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Cablegate: Mfa Hands Over Package Documenting Georgian

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OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #2601/01 2421522
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291522Z AUG 08 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9769
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 002601


C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (DOWNGRADED CLASSIFICATION)

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV RS GG
SUBJECT: MFA HANDS OVER PACKAGE DOCUMENTING GEORGIAN
ACTIONS IN SOUTH OSSETIA

MOSCOW 00002601 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: On August 27, Deputy Foreign Minister
Grigoriy Karasin passed to the Ambassador a package of photos
and a video documentary meant to document Georgian aggression
in South Ossetia. The documentary argued that Georgians
intended to kill the South Ossetian people and destroy their
cities, while Russia was only a peacekeeper who fought
valiantly to protect the South Ossetians. The video
contained several allegations of U.S. involvement in the
conflict, and asserted that Georgia had been preparing to
attack South Ossetia since June 2008. Direct quotes from the
documentary related to Georgia's intent and the destruction
of South Ossetia are provided in paragraphs 6-7. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) On August 27, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy
Karasin passed to the Ambassador a package of materials meant
to illustrate Georgian aggression in South Ossetia. The
package consisted of 40 photos from state-funded ITAR-TASS
and a 25-minute documentary video by the pro-Kremlin NTV
television station dubbed in English. The photos primarily
consisted of distraught mothers and children, hospital staff
administering care, people returning to destroyed buildings,
and deceased individuals in coffins.

3. (SBU) The focus of the documentary was to convince the
viewer about the intent of the Georgian side to kill or harm
South Ossetians and bring about the physical destruction of
South Ossetia. It made the argument that Georgia started the
conflict and intentionally used BM-21 multiple-launch "GRAD"
rockets to kill innocent South Ossetians. It portrayed
Russia as only a peacekeeper whose troops fought valiantly to
protect South Ossetians and alleged that Georgia and the West
launched an information war against the South Ossetians and
Russians. The footage used in the documentary mainly
consisted of rocket-fire at night, destroyed buildings, brief
interviews with Tskhinvali residents, and crying families.

U.S. Involvement in the Georgian Operation
------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) The documentary also argued that the West, and
specifically the U.S., assisted the Georgian military. To
this end, the documentary included an interview with Russian
nationalist Alexander Dugin who said that the Georgians used
American military tactics. It showed a Russian soldier
displaying a confiscated green plastic bag with English text
that he referred to as "American writing." Furthermore, the
video showed a South Ossetian official saying that his troops
"had found items from among the Georgian troops that belonged
to Americans."

Georgian Intent
---------------

5. (SBU) The video also included a brief interview of a
"captured Georgian commando" with a burned face who spoke
only a few words, but off-camera the Russian translator spoke
for a minute, saying that the commando knew about the attack
on Tskhinvali since August 3. As further evidence of
Georgia's well-prepared plans, the documentary said that the
FSB had discovered a Georgian spy network. It showed footage
of the June 11, 2008 arrest of Russian Alexander Kachirov,
who said that Georgian intelligence services paid him U.S.
dollars to take video of the positions of Russian
peacekeepers in South Ossetia.

6. (SBU) To show that Georgia intended to destroy South
Ossetia's people and towns, the documentary includes the
following direct quotes:

--"The night of August 7 Georgian President Saakashvili
claimed he was ready for negotiations, but at 11:30 that
evening, Georgia opened fire on Tskhinvali with GRAD rockets
from the Georgian towns of Nikozi and Ergeti. GRAD rockets
can hardly be called a method to establish order, it was just
an execution of the city of several thousand people."

--"On August 8, Georgian tanks wiped out 10 South Ossetian
villages from the face of the earth and entered Tskhinvali,
systematically killing peaceful residents only because they
were Ossetians. Georgians fired at residential buildings on
their way into the city. They used GRAD rockets and then
machine-gunned houses. They also knew people were hiding in

MOSCOW 00002601 002.2 OF 002


basements, so they threw grenades into the basements. The
Georgians attacked ambulances and destroyed the hospital.
They fired at people who decided to leave by car, fired at
young boys and old women."

--"Georgia said that the South Ossetians fired first because
it had to establish the constitutional order to suppress the
provocation. Russian peacekeepers were in the way so
Georgian troops killed them. All laws worldwide prohibit
shooting at peacekeepers; it is a war crime."

--"The name of the Georgian mission in South Ossetia was
"Clear Field." The Russian military captured documents and
maps that prove the Georgians had a well-prepared plan. It
is now clear what the purpose was of NATO and the U.S. arming
Georgia."

South Ossetia Destruction
-------------------------

7. (SBU) The following are direct quotes made during the
documentary meant to show the destruction of South Ossetia
and its people:

--"Tskhinvali residents fled to their basements, men fought
with Kalishnikovs but were no match for Georgian artillery
fire. There was no electricity or water, food was scarce for
South Ossetians."

--"On August 8, Russians entered to stop the extermination of
South Ossetia. All Ossetians knew they would be slaughtered
without Russia's assistance. Investigators are now
collecting evidence of genocide."

--Interview of a crying Tskhinvali man: "This was an
extermination of a peaceful people, he (Saakashvili) crushed
a family with tanks. Bloodsucker! Such barbarity never
existed among human beings."

--Interview with woman: "Georgian troops jumped out of tanks
and threw grenades into basements because they knew people
were hiding there. A Georgian tank crushed a fleeing woman
and her grandsons."

--The documentary ends with a tearful woman crying, "We will
rebuild our city but we will never revive our boys," and the
commentator saying that in the future the Ossetians will hold
a blood revenge against Saakashvili according to the
tradition of people in the Caucasus.
BEYRLE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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