASS that South Ossetian regiments managed to destroy three tanks.
According to the RIA "Novosti", which quotes Igor Alborov, Deputy Minister of Defence and Emergencies of South Ossetia, South Ossetian militaries have damaged more than ten Georgian tanks during their attack on Tskhinvali suburbs.
Currently, Georgian tanks are also getting ready to attack the city from the southeast of Tskhinvali. The units of the 58th Russian Army take part in defending Tskhinvali and fighting for the villages located near the Transcaucasian Highway. Peacekeepers hold defence on one of the heights.
One of the eyewitnesses of the events, former commander of armed forces of South Ossetia Oleg Teziev said that Georgian special fighters who managed to break through to the northern suburb of Tskhinvali were throwing grenades into cellars of the military settlement, where children and women were hiding.
"Children are sending SMS messages begging for help. They report that cellars are flooded by water from the damaged water line, and Georgian special fighters throw grenades in," said Mr Teziev.
The State Committee of South Ossetia for Information and Press reports that right now the dwelling districts of Tskhinvali are extremely toughly and intensely shelled from howitzers, mortars, artillery, infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and tanks, with the use of "Grad" salvo fire installations; the fire comes from Georgian villages. The bombardment is made in volleys, the intervals between them is less than a minute.
The city is in a catastrophic situation; the survived peaceful residents sit in their cellars without water and cannot get out in fear of snipers' shots. Relatives of those who remain under wrecks are in shock, not knowing what to do.