Russian channel accuses CNN of using misleading war video
■ MOSCOW (MN) – Russian English-language television channel Russia Today has acused the U.S. broadcaster CNN of using the wrong pictures in their coverage of the conflict in South Ossetia. A Russian cameraman says footage of wrecked tanks and ruined buildings, which was purported to have been filmed in the town of Gori, in fact showed the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali, the RTTV reported on its web site.
Gori was said to be about to fall under the control of the Russian army but the cameraman says the video was actually shot in Tskhinvali, which had been flattened by Georgian shelling.
“When we arrived and news came that Gori was being shelled, I saw my footage. I said: that’s not Gori! That’s Tskhinvali. I can swear in front of any tribunal. I can point out this location on a map, because I and a cameraman from the channel Rossiya videotaped that,” the channel quoted the cameraman as saying.
US scraps war games with Russia, over Georgia tensions
■ WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States has cancelled upcoming joint military exercises with Russia, its first concrete response to the armed conflict in Georgia, as officials consider broader reprisals following Moscow aggression.
A senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity Tuesday, said that the August 15-23 exercises involving Russian, French, British and US warships in the Sea of Japan “have been scrapped.”
“In the wake of this conflict, there is no way that we can proceed with this joint exercise at this time,” the official said.
Russia launches genocide probe over S. Ossetia events
■ TSKHINVALI (RIA Novosti) – Top Russian investigators have opened a criminal case on charges of genocide in connection with recent events in South Ossetia, a General Prosecutor’s Office spokesman said on Thursday.
The Investigation Committee at the General Prosecutor’s Office “initiated a genocide probe based on reports of actions committed by Georgian troops aimed at murdering Russian citizens – ethnic Ossetians – living in South Ossetia,” said Igor Komissarov, deputy chairman of the Investigation Committee.
Russia has accused Georgia of committing “genocide” by launching an offensive last Friday to regain control of the separatist province of South Ossetia. Russia is calling for an international war crimes trial for the Georgian leadership, which Moscow says is responsible for massive loss of life in South Ossetia.
President Dmitry Medvedev ordered prosecutors on August 10 to gather evidence to support Russian allegations of the Georgian genocide of South Ossetians.
Georgia has also filed a lawsuit against Russia at the International Court of Justice on Tuesday over alleged ethnic cleansing.