http://english.pravda.ru/world/europe/29-10-2008/106635-bbc_georgia-0

      29.10.2008

      BBC finally acknowledges Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia. 
Thank you


      The British Broadcasting Corporation prepared a program which gave 
evidence of Georgia's crimes committed against the people of South Ossetia. Tim 
Whewell, a BBC correspondent, visited the region, where the battles took places 
in August of this year, and interviewed eyewitnesses of those events. The 
program was aired on the radio October 28, the BBC reports. It has also been 
uploaded on the website of the company. 

      The program features eyewitnesses' statements, who said that Georgian 
tanks were shelling their homes while Georgian soldiers were shooting civilians 
who were trying to escape from the battlefield in their cars. The correspondent 
said that Human Rights Watch employees, who visited South Ossetia, also 
obtained the evidence to prove the disproportionate use of force by the 
Georgian military. 

      Eyewitnesses told the BBC correspondent how their children were dying in 
their arms of injuries. A woman said that a Georgian tank stopped near the 
five-storeyed apartment block, in which she lived, and started to shell every 
floor of the building one after another. "They were shooting from heavy guns, 
not from assault rifles. The shells were exploding ," the woman said. 

      Marina Kochiyeva, a doctor of the Tskhinvali City Hospital, said that she 
and her three relatives were trying to escape from the city on August 9 at 
night. The Georgian military opened fire at their car, the woman said. The car 
veered off the road and stopped, but the military continued shooting, she 
added. 

      The woman showed the correspondent the place, where the incident 
happened. The carcass of the car was all covered with bullet holes. The doctor 
said that one of her nurses died under similar circumstances. 

      Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has already responded to the BBC's 
report. He said that he denied all charges against the Georgian military and 
added that his country was open for any investigation. "If someone committed 
war crimes, then it was not us," the president of Georgia said. 

      "We strongly deny everything of what has been said, all war crimes 
charges. But of course, we are open to any comments and any investigation. We 
urge to conduct an international investigation of the war, the circumstances 
that made the war and the incursion happen," Saakashvili said. 

      Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the BBC that Tbilisi's 
actions were irresponsible, although he continued with saying that Russia's 
response to the Georgia-led aggression was disproportionate and incorrect. 

      Daniel Fried, Assistant to the US Secretary of State, said that the USA 
had repeatedly warned Georgia of the inadmissibility of the use of force 
against South Ossetia. Fried said that he was not certain whether the Georgians 
attacked the civil population of South Ossetia indeed, although the actions of 
the Georgian army raised serious concerns with the US administration. 

      Georgia invaded the then-unrecognized republic of South Ossetia August 7. 
Russia responded to the Georgian aggression immediately by sending its troops 
to South Ossetia to defend the local population. 

      The conflict triggered the most serious crisis in the post-Cold War 
relations between Russia and the West. 
     

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