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Georgia suffered under Soviet rule from the early 1920s to the declaration of independence in April of 1991. Even before independence, Georgia engaged in conflict, as the Georgian region of South Ossetia engaged in a breakaway war, which has flared up over the past two decades. Several Civil Wars and Army rebellions have plagued Georgia since 1989 (While still a part of the Soviet Union). In August, 2008, the South Ossetia issue again flared into warfare, though this time, Georgia's old ruler, Russia, intervened and the war is now (as of August 9, 2008) escalating rapidly.

Below is a list of wars and conflicts involving the nation of Georgia.

Georgian-South Ossetian War (1989-1992)

Military Coup d'etat (December 21, 1991 - January 6, 1992)--Zviad Gamsakhurdia is overthrown and goes into exile. Violence kills 113 people.

Abkahzia-Georgia War (1992-1993)

Georgian Civil War [Gamsakhurdia Rebellion] (1992-1993)--Former President Zviad Gamsakhurdia seizes control of his native Samegrelo province, which is just south of Abkahzia, and attempts to overthrow President Eduard Shevardnadze. In desperation, Shevardnadze requests aid from Russia, which supplies weapons, logistical aid, and troops to help the Georgian government defeat Gamsakhurdia.

Abkhaz-Georgian Border Conflict (May, 1998)

Georgian Military (Senaki) Revolt (October, 1998)

Russian Bombing of Pankisi Gorge in Georgia—(September, 2002)-- Russian warplanes bombed the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia, which borders on Chechnya. Russia claimed that Chechen rebels used the Gorge as a staging area for attacks on Russian forces in Chechnya. Georgia protested the attacks.

Rose Revolution (2003)--Nonviolent overthrow of President Eduard Shevardnadze after he won re-election in elections believed by many to be fraudulent and unfree.

Georgian-South Ossetian Border Clash (July-August, 2004)--16 Georgian and several dozen South Ossetian troops died in border fighting.

Iraq War (Georgian involvement 2005-Present)--Georgian troops are a part of the U.S.-led Multinational Force in Iraq. As of August, 2008, five Georgian troops have died in Iraq, and 15 wounded.

Assassination Attempt on U.S. President George W. Bush (May 10, 2005)--A live grenade was thrown at the American and Georgian presidents at a speech in front of a large audience of cheering Georgians. No one was injured.

Kodori Gorge Crisis (July, 2006)--Georgian security forces reasserted government control over the Kodori Gorge region from a local warlord.

Georgian-Russian Tensions (2007)

2007 alleged violations of Georgian air space by Russia
Helicopter attack incident (March 11, 2007)--Georgia claimed Russian helicopters launched an attack on the Georgian town of Chkhalta, which is home to the Georgian-backed Abkhaz government-in-exile. Russia denied any attack.

Missile incident (August 7, 2007) --Georgia claimed that Russian forces fired a missile on August 7, 2007, at the Georgian town of Tsitelubani, which is close to breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russia denied any missile attack.

Plane downing incident (August 21, 2007)-- Georgia claims to have shot down a plane that violated its airspace. Russia denied losing a plane, but the breakaway region of Abkhazia said that it lost a plane.

Georgian-South Ossetian Border Clashes (June-July, 2008)

June 14 & 15--Mortar fire and gunfire between Georgian and South Ossetian forces. One killed, four wounded.

July 3 & 4--Shelling and gunfire between Georgian and South Ossetian forces reported.

July 7-Georgia reports that its forces prevented a group of South Ossetian militiamen from planting explosives along a bridge by opening fire on them. South Ossetian forces captured several Georgian troops and then released them after Georgia threatened to rescue them.

July 9--Russian military jets flew into Georgian airspace through South Ossetia on July 9, 2008 and then returned to Russia. The next day, the Russian authorities confirmed the flight and said that it was because of the July 7 incident.

July 15--Both the U.S. and Russia began separate military exercises in the Caucasus region.

July 19--Georgia claimed that a Georgian police post was attacked by Abkhaz militias and that a battalion of Russian troops had moved into the lower Kodori Gorge. Abkhazia and Russia denied these charges.

July 29--South Ossetia claimed two South Ossetian villages came under fire by Georgian forces. This was supposedly in response to South Ossetia reinforcing its positions on the border. Georgia claimed that Georgian outposts on the Sarabuki heights were attacked by South Ossetian forces, though they reported no casualties.

August 1 to August 7--Heavy Georgian-South Ossetian border clashes begin on August 1, with Six Ossetians reportedly killed and 21 injured in the first two days. Gun battles, shelling, and clashes occurred daily, with Georgia admitting the loss of an armored personnel carrier (APC) in the fighting. The Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, declared a unilateral cease-fire the morning of August 7. Within a day, Georgian forces broke the cease-fire, launching a major offensive against South Ossetia with the declared aim of "restore constitutional order in the whole region."

This sequence of violence between Georgia and South Ossetia from June to August, 2008, led to the Second Georgian-South Ossetian War, which, with Russian military intervention, is now also a Georgian-Russian War.


Second Georgian-South Ossetian War (August, 2008)

Georgia-Russia War (August, 2008)

Links and Sources:

Russia on Its Mind, Georgia Flexes Its Muscle in Iraq- New York Times , Oct. 9, 2007

Georgia to double troops in Iraq --BBC News, March 9, 2007

Please cite this source when appropriate:

Lee, R. "Georgian Military Wars and Conflicts"


Copyright 1998-2011 Roger A. Lee; Last Modified: 02.12.11

"The History Guy" is a Registered Trademark.

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