Bloodless Coup in Georgia? 11/22/03--Following Georgia.

Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 30 Aug, 2008 09:45 am
European observers have faulted Georgia in this month's Caucasus conflict, saying it made elaborate plans to seize South Ossetia, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.

In a report to appear in its Monday edition, it said officials of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had said acts by the Georgian government had contributed to the outbreak of the crisis with Russia.

Spiegel said OSCE military observers in the Caucasus had described preparations by Georgia to move into South Ossetia.

spiegel-online report (in German): http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,575396,00.html
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 03:49 pm
"McTag" wrote:
I saw a TV interview with Mr Putin last week in which he said that American personnel were with the Georgians when they attacked South Ossetia, prompting the Russian intervention.

Anyone else hear about that?

I heard it too.

Putin is lying, just as he was lying about the atrocities that the Georgians were supposedly committing. (In reality it was the Georgians who were having atrocities committed against them.)

I don't see any difference between Putin and Hitler (or Stalin) anymore.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 03:55 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
"Walter Hinteler" wrote:
European observers have faulted Georgia in this month's Caucasus conflict, saying it made elaborate plans to seize South Ossetia, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.

No surprise that they would have elaborate plans in place to regain control over their own territory. It is their territory after all.

Russia's plans to invade Georgia were equally as elaborate, though not nearly as justified.

"Walter Hinteler" wrote:
In a report to appear in its Monday edition, it said officials of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had said acts by the Georgian government had contributed to the outbreak of the crisis with Russia.

And the Russian provocations of the Georgia before Georgia pounced? That didn't contribute?
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 05:04 am
News form the front:

Dear ***********,
We've just managed to catch the RT programme (with Saida watching as well). I'm on again on Abkhazian TV at 9pm, as tonight's the night for shewing our DVD.
Stalin, of course, died in 1953 (not 54), but otherwise it was OK. Actually, they switched the order of the questions so that I finished up (as did the programme) with a defence of the extent of Russia's actions! Yesterday's guest, former UK ambassador in Moscow Sir Roger Lyne, actually said more or less the same as the studio-guest, namely that Russia should have stopped at the demilitarised zone and then taken the whole thing to the UN, but he went on to demolish his own point by drawing a parallel with UK actions in the Falklands, where the Argentinians paid not a blind bit of notice to the various UN resolutions ordering a stop to the fighting. In exactly the same way, the Georgians would have gone on their merry way until they flattened all of the Ossetian-occupied areas, and they'd have had all their weaponry still in place here in the Kodor Valley for a later attack on Abkhazia. Very interesting photos have been found on the computers they abandoned in the Valley shewing US military personnel IN THE VALLEY demonstrating how to make home-made explosive devices. The sooner this material is put on the Net and gets wider coverage than one shewing on a Russian TV channel, the better.
Yours sincerely, George Hewitt FBA

South Ossetia and Abkhazia: what is next?

Russian Today - SPOTLIGHT, With Al Gurnov

Robert Legvold, professor of political science, Columbia University

George Hewitt, professor of Caucasian languages, University of London

Video: http://www.russiatoday.com/spotlight/release/1565/video

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f4KbCF2rpA
0 Replies
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 09:13 am
From the October 8, 2008 edition of The Christian Science Monitor.
Link: http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1008/p09s02-coop.html

I survived the Georgian war. Here's what I saw.
I blame Georgia's leaders.
By Lira Tskhovrebova

Tskhinvali, South Ossetia - In a speech before the United Nations last month, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili implored world leaders to set up an international investigation to find out the truth about the war in South Ossetia.

I couldn't agree more. But I think the results of an honest investigation would reveal a very different "truth" than what President Saakashvili claims.

I know this because I was in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, on Aug. 7 when Georgian troops marched into the city and killed my friends and neighbors. I huddled with my family in terror for three nights while Saakashvili's tanks and rockets destroyed hundreds of our homes, desecrated cemeteries, gutted schools and hospitals.

I also have good reason not to trust what Saakashvili says. For three days before the attack I had been getting calls from many Georgian friends warning me to get out. They said Saakashvili was planning an attack. Most of the Georgians living in South Ossetia left because they knew what was coming.

On the night of Aug. 7, Saakashvili went on television and assured the frightened civilian population of South Ossetia that he would not attack us. This was long after the time Saakashvili now claims Russians had begun "invading" Georgia.

Ossetians went to bed relieved and thankful for a peaceful night.

Less than two hours later, according to credible international accounts, his artillery, bombers, and three brigades of ground troops unleashed what I can only describe as a fierce hell on our city. In the moment, we knew only our fear as we hid. Afterward I spoke with hundreds of Ossetians to find out what was done to us.

My friend's elderly father tried to douse the flames set by Georgian fire on the home he had built with his hands. His leg was severed by shrapnel from Georgian weapons. He bled to death while his disabled wife crawled from their burning home.

Ossetians saw Georgian tanks firing into basements where women and children hid for safety They saw fleeing families shot down by Georgian snipers. We learned that the Georgian military had used Grad rocket systems and cluster bombs against Tskhinvali.

Yes, I would very much like to see an international commission investigate the truth of what happened.

When I came out from hiding, thanking God that the Russians had saved our lives, I was dismayed by the reaction of the international media to what had happened. There was nothing about Ossetian deaths and the unprovoked horrors inflicted by Saakashvili's military. It made my heart sick.

The truth has been crushed by Georgia's powerful public relations machine as mercilessly as Georgian tanks rolled over the defenseless civilians of Tskhinvali.

I know that Americans are a generous and fair people. But Americans haven't been told the truth about what happened to us. Americans don't understand that Ossetians are an independent, Christian Orthodox people with a deep history in our land. The world talks only about Georgian freedom. What of freedom for my people? Does our suffering, do our voices, mean nothing?

I don't blame the Georgian people for what happened to us. The vast number of Ossetians and Georgians want to live in peace. I blame Georgia's leaders.

Saakashvili has persuaded the world that he is a "beacon" of democracy and openness. But he won't even tell his own people the truth. My Georgian friends weren't allowed to see any Russian news sites during the conflict because all of those sites were blocked by Saakashvili's government.

I know we are a small people, and I make no claim to understanding the experts in geopolitics with their theories and pronouncements about the great powers. But I have fought for women's rights in Ossetia for 12 years and I believe in the truth.

In a recent article, Saakashvili cynically dismissed Ossetian suffering and deaths because, he said, Russia had "lied" about how many of my people were killed by the Georgian military.

It breaks my heart to even engage in this discussion. No one " including Saakashvili " knows how many Ossetians were killed by his Army. I have friends who buried loved ones in their backyards because there were no alternatives. Many people are still missing.

Does Saakashvili believe his vicious attack on a civilian city was justified if he only killed a few hundred rather than a few thousand? Do Americans realize that a military trained and equipped by the US government attacked a civilian population as they slept in their beds? Can they justify sending another billion dollars to Georgia and nothing for those Georgia attacked?

I have made an urgent appeal to the world for humanitarian relief for our people at the website helpossetianow.org. I beg the United States and the world to find out the truth. Please hear our voices.

Lira Tskhovrebova is the founder of the Association of South Ossetian Women for Democracy and Human Rights and has worked for more than a decade to improve relations between people of Georgian and Ossetian descent in the Caucasus.
Reply Wed 29 Oct, 2008 08:21 am
BBC story: Human Rights Watch accuse Georgian troops of targeting South Ossetia civilians while Georgian authorities persist in depicting themselves as innocent victims of evil Russians.

Georgia accused of targeting civilians

By Tim Whewell
BBC File On 4

The BBC has discovered evidence that Georgia may have committed war crimes in its attack on its breakaway region of South Ossetia in August.

Eyewitnesses have described how its tanks fired directly into an apartment block, and how civilians were shot at as they tried to escape the fighting.

Research by the international investigative organisation Human Rights Watch also points to indiscriminate use of force by the Georgian military, and the possible deliberate targeting of civilians.

Indiscriminate use of force is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, and serious violations are considered to be war crimes.

The allegations are now raising concerns among Georgia's supporters in the West.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has told the BBC the attack on South Ossetia was "reckless".

He said he had raised the issue of possible Georgian war crimes with the government in Tbilisi.

The evidence was gathered by the BBC on the first unrestricted visit to South Ossetia by a foreign news organisation since the conflict.

Georgia's attempt to re-conquer the territory triggered a Russian invasion and the most serious crisis in relations between the Kremlin and the West since the Cold War.

And Georgians themselves have suffered. We confirmed the systematic destruction of former Georgian villages inside South Ossetia.

Some homes appear to have been not just burned by Ossetians, but also bulldozed by the territory's Russian-backed authorities.

The war began when Georgia launched artillery attacks on targets in the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, at about 2330 on 7 August 2008.

Georgia said at the time that it was responding to increasing attacks on its own villages by South Ossetia militia, although it later said its action was provoked by an earlier Russian invasion.

Eye-witness account

Georgy Tadtayev, a 21-year-old dental student, was one of the Ossetian civilians killed during the fighting.

His mother, Taya Sitnik, 45, a college lecturer, told the BBC he bled to death in her arms on the morning of 9 August after a fragment from a Georgian tank shell hit him in the throat as they were both sheltering from artillery fire in the basement of her block of flats.

Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili refutes the allegations of war crimes

Mrs Sitnik said she subsequently saw the tank positioned a few metres from the building, firing shells into every floor.

Extensive damage to the five-storey block appeared consistent with her version of events.

She said she and her son were watching television when the Georgian attack began.

"They started firing not from rifles, but from heavy weapons. Shells were exploding."

"We jumped up straight away, switched off the lights and ran down to the cellar."

"And we sat here on boxes. We thought it would end, but the firing got heavier and heavier," she added.

"They went on firing all the next day without stopping. At some point there was a pause, and we saw Georgian soldiers going along the street in their Nato uniforms," according to Mrs Sitnik.

"Then they started firing again, even more heavily. The Grad rockets were coming over all the time."

"How can you trust those people now? What possible friendship can there be? Let them all be cursed, cursed for the deaths of our children."

Neighbours said another resident of the block, Khazbi Gagloyev, also died of wounds received during the attacks.

'Basements targeted'

The Russian prosecutor's office is investigating more than 300 possible cases of civilians killed by the Georgian military.

Some of those may be Ossetian paramilitaries, but Human Rights Watch believes the figure of 300-400 civilians is a "useful starting point".

That would represent more than 1% of the population of Tskhinvali - the equivalent of 70,000 deaths in London.

Allison Gill, director of the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, said: "We're very concerned at the use of indiscriminate force by the Georgian military in Tskhinvali.

"Tskhinvali is a densely populated city and as such military action needs to be very careful that it doesn't endanger civilians."

"We know that in the early stages there were tank attacks and Grad rockets used by Georgian forces," she added.

"Grad rockets cannot be used in densely populated areas because they cannot be precisely targeted, and as such they are inherently indiscriminate.

"Our researchers were on the ground in Tskhinvali as early as 12 August.

"And we gained evidence and witness testimony of Grad rocket attacks and tank attacks on apartment buildings, including tank attacks that shot at the basement level.

"And basements are typically areas where civilians will hide for their own protection.

"So all of this points to the misuse, the inappropriate use of force by Georgia against civilian targets," according to Alison Gill.

Human Rights Watch will talk only of the "possible" deliberate targeting by Georgian forces of individual civilians, a still more serious charge, though some Ossetians the BBC spoke to in Tskhinvali claim to have witnessed such cases.


Marina Kochieva, a doctor at Tskhinvali's main hospital, says she herself was targeted by a Georgian tank as she and three relatives were trying to escape by car from the town on the night of 9 August.

She says the tank fired on her car and two other vehicles, forcing them to crash into a ditch.

The firing continued as she and her companions lay on the ground.

She showed the BBC the burnt-out wreckage of the car on the town's ring-road, riddled with bullet holes and with a much larger hole, apparently from a tank round, in the front passenger door.

Ms Kochieva says a nurse from her hospital was killed while fleeing Tskhinvali in similar circumstances.

She says she counted 18 burnt-out cars on the ring-road on 13 August, at the end of the war, suggesting there may have been more casualties.

Asked if, at night, Georgian soldiers might not have suspected her car of carrying Ossetian fighters, Ms Kochieva said: "Fighters wouldn't have gone away from town, they would have gone towards town. We were escaping like other refugees.

"The Georgians knew this was the 'Road of Life' for Ossetians. They were sitting here waiting to kill us," she said.

Georgia's Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili told the BBC, "I can firmly say that the Georgian military, on intention, never attacked directly any civilian object.

"On the surface, the damage to some of the houses in Tskhinvali that can be observed might lead to this conclusion. But to see if some is damage inflicted by direct targeting, for that an in-depth military assessment needs to be done.

"I think the best response is a fully-fledged independent, impartial international inquiry into the issue," she added.

Her British counterpart David Miliband, who visited Georgia immediately after the war to show solidarity with its government, said he took the allegations of war crimes "extremely seriously" and had raised them "at the highest level" in Tbilisi.

Apparently hardening his language towards Georgia, he called its actions "reckless".

But he added: "The Russian response was reckless and wrong".

"It's important that the Russian narrative cannot start with Georgian actions; it has to start with the attacks on the Georgians from the South Ossetians and that is the tit-for-tat that got out of control," he said.


The BBC saw evidence of the cycle of revenge since the war, with the demolition of most houses in the former ethnic Georgian villages on the northern outskirts of Tskhinvali.

The houses, whose occupants fled during the war to other parts of Georgia, were burnt by Ossetians immediately after the fighting.

They are now expected to be replaced by a brand-new housing complex with a cinema and sports facilities to be financed by the city of Moscow.

Zaur Gagloyev, a 20-year-old former law student, now unemployed, claimed he was one of those responsible for the burning.

"There were so many provocations in these villages by Georgians," he said.

"For example, they were taking Ossetians as hostages and that's why I feel so angry."

Mr Gagloyev added: "If you want an advice on how to burn a house, just set light to a curtain and the whole house will catch fire."

Asked if he was guilty of ethnic cleansing, he replied, "No, it wasn't ethnic cleansing.

"No-one was killed there. We just let them go from our land. I don't know whether they will return or not," he added.

"But I did everything I could for them not to return. Never. You can call it ethnic cleaning, but I think I just did it to prevent a future war," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/10/28 17:03:10 GMT


The killed soldiers from the Russian peacekeeping battalion and those Ossetians who dared to resist the 'democratic' and 'western-oriented' Georgian regime and died do not count as usual. Were they justified targets?
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:21 pm
Lira Tskhovrebova is the founder of the Association of South Ossetian Women for Democracy and Human Rights and has worked for more than a decade to improve relations between people of Georgian and Ossetian descent in the Caucasus.

Ossetian propagandists trying to cover up Ossetian atrocities.....
0 Replies
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:28 pm
"SerSo" wrote:
BBC story: Human Rights Watch accuse Georgian troops of targeting South Ossetia civilians

From the article: "Human Rights Watch will talk only of the 'possible' deliberate targeting by Georgian forces of individual civilians"

There is lots of evidence of ethnic cleansing committed against Georgians. Not much evidence of crimes against the evil Ossetians.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 03:01 pm
Russia furious as NATO holds Georgia war games
0 Replies

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