Georgia planned August 2008 attack on South Ossetia - investigators

A South Ossetian soldier passes by a destroyed Georgian tank in central Tskhinvali on August 10, 2008 (AFP Photo / Dmitry Kostyukov)
Russia’s Investigative Committee has said the evidence fully confirms that Georgia’s highest officials planned the military operation against the former breakaway republic.

­The evidence collected by Russian investigators, as well as the scale of the attack and the earlier Tbilisi directed propaganda campaign, provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the military action had been “planned and organized directly” by the highest political and military officials of Georgia, the spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) Vladimir Markin said on Monday.

Tbilisi’s attack was organized to destroy South Ossetia’s civilians and Russian peacekeepers in the region of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict, the spokesman told reporters.

The Georgian side has continually refused to cooperate with Russian law enforcement agencies regarding the probe investigating the events in South Ossetia, Markin noted. Russian investigators had filed numerous requests for legal assistance to the Main Prosecutor’s Office of the Georgian Justice Ministry, but it refused to cooperate in the criminal case “on far-fetched grounds.”

Markin also said no evidence of the involvement of Russian servicemen in any illegal actions in Georgia or South Ossetia in August 2008 has been discovered. The Russian investigators have checked complaints filed by Georgian citizens, and no objective evidence was discovered which showed the Russian military’s involvement in committing any illegal actions in the region of the conflict.

Russian investigators had been sent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another former Georgian breakaway republic after the August 2008 events. According to Markin, comprehensive evidence has been collected that disproves the claims contained in the suit “Georgia’s against Russia”, which was sent to the International Court of Justice.

After Tbilisi’s attack against South Ossetia in 2008, Russia’s military intervened to defend civilians and peacekeepers. Following the brief conflict, Moscow and several other countries recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. Since 2008, Russia has remained the main guarantor of security in the region.

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