Conflict & Justice

A new look at the Russian-Georgian conflict

Some of those accounts come from eyewitnesses interviewed by BBC television during a rare visit to South Ossetia, where the fighting started between the Georgian military and rebels backed by Russia. One witness told the BBC that houses in her area were deliberately targeted by Georgian tanks. On the second morning of the fighting, she says her 21 year old son was hit by shrapnel from a Georgian artillery and died. Researchers from Human Rights Watch have collected evidence in the capital of South Ossetia and this official says the group is concerned about the use of indiscriminate force by the Georgian military. She says the Georgian military appears to be guilty of committing war crimes. If that's true it raises doubts about the way McCain has characterized the fighting in Georgia. McCain told supporters that he talked to Georgia's president about his support for Georgia, and he's repeatedly criticized Obama for giving what McCain says is a muddled response to the crisis in the region. Obama responded by saying he agrees that Russia was the aggressor but he also believes his initial response was forceful enough. Georgia's president denies that his side committed atrocities and he welcomes as full investigation. A U.S. official has said Georgia's actions do raise some questions but war crimes might be going too far.

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