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ENGLISH VERSION15 августа 2008 22:00

How many people died in South Ossetia?

KP decided to find out by speaking with Tskhinvali residents who survived the war

Human Rights Watch has never stepped foot inside Tskhinvali. However, the international humanitarian organization recently stated the number of reported victims in the South Ossetian conflict is highly exagerrated. According to South Ossetians, 1,400-2,000 civilians died under Georgian fire. KP spoke with Ada Chuyeva, a doctor at a hospital in Tskhinvali, to find out her opinion about the total number of deaths resulting from the conflict.

"Could there possibly be 2,000 dead? If you're counting the entire district, then yes," Chuyeva said. "Serious fire was going on for more than 6 days. We hardly left our basements. I saw tanks in the city and jets dropping bombs from above. It was horrible. Shooting innocent civilians in the 21st Century... We had 273 wounded in our hospital. Forty-five people died. Among them were two journalists who arrived with the Georgians. We placed their bodies in the Emergency Room because we couldn't go to the morgue with all the shooting."

We also asked the head of the Emergency Ministry hospital in Tskhinvali Aleksandr Ivanyus and Assistant Commander of the North Caucasus Military District Lieutenant Colonel Andrey Bobrun. They also said there were possibly thousands of victims in the conflict.

"Everyone was being destroyed, including women and children," Ivanyus said. "One woman told German journalists yesterday how the Georgians had stopped their car and ordered a mother and her children and everyone else out onto the road. They poured gas over the woman and burned her alive right in front of her kids. Another mother escaped with her child but they were run over by tanks."

The dead were buried under fire or transported from Tskhinvali by car. Many bodies are still beneath the rubble. The smell of decay is rank throughout the entire city.

On the side...

Human Rights Watch can be understood. Their headquarters are in New York. They couldn't accuse Saakashvili's soldiers, who were trained by U.S. instructors, to burn and shoot thousands of unarmed people. Hence, the organization made another questionable remark yesterday evening. On Aug. 5-6, the organization said, Russian forces dropped bombs on Georgian cities and towns. Note the date. As is well known, Russian jets only began flying over Georgia after Aug. 8 when Saakashvili entered South Ossetia. It seems the human rights defenders in New York have lost count of their days.

Just a note...

Eyewitnesses say civilians are just getting their electricity back in Tskhinvali. There is still no water. The water-pressure stations were ruined in the conflict and the pipes were destroyed. The population is waiting for trucks of drinks in addition to clothes and building materials. The Ochakovo company will soon send a shipment of beverages and bottled water to Tskhinvali.

"Naturally, we couldn't help but come to the aid of our people," said Ochakovo President Aleksey Kochetov.

Читать русскую версию: Так сколько погибло в Южной Осетии?

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