The Russian media is playing a nationalistic role in describing the horror inflicted by Georgia on the people of South Ossetia, but ignores reporting Russian bombing of Georgian cities and civilians. William Dunbar, a correspondent in Georgia, says he has not been allowed on air to present the footage he has shot. “The real news, the real facts of this matter, didn’t conform to what they were trying to report and therefore, they wouldn’t let me report it.” Given the circumstances of censorship, Mr. Dunbar resigned. The TV channel, Russia Today, mentions Georgian media reports about Russian bombings, but adds it “could not substantiate the reports.”
Georgian President MIkheil Saakashvili claims hackers had crashed many Georgian government sites. On the other hand, Russian media and the Russian government insist the West has taken the side of Georgia in the conflict. Russia’s news program “Vesti” also complained about Western media coverage which they insist is biased in favor of Georgia.
There is little question Georgia initiated the current conflict by invading South Ossetia, but Russia had other options other than a military invasion. The road of peace may not come across as “macho” but it does save lives.