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(FYI) KvirisPalitra/BBC: Georgian artillery inflicted 'heavy losses' on Russians - weekly [via JRL]

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  • Norbert Strade
    BBC Monitoring Georgian artillery inflicted heavy losses on Russians - weekly Kviris Palitra August 25, 2008 The Georgian artillery inflicted heavy losses on
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28, 2008
      BBC Monitoring

      Georgian artillery inflicted 'heavy losses' on Russians - weekly

      Kviris Palitra
      August 25, 2008

      The Georgian artillery inflicted heavy losses on Russian troops during
      the conflict in South Ossetia, Georgian newspaper Kviris Palitra has
      said. The newspaper cited the chief of staff of the Georgian army's
      Artillery Brigade, who said that some 100 Russian tanks and armoured
      vehicles and about 70 trucks were destroyed and hundreds of solders were
      killed or wounded in Georgian artillery attacks. The following is the
      text of Irakli Aladashvili's article in privately-owned Georgian weekly
      newspaper Kviris Palitra on 25 August headlined "Hit, hit... Fire
      again!" Subheadings inserted editorially:

      Georgian artillery inflicted heavy losses on Russians

      Since the Russian aggressors have now pulled out of the central Georgian
      province of Kartli, we can reveal a secret. There is a reason why the
      Russian military barbarians set fire to our forests during the
      occupation of Kartli while their helicopters and armoured vehicles
      roamed around the area. The Russian invaders were desperately searching
      our forests and valleys to find Georgian artillery weapons that our
      artillerymen had hidden during the retreat.

      Capture Georgian artillerymen and destroy their weapons! These kinds of
      orders were transmitted via the radio sets of the Russian invaders.
      Would you like to know why? The Russian aggressors who invaded Georgia
      suffered heavy casualties as a result of powerful and most precise
      artillery strikes.

      "Much like the 1992-1993 war in Abkhazia, Georgian artillery made an
      impact during the August 2008 conflict in Tskhinvali and delivered a
      heavy blow on the enemy. We destroyed several Russian columns on their
      way to Tskhinvali. The Russians are concealing the fact that they
      suffered heavy losses," Artillery Brigade Commander Maj-Gen Devi
      Chankotadze, who has gained extensive experience in the Abkhazia war,
      told us.

      "Some 100 tanks and armoured vehicles, about 70 trucks and hundreds of
      dead and wounded - this is the list of losses that the Russian military
      columns suffered as a result of our artillery fire," Col Arsen
      Tsukhishvili, chief of staff of the Artillery Brigade, said. "No-one
      should think that we have made up these figures. We had four observation
      points in strategically important areas near Tskhinvali and Java
      districts and the people whom we deployed there adjusted artillery fire.
      They used advanced optical equipment and laser distance measuring
      devices to examine the areas hit by our shells and missiles and they
      supplied us with exact coordinates of the targets. They were the ones to
      assess the damage inflicted on the enemy and therefore these figures are
      most accurate," Col Tsukhishvili added.
      Georgian artillery opened fire on 7 August after the enemy shelled the
      Georgian-controlled villages near Tskhinvali and attempted to launch an
      offensive.

      At least 300 gun barrels of Georgian artillery were firing at the enemy
      simultaneously! These included the 203-mm Pion systems, the 160-mm
      Israeli-made GRADLAR multiple rocket launchers, the 152-mm Akatsiya,
      Giatsint and Dana self-propelled guns, the 122-mm Grad and RM-70
      multiple rocket launchers, as well as the D-30 and Msta howitzers of the
      infantry brigades.

      Lt Giorgi Dalakishvili, a platoon commander of a battery of Pion
      self-propelled guns, recalls: "We held the best possible position near
      the TV tower in Gori. This became evident when the Russian attack planes
      that bombed us repeatedly failed to hit us. We fired at least 600 of
      203-mm shells at the enemy. You can imagine what 110-kg shells would
      have done to the Russian column of armoured vehicles. When Sgt Temur
      Kekoshvili learned that the Ossetians and the Russians had set fire to
      his home village in the Didi Liakhvi Valley, he fired some 200 shells at
      the enemy from his Pion! All of them hit the targets since the Pion was
      operated by Corporal Archil Tughushi, one of our most skilful gunners".

      "The GRADLAR systems proved to be very effective. They fired 300 rockets
      at least. I was in the operational command centre together with the
      Artillery Brigade commander and every single piece of information about
      the movement of the enemy's columns was delivered there. There were
      enemy columns on the Dzari secondary road, near the village of Didi
      Gupta and on the main road. Our spotter supplied the operational command
      centre with the coordinates of one of those columns and our GRADLARs
      were put into action. When the artillery fire stopped, the spotter
      informed us that only two vehicles of the Russian armoured column
      remained intact," Col Otar Vacheishvili of the Artillery Brigade said.

      Russian artillery suffered complete defeat

      All servicemen of the artillery units are saying that they inflicted a
      complete defeat on the Russian artillery. They did not even feel the
      counter strikes carried out by the Russians. The Russian air force
      attacked them repeatedly but, since the positions were selected
      carefully (and changed frequently), not a single artillery weapon was
      damaged on the firing line though two soldiers were wounded (it is
      possible that Russian pilots feared anti-aircraft fire and dropped the
      bombs without aiming properly).

      Unfortunately, there were casualties among artillerymen of the 4th
      Infantry Brigade who fought heroically in the immediate vicinity of
      Tskhinvali and were hit directly by Russian attack planes.

      During these battles that only lasted three days but were very difficult
      for our country, Georgian artillery proved that it is indeed the "god of
      war". If not for the enemy's complete dominance in the sky, Georgian
      artillerymen would have moved closer to Tskhinvali and would have hit
      the Roki tunnel and the road.

      The Artillery Brigade has now returned to Gori. The local military base
      was destroyed by the Russian invaders. The brigade lost several Pion and
      Dana self-propelled guns. The enemy failed to hit them on the firing
      line but was later able to find some of the weapons hidden in the forest
      and destroy them.

      Still, Georgian artillerymen proved once again that they can fight and
      can fight well. It was the first time many of them were involved in
      combat, so they had a chance to gain experience and improve their skills.
      At any rate, Georgian artillerymen can proudly say that they did not
      lose the battle against the enemy hordes.

      via
      Johnson's Russia List
      2008-#160
      28 August 2008
      --------------------------------------------------------------------

      I still wonder why they didn't prepare mobile guerrilla units to stop
      the Russians at the tunnel and in the valley. Using "asymmetric" tactics
      they could possibly have delayed the Russian offensive for days or even
      weeks and caused far higher losses among the attackers, allowing the
      international response to kick in before the Russian side had reached
      its objectives. They had enough time for preparations. Most likely the
      Georgian forces which had been trained in counter-insurgency instead of
      "insurgency" followed a military doctrine imposed on them by their
      foreign advisers which was in disaccord with the conditions set by the
      strength of the two armies and the local terrain. N.S.
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