Is Russia Exaggerating Deaths In South Ossetia?

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.

  • Janine Roberts

    The South Ossetian authorities currently are reporting that about 320 deaths have been identified by name – and have published a list of their names. But the survivors all talk of nightmare when Georgia attacked their city by surprise with indiscriminate Grad Rocket fire, with bombing and artillery – the Georgians have admitted that they brought 300 artillery pieces to the area. A doctor at the local hospital said that they were unable to leave the basement during this shelling and so, although only about 44 bodies were brought to them, that it was extremely dangerous to bring any bodies to them – She said that 2000 may well have died.

    Also – it seems the Human Rights Report was issued without even having visited South Ossetia to check numbers. If this is true, then this report is irresponsible.

  • Fred Stopsky

    There is no doubt Georgian forces launched artillery attacks on South Ossetia civilians.