24 March 2009, 21:30
Der Spiegel: war in South Ossetia was launched by Saakashvili
The International EU Commission (IEUC) set up for investigating the five-day war in South Ossetia in August 2008 has found evidences that the warfare was initiated by President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili. However, the Commission has no incontestable proofs of Saakashvili's guilt, since the Georgian party had made them a state secret, as the Der Spiegel German magazine writes.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the IEUC headed by Heidy Tagliavini arrived in South Ossetia in early March. Ms Tagliavini had emphasized that the mission will study, not investigate, the events of August 2008.
The Commission plans to present its report in early summer. "Mikhail Saakashvili did not repel 'the Russian aggression', what he keeps asserting to the present day, but had planned an offensive war," writes Der Spiegel about the Commission's conclusion about the circumstances that had resulted in the five-day war in South Ossetia.
The main argument in support of this assertion is the statement of General Mamuka Kurashvili, commander of Georgian peacemakers in South Ossetia. On August 7, 2008, on the eve of the war, he said on air of the national television that Georgia had made a decision "to restore the constitutional order in the region."
Later, the General apologized for his words, saying that they were a consequence of his contusion. The magazine does not exclude that Kurashvili "was just quoting the Georgian Order No. 2 dated August 7 - the document able to shed light on who had started the war."
So far, the government of Georgia has failed to show the Order of the Commission referring to the state secret.
Besides, the Commission also recognizes the fact, confirmed by western observers, that already in the morning on August 7, 12,000 Georgian soldiers and 75 tanks were brought to the border with South Ossetia. It could not have been done quickly, thus, these actions look like a pre-planned action.
The magazine remarks that the report has unpleasant facts for Russia either. In particular, European experts accuse Russia of provided residents of South Ossetia with Russian passports within a couple of years. It is absolutely clear that it was interference into internal affairs of Georgia.