Talk:Russo-Georgian War/Archive 22

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Archive 21 Archive 22 Archive 23
Archive of old title move subpage

This subpage of the 2008 South Ossetia war talk page is to be used only to discuss proposed changes to the title of the 2008 South Ossetia war article. General discussions about improvements to the 2008 South Ossetia war article should be made at Talk:2008 South Ossetia war.

The overarching policy on naming is given at Wikipedia:Naming conventions.

Multiple previous discussions have taken place on the article's title. See the following:

This page has been created in order to try and bring discussion together. Feel free to state your position on the renaming by beginning a new line in the sections below with *Support or *Oppose, then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions. Feel free to add new sections for proposals not already covered.


General considerations

War, war or conflict

I.e. should the title contain the word "war" (lower case), "War" (upper case) or "conflict"?

"Georgia and Russia fought a brief war earlier this month over South Ossetia" Reuters --TheFEARgod (Ч) 13:57, 25 August 2008 (UTC) maybe someone should view the past discussions of 2006 Lebanon War. The exactly same discussion was going on there too.--TheFEARgod (Ч) 18:23, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment I would like to note there is only one editor who stated opposition to both Russia-Georgia War and Russia-Georgia conflict with those supporting one opposing the other. As such the main dispute does not seem to be how to describe the conflict as editors here and the media in general suggest it was Russia-Georgia, but whether to call it a war or a conflict.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:31, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Russian-Georgian --TheFEARgod (Ч) 15:39, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Honestly, it's Russia-Georgia. I think the individual who started this talk page simply wasn't thinking of the fact Russia-Georgia, not Russian-Georgian, is the most common usage.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 22:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
why, it's more logical. Like Spanish-American War not Spain-America War. Do you see the difference? --TheFEARgod (Ч) 13:38, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
what a trivial problem, I see now down the correct terms. We went offtopic here. --TheFEARgod (Ч) 13:41, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I think Russo-Georgian War is best, but that's not what it's being called. That's all I'm saying. It's being called Russia-Georgia not Russian-Georgian. Of course, in the end that's a minor issue but I think is the Russian-Georgian version gets the most support here the title should be Russia-Georgia to reflect the current widest-used variation.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 19:50, 29 August 2008 (UTC)--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 19:50, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
at least in this little things Wikipedia can show a bit of independence, not blindly following the mainstream media. Hmm probably I'm asking too much. --TheFEARgod (Ч) 13:09, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Principle of naming

See Wikipedia:Naming conventions.
I.e. should we follow the current media usage, wait until a settled name in English emerges or work out a name derived on its merits?

Use 2008 in the title

Either at the beginning ("2008 ...") or at the end ("... (2008)") or not at all.

Specific options

2008 South Ossetia war

I.e. stick with the current name.
  • Oppose This is one of the least used names for the conflict and does not accurately represent the broad nature of it. It began in South Ossetia, but it spread to Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia. This name should not continue being used.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:36, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Whilst originally appropriate, the fighting has now widened and so this name now does not reflect the broader geographical nature of the conflict. Greenshed (talk) 20:32, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Agreed with above--Tananka (talk) 02:28, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support The name makes sense. Most of the fighting occurred in South Ossetia. The war started when the Georgians seized South Ossetia. The Russians would have had no Casus Belli, even if they really, really wanted to, had Georgia not attacked South Ossetia. There has been relatively little fighting in Abkhazia and elsewhere. Renaming the conflict, because most of the mass media does it is just plain silly. Both sides of the media are biased, and wikipedia, which claims to be unbiased, should not follow suit. If you rename the war, this article is no longer unbiased, and you're simply parroting the Fox News "Fair and Balanced" views of what the war should be called. If there's heavy fighting in other areas, we can rename it, otherwise, stop trying to parrot the Fox News line, it's silly and quite unprofessional. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:13, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Also, let's take a look at the naming conventions of all wars since WWII, or at least all wars that the US has been in, and some that USSR has been in, just at the names, becuase I don't want to open a can of worms. The proposed change here is to change the excellent name of 2008 South Ossetian War to Russo-Georgian war, or something like that.
So according to that logic, the Korean War should be called the US - Chinese War
The Vietnam War should be called US - Vietcong War or US - Vietnam War
The Afghanistan War should be called USSR - Taliban War or USSR - Afghanistan War
The Cuban Missile Crisis should be called the US - USSR or USSR - US Missile Crisis
And I could go on and on and on. Whether you agree with such renaming or not, is beside the point. We have been naming wars after the location where the most fighting occurs. Just look at the recent ones, the Afghanistan War, the Iraqi War, the Chechen War, etc. Now some may say what about the Persian Gulf War? That is one exception, and yet it is still territory based, because Iraq is part of the Persian Gulf region. An equivalent would be the Caucasian War, although I don't think that Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkey would agree.
The point is that wars, since WWII, as well as conflicts are territorially named. The Western Media, in its rather pathetic attempt to claim that Russia started this war, wants to, against all conventions of military history and war naming, name this war the Russo - Georgian War, to hint at the fact that Russia is the agressor, which is clearly and blatantly not the case. Russia responded when Georgians, be they provoked by Ossetians or not, shot at Russian civillians and peacekeepers. Whether the Russians over-reacted or not, another debatable point, it is crystal clear that Russians are not the agressors, and the proposed name change is not only incorrect in the eyes of any military historian, but also completely biased, and therefore against Wikipedia standards. The 2008 South Ossetian War is a perfect name for it, let's keep it, let's be unbiased at least in the naming of this article. Since I strongly agree with the current name, I, by default, strongly disagree with any of the proposed name changes to it, and will file a complaint with the wikipedia staff if the name is changed, unless my concerns are answered, which as a military historian I damn well know they cannot be, so the name stays. Thank you. And hey - you are welcome to try. (talk) 23:25, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
You're also ignoring the Franco-Prussian War, Russo-Japanese War, Anglo-Iraqi War, Sino-Vietnamese War, and hell you're even ignoring the Iran-Iraq War. Each war or conflict is defined and named differently. The reason the names you mentioned are established names is because this is how they are most widely named. In this case the most widely-used name is not South Ossetia War, it is in fact one of the names used the least. The most widely-used name is Russia-Georgia conflict.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 00:01, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Dear Devil's Advocate, it appears you have missed the part where I said that nearly all Wars since WWII were named after the location. I have bolded that part for you and for the future public. The Iran - Iraq War took place in Iraq and in Iran! There's no way that this war will carry over unto Russian soil. Therefore, the Iran - Iraq War where fighting took place in both Iran and Iraq is an inappropriate example. The same can be said of the Sino-Vietnamese War, where Vietnam, in a counter-offensive, invaded a small part of China. All of your other examples happened before WWII and are irrelevant. Wikipedia must be objective, not based on the "most widely used name" as you and your friends at Fox News undoubtedly want it to be. Using your examples of the Iran-Iraq War and the Sino-Vietnamese War, this should then be called the Georgian-Ossetian War, not the Russo-Georgian War. In both cases, there was fighting in both countries. In this war, with the Georgian army currently numbering less then 10,000 effective troops + those who won't go outside of Tbilisi, and Russians with at least 120,000 effective troops in the area I strongly doubt this war will spread to Russian soil. You have yet to give me a post-WWII counter-example that would get Russia into the war title, except for yelling "but Fox News and CNN said so, hence we should do it". Still waiting for those WMDs to be found in Iraq. The corporate media on both sides bullshits, so this article, really shouldn't be based on them, and you have yet to offer any reasonable proof. (talk) 02:52, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry bud, but the Sino-Vietnamese War and Iran-Iraq War both happened after World War II.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:29, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
And the Sino-Vietnamese War was fought in China (Sino) and Vietnam, and the Iran-Iraq War was fought in Iraq and Iran, wheres the 2008 South Ossetia War is not being fought in Russia! You name wars based on the land where they are fought, not based on the people involved, that's the naming that all post WWII convetions conform to, whether you like it or not, whether Fox News/CNN/Sky News like it or not. Know the Military Conventions. Wars are named via military conventions, not popular civvie votes! If you want to call it the Georgian-South Ossetian War, fine by me, but over 80% of the fighting did take place in South Ossetia. The war wasn't fought in Russia, so if you place Russia in the name, you are pandering to the media, not being objective and are going against post-WWII naming conventions. (talk) 06:11, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
after all, this seems a good point. 90% of warfare took place in South Ossetia.--TheFEARgod (Ч) 13:12, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Oppose. See my justification for title "Russian-Georgian war".Biophys (talk) 17:03, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose At this time grosly inappropriate. Hobartimus (talk) 22:47, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Support The conflict began in South Ossetia, and although it did spread, a majority of the fighting between involved parties (and causalities inflicted by ground warfare) occurred in that territory. Now, if Russia and Georgia fight again over unresolved issues in the region (hopefully not) then it will probably necessitate a name change. An example I would cite is the Vietnam War, which describes the region in conflict, but not the major player (the US); notably this conflict also experienced spillover. Menrunningpast (talk) 03:06, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Support The current name reflects the cause, objective, and the primary theater of the war. Neutralizing offensive capabilities of Georgia by Russia within Georgia proper does not change these facts and does not make it a war between Georgia and Russia. Also, South Ossetia War is how it is consistently referred to in neutral international media. Editors of Kosovo War, Bosnian War, Gulf War managed to keep their article titles non-tendentious. At least wiki should have less of double-standard junk. Gleb (talk) 20:39, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Oppose Maybe the war begins in Southossetia but its relevance began with the Russian invasion deep into Georgia and Russian occupation of 2 entities of and additional bufferzones inside Georgia. Elysander (talk) 13:57, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Support - the cause and main battlefield are present in the title and that renders it acceptable. Bogorm (talk) 13:45, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Support, since it's more or less neutral (does not define whether the South Ossetia is an independent state or just a region of Georgia) and more or less correct (the conflict began in South Ossetia and SO is where most of military operations took place). -- (talk) 21:32, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Oppose Even if it started in South Ossetia it soon grew much bigger than that. Narking (talk) 21:40, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Strong Support. The current title strikes me as the least problematic of all the options. Wars are often named after the casus belli -- no one suggests that the War of Jenkins Ear was actually fought on the hapless captain's earlobe. This war was primarily over the status of the named region. It is a rarity for me to argue good sense against prevalent usage, but I find all the various formulations used by the media to be ungainly in this instance. Robert A.West (Talk) 03:37, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

You win the award for making the dumbest argument on this talk page. Really now. Many wars are not named for their casus-belli and I can name countless examples. Many are also not named for the place they are in but are named for those who take part. The Eritrean-Ethiopian War being just one example. That wasn't called the Badme plain war. Mind you naming doesn't operate on precedent so you can just invent a name. Naming has to come from somewhere and so far pretty much no media is using this name. I don't think history will record it as such either because of this. It will most likely be record as something along the lines of Russia-Georgia War because this characterization is the most popular one in the media. Like it or not, the media makes history nowadays.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 03:35, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Strong Support. Per Robert West's arguments.--Life is like a box of chocolates (talk) 06:53, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Oppose. The war was not limited to South Ossetia, and even Abkhasia. The name would not be descriptive of the conflict WH Coordinator (talk) 09:49, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Oppose. per The Devil's Advocate.--Staberinde (talk) 08:46, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Russian-Georgian War

Including varients such as Russian-Georgian war, Russo-Georgian War, 2008 Russian-Georgian War, Russian-Georgian War (2008), etc.
  • Support Though change war to conflict as that is what the media is primarily using to describe the current conflict. Russia-Georgia conflict is the most widely used term to describe the conflict and all major media organizations agree it is a conflict between the two nations with separatists on Russia's side. For now a variation of this name is the most appropriate title and should be implemented ASAP.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:41, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Yep. --Captain Obvious and his crime-fighting dog (talk) 09:41, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Russia did not declare a war on Georgia (or the other way around), nor does it have any intention to conquer Georgia and do something to the territory. This article can be, however, called "Russo-Georgian Conflict (2008)". --Mrcatzilla (talk) 20:03, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Mrcatzilla - is it the use of the term "conflict" that you see as making all the difference? (remember, not all wars are wars of conquest) Greenshed (talk) 20:37, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, yes. --Mrcatzilla (talk) 10:17, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support As the English-language media now favour this or similar terms, we should follow suit. If a different name emerges in the long run then we can rename the article again at that stage. Greenshed (talk) 20:35, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is not consensus on calling this conflict a war, although all recognise there was a conflict. Although Georgian President declared war by decree which was passed by parliament, Russia is on a legal peacekeeping mission convened with Georgia and did not declare war. Also there are about 1900 google news results for "Russia Georgia conflict" and 300 for "Russia Georgia war". The poll began with incomplete options, and IMHO consensus could be reached. I am now obliged to add the option Russian Georgian Conflict to the poll options as it has still not been proposed, even though "conflict" was mentioned in "considerations". :/--Tananka (talk) 02:27, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. No, there are 228 thousand Google hits for combination "Russian-Georgian war" (see here), and only 12 thousand for "2008 South Ossetia war". Even many Russian commentators consider this to be Russian-Georgian war. For example, Yulia Latynina tells this (an approximate translation): "I want to emphasize: this is Russian-Georgian war. The strike [by Russia] was conducted from two fronts: the Abkhazian and the South Ossetian fronts; approximately 25,000 Russian Army serviceman have been involved and several hundred tanks; rocket strikes have been conducted, and Russian strategic aviation completed sorties..." see here. Biophys (talk) 17:02, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Since we are going this route, the first Google hits for "russian-georgian war" is the Heritage Foundation. Google search for "south ossetia war" returns far more balanced and diverse sources.Gleb (talk)
And what exactly arguments for not calling this "Russsian-Georgian war" do your sources provide? So far, only me provided the arguments published by reliable sources about naming this war.Biophys (talk) 15:01, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This name fails to mention Abkhazia and South Ossetia that are de facto independent and played a significant role in the conflict. See more detailed explanation below. Alæxis¿question? 18:01, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Per Biophys. Hobartimus (talk) 22:49, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose par Alæxis. Personally i think that the role of South Ossetia in this conflict is to major to not mention in the title. Also, trough an altavista search for "Russian-Georgian War" i noticed the first two result pages don't provide a lot of links that actually refer to this particular conflict, while "South Ossetia war" seems to return only articles that have a direct connection with this article. Excirial (Talk,Contribs) 23:16, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per Biophys. Narking (talk) 18:16, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per Biophys. Also, many independent observer have little doubt the war with Georgia "has been months in the planning". South Ossetia was just a casus belli.--KoberTalk 05:55, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, because this way of titling the article (and variants) is in use in other Wikipedias, including my native finnish Wikipedia. Also, the war is not only between Georgia and South Ossetia, but mainly between Georgia and Russia, the latter of which supports S. Ossetia and Abkhazia in their fight for independence. (talk) 12:12, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per Biophys. No doubt about Russian-Georgian war. SO was the occasion, the invasion into Georgia the reason. SO & Abkazia were and are only Russian "puppet states", they wouldn`t exist without Russian "peacekeepers". Elysander (talk) 14:09, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose - after the emerging of the new state the combatants are officially three and this title infers the non-recognition of South Ossetia, which is POV. Bogorm (talk) 13:45, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. It does not matter how english-language sources call this conflict as long as the title is POV. And this title is definitely POV: sides do not agree on whether this was "a war between Russia and Georgia", "a war between Russia, Georgia and South Ossetia" or "a war between Georgia and South Ossetia + peacekeeping operation of Russia". Since the sides do not agree on that, taking one side would be POV. Period. -- (talk) 21:27, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Support this seems most logical. Grey Fox (talk) 03:00, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose - Per the arguments above. Anyway, what is "most common"is not always a valid argument, e.g. Aliminum vs. Aliminium. True, while this is the English version of Wikipedia, and there is a preference for choosing the most common terms, this issue is clearly far too controversial to settle on these grounds alone. If there are legitimate issues of POV, then no matter how common a name is, we cannot use it. No POV is Wikipedia policy. Using names or terms familiar to most Americans as a naming convention is a helpful suggestion and often followed, but not always. It is not policy, and certainly should not be a deciding factor here. --Life is like a box of chocolates (talk) 07:07, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
  • weak oppose There was no war declared by Russia. Moreover it has te charictaistics of a civil war (with foreign intervention) and strugle for indepedance (also with foreign intervention)as such the this name can also be sdaid to not sum up the nature of this war.[[Slatersteven (talk) 18:30, 4 October 2008 (UTC)]]
  • Support Russia and Georgia are the principals in the conflict, the name is most logical. WH Coordinator (talk) 09:43, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support widely used name of conflict, and Russia and Georgia are main participants of conflict.--Staberinde (talk) 08:59, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Russian-Georgian conflict

Including variants
  • CommentWP:NAME"Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.This is justified by the following principle: The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists. Wikipedia determines the recognizability of a name by seeing what verifiable reliable sources in English call the subject."
google news searches:
758 for georgia-russia-conflict and 1,934 for russia-georgia-conflict.,
136 for georgia-russia-war and 311 for russia-georgia-war.--Tananka (talk) 15:12, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
as I said, it could be ambigouos, as may refer to other things. Of course it has more google hits-it has a broad meaning (and google hits do not rapresent bla bla...) --TheFEARgod (Ч) 10:20, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Google news hits are relevant because of what they represent, that is, how many articles deal with this specific name. The media ultimately names things nowadays and so their preferred name will likely be the name of some given conflict. That's not to say some later name could be coined, but for now the preferred name is clear Russia-Georgia conflict and variations of that. As to your comment conflict representing something long term this is not necessarily the case. The 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict lasted only a few months. Other examples include the 1978 South Lebanon conflict, the 2001 Indian-Bangladeshi border conflict, and the Hanish Islands conflict. Typically conflict is used to name a limited military engagement as well as longer-term ones that are not part of a constant war. In relative terms this engagement was limited.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:12, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, neither of this articles you put now hasnames that are established in the media, as I see--TheFEARgod (Ч) 09:16, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

If as you say we should name the article with what the greatest number of English speakers would easily recognise then we should definatly go with "Russian Invasion of Georgia - 2008" as that is how the public as well as the media views this war, and also how the general public would refer to it. MattUK (talk) 20:02, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

he may be right. But this proves the media made a mistake--TheFEARgod (Ч) 09:18, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

"the media made a mistake" hardly, the media are accurate, only a communist who hates NATO and dislikes the West would think that... oh wait, look at your profile, I wonder why you think the worlds free media made a mistake, but the Russian state controled media hasnt? hmmm... I wonder. MattUK (talk) 13:05, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

please be civil and avoid personal attacks! --TheFEARgod (Ч) 13:05, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. See my justification for title "Russian-Georgian war".Biophys (talk) 17:04, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Apparently less popular than other ones, besides, conflict is usually something long-term. Alæxis¿question? 18:05, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually it is the most popular I suggest you do a Google news search utilizing quotation marks for Russia-Georgia conflict. There are now nearly 2,100 articles using that phrase. Unless you start counting "conflict in Georgia" or "conflict in South Ossetia" however both have their own problems the latter namely being it does not refer to the general situation there. Conflict in Georgia fails because it is far too vague. So basically those two are not viable alternative and the most widely-used named by far is Russia-Georgia conflict. You may say it includes separatists, but many other conflicts are named only by the nations involved even when groups within one of the countries is also taking part. That's because it is largely seen as them being effectively part of the war effort by that country.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 00:34, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Oppose - In the conflict there are four sites - Russian Federation, Republic of Abkhasia, Republic of South Ossetia and Georgia. Disparaging two of them is not impartial. Bogorm (talk) 13:45, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Strong Support I understand the argument that "2008 South Ossetia War" is a non-discriminatory title. However, I would like to examine precedent in this matter. The Franco-Prussian War involved nearly all of the German states that existed at the time, not just Prussia, but the Wikipedia article is called "Franco-Prussian War" because that is the name by which it is most recognized. Wikipedia:Naming conventions states "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize", and "Wikipedia determines the recognizability of a name by seeing what verifiable reliable sources in English call the subject". Of all the suggested names, "Russian-Georgian conflict" scores the most hits on Google, and I believe that shows that "Russian-Georgian conflict" is the most recognized name for the war that has occured. JEdgarFreeman (talk) 13:57, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment it would be good to create an article Russian-Georgian conflict about the state of long-term tension after the War. For example, to put into some incidents, like today's death of a Georgian policeman. Similar like Israeli-Lebanese conflict --TheFEARgod (Ч) 11:45, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

weak oppose it has the charictaistics of a civil war (with foreign intervention) and strugle for indepedance (also with foreign intervention)as such the this name can also be sdaid to not sum up the nature of this war.[[Slatersteven (talk) 18:32, 4 October 2008 (UTC)]]

Georgian-Russian War

Including varients such as Georgian-Russian war, 2008 Georgian-Russian War, Georgian-Russian War (2008), etc.
  • Comment Per naming conventions this would effectively be considered the same title as Russia-Georgia war and so it should probably not be treated as a separate choice. Since the common media order is Russia-Georgia clearly that is the favored variation of this name.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 23:44, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Georgian War

Including varients such as War in Georgia, 2008 Georgian War, Georgian War (2008), etc.
  • Support 2008 Georgian War --TheFEARgod (Ч) 13:57, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment This seems to be a fitting title as well.
google news search: 764 for georgia-war and 594 for georgian-war--Tananka (talk) 15:22, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
but not just because of google hits. It maybe refer to Georgian Civil War--TheFEARgod (Ч) 10:22, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - It completly ignores the fact that Russia was involved in this war, by invading Georgia. MattUK (talk) 20:05, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
ah ah no! Same as Iraq War --TheFEARgod (Ч) 09:21, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

The media almost exclusivly refers to the Iraq War as the Iraq War, also this is English Speaking Wikipedia, based on the general naming conventions of the of the Anglosphere, I'm sure on the Russian Language Wikipedia (if there is one) it is refered to as the "American/British and coalition forces invasion/liberation of Iraq", or something along those lines. The same as we don't call it the British liberation of the Falklands - 1982, but the Falklands War, in the case of both Iraq and the Falklands we know that we were involved, so our involvement doesnt need to be restated in the title, this being the English Language Wikipedia. On the Russian Wikipedia I'm sure you have already named the the article "The Glorious Russia liberation of the Russian peoples who were enslaved under the evil capitalist democratically elected government of Georgia", or some other drivel along those lines. MattUK (talk) 13:19, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment Actually Matt UK, the Russian Wikipedia calls it "War in South Ossetia (2008)" but thank you for being biased. Also, in this war, do you claim that you do not know that Russians are involved considering that Russian Peacekeepers were in South Ossetia? Or that Russians live in Ossetia? Ignorance is not an excuse to rename the war to your specific catering needs. As for Georgia being Democratic - don't start, it'll open up another can of worms. Last time I checked Bush didn't kill Kerry in 2004, or imprison Howard Dean, whereas the main opponent of Saakashvili is dead and his supporters are in prison. (talk) 23:40, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
after a couple of posts I've seen that it seems MattUK's comments become more and more irrelevant and trolling-like. Read some guidelines before involving in controversional discussions please. You may be blocked --TheFEARgod (Ч) 13:09, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Two side have been involved. See my justification for title "Russian-Georgian war".Biophys (talk) 17:05, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. This variant is rather popular (see [1], [2] and [3]) - about as popular as Russian-Georgian War. What makes me think that this version is better is because the alternative one (Russian-Georgian War) fails to mention Abkhazia and SO that are de facto independent countries and that have played a significant role in this war. Furthermore all the conflict took place on de jure Georgian soil so the name like "2008 Georgia War" or "2008 War in Georgia" would be appropriate. Alæxis¿question? 17:54, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - Beyond any reality ; perhaps do you like to change into Russia's Georgian War?? Elysander (talk) 14:17, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Georgian Civil War

Including varients such as Georgian civil war, 2008 Georgian Civil War, Georgian Civil War (2008), etc.
There's already Georgian Civil War article. --Captain Obvious and his crime-fighting dog (talk) 21:26, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Conflict in Georgia

Including varients such as Georgian conflict, 2008 Conflict in Georgia, Conflict in Georgia (2008), etc.

Caucasus conflict

Including varients such as Conflict in the Caucasus, 2008 Caucasus conflict, Caucasus conflict (2008), etc.

Russian Invasion of Georgia - 2008

Russia did invade Georgia, that isn't doubted by any of the worlds media, apart from Russias state controlled media, and even they agree that they made "incursions" into Georgian territory, and the 2008 part to differentiate it from when they have attacked Georgia in the past. MattUK (talk) 08:39, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I wonder if this isn't the best title. __meco (talk) 09:21, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose There is large disagreement over this, since Russia was peacekeeping a de facto independent republic called South Ossetia. This nobody denies. Also, there is disagreement between various media over this matter. Although they made incursions, those were not part of a plan to invade, they were encouraged to do so by Georgian forces abandoning weapons caches and possibly planning subversive operations to blame on the opponent. This can easily be verified through searches. Hopefully there will be some investigative conclusions on this matter and especially that of possible subversive tactics disguised as Russians.--Tananka (talk) 15:32, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose highly POV-just half of the story--TheFEARgod (Ч) 10:23, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to elaborate and confirm that this is in my opinion the best title. The two breakaway republics are still recognized by the international community to be part of Georgia. However, more importantly has been that Russia went much further than to secure the territory of South Ossetia. They have made substantial incursions into parts of Georgia that have nothing to do with the two disputed regions. __meco (talk) 12:14, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose Whilst Russia did invade significant parts of Georgia, this is not the only part of the story. The early part of the fighting, the skirmishes which escalated into a war early in the morning of 7 August 2008, are not covered by this title. Greenshed (talk) 23:27, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Comment - Russian Invasion of Georgia is the central part of the Russian-Georgian War but only part Elysander (talk) 21:54, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Strong Oppose - completely unanimous with User talk:TheFEARgod - the proposal is an as blatant POV as would be "Georgian genocide on Ossetians and aftermath", inane and non impartial. Bogorm (talk) 13:45, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Five-Day War

I've seen it on a couple of sites. I like it--TheFEARgod (Ч) 14:24, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I concur. To title the war on time rather than geography seems to eliminate the POV arguement for the most part. I've also heard August War and would like to suggest it as a possible derivation of the Five Day War.

I doubt any war can have a title on the month, but July War and April War exist as disambiguations and redirects, though.--TheFEARgod (Ч) 16:39, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it seems like the media now use both the "Five-day War" and the "August War". Although the first one is a little strange since it didn't last five days. The second one usually adds in Georgia, so the title could be "August war in Georgia" also. Närking (talk) 18:13, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Hmm .. not a new development. First I did read from a "5-Tage-Krieg" was in German "Neues Deutschland" (former DDR-SED newspaper) end of August or September. It seems a rather artificial description (with a time line construction with a start of war in the night 7 on 8 in August and an official end with Medevedev's order to halt on 12 August). Russian troops raided Poti harbour after Medevedev's order. Elysander (talk) 20:16, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I suggest we add them to the introduction (see example in 2006 Lebanon War) before considering a title change. --TheFEARgod (Ч) 14:02, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
actually I added 2008_South_Ossetia_war#Etymology--TheFEARgod (Ч) 14:12, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Further discussion over the title

Can the title be improved to describe the matter more accurately than the above-mentioned proposals? There should always be room for improvement. eg 2008 Georgian breakaway conflict, Invasion of South Ossetia, Ossetian genocide ...???--Tananka (talk) 02:58, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

No thank you, your last two suggestions reflect the Russian perspective. Menrunningpast (talk) 02:45, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
From a POV perspective "2008 Georgian breakaway conflict" isn't so bad. --Xeeron (talk) 19:08, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Who was Georgia breaking away from, after all we don't want titles that can be misunderstood[[Slatersteven (talk) 16:35, 5 October 2008 (UTC)]]
  • (Here following RFc request). I am not convinced as to the immediate causes of the conflict, and would thus want there to be a non-POV title that does not blame either side. South Ossetia is legally part of Georgia, but not under the control of its government. Russia has long supported a sessionist movement, that has de facto control of the territory. This is another issue where a non-POV postion is required. My understanding is that the conflict also spread to the Abkhasian (misspelt?) boundary. Some suggestions: South Ossetia conflict, 2008; Caucasus conflict, 2008; Georgia-Russia War, 2008. Peterkingiron (talk) 15:23, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry if this has already been addressed, but lately the conflict seems to be referred to as "The August War". Since that doesn't seem to break NPOV, should that be a suggested title? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:32, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

As the war has moved from being a current event to being part of recent history, it might be worth looking at what reliable English-language sources are calling the conflict. Greenshed (talk) 17:58, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Ivan Kotlyarov

Who is the guy? And why is his view that that important to be listed next to the statement by US Secretary of State? Should we also include opinions by individual Georgian researchers? --KoberTalk 14:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

He has a PhD, and makes a valid point, which I've seen supported by other sources as well (that Saakashvili wanted to launch a war to boost his popularity.) Offliner (talk) 14:33, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Feel free to cite those "other sources". Otherwise, Kotlyarov's view is a candidate to be removed per WP:UNDUE. There are myriads of PhDs across the world. --KoberTalk 14:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

For some great fun, go up to this section of the talk page, and search for "PhD" and read what was argued about it. But maybe it is that Ivan Kotlyarov's PhD in economics is worth more than Svante Cornell's in Peace and Conflict Studies when commenting on a war ;-) --Xeeron (talk) 15:03, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Sure :) Besides, Kotlyarov comes from Russia, not from Sweden which was involved in the war with Georgia. And a quick search in Google Books yields hundreds of hits for Kotlyarov and zero for Cornell. --KoberTalk 15:19, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Kober, considering your arguments for Cornell, you are being extremely hypocritical when arguing against Kotlyarov, who is a lot more credible then Cornell. You are more then welcome to question Kotlyarov as a source. Also, while Kotlyarov may come form Russia, Cornell is funded by an oil company that's rabidly anti-Russian as was hurt as a result of the 2008 South Ossetia War. Not that hard to figure out who's more biased. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 04:30, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Given your tradition to engage in chit-chatting without giving sources, you are not the right person to accuse me of hypocrisy. I'm not going to waste time in arguing with you. Do you want us to believe that Kotlyarov "is a lot more credible then Cornell"? Prove it! A friendly tip from me: try Google Books and Google Scholar. --KoberTalk 04:35, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
If it's my tradition, why do you need to announce it Kober? What it is with telling the reader what to think, rather than letting the reader think independently. If you have a problem with me, address it on my talk page. Remember when you said this Kober: "Try to challenge your opponents' arguments using credible sources such as academic reviews of the publications in question. Your personal observations are hardly of any imporance here.--KoberTalk 18:33, 25 February 2009 (UTC)"? Why not try to challenge Kotlyarov Kober, as you have stated above? Because of what I'm getting from you is that Cornell- PhD. pro-Georgian good. Kotlyarov PhD. pro-Russian evil. Didn't we get passed this stage already? Also, perhaps you have skipped this, but I have previously stated that Cornell is more biased then Kotlyarov BECAUSE, (I don't really know how you could have skipped this part) CORNELL IS FUNDED BY AN OIL COMPANY! and Kotlyarov is not. After the pro-oil magazine Economist, claimed that the destruction of the entire Kamchatkan Eco-System was limited to "minor environmental damages" I because extremely suspicious of pro-oil, or oil funded groups. Here's a link to Cornell's page: - if you notice Cornell claims to have expertise in Russia and USSR, but he doesn't speak Russian. The University of California system's official policy regarding doctorates, is to not give out doctorates in an area, unless the person speaks that language. Is the University of California System, the best public college system in the United States, a reliable source Kober? Furthermore all of Cornell's areas are centered around oil politics. Next time try reading the whole quote, not just the parts you like Kober. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 07:09, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

naming operations

I understand resistance to "Operation 'Clear field'"[4], but what's about "operation to force georgia to peace"[5]? (Igny (talk) 15:29, 1 March 2009 (UTC))

You forgot quotation marks in your google search, here is the correct link: [6]. The number is barely above 1,000 hits, an order of magnitude below the numbers for other names we use (which have between 15,000 and 150,000 hits each). --Xeeron (talk) 15:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry I missed that. However, this name is actually official name of the operation, as declared by the Russian military and Russian officials. If one could argue against "Operation Clear field" as the Georgian official name of their operation, noone can argue against the Russian official name. Even if the media did not pick it up and spread it around, it is however worth mentioning in an encyclopedia article. (Igny (talk) 17:54, 1 March 2009 (UTC))
Maybe, but certainly not in the lead as an alternative name of the conflict.--KoberTalk 18:06, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, we mention in the August 7 section that Saakashvili called it an operation to restore constitutional order. Along the same line, we can add Putin or Medvedev calling it operation to force georgia to peace there. --Xeeron (talk) 18:21, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Probably it is better say both these statements in the section on Combatants' positions. (Igny (talk) 18:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC))
Except Putin and Medvedev made that statement and took action on it August 8th. In other words, it was done in self-defense. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 07:11, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Getting too big again?

Do you think the article is starting to get too big again, and if yes, what should we do? Especially the "Background" and "Responsibility" sections have grown a lot since the last big trim. Offliner (talk) 20:12, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Can we remove Combantants into its own article Im not sure the average reader needs to known that kind of data. It seems a bit to technical just my suggestion. --XChile (talk) 20:26, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know, it is customary to have a combatants section in each article about a major war. I think it is good info, and should not be splitted off. What do others think? Does anyone know if such sections have been splitted off in other articles in the past? Offliner (talk) 20:29, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I thought it was usually customary to have combatants on the Battle of "____" and not the war in general. like in The Iraq war- Battle of Fallujah then goes into detail of equipment and things also WWII- Battle of Gazala numbers of equipment and so forth. Kinda like that. What does every one else think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by XChile (talkcontribs) 20:54, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
The responsibilty section is an obvious target for shortening. The "other politicians" section is horrible. I'd not cut too much in the combatants section, after all, even though it is named war, on this was rather on the scale of 2 medium sized battles when compared to, e.g. the second world war. Neither the full Georgian, nor the full Russian army participated. --Xeeron (talk) 21:00, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
At least a quarter of the Georgian Army participated possibly 3/4ths, whereas it was less then a Corps from the Russian side. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 00:22, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

(reindent) What is the good target? Keep the article under 150k? 130k? (Igny (talk) 04:54, 5 March 2009 (UTC))

For me, the technical size isn't as important as the "style." Everything is should be concisely summarized, in clear language, so that the reader doesn't have to read huge amounts of text to get the essential information he needs to know. For example, there are too many redundant statements in the "Responsibility" section, which do not add any essential information or point of view to the article that wasn't already there. Offliner (talk) 08:44, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Removed shelling comments

Xeeron removed the South Ossetian accusations of Georgian shelling: [7], saying that they were "one-sided." However, on the August 7 section we still have the Georgian accusation of South Ossetian shelling: "Georgian officials claim that on August 7 at around 2 p.m. Ossetian artillery fire that had begun the night before resumed, targeting Georgian positions in the village of Avnevi in South Ossetia and continuing for several hours" - which is now, after the removal of the other comment, one-sided, because it does not mention the Georgian shellin. How to restore balance? Either remove the Georgian claim as well, or bring the Ossetian claim back. Offliner (talk) 22:22, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

It was standing alone in the pre-war clashes section (without, e.g., mentioning the Georgian policemen killed, or the attack on the Georgian peacekeepers [8]). But you are right that it should be mentioned in the previous section that it was not unprovokes SO shelling, but a continuation of the fighting in the days before. --Xeeron (talk) 22:28, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but I have to disagree with your solution. It only made things worse. Now there is still no mention at all of the Georgian shelling. "Following the fighting during the previous week" is both unexact and biased. Note that you do not say "following the fighting in the previous week, Georgian officials claim South Ossetian shelling resumed..." So in your version the Georgian action gets a pretext, but the South Ossetian does not. The old version was much better in every respect. Offliner (talk) 22:41, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Please check the article again. You commented in the middle of a series of edits I was making, what you saw was merely the stuff I copied up from the section below. --Xeeron (talk) 22:55, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
The current version is still unbalanced, since it specifically mentions the Georgian claim of "resumed Ossetian shelling", and killed Georgian peacekeepers. We need one specific claim by the Ossetians also. Offliner (talk) 22:59, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I had that part removed in the lower section, but you reverted that as well. --Xeeron (talk) 23:07, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I also have a problem with this sentence in August 7: "Following the fighting during the previous week, at about 7 p.m., President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered a unilateral ceasefire, advised earlier that day by Russian peacekeeping commander Marat Kulakhmetov in his meeting with Georgian State Minister Temuri Yakobashvili (Yakobashvili was to meet with Russian chief negotiator Yuri Popov and the Ossetian side, but neither showed up)."
  • First, isn't this the exactly same meeting that is described in the previous chapter? Second, "neither side showed up" is a bad wording. It implies that neither the Ossetian nor the Russian side showed up, which is wrong, since Kulakhmetov did show up. I propose we remove the rest of the sentence after "Kulahkmetov." Offliner (talk) 23:15, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I propose changing "An OSCE monitoring group in Tskhinvali also did not record outgoing artillery fire from the South Ossetian side before the start of Georgian bombardment" to: "An OSCE monitoring group in Tskhinvali also did not record outgoing artillery fire from the South Ossetian side at the time." It seems clear from the latter statement what "at the time" refers to. At this point, the reader still doesn't know about "the Georgian bombardment", so that should be removed for clarity. Offliner (talk) 23:19, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
  • You removed the sentence "three brigades began the nighttime assault." But now we have a problem: the preceeding sentences describe the artillery assault. Then comes "The Georgian 4th Brigade spearheaded the attack, while the 2nd and 3rd Brigades provided support." - This would mean that the 4th Brigade spearheaded the artillery assault, which is not true: it spearheaded the ground attack. I'm not going to change anything now, since I might accidentally break 3RR, but this must be corrected. I propose adding "Three brigades began a nightime ground assault on Tskhinvali." Offliner (talk) 23:37, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
The Russian negotiator did not show up. The Kulakhmetov was participating in his, formally neutral, role as peacekeeper commander, not to represent one of the sides. --Xeeron (talk) 14:43, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

"According to several Russian sources, parts of 58th Russian Army moved to South Ossetian territory through the Roki Tunnel before the Georgian attack on Tskhinvali."

I propose changing this to "according to an interpretation of some materials published in the Russian media..." since these claims are exactly that: based on interpretation of materials such as the Life Goes On (news article). The first version said that the troops were ordered to move on August 7, the second (corrected) version says they were ordered to move on August 8.

If the BBC would publish an article which said "Bush ordered the attack on Iraq in 2002," and would later publish a correction, which said the correct date was "2003", not "2002," would I be allowed the use the first version as a source for my claim in Wikipedia, that Bush already ordered the attack on "2002?" Offliner (talk) 14:28, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

This is not the only source quoted for that statement, you should check the others as well, e.g. [9]. --Xeeron (talk) 16:31, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Georgian troop deployments before the war

From [10]:

"Zwölf Tage nach dem Nato-Gipfel erlässt Putin den Befehl, Russlands Beziehungen zu den Separatisten-Regimen in Abchasien und Südossetien bis hart an die Grenze der Anerkennung aufzuwerten. Am 20. April schießt ein russisches Kampfflugzeug eine georgische Aufklärungsdrohne über Abchasien ab. Daraufhin zieht Saakaschwili, nach Beobachtungen der International Crisis Group, 12 000 georgische Soldaten im hochgerüsteten Militärstützpunkt Senaki zusammen."

Translation: "12 days after the Nato summit, Putin gives the order to strengthen Russia's relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, almost up to the point of recognizing them. On 20 April, a Russian fighter shoots down a Georgian spy plane over Abhkazia. After that, according to International Crisis Group, Saakashvili deploys 12,000 troops into Senaki."

From [11]:

"Dass die Georgier bereits im Juli Truppen an der Grenze zu Südossetien massiert hätten, bestätigt ein anderer Kenner der Lage, der vor Ort in Tiflis war: Wolfgang Richter, Oberst im Generalstab und Leitender Militärberater der deutschen OSZE-Mission."

Translation: "Colonel Wolfgang Richter, a leading military consultant to the German OSCE mission, confirms that the Georgians had amassed troops to the South Ossetian border already in July."

Since we mention specifically mention the deployment of Russian troops in Abkhazia, and their exact number, maybe we should mention these statements about the Georgian deployment too?
Also, about the (dubious) ISDP claim, that the Russian troops didn't return to their bases after the Caucasus Frontier 2008 exercise (which Xeeron insists on keeping in the article): I have still been unable to find confirmation for it. However, take a look at the following (from [12] ):

"Westliche Geheimdienste beobachten, wie nach dem 30. Juli, nach Ende des Militärmanövers "Kaukasus 2008", die Melde- und Kommunikationswege auf russischer Seite, anders als üblich, in Betrieb gehalten werden und die 58. Armee in Alarmbereitschaft bleibt. Für die US-Kundschafter mit ihrem Arsenal aus Spionagesatelliten, Aufklärungsflugzeugen und unbemannten Drohnen ist das eigentlich ein Grund zur Besorgnis."


"According to Western intelligence agencies, in contrast to what is usually the case, the Russian military communications system was kept in operation even after the Caucasus 2008 military exercise, and the 58th Army was kept in alarm status."

Maybe this is the source ISDP was using? It does not confirm, that the troops didn't return to their bases, just that the remained in alarm status. Also, if we have to include this information (or ISDP's claim, which I'd really like to remove unless it's directly confirmed by other sources), then we should also include this:

"Denn auch nach dem Ende des Großmanövers auf der anderen, der georgischen Seite, tut sich unter den Augen amerikanischer Militärberater Erstaunliches. Präsident Saakaschwili schickt nach dem 30. Juli Teile seiner Armee nicht zurück in die Kasernen, sondern in Richtung Südossetien. Die Artilleriebrigade etwa, die acht Tage später, am 7. August, mit dem Beschuss der südossetischen Hauptstadt Zchinwali beginnen wird, ist eigentlich auf zwei Standorte verteilt, Senaki und Gori. Nun wird sie in Gori zusammengezogen."


"After the end of the Georgian exercise, something amazing also happened, according to American military experts. President Saakashvili does not send a part of his army back to the barracks after July 30, but into the direction of South Ossetia. The artillery brigade, for example, which 8 days later, on August 7, will start the barrage of Tskhinvali, is actually is based in two locations, in Senaki and Gori. Now, however, it was brought together in Gori."

All possible (minor) translation mistakes are mine and not Google's. Offliner (talk) 16:38, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

We should mention the move from Senaki to Gori. However, keep in mind that unlike Russia, Georgia is tiny: If you say Georgian troops in Senaki are close to Abkhasia and those in Gori close to South Ossetia, then there is no way of moving those troops that is not close to any border. The highway between Senaki and Gori is the one (and only) big east-west road in Georgia. To be any further from both Abkhasia and South Ossetia and still on a highway, the troops would have to at the turkish or armenian border. Also, all Georgian military bases are along that road (which runs from the turkish border, via Senaki, Gori and Tbilissi, towards the armenian border). It's not like they could be stationed anywhere else. --Xeeron (talk) 16:53, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
If the American military experts describe the move as "amazing", then it really does have to mean something. And according to Richer they deployed troops to the South Ossetian border, which cannot be a coincidence. Note also, that in the article Richter says that the Georgians had partly "lied" about their troop movements. I understand your point, that Georgia is a relatively small country, but I don't agree with your attempt to play down the troop deployment statements. Offliner (talk) 17:03, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Should we really expand this on the article? I'm not sure if that's really that important. There already is some mention of operations that were going underway before the escalation of the war. I'm not sure what your trying to imply by putting it in great detail. It seems like your trying to imply something at least to me....or maybe I'm misunderstanding you.--XChile (talk) 18:36, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
The reason I included this material was that the Russian buildup was already detailed in the article, where as the Georgian one was not. I tried to make it more balanced in this respect. Offliner (talk) 20:41, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Your translation is partially wrong. The "amazing" is not according to american military experts. Also, it is enlightening to read the next part: "Noch sieben Tage sind es bis zum Ausbruch des Kriegs. Zwei Armeen stehen sich gut gerüstet, wenn auch in ungleicher Stärke gegenüber: Auf einen georgischen Soldaten kommen im Fall der Fälle 48 russische."
"It is another 7 days till the war starts. Two armies face each other well armed, but with unequal strength: For one Georgian soldier, there are, in the case of cases, 48 Russian ones." --Xeeron (talk) 19:13, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
You are right, it was not "amazing" according to the American military experts but according to Spiegel. The "48-to-1" comparison is, of course, a bit irrelevant, since they are obviously comparing the whole armed forces of Russia to Georgia's military (1,000,000 / 48 20,000), and as far as I know, not every active soldier in the Russian army was concentrated on the border in early August. Offliner (talk) 20:41, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Translating from German

Please be careful when using translated material. You inserted: "Sources in European governments and secrets services speculate, that the Russian warning concerns Saakashvili's plans for invasion of South Ossetia. According to an early blueprint, the goal is to take over all important positions in 15 hours."

The German original reads: "Am 3. August meldet sich das russische Außenministerium mit einer letzten Warnung zu Wort: Ein "weitreichender Militärkonflikt" stehe bevor. Nur in den europäischen Regierungs- und Geheimdienstzentralen ahnen sie bereits, wovon die Rede ist: Saakaschwilis Pläne für einen Einmarsch sind schon länger fertig - ein erster Entwurf aus dem Jahr 2006, eine Art Blaupause für die spätere Operation, so heißt es, habe vorgesehen, in 15 Stunden alle wichtigen Stellungen zu erobern."

The original does not imply that the Russian warning concerned his plans. It only states that european governments/secret services had a vague idea of what Saakaschwili was planning. Also, the second part is given with a qualifier: "An early blueprint, it is said, ..." indicating that the Spiegel author did not trust the source. --Xeeron (talk) 21:57, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I just noticed that there are English language articles available as well, which seem to have the exactly same statements. So there would have been no reason for me to look at German sources after all: [13], [14]. How silly :) Offliner (talk) 22:05, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
This is the same claim from the English version: "On Aug. 3, the Russian foreign ministry issued a final warning that an "extensive military conflict" was about to erupt. Officials in Europe's seats of government and intelligence agency headquarters had a sense of what the Russians were talking about. Saakashvili's plans for an invasion had been completed some time earlier. A first draft prepared in 2006, believed to be a blueprint of sorts for the later operation, anticipated that Georgian forces would capture all key positions within 15 hours." Offliner (talk) 22:07, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Troop numbers in Georgia and South Ossetia

According to Moscow Defense Brief, "the total number of Russian forces in South Ossetia reached about 10,000 men and 120 tanks." In addition to this, Russia deployed 9,000 men in Abkhazia. So according to this they had 19,000 men in total in Georgia.

ISDP claims that Russian troops in South Ossetia outnumbered the 9,000 Georgian troops two-to-one on August 9. This means that Russia had 18,000 troops in South Ossetia on August 9, and at least 18,000 (South Ossetia) + 9,000 (Abkhazia) = 27,000 in Georgia in total. Our infobox says Russia had 15,000 regulars in Georgia. What is the truth?

First, I'd like to point out that the ISDP figure of 9,000 Georgians in South Ossetia comes directly from the Georgian authorities [15]. (This seems to be the case for almost every information in the ISDP paper.) Therefore, I strongly suspect that the claim that Russia had 18,000 troops in South Ossetia also comes from Georgian officials. In any case, I don't personally think the claim is too reliable, as it contradicts other sources. Offliner (talk) 04:14, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

This is probably where ISDP got their number: "The Georgian president said Russia had sent 20,000 troops and 500 tanks into Georgia." [16] But the reliability of Saakashivili on August 11 is questionable. According to some sources the Georgian military communications broke down soon after the war started, so even if Saakashivili is telling the truth, he might not have a reliable picture of what is going on. We simply need more sources. Can anyone find more numbers? Offliner (talk) 11:42, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I tried looking at the Russian MoD webpage, but found no numbers there. --Xeeron (talk) 20:36, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

This is from the WP you quoted above:

  • "I think they had something around 15- to 20,000 in the theater," Kezerashvili said. "I had only 9,000. They were already bringing in new soldiers. They had a chance to rest, and our soldiers were becoming tired and more tired because I had no additional forces to change them. After two days of battle, they were too tired.

Here is what Moscow Defense brief writes:

  • By the morning of August 10, the Georgians had captured almost the whole of Tskhinvali, forcing the Ossetian forces and Russian peacekeeping battalion to retreat to the northern reaches of the city. However, on this very day the accumulation of Russian forces in the region finally bore fruit, and the fighting in South Ossetia reached a turning point. Toward the evening of August 10, Tskhinvali was completely cleared of Georgian forces, which retreated to the south of the city.


  • At 10 AM, the Georgian government announces that 1,500 of its 9,000 troops have entered Tskhinvali and that they now control the main part of the conflict zone. ... Russia gradually increases its number of ground troops in South Ossetia, outnumbering the 9,000 Georgian troops by nearly two to one.

All those sources point into the same direction: Georgia had an initial advantage, when it was only facing the South Ossetians and those Russian troops already in Tskhinvali. When more and more new Russian troops arrived via the Roki tunnel, the pressure started to mount and finally had to withdraw. Whether the estimate of 2 to 1 is correct is hard to tell, but on the general line, all sources say the same. --Xeeron (talk) 20:59, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

No they don't. 10,000 troops don't equal 18,000. Basic math. The myth that the ISPD seeks to create is that Russians just threw a lot of men into South Ossetia, and won sheerly on numbers. That's a myth, which is why ISDP doubles or even triples the number of Russian forces. There's a huge difference between a 1 to 1 ratio and a 2 to 1 ratio in the military. 2 is not 1. If you want to test that theory, you can give me $2 million, and I'll pay you back $1 million. It is absurd to think that it is the same. ISDP cannot deal with the fact that NATO trained forces got their butts kicked, and so doubles the amount of Russian soldiers. 10 guys vs. 9 guys in a fight, isn't the same, nor generally the same, as 18 v. 9 guys in a fight. Plus some of the Russian soldiers were guarding supply lines, whereas the Georgian troops guarding the supply lines aren't counted. Therefore the ISDP comparison is absurd. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 02:08, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
It seems clear that Russians outnumbered the Georgians in South Ossetia at some point, but it is unclear by how much. From [17]: "The Georgian army has five regular infantry brigades, each with some 2,000 troops." If you take a look at the Georgian casualty list[18], it seems clear that all the four brigades that were in Georgia at the time participated in the battle for South Ossetia. Moscow Defense Brief also confirms this. This means that Georgia had at least 8,000 regulars. Again, if you look at the casualty list and MDB's article, it seems clear that other units participated as well, such as the Separate Tank Battallion and the National Guard. But it is unclear how many soldiers these units had. MDB's claim that Georgia had up to 16,000 troops in the conflict zone does have some credibility when compared with the information from the casualty list. Still, with this information the current estimate in the article: 9,000 (Georgian claim) - 16,000 (MDB claim) seems to be all we can say about Georgian troop numbers. Also, here is a working link for the US claim of 15,000 Russian troops in Georgia: [19]. Offliner (talk) 09:14, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
The Georgian list of casualties is not a good reference here, since it states Georgian casualties from the total conflict, including deaths from air attacks, deaths in the Kodori Gourge, deaths from fighting that happened in Georgia proper. Seeing how the number of casualtes from the first and fifth brigade are considerably lower than those from the 2-4th brigage, it makes sense to assume that they did not or only partially take part in the battle for Tskhinvali.
Just along the same lines, one can call the MDB's accessment into question: "all in all, up to 16,000 men) in the Georgian enclaves in the South Ossetian conflict zone". Take a look at File:SO1.jpg to see how tiny those enclaves actually are. For all we know the main Georgian trust happened from the south (this is even in the MDB itself: "forcing the Ossetian forces and Russian peacekeeping battalion to retreat to the northern reaches of the city"), that is from Georgia proper, not from the Georgian enclaves. Neither source is perfect, but the general picture is the same. --Xeeron (talk) 17:12, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
What do you mean casualty list is not a good reference? Pro-Georgian editors have called Poti and Senaki occupations, not battles. That means that there was little contests, and virtually no casualties, you cannot have it both ways. Most of the fighting occurred in the Tskhinvali area, which is where most of military casualties come from on both sides. The amount of Georgian casualties due to bombardment in Georgia proper is minimal, and certainly doesn't reach anywhere near as high as Georgian casualties in the Battle of Tskhinvali. Also, in order to force the Ossetians and Russian Peacekeepers to retreat to Northern Tskhinvali, Georgians had to attack Southern Tskhinvali, which is in South Ossetia, well in South Ossetia. And once again, 10 vs. 16, or 10 vs. 9, is nowhere near the same ratio as the 2 to 1 ratio boldly portrayed by a source with few citations. Also, if you look at where the casualties took place - that's where the battles took place, thus casualty list is an extremely good reference, it's facts on the ground, rather then PhDs directly quoting the Georgian president. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 18:15, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
The list does not include the location. Since fighting was not restricted to Tskhinvali, we have no way of telling who died where. --Xeeron (talk) 12:45, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Like I said above, the list is still a crude argument for which units were involved, since most of the fighting occured in SO, and elsewhere Georgians mostly retreated, thus, most of the Georgian casualties must have occurred in SO.
Here is another number: according to IISS the Georgians had 12,000 troops in the conflict zone: [20]. It falls between Saakashvili's 9,000 claim and MDB's 16,000 claim. Offliner (talk) 13:15, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
So, what do we do about ISDP's "two-to-one" claim? If we look at the various numbers above, it is clear that the claim is contradicted by other sources. For example: the Georgians say the Russians had about 15,000 to 20,000 men in the theatre. But IISS (a British, presumably neutral source) says Georgia had 12,000. 2 * 12,000 = 24,000 != 20,000. Suggestions: 1) remove ISDP's claim, 2) add "...but this is contradicted by other sources" to the claim, 3) replace with more exact statements on troop levels (this would be a bit stupid, since we have those estimates elsewhere in the article, and ISDP's claim was about troop levels on August 9, I think.) Offliner (talk) 15:52, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
We should replace it by a less specific statement that is backed by most sources. --Xeeron (talk) 16:39, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
There is still a major problem in your solution: it says that the Russians outnumbered the Georgians at the end of August 9. As far as I remember, this is not supported by other sources. We should change it to August 10 instead. Offliner (talk) 17:03, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
On August 10, the Georgian troops already received the order to withdraw. While it is obvious that after the Georgian withdraw the Russians outnumbered them, the more important point is that they withdrew when being outnumbered. --Xeeron (talk) 20:52, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Still, outnumbering on August 9 is not supported by other sources, so I'm not willing to accept that version. Maybe "On August 9-10" would be a good compromise?Offliner (talk) 21:58, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Fine with me. --Xeeron (talk) 23:17, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Just gave this another thought. Are you absolutely sure that the combined Russian and Ossetian forces outnumbered the Georgians? IISS' article says the Russian troop number grew to 10,000: [21], and that the Georgian troop number was 12,000. The only sources that directly say that Russians outnumbered the Georgians are ISDP's article and the Georgian Defense Minister. Offliner (talk) 21:47, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes. According to the infobox, SO had "3,000 regulars and 15,000 reservists;[21] unknown number of volunteers". Together with the Russians that is more. --Xeeron (talk) 22:23, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Those are not exact numbers. 3,000 regulars is the estimated total size of the South Ossetian army. It is reasonable to assume a wide error margin in that estimate. Also it is not clear how many of those regulars participated in the war, and how many were not mobilized in time. Military of South Ossetia says there were just 2,500 regulars. If IISS numbers are correct, we have 12,000 Georgians, and the combined forces of Russians + Ossetians are about 12,500. I contest your claim. We have only two sources which directly say that Russians outnumbered the Georgians, other sources are unclear. If MDB number of 16,000 Georgians is correct, then we have a contradiction as well. Do you still say you are absolutely sure? Would you mind bringing a couple of more sources in to support your claim? Offliner (talk) 22:31, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I had forgotten about the numbers in the Spiegel report [22]: The Russians deployed 5,500 troops to Gori and 7,000 to the border between Georgia and its second separatist region, Abkhazia. From this wording, it seems possible that Spiegel means only 5,500 Russian troops were deployed in the SO warzone. If this is true, they definitely did not outnumber the Georgians. Offliner (talk) 14:04, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
The Russians did not reached Gori during the battle, only once it was essentially over. --Xeeron (talk) 16:10, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Here is a better number from another Spiegel article [23]: "Depending on the estimate, the Russians moved between 5,500 and 10,000 soldiers into South Ossetia through the Roki tunnel. Meanwhile, there were already between 7,000 and 10,000 Russian soldiers at the Georgian-Abkhazian border, many of them brought there on ships from Russia." So there were 5,500 - 10,000 Russian troops (presumably they mean: in total) in South Ossetia, and 12,000 Georgian troops had been amassed near the border at war's start. This also seems to undermine your and ISDP's claim, that the Russians outnumbered the Georgians. Offliner (talk) 22:29, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

(ri) If 5500-10000 moved through the tunnel, then the total number opposing the Georgians has to be 5500-10000 plus the Russians already present beforehand, plus the South Ossetians, plus any possible non-Russian army volunteers present. Additionally, we don't know whether all 12000 Georgians were committed to the battle, a non-negligable number might have been held back in reserve in Georgia. --Xeeron (talk) 14:59, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

List of Russian casualties?

Seeing how the Georgian list of names has been on the net for months now, is there any Russian list forthcoming? It would be quite valuable for the infobox. --Xeeron (talk) 12:47, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I think its fine as it is no need to change. But when you say valuable for the infobox what do you mean? restructure it?--XChile (talk) 20:13, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Copied over from my talk page

That started on my talk page, but I guess it makes more sense to have all discussion here, instead of split up. --Xeeron (talk) 20:43, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Xeeron, please stop your POV on the 2008 South Ossetia War Article. I have been very nice to you, but my patience with your edits is running out. You cannot simply put sources in the article that you like, merely because they were written by people holding PhD. And your attack on my, saying that I made up the 6,000 number, whereas it was in the article prior to my editing on it, is quite frankly nothing but an empty ad hominem. Your refusal to recognize NPOV, and your willingness to place anything pro-Georgian, no matter how poorly sourced and written into the article, as well as your edit-warring, are getting old. Please, for the sake of NPOV stop it now. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 18:29, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
You confuse NPOV with YOURPOV. The fact that sources do not agree to your very one-sided view of events does not make them invalid. And that you go out and say that scientific sources, written by people in a neutral country, who work in the field are NPOV, just because they do not adhere to your favorite view of what happened, should be cause for worry.
PS: I checked before making that post and checked again now. The 6,000 is nowhere in the article, so get your facts straight. --Xeeron (talk) 22:14, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
The article says 15,000 Russian soldiers. 9,000 were in Abkhazia. Check your math. BTW I discuss my edits before making them, I'd really wish you started doing the same. Care to show me how my view is very onesided? That I don't agree with people just because they have a PhD makes me biased? Suddenly if someone has a PhD, they're supposed to be my master? Oh, and do contribute to the discussion page please. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 00:52, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
What are you talking about, I have more contributions on the talk page than you. Anyway, be assured that I plan to continue contributing there.
The article says "Est. at least 15,000 regulars in Georgia". Note that it is a) an estimate b) does not count South Ossetian forces c) is concerned with troops in Georgia (does that include or exclude SO and Ab?). The source is also no longer avaible, the link did not work for me. --Xeeron (talk) 10:58, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Do you even read what you write? How can South Ossetian Forces not be counted as part of the Russian Forces in Georgia?! Wow, just wow. This is amazing. Furthermore yes it is an estimate, and Georgian forces are also an estimate, but it's the most accurate estimate possible. And it said 15,000 in Georgia, not just Georgia proper, which tears your argument to shreds. Saakashvili also said that Georgians won the war, can't wait for you to make that argument Daniel. And if you look at the current page on discussion, it shows that I discuss all of my edits, you do not. Discuss your edits either prior to make them, or at the very least as you make them. And stop placing POV sources into the article just because you like the writers, that is unacceptable Daniel. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 20:33, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Again I am going to ask all of you, can we discuss content issues only? I have extended the protection by two more days to facilitate additional discussion on the content. List the issues you have with the content or sources breifly without trying to think into other's motives. Explain why you think said sentence or source should not be there and what your ideal fix is. Discuss those, reach a compromise or two.

Remember that NPOV does not mean presenting just one so called "nuetral" point of view. It is possible and in some cases desired to have multiple points of view listed. I really suggest everyone on this talk page go to Wikipedia:NPOV#Achieving_neutrality and read that section instead of simply saying "Not NPOV", explain why you think it is not NPOV in one or two sentences (no more!). —— nixeagleemail me 16:30, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Straight to the point: according to the agruments of you both, Xeeron, you are wrong about inserting 15 thousand Ru army number in SO just b/c article spoke of 15 in Georgia (and definitely was describing whole then-time Georgia).
HistoricWarrior is wrong about mixing SO and Ru armies. Two legally independent states, need to give numbers for both.
Sorry I do not have much time to edit the article right now. With kind regards from Austria, FeelSunny (talk) 18:13, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

August 7 meeting - factual error in ISDP source?

Did Popov take part?

  • From the article (source: ISDP):

"The meeting on August 7 went ahead, but only the Georgians and Russian peacekeeping commander Marat Kulakhmetov showed up, Russian chief negotiator Yuri Popov and the Ossetian side did not participate.[104] Kulakhmetov advises the Georgians to declare a ceasefire. [122][120][104]"

  • From UNOMIG website (via Google cache:) [24]

"Russian chief negotiator over South Ossetia, Yuri Popov, said no agreement has been reach with Tbilisi over format of talks.

Popov told Rustavi 2 TV on 07 August after meeting with Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian State Minister for Reintegration and chief negotiator: "We have not yet found understanding over the matter."

  • From OSCE report[25]:

"An OSCE and JPKF team escorted the team of State Minister Yakobashvili to the JPKF Headquarters in Tskhinvali, where he had a meeting with ambassador Popov and the JPKF Commander General Kulakhmetov."

So Popov did meed with Iakobashvili on August 7 after all? Isn't this a contradiction? Other sources also seem to confirm, that Russia did not reject the talks on August 7, only South Ossetia did. Offliner (talk) 10:59, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Did South Ossetia take part?

From Financial Times[26]:

"Following a short lull in the clashes, deadly fighting started again on August 7, each side blaming the other for the escalation. Heavier and heavier weapons were used. “One side would use a 60mm mortar, the other side would use a 90mm, then the 122s came out” was how one western observer put it.

Capt Ivanov and Eduard Kokoity, the pro-Moscow president of South Ossetia, say they held a meeting that day between Marat Kulakhmetov, commander of the Russian peacekeeping forces, and Temur Yakobashvili, the Georgian minister for re­integration, whose job is to deal with the breakaway regions. General Kulakhmetov asked Mr Yakobashvili to telephone Mr Saakashvili and tell him to declare a unilateral ceasefire. At 7.30pm Mr Saakashvili an­nounced the ceasefire: "I would like to address those who are now shooting at Georgian policemen. I want to say with full responsibility that several hours ago, I reached a very difficult decision – not to respond with fire.""

So Kokoity claims he took part in the meeting after all? However, the OSCE report cited above also says, that South Ossetia refused to take part.


ISDP's claim, that Popov did not take part, seems questionable. The claim definitely needs another source. If no second source is provided, the claim must be removed. Furhermore, as I have said all along, all ISDP's claims need to be double-checked, and a second source must be provided for each of the claims. The ISDP article itself says that "facts might need to checked when more solid evidence arrives", and it asks readers to send in corrections. If it is true, that Popov did take part after all, then the ISDP article's factual accuracy is called into question even more. If no second source is provided for all ISDP claims soon, I will start removing them from the article. Offliner (talk) 11:09, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Here is another source. But you are right on one point: Technically, neither source says that Yakobashvili did not meet with Russian negotiatiors (or even Popov, outside of the planned negotiations). I implied, because the talks did not happen and Popov did not participate in the talks, that Yakobashvili did not speak to a Russian negotiatior, but of course he could have a) spoken to a different Russian negotiator or b) spoken to Popov outside of the canceled talks. --Xeeron (talk) 13:23, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
According to the OSCE report above, Yakobashvili, Popov and Kulahkmetov did have a meeting in Tskhinvali on August 7. The report also says that Popov and Yakobashvili also met in Tbilisi earlier that day. However, it seems to be some kind of leaked report, that was not meant to be public. Offliner (talk) 13:43, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
It is extremely frustrating that the ISDP report did not mention its sources. I have again a big suspicion that the claim "Popov did not show up" simply comes from the mouth of Georgian authorities once again. And I know that you probably wouldn't like to use statements by Georgian / Russian authorities as sources. But since ISDP's "men with PhDs" essentially wrote an article based on Georgian claims (without naming the source), (ISDP being a "a scientific source" according to you), you are now sourcing the article with Georgian claims anyway. Do you agree with my criticism of the ISDP source at all? Offliner (talk) 13:48, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Obviously, my dream source would look different from the isdp report. But unfortunately, my dream source is just that, a dream. What we have to work with is the sources that are avaible and there isdp is not different from all the other sources that do not quote their sources (and are none-the-less heavily used in this article). --Xeeron (talk) 16:14, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
But with the ISDP article there is a specific suspicion, that they are only quoting the Georgian version on almost everything. With the other sources (such as MDB), we do not have this suspicion. Therefore (in addition the the problem that the article was written early, and it says itself that facts might need correction later), I think we should try to avoid using the ISDP article as a source. Also note that the MDB article was written much later than the ISDP article. Offliner (talk) 16:47, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, MDB does not quote any source at all, but it is obvious that they use Russian military connections. Isdp uses neutral sources as well (check all the UN statements). If anything, MDB's use of sources is more biased. --Xeeron (talk) 23:02, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
ISDP's sources are "a military analyst said" - what military analyst? They're jokes, not sources. I can write "According to a military analysts all Georgians enjoy chewing ties with Americans" and that is as well sourced as the ISDP. Also Xeeron, please show me where the ISDP uses UN statements? I wasn't aware that UN commented on the issue other then "both sides bad stop fighting" or "yay, peace". It could be a nation's representative in the UN, but not the UN itself.

Also, MDB was written much later than ISDP which means MDB had more sources to work with and perform better analysis. Just pure logic, as simple as 2+2=4. Oh wait, that might be a bad analogy here.... HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 05:15, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

"The NATO experts did not question the Georgian claim that the Russians had provoked them by sending their troops through the Roki Tunnel."

This unclear wording in the Spiegel article has annoyed me for a long time. Does this mean the NATO experts confirm that Russians did send troops through the tunnel at the time Saakashvili claims? If yes, then the article seem to contradict itself.

"The intelligence agencies were monitoring the Russian calls for help on the airwaves. The 58th Army, part of which was stationed in North Ossetia, was apparently not ready for combat, at least not during that first night."

"Russian troops from North Ossetia did not begin marching through the Roki Tunnel until roughly 11 a.m. This sequence of events is now seen as evidence that Moscow did not act offensively, but merely reacted. Additional SS-21s were later moved to the south. The Russians deployed 5,500 troops to Gori and 7,000 to the border between Georgia and its second separatist region, Abkhazia."

"The details that Western intelligence agencies extracted from their signal intelligence agree with NATO's assessments."

If NATO experts say Russian troops came through the tunnel at 11:30 pm on August 7, then their assessment certainly does not agree with the ingelligence agencies.

"One thing was already clear to the officers at NATO headquarters in Brussels: They thought that the Georgians had started the conflict and that their actions were more calculated than pure self-defense or a response to Russian provocation. In fact, the NATO officers believed that the Georgian attack was a calculated offensive against South Ossetian positions to create the facts on the ground, and they coolly treated the exchanges of fire in the preceding days as minor events. Even more clearly, NATO officials believed, looking back, that by no means could these skirmishes be seen as justification for Georgian war preparations."

So the NATO officials say that there was no provocation that could be seen as justification for Georgian war preparations. But if a massive column Russian troops (150 vehicles according to Saakashvili) entered Georgian territory on August 7, wouldn't that been provocation enough?

From all this material, why do we have to choose the most unclear and dubious sentence ("Nato experts did not question...") into the article? Offliner (talk) 14:15, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Imho, the NATO stance (as reported by SPIEGEL) can be paraphrased as: "We have no own evidence about the timing of the Russian troops in roki, but do not doubt the Georgian version that there were some Russian units. However that is not an excuse to start shelling Tskhinvali". Spiegel's own stance (being different from NATO's) seems to be that there were no Russian troops before 11am. --Xeeron (talk) 16:22, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
This is probably where the article was translated from [27]: "Die georgische Behauptung, die Russen hätten provoziert und Truppen in den Roki-Tunnel einmarschieren lassen, wurde von den Nato-Experten keineswegs bezweifelt. Doch in der Bewertung der Fakten überwog die Skepsis, dass dies die wahren Ursachen für Saakaschwilis Vorgehen waren."
Note the conjuctive "and": "The Georgian claim, that the Russians had provoked and sent troops into the Roki tunnel, was not questioned by the NATO experts." So they did not specifically say that the troops in the tunnel was the provocation. But they did not question the claim that some provocations had took place (possibly separate incidents, which happened earlier.) And if the troops in the tunnel was not the provocation, then it may have been only a very small number of troops, not the massive 150 vehicle column Saakashvili is claiming. Offliner (talk) 17:10, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Why are you getting so hanged up on this? The article clearly states, in both the English and German version, that the NATO experts did not question the Georgian claim regarding the troop movements. It is just that those experts feel that troop movements in Roki are not a good excuse for starting a massive attack. --Xeeron (talk) 21:26, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Spiegel's own stance (being different from NATO's) seems to be that there were no Russian troops before 11am - this was not Spiegel's "own stance." They were still quotiong Western intelligence agencies at that point in text. Offliner (talk) 17:14, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Not that it matters, but I still feel that this is Spiegel's accessment. Note how a new paragraph starts right before that sentence. In any case, this are not the NATO experts quoted before. --Xeeron (talk) 21:26, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Why would they announce their own assesment in a context like that? That part of the article is clearly about what the western intelligence experts think that happened. Still, I cannot prove that it was the intelligence agencies who said that. Maybe I should email Spiegel and ask what exactly did they mean? Offliner (talk) 21:51, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Not that I would stop you, but, why? --Xeeron (talk) 22:57, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Do it. Mention that's it's in a Wikipedia article, and forward this discussion as well. Ask the editor to opine. Or pm me if you want me to do it, becuase I will. Why? Because this will settle the contrversy once and for all. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 05:19, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

"Independence" of article authors

I would really like to ask you all, people, to consider one thing when you cite an "independent" source:

Who is funding it?

In case money comes authorities, we should not think this is an "independent" source. That simple.

It includes the BBC and, I guess, RT, Radio Free Europe and Deutsche Welle, and dozens of others. However, you would think of some of these as independent, some not. Ask yourself, if you have a bias here.

It also includes some less obvious "NGOs" which turn out to be somewhat "GOs" at a closer look.

Here is an example: The Institute for Security and Development Policy says it's an "independent and non-profit research and policy institute". It was discussed on this page. However, at the same site you see their "independence" is only supported by one "core" source of finance: Utrikesdepartmentet (Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs).

Another example: the Freedom House describes themselves as "independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world". However, [80% of their funding] comes directly from "federal [US] grants". Who would argue they are independent after that? How can one, for example, openly and fiercely criticize government that pays him?

Another important thing is:

Who is writing it?

Can you imagine former Russian army captain, and the second Chechnya war veteran, making an "independent" research for some Russian NGO on the war in Kosovo?

That's just what HRW in for South Ossetia. There only was a former U.S. captain that told aims for U.S. planes during NATO bombardments of Serbia.

Try to check things like this. Look at some of these reports with a critical view before you add them here.FeelSunny (talk) 22:09, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

As a side note: You should even be more suspicious of those organisations that do not state the source of their funding. --Xeeron (talk) 22:55, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Like the Silk Road Studies? HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 05:21, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Still trying to bad mouth them? (don't answer, that was a rethoric question). No, not like Silk road studies, since they list their sponsors very prominently on their web page: --Xeeron (talk) 15:17, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


I have zero awareness of that part of the world. I just wanted to say that the current title didn't help me finding this article at all. I searched google for russia georgia war and I didn't find this Wikipedia article at all except on result number 20, the end of second page of google. --Darwish (talk) 19:10, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

That is strange considering that Russia Georgia war is a redirect here. (Igny (talk) 23:45, 1 March 2009 (UTC))
russia georgia war does not re direct to wikipedia not sure why not but thats out of Wikipedia's control and we can do nothing about to my knowledge at least. --XChile (talk) 20:53, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Google rates pages according to a lot of stuff. The redirect does not have enough content and incomming links to show up, only the main page will. --Xeeron (talk) 00:18, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
If you want to find something on Wikipedia, you should add "wiki" at the end of your search query. Suddenly and magically it becomes the first link. Also, I did the same query that you have, "russia georgia war" and it became the seventh link. And twentieth link is nothing to cry about either, you had to spend what, 2-3 mins reading it? Next time add "wiki". Also, the attacker usually goes first, and considering that Georgia attacked Russian base, it should be Georgia Russia War. No we aren't changing the name to aid your search. Remember "wiki"! HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 04:25, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Try to be less aggressive. Such hysterical posts are not going to help your cause. I'm going to propose an article rename ASAP and the community's decision will prove which name is better.--KoberTalk 04:37, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Kober, when you are calling someone agressive, and use the word "hysterical" in the same sentence, it shows you're desperate and reduces your credibility. Also, there have been over 100 pages of discussion on what this article should be called, by scores of editors, and 100 discussion pages, 2008 South Ossetia War was the chosen title. Quite a few editors here would rather not go through that again, just to make the article "easier" to find. Is it really that hard scrolling down seven links, or typing four letters? HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 06:52, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Please don't misreport, there was never a consensus to have 2008 South Ossetia war as title the title 2008 South Ossetia war was never chosen on the talk page. --Xeeron (talk) 11:10, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
(hi-tech robotic female voice, announces in english but with with horrible russian accent, just like the one in Red Alert): Alert! Alert! Article rename attempt detected. Unit, advance to your position immediately.
Oh my god, is that really happening to me again? I'm still undergoing intensive psychiatric care since the last time, and have ways to go till getting fully recovered, yet it there has to be another round of rename discussion... What can i say? Life is hard and unfair. =)
Xeeron, he never said the word "consensus", and the words "chosen title" are not it's equivalent either. Or do you have some Venn diagrams showing otherwise? =)) (Sorry, i couldn't resist it. =) I think, what he was trying to say, is that there was no consensus before, and, since no significant info about the war appeared and there is no reason to expect from editors to have their opinions changed, it's highly unlikely that any kind of consensus can emerge this time. Personally, I don't expect anything from this discussion but a waste of time, too. Do we really have to go through this again?
To HistoricWarrior007: Hi, mate. (talk) 12:44, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
It's the power of the status quo. On wikipedia, a determined minority can block changes indefinitely. --Xeeron (talk) 12:58, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
"...title 2008 South Ossetia war was never chosen on the talk page." Well, technically, it was chosen to stay. You, and everyone else made that choice implicitly, when stopped participating in rename discussion. =))
"It's the power of the status quo. On wikipedia, a determined minority can block changes indefinitely." Now, you're the one, who is misinterpreting here, Xeeron. One can be as determined as he wants, but he'll have to present reasonable arguments to be able to "block changes", as you name it. I don't think that i'm unreasonable, so if our situation shows something, then it's not the power of status quo, but the lack of counter-arguments from you, which will succeed in convincing me. I'm open to accepting and supporting some good compromise title if you're able think up one (i failed), but "Russia-Georgia war" is just the same no-go with me as it was before. (talk) 14:43, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
No need for such aggressiveness Mr./Ms. "Warrior". I told you I don't care about this war; I'm in the heart of the Middle East and we have enough wars and history to make me busy for 100 years. I just wished to post a view which is 100% from outside. And instead of thanking or civilly disagreeing, you're just attacking. External eyes are needed in any article. I'll say it again: for outsiders this title is really obscure. We don't really know what "Ossetia" is; all what outsiders know is "Russia" and "Georgia". --Darwish (talk) 14:51, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
"" No need for such aggressiveness Mr./Ms. "Warrior" " On his place, you wouldn't be talking as calm as he did, after going through this mind-breaking hell which is misguidingly called "rename discussion". =)) Believe me, after some time spent in it, it becomes hard to remember what words "civil disagreement" mean. On your place, i would familiarise myself with the older discussion, before even suggesting this rename.
"I'll say it again: for outsiders this title is really obscure. We don't really know what "Ossetia" is; all what outsiders know is "Russia" and "Georgia". " So, Wikipedia is supposed to support readers' ignorance? And i don't see how this could be a problem anyway, since, as HistoricWarrior showed, to resolve it, one just has to append "wiki" to his query, and whether it contains mysterious "Ossetia" word or not, it will succeed in finding this article. And since article title is nearly the last thing Google cares about when it determines it's PageRank, i don't see, how this problem could be fixed with article rename. (talk) 15:40, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Xeeron, you have math skills. Current editors that may want change: Darwish, Kober, Xeeron, Narking. Current editors that oppose title change: 212, (who has a wiki account as can be seen by the quality of his edits), FeelSunny, Offliner, Igny, and me. So now 4 > 5. Just like 15,000 - 9,000 was < 18,000. It just never ceases to amaze me! Darwish - if you want to find a Wikipedia Article, type in "wiki". Otherwise it will keep on jumping around and will rarely be first, irrespective of the title. Also, if you don't know anything about Ossetia, we need the title so that you could instantly learn some valuable info! Our job is to inform, not to conform. To be NPOV, not to follow the majority. And no title is more NPOV then the one above. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 20:26, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
The main reason why so many editors have left this article is that they simply are fed up of the constant incivility and personal attacks here. And yes, a minority can easily block an article this way. Närking (talk) 21:02, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Oh and a perfect way to stop any move is by trolling the discussion, drag it down to a personal level, or get the opposite side bogged down by postulating a bunch of unrelated half-truths and straw men that need to be refuted. I remember perfectly well how that works, no need to show me again. --Xeeron (talk) 21:31, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

What is it with the pro-Georgia crowd here. Reading trouble? The fundamental point from the previous edit was no title is more NPOV then the one above. Since when is NPOV, the fundamental key of Wikipedia, become a strawman? Are you guys seriously ignoring all of my major points and merely responding to sublets of these points? And Narking, when you are trying to be the Great Defender, attacking me really doesn't help your cause. The irony of this is just superbly thick, especially in this article, when one Great Defender (Saakashvili) already ended up chewing ties. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 00:20, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Interesting to see that my comment was almost instantly confirmed. Närking (talk) 19:51, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Let me help you out with the formulation: The fundamental point Your assertion, not backed up by any source or arguement, from the previous edit was no title is more NPOV then the one above. For the rest of your post, this still fits perfectly: Oh and a perfect way to stop any move is by trolling the discussion, drag it down to a personal level, or get the opposite side bogged down by postulating a bunch of unrelated half-truths and straw men that need to be refuted. I remember perfectly well how that works, no need to show me again. --Xeeron (talk) 14:29, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Xeeron, your "HistoricWarrior is evil because he attacks editors" claim is slightly, marred by your attack on me. Also, in 100 pages no one provided a more NPOV title, then the one above. You would do well to actually read those 100 pages, prior to proceeding with the commentary, which shows nothing except from your ignorance of the issue at hand. Once again Xeeron, come up with a more NPOV title, or stop commenting. 100 pages of discussion, 100 pages of arguments, is a source that backs up my assertion, and the fact that you're too lazy to look at it, simply shows your ignorance. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 18:06, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
When did I claim ... ah wait, I see: Oh and a perfect way to stop any move is by trolling the discussion, drag it down to a personal level, or get the opposite side bogged down by postulating a bunch of unrelated half-truths and straw men that need to be refuted. I remember perfectly well how that works, no need to show me again.
Oh and, "August war" (was pointed out before on the talk page), surely more NPOV than the current one. --Xeeron (talk) 21:47, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Xeeron, are you familiar with the art of reading at all? Or are you hoping that repetition will get your point across? Hey that's how Americans were misled to believe that Saddam had ties to bin Laden, and here you are using the same tactic of repetition. Xeeron, if you say it enough, it still won't be true. 2+2=5. 2+2=5. Damn that still equals 4. Also, if you would have read the archives, you would have found that the August War was countered with irrelevancy, because *gasp* more then two nations go to war in August. The 2008 South Ossetia War could only happen once, in South Ossetia, in 2008. The August War can happen at any time. Xeeron, go and read the archive, I am not going to continue this debate, until you read the archives. No one is going to repeat every argument made in those 100 pages for satisfying your majesty. This isn't GuildWars, you're not a Guildmaster. If you make a point, and people inform you that the point has already been contradicted, it is your duty to find out where the point has been contradicted, so that you don't make the same mistakes. Yet you never learn, do you? For the last time, Xeeron go and read the archives, I will not repeat the information for your pleasure anymore. And yes, all of your points were countered in those 100 pages. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 00:52, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh and a perfect way to stop any move is by trolling the discussion, drag it down to a personal level, or get the opposite side bogged down by postulating a bunch of unrelated half-truths and straw men that need to be refuted. I remember perfectly well how that works, no need to show me again.
I know that you dislike "August war", but that does not change the fact that it is less POV than "2008 South Ossetia war". --Xeeron (talk) 13:27, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Xeeron, when you repeat something three times as a way to insult me, you are, what was that quote, oh yeah, trolling the discussion by dragging it down to a personal level. Way to show everyone that you're a hypocrite Xeeron. Also, the reason that I dislike August War is because many wars happen in August. We can call this war The War of Shooting Guns and it would be more NPOV then the 2008 South Ossetia War, but like the August War it would be completely irrelevant. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 05:09, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
HistoricWarrior007, if you continue personal attacks you'll be reported to the admin board. Regarding your asertion that "many wars happen in August", many revolutions actually happened in February, but we do have the article titled February Revolution.--KoberTalk 05:13, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Kober said: "HistoricWarrior007, if you continue personal attacks you'll be reported to the admin board." You know, Kober, i'm somehow sure the admin board will notice, that a repeated insertion of "trolling the discussion... get bogged down... I remember perfectly well how that works, no need to show me again." quote by Xeeron, prior to answering to any HistoricWarrior's post, constitutes a personal attack, too. So, legal threats nothwithstanding, i just wanna say to everyone: Play nice, guys, OK?
Kober also said: "Regarding your asertion that "many wars happen in August", many revolutions actually happened in February, but we do have the article titled February Revolution" Your example is about a historically determined title, which is VERY popular in usage, and is used in many military history books and studies. It's clearly not the case with "August war" title, so i hope, i made it obvious, why this example can't be applied in our situation.
Xeeron said: "I know that you dislike "August war", but that does not change the fact that it is less POV than "2008 South Ossetia war" " This is the place, where you, Xeeron, are substituting the opposition's arguments for something they've never been. Need i remind you, what was said to you by HistoricWarrior at the end of previous big rename discussion:
[quote starts]
What happened to "everything is about POV"? Seems that suddenly descriptiveness of the title does play a role. -- Xeeron (talk) 18:24, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
When did I say that the descriptiveness hasn't played a role? I said that it had to be reasonable - remember my initial argument about not calling it the Russo-Georgian War because it didn't take place on Russian soil? Wasn't that all about descriptiveness of where the war took place? The best is a balance between descriptiveness and NPOV, which our current title, 2008 South Ossetia War, fits perfectly. It was never about "everyting POV". It is about the reasonable balance of the NPOV and descriptiveness. But good question, thank you for letting me clarify that. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 02:18, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
[quote ends]
You know, Xeeron, i would have been doubting your good faith, if there wouldn't be your occasional posts like "I am worried by the fact that some previous outspoken opponents of the move have not responded yet. Eventually one might conclude from the lack of opposition that the move has consensus, but it might also be that these people simply missed the new section." Ordinarily, i would have repeated all the counter-arguments against "August war" title, at least, the ones i've seen being expressed, despite them being already presented to you earlier. Just out of my respect for you. But i'm starting to have absolutely no free time lately, so i ask you to excuse me, and reread at least this and this one parts of the discussions on your own. I urge you to focus on FeelSunny's and others' arguments, which i assume, amount to following:
"August war" title is
  1. Nondescriptive: It tells much less about the war, than "South Ossetia war" title.
  2. Ambiguous: It's not actually understandable, which one of the wars, that were unfortunate to happen in August of some year, is being referred to.
  3. Unpopular in usage: The title's usage when it refers to the war of our interest, is less spread, compared to the usage of SOW title.
I hope, you'll explain, what you think is wrong with them. (talk) 14:30, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Thx for your post, but I was not proposing to move the name to "August war". I only get annoyed by the fact that over and over, I have to counter clearly wrong statements that derail the discussion, e.g. "no title is more NPOV then the one above" [2008 South Ossetia war]. Since this has happened so often, I can help but feel that this is a deliberate attempt to stall the discussion: You could go to the archives to find the exact same discussion ("Your new title is less NPOV, only NPOV counts", "Ok, why is it not called August war?", "Oh wait, NPOV is not the only thing that counts, it has to be descriptive as well", "Ok, but Russia-Georgia war or Georgia-Russia war is more descriptive", "We cant use that because it is less NPOV than South Ossetia war and only that counts", repeat ad infinitum). --Xeeron (talk) 15:08, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Why don't we just start voting and get this over with. I think everyone knows what the arguments for different names are, and everyone has made his position clear. So what is there to discuss? Let's stop wasting our time. Offliner (talk) 14:42, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

This might indeed be the only way to resolve the situation. I'll create a straw poll below. --Xeeron (talk) 14:56, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Status of OSCE mission to Georgia?

Does anyone understand what this means: [28].

"The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe extended on Thursday a mandate for its unarmed military observers in Georgia, the OSCE press service said."

However: "The mandate of the OSCE Mission to Georgia ended on 31 December 2008 and is not affected by today's decision," the organization said on its website."

What's going on? Offliner (talk) 11:12, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

There was more than 1 OSCE mission in Georgia. It seems the canceled one was the OSCE observer mission in place before the war, while the new one is the one put in place after the war. My guess is that the old one had some mission statements (e.g. return of refugees or restrictions on the number of foreign troops in SO/A) that Russia disliked, but we need more sources to establish that. --Xeeron (talk) 12:59, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
This is still unresolved. Exactly how many OSCE personnel are there in Georgia right now, and what are doing? Let's try to find this info for the article. Offliner (talk) 22:51, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Peacekeepers killed in the artillery attack

From [29]:

Yes, it does say that the 18 were killed in the artillery attack. Offliner (talk) 22:57, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Ok, cool. That makes the other source (which says 10+) pretty redundant. --Xeeron (talk) 23:01, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Why not use the more accurate figure? Every sources says that 10+ civillians died from both sides, and yet we don't have 10+ for civillians. Don't Russian Peacekeepers deserve the same respect? HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 00:37, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Dagomys Accords of 1992?

Does anyone know if the "Dagomys Accords of 1992" (referred to by Sergei Markedonov in the article) are the same as the Sochi agreement? According to the Sochi agreement article, that contract created the JCC. However, Dagomys Accords are also credited for creating the JCC: [30]. Offliner (talk) 00:27, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Not the same thing. Look at the dates signed. Both come from decent sources, so I think it's a must to have in the article. One was in June, the other I think in July. Gah! Dates! But it's not the same thing, great find Offliner :D HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 00:40, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
It noticed this on p. 164 of Markedonov's article: "On June 24, 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze signed the Dagomys (Sochi) accords on the principles of settling the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict." They have to be the same agreement. Offliner (talk) 00:49, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Tbilisi's withdrawal from JCC?

From the background section:

In what Sergei Markedonov has described as the culmination of Georgian "unfreezing" policy, the control of the Georgian peacekeeping battallion was transferred from the joint command of the peacekeeping forces to the Georgian Defense Ministry

From the pre-war clashes section:

Tbilisi had withdrawn from the JCC in march, demanding the format include the EU, the OSCE and the Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia.

It seems clear that these two sentences describe the same event? I think it would be important to date the first one. Is it OK to append "in March, 2008" to the first sentence? Offliner (talk) 21:07, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

The famous OSCE Spot Report

I suspect this is the famous OSCE August 8 spot report, which has caused so much discussion: [31] (or at least one of them.) Offliner (talk) 23:13, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Amass, deploy and concentrate

Does anyone know if there is a difference between the verbs "amass", "deploy" and "concentrate" (troops, equipment)? Also, which prepositions should be used with those? Is "they had amassed lots of troops to the border" correct, or should it be on or into the border? Please check if the usage of those terms and prepositions is correct in the article. Offliner (talk) 00:48, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

"into" is definitely wrong, since that would make the border have depth. On suffers from a similar problem, but most people would understand it. I'd use: "Concentrate troops near the border" to avoid any problems. --Xeeron (talk) 13:58, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Another problem is with the dating. If I say "they had concentrated 12,000 troops to the border on August 7," does it mean that they concentrated all the troops on that day (which they probably didn't)? Would "...until August 7" or "...before August 7" be better/more correct? Offliner (talk) 19:16, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
If you want to express "it happened before or on August 7, but not after, and they were still there on August 7", I'd say "... had concentrated 12,000 troops near the border by August 7." --Xeeron (talk) 19:32, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that seems to be the correct expression. Offliner (talk) 19:34, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm, why bother asking, when you change it back (to a bad translation) 3 days later? --Xeeron (talk) 14:01, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I changed it to "moved troops to the border in July," because I still wasn't happy with the wording. But this was probably a mistake, since it could (?) be understood as "they moved all their troops to the border in July." What Spiegel (Richter) says, is that they amassed troops to the border already in July. This probably means that the troops concentrations began in July, and continued until August. At that point in our article it doesn't make sense to say "already in July," because the context of "already" would not be clear. I'm still not quite sure which wording to use. Do you have a suggestion for the wording of Richter's sentence? Offliner (talk) 06:49, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think "already" would be a problem, since the reader knows from the lead that the conflict happened in August, but the sentence is fine without the "already", too. It might be moved forwars a bit, though, since the sentences before it speak about "after the excercise" (which ended on July 31), making it currently out of order. --Xeeron (talk) 10:43, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


"Russian policy of recognition was supported by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation" - This sentence is only backed up by one, non-working, source. However it is directly contradicted by several other sources (e.g. Global affairs, Guardian, CACI). Unless there is further evidence that those sources are all wrong, I'll delete that statement soon. --Xeeron (talk) 14:54, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Implemented and added two working sources. --Xeeron (talk) 10:44, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Defenders of Tskhinvali?

Exactly how many Russian peacekeepers where there in Tskhinvali when the Georgians began their attack? The background section says:

[32] says:

Offliner (talk) 23:02, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

This [33] seems to make (almost) the same claim as Spiegel:
Just, what is this North-Ossetian battallion? Does this mean there were two Russians battallions in South Ossetia? Offliner (talk) 00:52, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Putting the two sources together, this is the only interpretation left (assuming they are both correct): There were 1000 Russian peacekeepers in SO before the war, 500 of them being in the NO battalion. 500 of them stayed in Tskhinvali directly, the other 500 somewhere else. There were also 500 Georgian peacekeepers (nothing is said about Georgian, Russian or South Ossetian non-peacekeeper soldiers). --Xeeron (talk) 16:32, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
BTW, you reinserted the number of peacekeepers in Abkhazia to the background section. I removed them, because that part of the section talks about the situation in South Ossetia, not Abkhazia, so the Abkhazian number is not relevant to that section. The number of peacekeepers in Abkhazia is given in the military buildup section. I don't think there is a need to repeat the number in two sections. Offliner (talk) 22:49, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
You might notice that the background section is saying almost nothing about Abkhazia (something that should be changed btw). In lieu of an paragraph about Abkhazia, the sentence mentioning peacekeepers is the best place for that information. If you feel that the numbers are better placed in the military build up section, why did you only remove the Abkhazian one and not both?
In response to your edit summary calling them irrelevant: They hardly are since both in the build-up (at the start of the year, conflict was rather expected there) as well as actually conflict (Abkhazia conquered the Kodori Gorge and Russian troops entered Georgia from Abkhazian territory), Abkhazia was deeply involved. --Xeeron (talk) 13:45, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
The only reason I removed the Abkhazian number from "Background" was that the Background talks about South Ossetia and JCC, and thus, JCC peacekeepers' number is relevant. But Abkhazia was not discussed. The Abkhazian number is irrelevant to the section in its current form. The Background section should be expanded to include information about Abkhazia, you are right about that. Offliner (talk) 01:06, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
As soon as we have more info on Abkhazia there, we should move the number. But the lack of info on Abkhazia should not lead to removal of the tiny bit of info currently there. --Xeeron (talk) 10:56, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Numbers in Military buildup

Currently, there are 2 kinds of information mixed up in the military build up section: For the Georgians, we quote numbers of the troops near the South Ossetian border. For South Ossetia only those in Thkinvali, for Russia only those in South Ossetia, but not those near the South Ossetian border. This is further aggravated by using "on the opposing side", despite the fact that not all Georgian troops attacked Tskhinvali and further South Ossetian and Russian troops opposed the Georgians outside of Tskhinvali. What is relevant for the war is the total number of troops that was avaible and used. The number of troops in Tskhinvali itself should be mentioned at the appropriate place - Battle of Tskhinvali. --Xeeron (talk) 22:35, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

In my version I followed the Spiegel article's wording very closely. They say:
They are mixing these two kinds of information in exactly the same way. If reliable sources think this is the approriate wording, then I have no doubt that this wording can be used in our article as well. Offliner (talk) 22:47, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Spiegel did not have (or at least not mention) the more explicit information of the number of Georgian troops in Tskhinvali or South Ossetia during the war, nor the number of Russian troops near the SO border. We have the information, so there is no reason not to mention it. Furthermore, Spiegel talks about plans (were to instead of did), not about what actually happened. Your different wording changed that. --Xeeron (talk) 13:49, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
The ISDP source takes its data from Saakashvili's mouth. Now unless the Georgians were counting the Russians as the latter were firing at them, a highly unlikely scenario, the ISDP's data is extremely inaccurate. When you have inaccurate data, you leave it out. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 23:48, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
You forgot that "1,500 troops entered centre of Tskhinvali" is a Georgian claim (see WaPo: two-sided descent into war.) And like you have said yourself, claims by Georgian and Russian officials should best be avoided in the article. ISDP does not have any more specific information than Spiegel, it is only quoting the Georgian official version once again. Probably the reason Spiegel didn't quote the 1,500 figure was that they wanted to base their article on third-party expert opinions, not Georgian or Russian claims.
BTW, have you noticed that you are making the exact same mistake again and again? You say yourself that Georgian and Russian claims should be avoided. But at the same time you want to put ISDP's claims everywhere in the article. But ISDP based their article almost exclusively on claims of Georgian officials! Can't you see your mistake? Wake up. You have obviously fallen in love with your ISDP source, and are refusing to see the obvious flaws the article has. Offliner (talk) 01:18, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Isdp might be basing that claim on Georgian officials, but we can not be sure about that (e.g. quite a lot in it seems to be based in UNOMIG statements, so it does not rely on Georgian officials alone). In any case, my point is simple: Of the 12,000 soldiers at the border, not all crossed into SO. Of those that crossed into SO, not all went to Tskhinvali, fighting happened elsewere, too. So it is misleading to put the number 12,000 next to the number of defenders of Tskhinvali (in the first few hours only, they were reinforced withhin a day). That much is obvious, but I put in the WP and isdp sources because I did not want to engage in OR. --Xeeron (talk) 11:02, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

To do

Just in case someone finds some time from all that arguing to make actual improvements on the article, here's a list of what probably should be done (sooner, rather than later:)

  • 1. The responsibility section must be cut down by about 50% or more. It will be hard to retain balance and neutrality when we start removing stuff. Thus, discussion is needed on which statements should stay and which not.
  • 2. The casualties section should be rewritten (300-400 dead is a "good starting point" for what?) and sourced better. Maybe we should even include information on which Georgian units took how many casualties. That would be good and interesting info for the military aspect. Unfortunately, no such list for Russian casualties seems to exist.
  • 3. Exact and up-to-date information about international monitor missions and the number of their personnel should be added to the "international monitors" section.
  • 4. The "Humanitarian impact and war crimes" section doesn't seem to actually describe the "humanitarian impact", i.e. impact of the war on civilians. Should there be more information about that? If not, the chapter should probably be renamed simply to "war crimes" or "war crime accusations."
  • 5. The military equipment part of "Combatants" should be cut down by perhaps 20%. Its organization is also a bit confusing, and it might be a good idea to rewrite the whole part with more clear structure and better prose.
  • 6. All claims of the ISDP source need to be double-checked with other sources. There has already been one case where ISDP's claim was simply wrong, and many people suspect that ISDP's claims are simply not reliable enough to stand on their own. Other sources must be found for the claims, or the claims should be removed.

If anyone has other suggestions, please add them to the list. Offliner (talk) 08:01, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

  1. I agree.
  2. This Spiegel article reports that Moscow prosecuters revised the number of civil casualties down from 2000 to 134.
  3. We need to distinguish between OSCE, UNOMIG and JCC here.
  4. Hmm, the section mentions bombing, indiscriminate weapon use, attacks on civilian convoys, looting, arson, displaced people etc. All in all, I'd say the title is very fitting.
  5. Needs more structure. Not clear to me yet what would be a good way to organise this? Split into weapons used/accessment? Split according to categories (Army, Airforce,...)?
  6. In general, it is good to have multiple sources for all claims. We have discussed this before, but ISDP is not fundamentally different from the other analytical pieces we use. If we decide on standards, a double source test needs to go for all of them or none. --Xeeron (talk) 12:43, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
  1. Agree to cut, and to "needs discussion".
  2. Xeeron, stop. 360+ names and circumstances of death of civilian casualties in Tskhinvali are available in open sources. Small team of Russian prosecutors were not supposed/ able to investigate every murder of Ossetian civilians during Georgian offencive, only most blatant ones.
  3. Agree. We also should give clear links/ explanation to trilateral agreement behind JCC peacekeepers, as right now there is no separate.
  4. Agree. We should add numbers of refugees from each side there.
  5. Agree. Making a graphic table for the section could be the best decision. Right now it's unreadable, and it won't be without a diagram, to my POV.
  6. Agree that ISDP data should not be seen as reliable source without independent confirmation of information collected from Georgian press-releases. Other than that, we may just attribute the information to "Georgian officials". FeelSunny (talk) 08:29, 12 March 2009 (UTC) <== numbering corrected by FeelSunny (talk) 11:44, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
5. Good idea, I'll have to think about how to do it best. Offliner (talk) 11:38, 12 March 2009 (UTC) <== numbering corrected by FeelSunny (talk) 11:44, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
FeelSunny's numbering is off, which section are you talking about? --Xeeron (talk) 11:08, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
About the military equipment part. Offliner (talk) 11:29, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Let Him Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone

Currently the "change the title" lobby is playing a fun new game: it's called "bash HistoricWarrior007" aka "bash HystericWanker007". So let's clear some things up:

1. Kober, you claimed that I have posted the notice in Several Articles. I did no such thing. The only mistake that I have made was to make a post in the Russia article, instead of WikiProject Russia. To rectify that error, I will post my message in WikiProject Russia and WikiProject Georgia. That was my only mistake and my only apology. You blew it out of proportion, by resorting to lying, i.e. saying that I have posted in several articles, when I only posted it in one and even that one by mistake. It is also of note how Kober found what he thought was my POV message, but conveniently forgot to post my NPOV message. When I told Kober about this on his talkpage, he deleted my comments and threatened to report me.

2. The only editors I have contacted, are those who have edited this article. Each editor I've contacted has done more for this article then either Gaegea or Biophys. Yet the lobby didn't bother about those editors, the voting didn't go their way and they needed someone to blame.

3. Pocopocopocopoco and I have corresponded with this article as recent as 4 days when I contacted him, yet Kober went ahead and included Pocopocopocopoco anyways. I thought alerting someone who has been talking about the article in the past four days was legitimate, Kober apparently did not.

4. In Wikipedia articles the attacker goes first. This is clearly evident, via the title matching the columns. Georgia attacked a Russian Peacekeeping Base, prior to any actions that Russia took. There is really no way to argue around this. If you can show me a single Wikipedia Article, where the column of numbers and casualties does not correspond with the name in a logical fashion, I will be amazed. HistoricWarrior007 (talk) 06:54, 17 March 2009 (UTC)