Moscow Dismisses Tbilisi Claim on Russian Atrocities
14:13 24/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Investigative Committee dismissed as “ungrounded” Georgian claims about Russian troop atrocities during the brief 2008 Russian-Georgian war, Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Friday.
“In their claim to the European Court on Human Rights, Georgian authorities without grounds accuse Russia of the lack of an efficient probe into Russian troops allegedly committing atrocities during the military conflict on Georgian and South Ossetian territories,” Markin said, adding that the Georgian statements were unfounded.
Georgia filed a suit against Russia to the Strasbourg Court on Human Rights on August 11, 2008, a day before signing a ceasefire deal. Tbilisi accused Moscow of violating several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights during the five-day Russian-Georgian war in 2008, including the right to life, liberty and security, privacy, a fair trial, and education as well as the right for property protection and a ban on torture.
Russia says the allegations are ungrounded and not provided with the necessary evidence. Moscow has reiterated its stance that Georgia was the first to attack the peaceful citizens of South Ossetia.
Markin also said that Georgian soldiers and peaceful civilians, who were interrogated as witnesses in the Russia-Georgian war, had not provided any evidence about Russian troop violence.
According to the Investigative Committee, 67 Russian troops and 162 South Ossetians were killed during the conflict. Tbilisi estimated its death toll at some 400 people.
Speaking at a meeting with Russian Armed Forces officials, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia hoped to restore friendly relations with the Georgian people.
Russia and Europe-leaning Georgia broke off diplomatic relations after a five-day war in Georgia’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia in 2008. Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another self-proclaimed republic, Abkhazia. Georgia declared them occupied territories.
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