Georgian Foreign Ministry said reported deployment of short-range ballistic missiles, Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab B) and other offensive weapons in breakaway South Ossetia “points clearly to the Russian Federation's plans to launch open military aggression against Georgia.”
“The deployment of the Tactical Operational Missile Complex "Tochka - U" and the artillery battalion equipped with Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems poses a direct and overt threat to the peaceful population and territory of Georgia. By taking such actions Russia follows through with its aggressive policy directed towards the destruction of the Georgian statehood and elimination of the peaceful population of Georgia, as well as towards causing large-scale instability in the Caucasus and throughout the Black Sea Region,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on January 24.
Interfax news agency reported earlier on January 24, quoting unnamed source from Russia’s Southern Military District, that tactical-operational missile unit with Tochka-U rockets with maximum range of 120 kilometers had been deployed in the Russian military base in South Ossetia. The same news agency reported in December, also quoting unnamed Russian military source, that Russia had deployed Smerch (Tornado) multiple-launch rocket systems in vicinity of Tskhinvali.
“It needs to be emphasized that it was with the use of "Tochka - U" systems that the Russian Federation completely destroyed the city of Bamut (Republic of Chechnya) and eliminated its peaceful population. The Ballistic missiles of this system can be equipped with cluster (consisting of 50 bomblets) and nuclear warheads,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
“The deployment of the offensive rocket systems in the occupied region points clearly to the Russian Federation's plans to launch open military aggression against Georgia.”
“[Georgia] demands strongly from the international community, international organizations and partner countries to adopt active and effective measures in order to pressure Russia to end its aggressive policy against Georgia, fulfill its international commitments, including 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement, undertake a commitment on the non-use of force and ensure the full and immediate de-occupation of the Georgian territory,” it said.