There are indications Russia is deliberately exaggerating the number of people killed in South Ossetia in order to present an image of great need for Russian intervention. Anna Neistat of Human Rights Watch says her group has been investigating the deaths in South Ossetia and has concluded there is no evidence the Russian figure of 2,000 dead is accurate. “Our findings so far do not in any way confirm the Russian statistics. On the contrary, they suggest the numbers are exaggerated.” Her investigation has found evidence of Ossetian fighters burning and looting Georgian villages north of the South Ossetian capital.
Doctors at Tskhinvali hospital said they had treated 273 wounded people and there were a total of 44 dead people. It is quite clear a Russian propaganda campaign is being waged to convince the Russian people there was need for intervention in order to save lives.