Georgia-Russia Clash Still Under Investigation
Posted on Aug 4, 2009
It’s been a year since last summer’s military showdown between Russia and neighboring Georgia, but even though the Georgian president (and many Western media outlets) pointed to “Russian aggression” as the cause of the conflict, an international investigation team looking to get to the bottom of the matter is still working away at finding the answers.
The Wall Street Journal:
The commission has peppered both sides with questions about the immediate period before Mr. Saakashvili ordered his forces to attack at 11:35 p.m. last Aug. 7, and also about the months before, when Russia already appeared to begin integrating the two territories, and afterward, when Georgian villages were terrorized and people were forced to flee. In many cases, their houses were then burned and bulldozed.
Russian officials continue to claim that Georgian forces were guilty of genocide, forcing Russian intervention. A special investigative committee of the Russian Prosecutor’s Office set up to tally civilian deaths has found that 162 South Ossetians died in the conflict. That’s less than the 1,500 to 2,000 that Russia claimed in the first days of the war, but Moscow now says it has documents proving that the Georgian intent was genocide, even if it was unable to carry out the plan.
AP / Musa Sadulayev
Russian tanks roll through South Ossetia in early September 2008.