Like his predecessor Iuri Tanaev, the new defense minister is also “an invitee” - as Tskhinvali locals call those who have been sent from Russia to serve in official positions in South Ossetia. Iakhnovets served as chief of the intelligence unit of the Russian airborne troops and has a hero's award for bravery while serving on military operations in Chechnya.
Russia's support and assistance has been one of the main issues in events dedicated to the August 2008 war already taking place in South Ossetia. A round table discussion on the theme 'Hot August 2008, lessons from recent history', was arranged at the Media center IRI, where the participants talked about the inhumane politics of the Georgian authorities and the part the Russian ruling forces have played in improving the prosperity of the Ossetians. The events will end on August 8 with a liturgy for the souls of those killed two years ago during the war.
Georgian Forces were ordered to retake the breakaway region of South Ossetia and after a sustained artillery bombardment entered the capital, Tskhinvali,on August 7th 2008. 24 hours later Russian troops were rushed to defend the South Ossetians and in five days inflicted a humiliating defeat on the U.S. supported and trained Georgians.