Friday, 7 November 2008

NYT questions Georgian account on war with Russia

Another huge blow to Saakashvili’s administration. Following recent BBC report, now The New York Times questions “Georgia claims on Russia war”:

Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.

Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia’s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.

The accounts are neither fully conclusive nor broad enough to settle the many lingering disputes over blame in a war that hardened relations between the Kremlin and the West. But they raise questions about the accuracy and honesty of Georgia’s insistence that its shelling of Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, was a precise operation. Georgia has variously defended the shelling as necessary to stop heavy Ossetian shelling of Georgian villages, bring order to the region or counter a Russian invasion. More...


Ani said...

The New York Times has a new reporter in Georgia named Olesya Vartanyan. It turns out she's from Javakheti--good news, I think! Here's her bio:

Here's today's article that she cowrote on the protests in Tbilisi:

artmika said...

Thanks for info, Ani. Well done, Olesya Vartanyan! Good to know. Hopefully with her appointment, the issues with ethnic minorities in Georgia will get more prominent coverage in international media.

And here is new related report by BBC:

OSCE 'failed' in Georgia warnings:

A former senior OSCE official, Ryan Grist, told the BBC he had warned of Georgia's military activity before its move into the South Ossetia region.

He said it was an "absolute failure" reports were not passed on by bosses. [...]

More bad news for Saakashvili and OSCE, I suppose. I was watching this programme on the TV last night (BBC's Newsnight).