Here's some background information about the 2008 military conflict between Russia and Georgia.
Facts: The conflict centered on South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two "breakaway provinces" in Georgia. They are officially part of Georgia, but have separate, unrecognized governments.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia are supported by Russia.
During the five-day conflict, 170 servicemen, 14 policemen, and 228 civilians from Georgia were killed and 1,747 wounded. Sixty-seven Russian servicemen were killed and 283 were wounded, and 365 South Ossetian servicemen and civilians (combined) were killed, according to an official EU fact-finding report about the conflict.
Timeline: 1918-1921- Georgia is briefly an independent state after separating from the Russian Empire.
1921 - After the Red Army invasion, Georgia and Abkhazia are declared Soviet Socialist republics.
1922 - The South Ossetia Autonomous Oblast is created within Georgia.
1931 - Abkhazia's status is reduced to an autonomous republic within Georgia.
1990 - South Ossetia declares its independence from Georgia.
April 9, 1991 - Georgia declares independence.
1991-1992 - Civil war breaks out in Georgia. Zviad Gamsakhurdia is deposed as president.
1992 - Abkhazia declares its independence from Georgia, leading to armed conflict.
October 1992 - Eduard Shevardnadze is elected to lead Georgia. He is re-elected in 1995 and 2000.
September 1993 - Abkhazian separatist forces defeat the Georgian military.
October 1993 - Georgia joins the Commonwealth of Independent States.
May 1994 - A ceasefire is agreed upon and signed between the Georgian government and Abkhaz separatists. Russian peacekeeping forces are deployed to the area.
October 2001 - Fighting resumes between Abkhaz troops and Georgian paramilitaries. Russia states that it believes Georgia is harboring Chechen rebels, a claim denied by Georgia.
September 2002 - Russian President Vladimir Putin sends a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UN Security Council members, and members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe stating that Georgia must respond to accusations they are harboring Chechen militants or face military action from Russia.
October 2002 - Tensions with Russia are defused after Shevardnadze, Georgia's president, promises to work with Russia to fight Chechen rebels.
November 2003 - Shevardnadze is forced to leave office in the "Rose Revolution."
July 2005 - Under terms of a deal reached in May, Russia starts to withdraw its troops from two Soviet-era military bases.
May-June 2006 - Tensions between Georgia and Russia rise again when Georgia demands that Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia have visas.
November 12, 2006 - A referendum is voted upon in which South Ossetians overwhelmingly demand independence.
November 2007 - Russia announces that it has withdrawn its troops that had been based in Georgia since 1991. It retains a peacekeeping presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
April 21, 2008 - Georgia accuses Russia of shooting down an unmanned drone over Abkhazia on April 20. Russia denies the claim.
April 29, 2008 - Russia sends more troops to Abkhazia to counter what it says are Georgia's plans for an attack.
May 26, 2008 - A UN investigation concludes that the drone shot down on April 21 was struck by a missile from a Russian fighter jet.
May 30-31, 2008 - Russia sends several hundred unarmed troops to Abkhazia, saying they are needed for railway repairs. Georgia accuses Russia of planning a military intervention.
August 7-8, 2008 - Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili sends troops into South Ossetia. Russia responds by moving its troops to the border, flying aircraft over Georgia, and beginning air strikes in South Ossetia.
August 8, 2008 - The United States, United Kingdom and NATO call for a cease fire of military hostilities by both Russia and Georgia.
August 9, 2008 - A delegation of EU and US diplomats head to Georgia to resolve escalating tensions.
August 10, 2008 - Russia moves tanks and soldiers through South Ossetia and into Georgia proper, advancing towards the city of Gori.
August 12, 2008 - Russia calls a halt to its military incursion into Georgia and agrees to a six-point diplomatic push for peace. The plan is announced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
August 13, 2008 - President George W. Bush announces humanitarian aid is to be sent to Georgia. It is also announced that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be sent to France and Georgia for a diplomatic mission.
August 15, 2008 - Saakashvili signs a cease fire agreement with Russia. The deal is brokered by Sarkozy.
August 16, 2008 - Medvedev signs the cease fire agreement.
August 22, 2008 - Russia partially withdraws its troops from Georgia, as part of the cease fire agreement. Russia maintains soldiers at checkpoints near the disputed territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
August 26, 2008 - Medvedev signs an order recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In response, President Bush releases a statement saying, in part, "The United States condemns the decision by the Russian president to recognize as independent states the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia... The territorial integrity and borders of Georgia must be respected, just as those of Russia or any other country."
July 2009 - UN observers leave Georgia after nearly 16 years. The mission was not extended due to a Russia veto.
September 2009 - A report from an EU fact-finding mission determines that historical tensions and overreaction on the part of both Russia and Georgia contributed to the five-day conflict. Georgia's attack on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali on the night of August 7 is seen as the start of the armed conflict, however the report notes that the attack was the culmination of years of increasing tensions, provocations and incidents.
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