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MOSCOW, August 8 (Itar-Tass) —— Georgian attempts to discredit Russian servicemen in the eyes of the international community with setups have been exposed in the investigation of the South Ossetian events of August 2008, Russian Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.
“Georgian actions aimed to discredit the Russian army were exposed in the course of the investigation. Detectives received testimony of persons working for the illegal government of Dmitry Sanakoyev. They said after the Russian army had started pushing out Georgian forces from Tskhinvali and suburbs, the Georgian administration tried to discredit Russian soldiers and to create their negative image,” he said.
“Dead Georgian servicemen were dressed in civilian wear for taking photos and videos of the alleged numerous victims in Georgian villages. Witnesses also said that before Russian troops came to Gori and other towns along the Georgian border, Ukrainian mercenaries were dressed in Russian military uniforms and photographs and videos were taken of the alleged cases of Russian looting and violence against Georgian villagers in order to mislead Georgians and the international public,” he said.
Complaints of Georgian citizens were examined carefully, he said. “In verifying complaints of Georgian citizens within the criminal case investigation, the Russian Investigation Committee scrutinized the alleged illegal actions of Russian servicemen in Georgian populated localities. The complaints were not proven,” he noted.
“The conclusions were confirmed with testimony of more than 2,000 servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces questioned as witnesses and victims and studies of staff, operative and other documents from more than 50 Russian military units. Besides, more than 100 residents of South Ossetia, ethnic Ossetians and Georgians, were questioned. They said that Russian servicemen took no part in illegal actions but prevented arsons and looting,” he said.
“Georgian law enforcers could not provide evidence to crimes of Russian servicemen. Russian detectives sent numerous inquiries but there was no response,” Markin said.