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Russia could not let Georgia get away with S. Ossetia – Medvedev

RIA Novosti [1]
Monday, Aug 18, 2008

Georgia could not be allowed to act with impunity in its breakaway province of South Ossetia, Russia’s president said Monday.

Georgia launched a major ground and air offensive to regain control of South Ossetia on August 8, prompting Russia to send tanks and thousands of troops to the region.

“What the Georgian authorities have done is beyond human understanding. It cannot be justified or allowed to go unpunished,” President Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that the Georgian authorities were “political freaks.”

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He vowed revenge, adding that Russia would do all it could to ensure stability in South Ossetia.

“We will see to it that this crime does not go unpunished,” Medvedev said.

He said that the operation in South Ossetia showed the strength and efficiency of the Russian Armed Forces.

“Our Armed Forces have overcome the crisis of the 1990s, are battle-worthy and can perform any peacekeeping mission,” the president said.

NATO has accused Russia of disproportionate use of force in South Ossetia, while U.S. officials have called into question Russia-NATO military cooperation programs.