Georgia says Moscow admits its aggression
By Temuri Kiguradze
Monday, June 8
The Georgian Foreign Ministry has commented on an interview given by a Russian General who participated in the Georgian-Russian war by saying that it “confirms” that Russia conducted aggression against Georgia during the August 2008 conflict.
Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy published its interview with Major-General Vyacheslav Borisov, the deputy head of Russian Paratroopers, on June 6. General Borisov commanded the paratroopers during the conflict in South Ossetia and the subsequent invasion of other parts of Georgian territory. The Ministry states it confirms that the Kremlin was preparing for an invasion long before the actual start of the war on August 8.
"...General Shamanov was in command of the troops being sent in the direction of Abkhazia and I commanded those sent to South Ossetian and Georgia. As you know, we had regularly conducted trainings in those regions, our troops had gained considerable experience of the terrain. We had conducted trainings on those territories, exactly there, one week before and had only just left the area, which is why we could conduct the march to Tskhinvali much better than the central and regional troops. For us, this did not entail any sort of difficulty. We also dealt with certain other matters in a much better way, and this was noted by the leadership of the armed forces, the Head of the General Staff and the Defence Minister..." said Borisov in part of his interview, as quoted by the Georgian Foreign Ministry. “We are hopeful that this additional confession made by yet another Russian aggressor, will help the international commissions come to adequate conclusions when they seek the truth about the 18-year undeclared war conducted by Russia against Georgia, the last episode of which took place on August 7, 2008,” says a special statement made by the Foreign Ministry on its official webpage on June 6.
Georgian military expert Koba Liklikadze says that Borisov’s interview has not revealed any new information. “It was clear and obvious that the Russian military exercises Kavkaz-2008, which were conducted just before the August conflict, had a direct target – to enter South Ossetian territory and destroy the Georgian Army in the region around Tskhinvali,” Liklikadze told The Messenger on June 6, adding that “of course it’s good that Russia now openly admits this and reveals its true face, however the other question is why the Georgian Army was not prepared for this invasion and didn’t consider this threat.”
Borisov’s interview has been published while the EU August conflict special inquiry commission is visiting Georgia. After visiting the Georgian breakaway province of Abkhazia the EU mission arrived in Tbilisi on June 4 and has held several meetings with Georgian officials. The mission, headed by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini, is expected to present its report to the EU, OSCE, Georgia and Russia on July 31, 2009; however this deadline may be extended on the request of the commission members.
“You know that we have raised question marks over some of the experts who were, and still are, part of this commission, but we hope that the overall report will be objective and confirm once again the well-known truth, that Russia conducted aggression against Georgia last year,” stated the Chair of the Georgian Parliament Davit Bakradze, as quoted by Maestro TV.