Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Georgia-Russia : the war at sea

One aspect of the conflict has been a skirmish at sea between the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which was sent to blockade Georgia and the much smaller Georgian Navy, however the skirmish is shrouded in secretcy and much confusion. According to some reports the guided missile cruiser Moskva, which was the flagship of the Russian force, was hit by some sort of fire from a Georgian boat, some reports even have suggested it was hit by an Exocet missile. Moskva was withdrawn from the area with some damage though reports suggest not extensive (which perhaps suggests it wasn't a missile or perhaps the missile was hit by a point defence CIWS and Moskva was hit by debris).

The Georgian ship Tbilisi is then reported to have been hit by a Russian SS-N-9 missile and destroyed, it sinking within minutes. Though photos which appear to show Tbilisi on fire at port would perhaps indicate it was either able to get away or another ship was sunk.

Anyway another Georgian ship was damaged but was able to escape according to the report. Russian ships also launched missile attacks on Kodori according to the Georgian government and "saboteurs" destroyed various Georgian coast guard vessels.

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