PM slams statements on Russia's disproportionate use of force

Russian President Vladimir Putin has refuted statements on the disproportionate use of force by the Russian army in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. During a meeting with members of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi today, he noted that Georgia had used tanks and multiple rocket launchers against Russian peacekeepers and servicemen. "Would you expect us to brandish penknives?" the PM asked. Answering why Russian troops operated far beyond Tskhinval, Putin explained that many Georgian military facilities that had been used for the assault on Tskhinval were located far from the city. "Should we have kept shooting at them with a sling? What had they expected?" Putin noted.

The PM also expressed surprise at how powerful the "western propaganda machine" was. When Georgia started bombarding South Ossetia, the western media was absolutely silent, as if nothing at all was happening, Putin said. This is "dishonest and immoral work," the Prime Minister stressed. He also criticized the US, saying that it had trained the Georgian army, invested money, sent military instructors to Georgia, and encouraged it to commit aggression, instead of trying to resolve the conflict peacefully.

[Source: RosBusinessConsulting, Sochi, 11Sep08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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