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