August 18, 2008

Russian Operations Did Not Cause Destruction in Gori – Nogovitsyn

MOSCOW. Aug 18 (Interfax) - The deputy head of Russia's general staff has categorically denied charges that Russian military operations resulted in heavy damage to the Georgian town of Gori.

"If we had shifted our fire for effect to the limits of our weapon systems, similar to the Georgian side, the city of Gori would no longer exist. It would be wiped off the map, just as the Georgians wiped Tskhinvali off the map," Deputy Chief of the General Staff Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn said.

The Russian side has demonstrated that Gori has remained "intact," he said. Meanwhile western media outlets "stressed some cases of inadequate behavior of Russian soldiers in this town," he said.

"I wonder, should we have acted following the example of the Georgian side how would the international media and political elite see it?" he said.

The behavior of the Russian peacekeepers is "absolutely legitimate and flawless both under Russian and international law," he said.

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