So what does Grozny look like now?
Looks like a pretty clean city and quite peaceful. They actually held an international film festival there a few months back. You've never been?
no footage/pictures of Georgian bombing of Tshinivali.... oh really??????
"The Western media has portrayed the Russian as solely responsible for the deaths of civilians, yet at the same time the Western media has acknowledged (confirmed by the BBC) that most of the civilian casualties at the outset were the result of the Georgian ground and air attacks.
Based on Russian and Western sources, the initial death toll in South Ossetia was at least 1,400 (BBC) mostly civilians. "Georgian casualty figures ranged from 82 dead, including 37 civilians, to a figure of around 130 dead.... A Russian air strike on Gori, a Georgian town near South Ossetia, left 60 people dead, many of them civilians, Georgia says." (BBC, August 9, 2008). Russian sources place the number of civilian deaths on South Ossetia at 2000."(Michel Chossudovsky, professor of economics at U of Ottawa, 2008)
The reason all you see is footage of bombed Gori is because that is all your media will show you. There was one misfire in Gori, 20 people dead! Just to put that in perspective, during NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia, which I'm certain you support, NATO CONFIRMED casualties were over 2500; in actual fact, the death toll is likely double that. So why are we flipping out on Russia for 20 deaths (according to Russian sources) or 60 deaths according to Georgian sources. The real number is likely somewhere in the middle.
1) 2000 dead BY THE HAND OF GEORGIA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4tvUrIQe0U
2) 2000 dead: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/09/georgia.russia2
3) Georgia bombs Tshinvali before Russia gets involved, in Russian. Feel free to bablefish: http://lenta.ru/news/2008/08/08/violence/
4) Selected timeline from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_South_Ossetia_War#August_7_.E2.80.93_August_8:_Georgian_involvement)
1) Beginning late on 1 August, intense fighting began between Georgian troops and paramilitary soldiers of South Ossetia causing the deaths of six people and the injuries of twenty-one others. Each side accused the other of commencing the fighting. On 3 August, the Russian government allowed South Ossetians to begin evacuation into Russia, which resulted in twenty bus-loads of refugees leaving the region on the first day.
2) On August 4, five battalions of Russian 58th Army were moved to the vicinity of Roki Tunnel that links South Ossetia with North Ossetia (for those of you who will undoubetdly ask, this is INSIDE Russia)
4) Before Russian involvement, the Georgian Army crossed the border of South Ossetia on the early hours of August 8, 2008 after overnight bombardment of Tskhinvali by heavy artillery (howitzers), 122 mm multiple-launch rocket systems "Grad", and large-caliber mortars. Tanks and APC supported by artillery launched a thrust towards Tskhinvali. These are confirmable FACTS, not opinions. I don't know why I should have to back up what is common knowledge everywhere outside of North America. The fact is, from the begining of Saakashvili's presidency he was told that any aggression against Ossetia or Abkhazia will be met with a strong reaction by the Russian Federation. Further, the Russian federation was there to ensure that neither Georgia nor South Ossetia break the peace. Georgia broke the peace, and Vitali Churkin merely requested that all Georgian forces be REMOVED FROM SOUTH OSSETIA and that Georgia signs an agreement about the non-use of violence in the region. If Russia was a destabilizing country, why would it call for Georgia to sign this document in the weeks leading up to the conflict? A further and more interesting question would be the following one: if Georgia really did not intend to invade South Ossetia, why would it refuse to sign this agreement?
5) Somebody requested pictures of the aftermath of the Georgian shelling of Tsihinvali? Here are just a few...
c) http://lenta.ru/photo/2008/08/09/ossetia/5_Jpg.htm (a burned Georgian tank... may I ask what it was doing in Tsihinvali?)
f) http://lenta.ru/photo/2008/08/08/ossetia2/222_Jpg.htm (firing of Grad upon a city, which is not a very accurate weapon if you know anything about it)
Here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJkwYeo738s
I want to say thanks for those who understand that Russia is not the aggressor here. If anything, this war is not in the best interests of Russia because it further destabilizes the situation for the Olympics, advances Ukrain's NATO bid (which is why i suspect the US pushed Georgia into this war), among other things I will not go into at this point. The people that think anything to do with Russia is evil right of the bad infuriate me, and I see some occasionally on this forum. This kind of thinking is what starts wars, it does not end them.
If you want a first hand point of view on the subject, try to find the latest UNSC meeting and watch it in its entirety. I did without translation on a paysite, but I'm sure the text of Vataly Churkin's speech can be found somewhere on the net. I completely agree with every word put forth by him in this speech, and urge those who feel strongly on the issue one way or another to at least see this information. Even if you choose to disagree, you will get to at least be able to say that you have seen both sides of the story.
I'll post more tommorow morning if I am up to it. Good night.