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23 Dec, 2008 10:10

The Ossetian tragedy: 5,000 victims

A book entitled “The Ossetian Tragedy: the White Book of Crimes against South Ossetia”, containing the results of the investigation into the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict in August this year, has been published in Moscow.

It was presented by Aleksandr Bastrykin, head of the Committee of Inquiry of the Prosecutor's Office, who led the investigation process.

He said that following an investigation more than 5,000 people could be considered victims, having suffered as a result of Georgian aggression in South Ossetia.

He added that during the conflict 48 Russian servicemen were killed, including 10 peacekeepers. Two Russian peacekeepers are missing and 157 were injured. According to investigators, the Russian military took all necessary steps to prevent the attack.

Bastrykin also claimed Georgia had been preparing the military operation for some time and even employed overseas mercenaries.

“According Russian investigators, mercenaries from Ukraine, the US and Turkey were took part in the military operation in South Ossetia alongside Georgian troops. We also gathered testimonies from local witnesses and Georgian prisoners of war that confirm there were foreign mercenaries fighting in South Ossetia,” he said.

The book is now in the process of being translated into English and will later be published abroad.