Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Around 190 Georgian troops in South Ossetia

Около 190 грузинских военнопленных находятся в Южной Осетии

On Tuesday, August 12th during a live broadcast of the program "Conversation without rules" on O2TV, Dmitry Medoev, plenipotentiary representative of the president of South Ossetia to Russia, stated that during the course of the peacekeeping operations, around 190 Georgian troops were captured. "We have Georgian prisoners of war, approximately 190 men. These are officers, privates, sergeants, and colonels, but the fate of these captured fighters is not yet known. We don't need them," conveyed Medoev.

He also explained that South Ossetian authorities were prepared to transfer the prisoners of war to the Georgians at the first demand: "We adhere to all norms of international law and are ready to transfer them to the Georgians at the first demand. However, unfortunately, there haven't been any demands, or even requests, from the Georgian side."

Medoev emphasized that in light of the recent events, the recognition of South Ossetia's independence is the only acceptable resolution to the conflict: "After we've seen what the Georgian soldiers and Saakashvili's regime have done in South Ossetia, we are even more confident that only the independence of the Republic of South Ossetia will grant us full security guarantees. This isn't the first time we've spoken about this, but, probably, it took bloodshed to draw the attention of the international community. Saakashvili spilled this blood in South Ossetia, we have only one motto: 'not one step back.'"

Therefore, the plenipotentiary representative of the unrecognized republic rejects the possibility of constructive dialogue with the current Georgian leadership: "Today, after what has happened, we can't consider the Georgians as a partner because Georgian peacekeeping forces shelled the city of Tskhinvali and killed our wives and children. Therefore, they are criminals to us. We have been aspiring towards independence and we will aspire to it. 'Freedom or Death'--for us, these aren't just words!"

IA Regnum

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