The president of the Georgian breakaway region, Eduard Kokoity, was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying: "About 1,400 died. We will
check these figures, but the order of the numbers is around this. We have this on the basis of reports from relatives."...
...The timing suggests Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili may have been counting on surprise to fulfill his longtime pledge to wrest back control
of South Ossetia — a key to his hold on power.
Well with the massive Georgian artillery strikes overnight on the residential areas of the capital, Tskhinvali I'm not surprised such a figure is
being thrown around here.
It seems more and more likely the more footage you see unfolding from these incidents.
Georgian BM-21's have fired huge barrages of rockets over night (some early into the next day), and with the inaccuracy and area effect of these
weapons I'm sure many civilians got caught up in the carnage.
Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, who had fled with her family to Dzhava, a village near the border with Russia, said: "I saw bodies lying on the streets,
around ruined buildings, in cars. It's impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged."
This video covers the shelling and mass exodus from the capital quite well:
This whole tragic episode is getting out of hand fast.
I can't help but think if Saakashvili wanted to reassert his influence over S. Ossetia he's going about in completely the wrong way by drawing
Russia into this conflict.
There's no way Russia will back down now, they don't want another Chechnya to unfold and break off more pieces of the Federation along with it and
Putin can't afford to be seen as indecisive on such a matter after such a long, popular term.
I'm not making any comments regarding the West and NATO here because there's still no evidence as to what moves they plan on, I will say though that
this has the potential to claim far more lives unless both sides are brought to the table quickly.
The South Ossetians may have initiated the hostilities but Georgia has opened fire on Russian military personnel without provocation. (No ones
verified their claims Russian planes violated their air space and their seeming less and less likely by the minute).
It's only a matter of time before Russia comes down hard on the Caucasus.
Doesn't surprise me in the least. Georgia is engaging in some very, borderline tactics here, indiscriminately targeting civilians and disregarding
every convention in the book (parading dead Russian pilots on TV).
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.