Sunday, Aug 10, 2008
Russian Premier Vladimir Putin arrived in the capital of North Ossetia, and called Georgia’s acts in South Ossetia a species of “genocide”.
While in Vladikavkaz, the capital of North Ossetia, Putin said, “The actions of the Georgian leadership in South Ossetia are a crime and foremost they are a crime against their own people because a deadly blow has been delivered to the territorial integrity of Georgia, which brings massive damage to its national identity.”
Putin continued, “It’s hard to imagine after all that had happened and after all that is still happening they’ll be able to convince South Ossetia to be part of Georgia.”
(Article continues below)
The impact of what he saw led him to call for an investigation into alleged acts of genocide by Georgian forces during their offensive against South Ossetia, AFP reported.
Putin told President Dmitry Medvedev in comments that were broadcast on Sunday on Russian television that the incidents that were described by the refugees, “lie beyond the framework of understanding of military actions.”
He continued by saying, “In my opinion they are already elements of some kind of genocide of the Ossetian people. I think it would be correct if you instruct the military prosecutor to document all such incidents.”
In response to Putin’s statement, Medvedev said that he would issue the order and vowed to bring criminal charges against those who were responsible.
He had originally arrived in Vladikavkaz to hold talks with evacuees and officials and had changed his travel plans in order to see at first hand what was being done to assist the war refugees from South Ossetia, Russia Today reported.
Putin also discussed an aid package to help North Ossetia cope with the influx of refugees by announcing that the Russian government was planning to assign about USD 400m for the reconstruction of South Ossetia.
This article was posted: Sunday, August 10, 2008 at 4:09 am