Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Survivor's testimony on the Georgian war

I came across this story: "I survived the Georgian war. Here's what I saw", written by a resident of Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. And while the writer is an Ossetian, she has also been active for years in bringing Ossetians and Georgians together in peace, so its fair to say that she is more objective than many of the partisans both sides put forward. Her story is harrowing. An excerpt:

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.

Tskhovrebova's story also shoots some holes in the version of events Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili put out. Among other things, she said that for several days before the fighting began her Georgian friends were warning her to get out of Tskhinvali because Georgian troops had massed on the outskirts for an all-out assault - quite a different story from Saakashvili's claim of self-defense.

Tskhovrebova also makes some good points about how the war story was covered in the Western press, that attacks on Georgian cities like Gori were widely covered, while the fighting in and around Tskhinvali was largely ignored.

It's definitely worth taking a few minutes to read.
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