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CSMONITOR: Russia-Georgia, why both sides have valid points.


CofCC.org News Team

The Christian Science Monitor has tried to present the Russian-Georgia conflict in a balanced way, exploring the arguments of both sides. This is much more than can be said about the US major “mainstream” media. Such as CNN, whom we reported earlier fabricated an entire news story to paint Russia as the aggressor.

From Christian Science Monitor…

As Russia’s flash war with Georgia winds down, two distinct – and contradictory – stories about what happened and why are taking shape. The Moscow press paints a one-sided picture of a beleaguered Russia forced to respond to naked aggression by a pro-Western adventurer, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, in order to save Russian citizens from “genocide.” In the West, some depict the war as a replay of the USSR’s invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Afghanistan, and warning that a resurgent, oil-rich Russia is returning to Soviet-style domination of its neighbors with brute force.

But close examination reveals a more complex picture – one that suggests each side also has some valid points in its defense. Correspondent Fred Weir gives an overview from his longtime perch in Moscow.

Who started the conflict?

There seems little doubt that the conflict began with a massive military assault, launched overnight by Georgia on Aug. 7-8, apparently aimed at retaking the breakaway republic of South Ossetia before Moscow could react.

Human rights monitors and Western journalists now being admitted to the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali can find little evidence to back up Russian claims that the Georgians committed genocide.

But their reports so far implicate the initial Georgian artillery and rocket bombardment of the city of 10,000 people as causing the massive destruction they’re finding, including schools, churches, and the main hospital.

Also crucial, from Moscow’s point of view, is that the Georgian attack on Aug. 8 killed 15 Russian peacekeeping troops, stationed there under 1992 peace accords, and injured dozens.

But the causes of the conflict run deep and, like the layers of an onion, the conflict has many different levels.

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