Republic of Georgia Update

Cyberattacks on Georgian Internet and continued fighting within the country. News below the fold. Meantime, here’s a map:

Hackers, perhaps affiliated with a well-known Russian criminal network, have attacked and hijacked Web sites belonging to Georgia, the former Soviet republic now in the fourth day of war with Russia, a security researcher claimed on Sunday.

Some Georgian government and commercial sites are unavailable, while others may have been hijacked, said Jart Armin, a researcher who tracks the notorious Russian Business Network (RBN), a malware and criminal hosting network.

“Many of Georgia’s Internet servers were under external control from late Thursday,” Armin said early Saturday …


Russia and Georgia have accused each other of launching new attacks, as diplomats press for a ceasefire in the conflict over South Ossetia.

Georgia said dozens of Russian bombers attacked targets inside its territory, including around Tbilisi and Gori.

Russia said Georgian attacks on the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali killed three of its troops.

Georgia’s president backed a draft EU ceasefire proposal for a ceasefire, but Moscow reportedly rejected the plan.

The Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, … spoke out, criticising the US for transporting Georgian troops from Iraq to redeploy to the conflict at home.

Earlier, Mr Medvedev accused Georgia of “genocide” in South Ossetia but said Russian troops were now in control of Tskhinvali and Moscow’s military push was “largely complete”.

The latest reports of violence came despite Georgia saying on Sunday that it would observe a ceasefire. Moscow has insisted Georgian forces withdraw fully from South Ossetia before it halts operations.

From Tbilisi, Georgia said up to 50 Russian fighter jets attacked targets inside Georgia overnight, with targets including a missile base and a radar station.

Georgia said the town of Gori, close to the South Ossetian border and used as a jumping-off point for Georgia’s push into South Ossetia, also came under overnight attack.

Elsewhere in Georgia, tensions were rising in Abkhazia, another region within Georgia with secessionist ambitions. … a Russian general issued an ultimatum to Georgian forces to pull out of Abkhazia’s Kodori Gorge or Russia would send in its troops. Earlier, reports in Moscow said 9,000 Russian troops were being deployed to Abkhazia.



  1. #1 JanieBelle
    August 11, 2008

    Any word yet from your daughter’s mom?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    August 11, 2008

    The word is that they are fine but better to not release details of people’s movements. But I’m sure everything will work out. Thanks for asking!

  3. #3 Alex Besogonov
    August 11, 2008

    Attacks on Georgian media are quite ironic since Georgian ISPs cut off ALL .ru domains (at the DNS level) and banned a lot of .com sites by IP.

  4. #4 student_b
    August 11, 2008

    No Alex, it isn’t ironic.

    Georgian officials stupidly censors .ru domains in Georgia.

    Russian hackers (RBN are criminals by most standards) attacked and hijacked Georgian sites which now can’t be reached around the world.

    Somehow I think there’s a difference…

  5. #5 Epicanis
    August 11, 2008

    I’ve gotten the impression that South Ossetia’s separatists have been supported by Russia for some time, possibly out of spite against Georgia for separating from Russia. Is this accurate?

  6. #6 Alex Besogonov
    August 11, 2008


    Partly. The whole situation is vastly more complex. Ossetians historically do not like Georgians. And Georgians do not like pretty much all their neighbors.

  7. #7 John McKay
    August 11, 2008

    The ironies abound.

    The official excuse for the Russian invasion is that they need to prevent the Georgians from doing to the Ossetians the same thing that the Russians did to the Chechens.

    There are confused reports of Russian tanks in or near Gori. That makes Putin and his avatar Medvedev the new lords of Stalin’s home town. Maybe they can erect a statue of Putin next to Stalin.

  8. #8 Markus
    August 11, 2008

    From what I can tell, the Georgian military left Gori on their own (rather than stay and fight). The city, according to eye witness accounts from Reuters reporters there, is currently deserted.

    Smells like tactical move by Georgia. By leaving this carrot dangling in front of the Russians they can attempt to claim that Russians have already “taken it”, even if they haven’t, and use that claim to get world’s compassion, at least until the situation can be confirmed tomorrow (their time). In the meantime, they are busy doing conferences with world leaders.

  9. #9 HenryS
    August 11, 2008

    No matter what started the conflict, it is obvious that the Russians (=Soviets=Red Army)are going for a Regime change in this only democratic pro-West country that was under the bondage of Russians for 2 centuries, and is now a prosperous model of democracy in the region. Once again an ally of USA relied on the promised support of Washington, and tried to extend liberal values, only to be left alone to fight it out with the hegemone of the region. If Georgia goes the way Russians want, soon the entire region will be back to Stalin era, and a new not-so-Cold War, in which pussyfooting Washington will be a loser.

  10. #10 Andrew
    August 11, 2008

    a prosperous model of democracy in the region.

    ???? Things have improved lately after virtual ruin during a couple of decades under the one Georgian version of democracy. But this is not a prosperous country. ????

  11. #11 Ben Abbott
    August 11, 2008

    HenryS commented: No matter what started the conflict, it is obvious that the Russians (=Soviets=Red Army)are going for a Regime change in this only democratic pro-West country that was under the bondage of Russians for 2 centuries, and is now a prosperous model of democracy in the region.

    What an ironic response. As surprising as it might be, Georgia is, by military force, rejecting the democratic vote in Ossetia and Russia in defending it.

    It does not appear to me that Georgia is particularly “prosperous” or cares much for the principle of “democracy” … keep in mind, I’m not a fan of Russia, but in this instance they appear to positioned on higher ground.

  12. #12 DDeden
    August 13, 2008

    As I said elsewhere, I think it’s just the Bear getting some exercise and saying howdy to Iran.

  13. #13 Arrr
    August 13, 2008

    If western countries have admitted the independence of albanians, why do they object to the independence of S. Osetia and Abkhazia? (The absolute majority of people there are the Russian citizens). Isn’t it a politics of double standards?

  14. #14 Greg Laden
    August 13, 2008

    The Ossetitans are not ethnic russians. They are Ossetians. The majority of people living in South Ossetia are Ossetians who have over the last few years obtained Russian passports in order to thumb their noses at the Georgians and as a means of escape should the Georgians move on them. Ossetians hate Russians, and have been hating them for longer than the Georgians hated them.

  15. #15 Arrr (Russian)
    August 13, 2008

    Who told you that Ossetians hate Russians?) We don’t even hate Georgians! Is all about their stupid government. You consider that Ossetians are the “semi-citizens of Russia”, may be, but this fact doesn’t change anything. According to the constitution of Russia we must protect our citizens, no matter where they are.

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    August 13, 2008

    I have not said that Ossetians are semi-citizens of Russia. I believe that Ossetians are Ossetians and that the ‘citizenship’ bit is all about what is happening now, escape.

    Arr: You are a Russian, yes? Or at least you commment from deep within Russia. You do not know that the Ossetians hate you? This is because they live very far from you.

    I hope I’m wrong and that all the Russian and Caucasian tribes fall in love with each other and foster world peace. Seriously.

  17. #17 JanieBelle
    August 13, 2008

    Please keep us updated on your daughter’s mom, Greg, even if it’s just, “we heard from her today and she’s fine”.

  18. #18 Amanda
    August 13, 2008

    She is now at home safe and sound. We’re all very happy about that.