№ 402 August 9, 2008 Tbilisi
On Declaration of the State of War on the Whole Territory of Georgia and Full Mobilization
In the last few days, the situation in the former Autonomous Region of South Ossetia has been deteriorated. The separatist forces are violating human rights and fundamental freedoms on massive scale. Armed attacks and violence against civilians take place. As a result of the above-mentioned actions, human casualties are registered among civilians as well as peacekeepers. Tens of civilians are wounded and their property destroyed.
Despite the unilateral decision of the Government of Georgia to cease fire and the offer of peace talks, the separatists launched massive scale attacks against civilian population on August 7 -8, 2008. The Government of Georgia has taken necessary and proportionate measures to stop an armed attack.
The activities of the separatist forces in the territory of Georgia have been actively supported by the Russian Federation. In particular, on August 8, hundreds of armed personnel and armored vehicles entered the territory of Georgia through Roki tunnel.
On August 8, fighter jets of the Russian Federation intruded into airspace of Georgia on multiple occasions and carried out bombardments of cities of Kareli, Gori and the adjacent villages ; They also bombed the villages of Tskhinvali region, Vaziani Military Base and Marneuli Military Aerodrome. The battacks caused casualties among civilian population and the destruction of buildings.
Later, Senaki Airport, Senaki Military Base and Railway Station, as well as Poti Sea Port, Ship-building Factory, railway join were bombed. On August 9, Kopitnary airport, Gori Railway Station and civilian houses were bombed, which caused civilian casualties. During last hours the Russian Federation pursued its aggressive activities in Abkhazia. Majority of the above territories are situated 200-300 km away from Tskhinvali region. Consequently, the aggressive armed attack of the Russian Federation went far beyond the conflict territory and involves practically the whole territory of Georgia.
In light of all the above mentioned, it is evident that Russian Federation is carrying out indirect as well as direct armed attack against Georgia.
Indirect attack is materialized by the full support of the separatist forces , provision of armed equipment and ammunitions, committed by Russian officials holding high level posts in the self proclaimed republic of South Ossetia (Minister of Defense, Interior Minister, Secretary of Security Council, Prime Minister). Direct attack by the Russian Federation is evident from active, intensive and continuous armed activities that, inter alia, included violation of airspace of Georgia on multiple occasions and massive bombardments. The Black Sea military fleet and infantry units have been used as well. These actions, by their nature and scale, are in full compliance with the definition of armed attack recognized by international law and should be qualified as such.
In these circumstances, the right of self-defense remains the only adequate and necessary measure, as proclaimed by the Article 98 of the Constitution of Georgia, Article 51 of the UN Charter and customary international law. Therefore, the necessity exists to resort to use of force that is aimed at putting an end to the armed attack and to avoid further escalation of the situation.
Due to the current circumstances, in order to avoid destabilization in the region, to suppress armed attacks and violence against civilian population, to ensure the protection of human rights and freedoms, pursuant to Article73 (1)(g), Article 98 and Article 100 (1) of the Constitution of Georgia, the law of Georgia on State of War and Article 6 (a) of the law of Georgia on Mobilization:
1. State of war on the whole territory of Georgia shall be declared.
2. State of war shall remain in force for the period of fifteen (15) days.
3. In relation to the State of war, full mobilization shall be declared and Military Forces shall be used to suppress an armed attack.
4. The Decree shall be immediately published through mass media and afterwards (for a period of one day ) shall be repeatedly transmitted on Public Broadcaster every two (2) hours;
5. The Decree shall be submitted to the Parliament of Georgia for approval within forty-eight (48) hours.
6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (E. Tkeshelashvili) shall immediately inform the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, other respective international organizations and the Heads of the accredited diplomatic missions to Georgia about the declaration of Martial law.
7. The present Decree shall enter into force upon signature and be immediately published in the Official Gazzette.
President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili