The US administration urged for an immediate cease-fire in the conflict between Russia and Georgia over the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia.
In the meantime, Russian officials believe that it was the USA that orchestrated the current conflict. The chairman of the State Duma Committee for Security, Vladimir Vasilyev, believes that the current conflict is South Ossetia is very reminiscent to the wars in Iraq and Kosovo.
“The things that were happening in Kosovo, the things that were happening in Iraq – we are now following the same path. The further the situation unfolds, the more the world will understand that Georgia would never be able to do all this without America. South Ossetian defense officials used to make statements about imminent aggression from Georgia, but the latter denied everything, whereas the US Department of State released no comments on the matter. In essence, they have prepared the force, which destroys everything in South Ossetia, attacks civilians and hospitals. They are responsible for this. The world community will learn about it,” the official said.
In the meantime, it became known that the Georgian troops conducted volley-fire cleansings of several South Ossetian settlements, where people’s houses were simply leveled.
“The number of victims with women, children and elderly people among them, can be counted in hundreds and even thousands,” a source from South Ossetian government in the capital of Tskhinvali said.
The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Lavrov, told reporters that Georgia’s actions in South Ossetia question its consistency as a state and as a responsible member of the international community, Interfax reports.
"Civilians, including women, children and elderly people, are dying in South Ossetia. In addition to that, Georgia conducts ethnic scouring in South Ossetian villages. The situation in South Ossetia continues to worsen every hour. Georgia uses military hardware and heavy arms against people. They shell residential quarters of Tskhinvali [the capital] and other settlements. They bomb the humanitarian convoys. The number of refugees continues to rise – the people try to save their lives, the lives of their children and relatives. A humanitarian catastrophe is gathering pace,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said.
The minister added that the Georgian administration ignored the appeal from the UN General Assembly to observe the Olympic truce during the Beijing Olympics.
“The Georgian administration has found the use to its arms, which they have been purchasing during the recent several years,” Lavrov said. “The fact that Georgian peacemakers in the structure of joint peacemaking forces opened fire on their Russian comrades from one and the same contingent speaks for itself, I think,” the minister added.
“Now it is clear to us why Georgia never accepted Russia’s offer to sign a legally binding document not to use force for the regulation of the South Ossetian conflict,” Lavrov said. “Not so long ago, before the military actions in South Ossetia, Georgia’s President Saakashvili said that there was no point in such a document because Georgia would not use force against its people, as he said. It just so happens that it is using it,” Sergei Lavrov said.
Sergei Lavrov believes that the international community should stop turning a blind eye on Georgia’s active deals to purchase arms.
“We have repeatedly warned that the international community should not turn a blind eye on massive purchases of offensive arms, in which the Georgian administration has been involved during the recent two years,” Lavrov said.
The head of the Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, confirmed the death of Major General Vladimir Zavadsky.