President Never Orders to Seize Tskhinvali, Chief of United Headquarters
Georgia, Tbilisi, 29 October / corr Trend N.Kirtzkhalia / On 7 August, the armed forces were ordered to launch military operations through closed telephone of special communication from Commander-in-Chief, president Micheil Saakashvili, Zaza Gogava, chief of the united headquarters of Georgian Army, said at the hearings in investigation commission to study events of August.
"The order consisted of three parts: the first - to stop techniques and military men, which intruded through Roksk tunnel from Russia, the second - to provide neutralization of weapon emplacements, which shot at peacemakers and the Foreign Minister since 6 August, as well as Georgian villages, the third - to take all measures to defend the peaceful population," he said.
"Alertness №1 was announced in Georgian armed forces at 14.00 on 7 August. We prepared to repulse the aggression, as we had had the information from the department of secret service about invasion of Russian military men by that time," Gogava said.
"It was the mobile defense operation, which did not aim to attack on Tskhinvali. It is our city and we did not intend to seize it. However, as a result of change of the situation, we had to attack the city," Gogava said.
"Operational headquarters, which was located in Gori, commanded the operation, whilst the headquarters was not created in Tbilisi. "I was in Gori on 8 August, and I can say with full responsibility that Gori commanded the operation, I want to stress that Tbilisi did not command the operation," he said.
Mamiya Balakhadze, lieutenant colonel and former commander of land forces, commanded the operation. "I realized the common control of operation, and Baladze commanded directly the military operations," Gogava said.
"I have never seen civilians, or Minister of Defense or Foreign Minister in the operational headquarters in Gori," he said.