Government made mistakes in Ossetia conflict

Other News Materials 19 December 2008 01:45 (UTC +04:00)

Four months after the war it lost to Russia, the Georgian Parliament Thursday charged that the government as well as the military had made serious mistakes in the South Ossetian conflict, dpa reported.

In a report released late in the evening in the Georgian capital, the special commission also blamed Russia as the party which pushed the level of conflict to open warfare, according to media reports in Tbilisi.

The report also charged that the Georgian government, despite having good intelligence, was badly prepared for the war over the renegade areas of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It said the war was waged without agreement within the cabinet.

Most of the officials questioned by the commission, including President Mikheil Saakashvili, defended the actions of the Georgian leadership.

"It was a difficult, but necessary, decision," Saakashvili said.

He said there was evidence that the Russian military had crossed the border into South Ossetia, forcing him to send the Georgian army into battle to "protect our homeland and peaceful citizens."

The pro-western head of state has been under increasing domestic pressure since the war. In early November, an estimated 10,000 opposition supporters filled the streets with protests.

The exact beginning of the war remains unclear. Russia disputes that it invaded South Ossetia and claims it only sent soldiers in when the Georgian military arrived.

Shortly afterwards, Moscow declared South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states despite international protests.