Georgian assault plane did not bomb Pankisi gorge?

The Georgian embassy to Moscow denies the bombardment of the Pankisi gorge by a Georgian assault plane. The name Rusteli, the name of the Georgian airforce lieutenant piloting the plane, according to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, "does not exist in Georgia", said counsellor-envoy of the Georgian embassy Teimuraz Gamtsemlidze in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Meanwhile, Vazha Tordiya, who, according to the newspaper, guided the plane's delivery to the Tbilisi air construction enterprise TbilAviastroitel, is a real person, the interview revealed.

Tordiya "is the director of the 31st aviation plant and is well known among his Russian colleagues", Gamtsemlidze said.

In connection with the article in the Russian governmental newspaper, "corresponding structures in Georgia will take necessary steps", the Georgian diplomat believes.

Last Friday the Georgian authorities accused Russia of bombing Georgian border areas by combat planes, yet the Russian military refuted the allegations.

On Wednesday the Rossiyskaya Gazeta published a sensational article saying that it was Georgia that had bombed the Pankisi gorge. At present the country has 7 Su-25 assault planes at its disposal, according to the Russian military data.

"From an informed source in the Georgian defense ministry we have learned that the bombardment of the Pankisi gorge was carried out on the direct order from the country's higher political leadership," the newspaper wrote. "The bombing was conducted by a plane with side number 15, but before the departure, Russian number 32 had been painted over it," the newspaper pointed out.

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