Russia says Georgia used weaponry from 14 states in conflict

Georgia deployed weaponry imported from 14 countries in its recent war with Russia over South Ossetia, Russia's chief military prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Georgia attacked South Ossetia on August 8 in an attempt to regain control over the republic, which split from Tbilisi in the early 1990s. Moscow subsequently launched a five-day operation to "force Georgia to accept peace."

"We have evidence showing that Georgia used against South Ossetia tanks, artillery, air defense systems, MLRS and other weaponry delivered from 14 countries," Sergei Fridinsky said, adding that the majority of military equipment came from the U.S. and Ukraine.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier accused the White House of provoking the conflict in Georgia in order to give an advantage to "one of" the U.S. presidential candidates. Washington has denied the allegation.

Russia's chief military prosecutor reiterated that in line with existing norms and regulations all weapons abandoned by Georgian troops during the conflict would be collected, counted, and stored at Russian military installations.

He also said that Russia would soon present evidence to international bodies proving that foreign instructors taught Georgian peacekeepers how to conduct sabotage operations.

"The photos clearly show people in military uniforms, bearing foreign insignia, teaching Georgian peacekeepers sabotage techniques, including how to make improvised explosive devices for sabotage purposes," the official said.

[Source: Novosti, Moscow, 10Sep08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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