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Russian Investigating Committee: Mercenaries Fought on Georgian Side

24.11.2008 17:42

Alexander Bastrykin, Head of the Investigating Committee at the Russian Prosecutor’s Office, said on Monday at the International Conference of Humanitarian Law in St.-Petersburg that mercenaries from several countries fought on the Georgian side in the August armed conflict in South Ossetia.

"Our investigators have received evidence that teams of American, Czech, Turkish, Chechen and Ukrainian mercenaries fought on the Georgian side”, said Bastrykin.

The Head of the Committee also said that according to the investigators the total strength of the Georgian troops, which operated during the conflict in the territory of South Ossetia, was 17,000 servicemen, 100 tanks, 70 armored vehicles, 110 guns, and 30 multiple rocket launch systems. According to him, the Georgian side also used other weapons.

"We have conducted an analysis of weapons and their effect, which shows that the Georgian side used prohibited weapons”, added Bastrykin and pointed out that using such weapons Georgia violated Conventions of 1949 and 1960.

"No doubt that we witness a gross international crime, which name is the genocide against the South Ossetian people”, concluded Bastrykin and added that the operations of the Georgian troops resulted in mass killing of people including the Russian peacekeepers and numerous civilians of South Ossetia.