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Georgian Mass Media Assaulting Peacekeepers

29.01.2008 14:34

The new year just started but already in January 2008 the Georgian mass media distributed numerous false allegations to discredit the CIS CPF peacekeepers in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict.

For instance, on January 5, on the day of the presidential election in Georgia several independent news agencies alleged with reference to TV Company ?Rustavi-2? that there was a clash between the Russian and Chechen soldiers of the CIS CPF in the zone of conflict that resulted in firing and injured people. Later a news agency chief in exile provided horrifying details. According to his version that was immediately placed on the ?Georgia Online? web site two Russian officers-peacekeepers were killed in the Gali region.

Certain Georgian media outlets accused Russia peacekeepers of making obstructions to the residents of the Gali region of Abkhazia in participating in the presidential election in Georgia. Such accusations are absolutely baseless ? the UNOMIG revealed no violations obstructing free movements of the people.

Besides these media outlets distributed allegation that ?at the meeting in Village Urta, Zugdidi region, Gerogia, the emergency commission of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces made a decision to recall CIS CPF Commander Major-General Sergey Chaban? declared persona non grata in Georgia by Saakashvili. Actually, there was no such commission, moreover an emergency one, in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, therefore there was no such meeting to make a decision to recall the Commander.

The allegations that peacekeepers ?insulted Georgian journalists who tried to shoot the meeting in Urta, by force?, and that truck Ural with drunk Russian peacekeepers overturned in Megobroba Village, are clearly untrue. There were never such accidents, and it is a lie of the Georgian journalists.

The next allegation invented by non-informed sources of the Georgian TV channels and Internet Sites was broadcasted very soon. They told about ?a conflict between Russian and Chechen servicemen of the CPF and escape of a platoon?. Originally ?Rustavi-2? and then :Georgia Online? alleged that 25 peacekeepers escaped from CP 202, and later on January 26, peacekeepers escaped from CP 208. .

All these allegations are just falsehood fabricated to besmear honor and dignity of the Russian peacekeepers. All of them are generated by the Georgian authorities and ?Government of Abkhazia in exile?.

The fact of practically daily dissemination of baseless allegations about the CIS peacekeeping forces by the Georgian mass media and Georgian authorities was confirmed in the Report of the UN Secretary General on the Situation in Abkhazia, Georgia dated January 23, 2008 (S/2008/38). The Report says that ?they have contributed to growing distrust and insecurity, ultimately increasing the chances of confrontation?.

We have to note that such provocations do not contribute to increasing the rating of these media outlets. All people residing in the areas where the Russian peacekeepers are stationed know very well the situation in the region, and the value of ?the allegations? distributed by ?Rustavi-2? and other provocation sources.

In this connection, Major General S. Chaban, Commander of the CIS CPF in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, requested journalists and mass media managers to cease publication of raw and untrue information.

According to him, the CIS CPF command is open for any representatives of mass media and expects cooperation with them aimed at enhancing confidence in order to stabilize the situation in the zone of the Georgian- Abkhaz conflict.