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17 August 2008

Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2008 09:24:18 +0100 (BST)
From: <pyrrhoneus-afi[at]>
Subject: AFI Research Complimentary Intelligence Briefing - GEORGIA CONFLICT UPDATE


Contact: RBMedia[at]





Independent Tank Battalion HQ Gori

Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion HQ Kobuleti


1st Infantry Brigade HQ Gori

2nd Infantry Brigade HQ Senaki

3rd Infantry Brigade HQ Kutaisi

4th Infantry Brigade HQ Vaziani

5th Infantry Brigade HQ Khelvachauri (not fully operational)

with around 150 older light armoured Vehicles

Infantry weapons included some 800 Mortars, 150 SA-7 grail MANPAD Systems, several thousand RPG Anti-tank Rocket Launchers and a small number of Anti-tank missile systems. Reasonably well equipped with modern small arms


The 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades along with the Independent Tank Battalion and most of the front line artillery units are no longer combat capable. There have been very significant losses in weapons, ammunition stocks and damage done to the military infrastructure


Artillery Brigade HQ Gori

Artillery Regiment HQ Gori

Artillery Regiment HQ Khoni

Equipment included around 150 towed 122mm & 152mm Artillery; 90 assorted self-propelled 122mm, 152mm & 203mm Artillery and 200 Mobile 122mm Multiple Rocket Launchers


Independent Air Defence Battalion HQ Kutaisi

Equipment included around 100 towed/static AA Artillery and some SAM including SA13 Gopher mobile missile systems


Significant quantities of new offensive military equipment; large stocks of ammunition and spare parts for a protracted campaign have been acquired since 2004 when preparations for a major military operation against South Ossetia, Georgia and were working closely with the Georgian Armed Forces. Since the signing of the 1999 GUAM agreement, Georgia has been the recipient of extensive US military aid. 

Barely a few months ago, in early May 2008, the Russian Ministry of Defence accused Washington, "claiming that [US as well as NATO and Israeli] military assistance to Georgia is destabilizing the region."

The Russian Defense Ministry said there were plans to deliver to Georgia 145 armored vehicles, 262 guns and mortars, 14 combat aircraft including four Mirazh-2000 destroyers, 25 combat helicopters, 15 American Black Hawk aircraft, six surface-to-air missile systems and other arms." (Interfax News Agency, Moscow)

US troops and civilian contractors, who he said were stationed in the area around Tblisi" (AFP, 9 August 2008).

In fact, US-NATO military presence in Georgia is on a larger scale to that acknowledged in official statements. The number of NATO personnel in Georgia, [text missing]

Tblisi announced the opening of a second military base at Gori which would  also "comply with NATO regulations in terms of military requirements as well as social conditions." (Ria Novosti, 26 May 2006).

The Gori base has been used to train Georgian troops dispatched to fight under US command in the Iraq war theater. 

It is worth noting that under a March 31, 2006, agreement between Tblisi and Moscow, Russia's two Soviet-era military bases in Georgia - Akhalkalaki and Batumi [text missing]

[Text missing] Israel, from the Czech Republic – six MLRS RM-70.

What is more, from Ukraine and the Czech Republic, Georgia has bought 86 T-72 tanks, 52 infantry combat vehicles BMP-2 and 30 armoured carriers BTR-80, as well as self-propelled howitzers 2S3 “Akacia”. A part of the tanks is modernized to level SIM1, i.e. is provided with navigation receivers, connection systems and termovisors to detect the target in complete darkness. Over 400 recently bought trucks KrAZ and Japanese pick-ups Toyota Hilux supply Bulgaria and licensed in the times of the Soviet Union.


Ukrainian Defense Ministry confirms weapons supplies Georgia

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has confirmed statements by the South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoyty that Ukraine supplied weapons to Georgia. Commenting on the issue, the Moscow-based Nezavisimaya Gazeta reminds its readers about an article that was published on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website in May. The article titled "On Foreign Military Aid to Georgia" unveils how many and what types of weapons Georgia received from Ukraine.

Mikhail Pogrebisnky, the head of the Center for Political Studies and Conflictology in Kyiv, remarks in this connection that there is common international practice to refrain from arms supplies to regions fraught with potential military conflicts. In the analyst’s opinion, Ukraine sends weapons to Georgia in order to create problems for US.

A subsidiary of BAE Systems Ltd, will supply anti-tank weapons to the Georgian army. The weapons that will be supplied is Bill 2 ATGW, the NLAW light anti-tank weapon and the anti-tank artilly shells, Bonus and Excalibur. The anti tank weapons are to delivered to the Georgian army during the 4th quarter 2008.

The commander of the Georgian Land Forces, LTC Alexander Osepaishvili, says that "the new anti-tank weapons will significantly increase the capabilities of the Georgian army. The new weapons are for self defence only and are not to be regarded as offensive".

An obstacle has been that the weapons are developed and produced in Sweden by BAE Systems AB Bofors and Saab Systems AB, but by supplying the anti-tank weapons through BAE Inc in the US, the Swedish government approves to the sales.


Offensive military training with large numbers of armoured vehicles, artillery and ground attack aircraft has been carried out regularly since June 2005.


Several Battalions of Special Operations Forces have received significant training and large supplies of modern military equipment from the [text missing]


22 Su-25KM; 13 Su-25UB; 11 L-39 and 2 L-29 Ground Attack aircraft


(Unconfirmed presence of 5 Su-17, 4 Su-24, 12 MiG-25, 18 MiG-21 and numerous Su-25 airframes at the TAM Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing (Tbilaviamsheni” former Soviet GAZ-31 factory), though at least one MiG-21UM was in flying condition. However this facility which produces the upgraded Su-25 Ground Attack fighter with technical support from Israel was heavily bombed on several occasions during the conflict and significant damage resulted)


3 Operational Combat Helicopter Squadrons operate:

1 Mi-35 "Hind" ; 19 Mi-24-P "Hind" and 21 Mi-24-V "Hind" Attack helicopters

Other units operate:

18 Mil Mi-14 ; 16 Mi-8 "Hip"; 6 Bell-212; 40 UH-1H and 2 Mil Mi-2 Transport helicopters (many of which have now  been armed)


Main Military Air Bases

Vaziani MAB (2-3 kilometers from Tbilisi), International Kopitnari AB (several kilometers from Kutaisi)


Air Defence Missile Units included around 10 old SA2 Guideline static, 38 SA3 Goa static, 40 SA4 Ganef mobile and SA5 Gammon static missile systems.

Air Defence Artillery Units included

35 ZSU-23-4,15 C-60 and 40 MT-LB with towed ZU-23

Some rather more modern Western missile systems are reportedly now available.



Mobilized - around 900 Officers and Men

7 ex-French La Combattante II Fast Patrol Boats armed with 2 OTO-Melara 76 mm/L62 guns, modified anti-aircraft guns, and Exocet missiles

11-13 P 269 Lindos Fast Patrol Boats armed with 2 C802 anti-ship missile batteries and AK-630M guns

(Most vessels have been destroyed)


(Mobilized - around 25,000 Officers and Men)

Chief Researcher - AFI Research
David McKenzie


Consultants - AFI Research
Richard M Bennett
Giorgi Robakidze