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Cablegate: Russian Ambassador Decries Humanitarian Crisis In

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O 130954Z AUG 08
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2151
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 6057
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USNATO 000285

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: NATO PREL MOPS GG RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR DECRIES HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN
SOUTH OSSETIA

1. (SBU) Summary: In an August 11 letter to the NATO Deputy
Secretary General (see para 2 for full text), Russian
Ambassador to NATO Dmitri Rogozin accused the Georgian army
of creating an ongoing humanitarian disaster in South
Ossetia. Specifically, he asserted that the Georgian army
killed 2.5 thousand civilians in a spree of carpet bombing,
ethnic cleansing, and mass shootings, and this has caused
35,000 South Ossetians to take refuge in North Ossetia. He
said 17 Russian peacekeepers have been killed, 14 reported
missing, and 150 with severe or moderate wounds; and he
accused Georgian forces of destroying the water supply in
Tskhinvali and holding Russian citizens under house arrest.
In addition, he then outlined Russian humanitarian
assistance, including the establishment of an EMERCOM mobile
hospital. Conspicuously absent is any mention of or
justification for Russian aggression. End summary.

2. (SBU) Begin Text

Dear Ambassador,

I would like to inform you about the scale of the ongoing
humanitarian disaster in South Ossetia as a result of the
actions of Georgian armed forces. In our opinion the
statistics given below is not appropriately reflected in
world mass media or only biased opinion is presented. Since
the start of hostilities on the night of 7/8 August more than
2.5 thousand of civilians have been killed. Such a
significant number of casualties could be explained by
"carpet bombing" of the city asleep, ethnic cleansing and
mass shooting of civilians in South Ossetian villages
captured by Georgian army. The number of refugees who have
reached safe haven in North Ossetia is close to 35 thousand.
10 to 17 thousand people fled from Tskhinvali and now are
seeking shelter in villages controlled by South Ossetian
authorities. Between 9 and 15 thousand people remain under
debris of practically destroyed capital of South Ossetia and
suffer desperate conditions. Many of them require immediate
medical assistance.

The number of casualties of Russian peacekeepers has reached
17, 14 are reported missing and more than 150 got severe or
moderate wounds. Medical assistance for them is provided in
field or stationary hospitals. This data is approximate
since the hostilities are underway. However it is obvious
that if the hostilities are not ceased, the above-mentioned
appalling figures may definitely grow.

We have found out that the Georgian authorities are holding
Russian citizens who happened to be on either personal or
business matters in Georgia during these days under house
arrest.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the
Georgian side intentionally prevents search, rescue and
evacuation actions on territories captured by Georgian
forces, though inter alia, shelling the convoys of refugees
and wounded. Many of them are civilians, mostly women and
children. Due to the actions of the Georgian side people are
bleeding to death as the necessary help could not have been
delivered.

Immediately after the start of the hostilities has become a
fact the Russian government took urgent measures to help the
victims. A camp capable of housing no less than 2.5 thousand
refugees has been deployed in the immediate vicinity of the
border between North and South Ossetia. The Russian EMERCOM
mobile hospital has been running for two days, and the
Russian Ministry of Health,s hospital has also been deployed
on South Ossetian border. Today in Tskhinval an EMERCOM
squad of 273 people, 50 of them are doctors, is conducting
its mission. An EMERCOM hospital is expected to be fully
deployed by today,s evening in the north of Tskhinval. More
than 340 tonnes of medical supplies and food stuff have been
sent to the region and are already being distributed. More
than 200 million dollars have been allocated by the Russian
government with the aim to prevent the escalation of
humanitarian disaster and to conduct urgent reconstruction
works.

Unfortunately we are not aware of any actions taken by the
Georgian side to prevent the aggravation of this unheard-of

USNATO 00000285 002 OF 002


human disaster. On the contrary, we are receiving
information that in addition to the vital infrastructure of
Tskhinval already destroyed by the Georgian artillery, the
single left bakery has also been recently destroyed. This
has aggravated the humanitarian disaster even more.
Statistics is a very catchy thing. Even the loss of a single
human life is a tragedy. May be in absolute figures the
number of casualties is not as high as, for example, the
number of casualties in the recent natural disasters in
Myanmar and China. But if you recall that the population of
South Ossetia was 120 thousand people, 43 thousand of them
living in the capital, you can see the real scale of the
catastrophe. Actually the whole population of the Republic
of Ossetia can be considered the victim of the Saakashvili
regime only because most of them were born Ossetians. Even
judging by preliminary data one can call it a pre-planned
genocide, unprecedented since the World War II. The most
gruesome thing is that this tragedy was not caused by natural
disaster, but due to carefully planned and ill-intended
actions of the present Georgian authorities and their tutors.

In the last hours we have received information that the
Georgian armed forces have deliberately destroyed the
water-supply station in Tskhinval. This has led to the
flooding of apartment basements in the nearby area and
presumably caused death of civilians that were hiding there.
If this information is confirmed, this would be another proof
of inhumane actions of the Georgian armed forces against
civilian population.

Dear Ambassador,

You are kindly requested to circulate this letter among the
delegations of NATO member countries so that they could to
take into consideration reliable data when making conclusions
about the situation in South Ossetia. We hope that our
assessments would concur because, finally, one should call a
spade a spade.

Sincerely yours,

D. Rogozin
Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to NATO

End text.
VOLKER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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