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  • Propaganda from Georgia and Russia

    Posted by Ralf Goergens on August 13th, 2008 (All posts by )

    According to Der Spiegel, both Russia and Georgia have made extensive use of misinformation since the conflict began:

    How truth lost the war (‘Wie die Wahrheit den Krieg verlor’)

    The two most important points:

    Russia claimed that the Georgians had killed 1,500 people in the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali and turned 98 percent of the city into ruins during their initial assault. Yet, the field hospital near Alagir [in North Ossetie, Russia], where almost all wounded Russians and South Ossetians were brought to, accepted only about a dozen of them that night.

    Georgia had claimed that Russian tanks were advancing towards the Georgian capital Tbilisi. But on Tuesday evening, there were still no tanks to be seen around the city, when the Russian President announced an end to the fighting

    (I had to correct my initial translation in one point due to a misunderstanding, please see the update below).

    Der Spiegel also refers to an article in the Moscow Times:

    Russian television is flush with footage of misery left by the Georgian assault in the separatist district of South Ossetia, but few, if any, reports mention Russia’s bombing of Georgia.

    William Dunbar, a correspondent in Georgia for English-language state channel Russia Today, mentioned the bombing in a report Saturday, and he has not gone on air for the station since.

    “I had a series of live, video satellite links scheduled for later that day, and they were canceled by Russia Today,” he said by telephone from Tbilisi on Sunday. “The real news, the real facts of the matter, didn’t conform to what they were trying to report, and therefore, they wouldn’t let me report it.

    “I felt that I had no choice but to resign,” he added.

    Update: In my original translation, I had written about a field hospital near Tskhinvali, for the wording in the article had led me to believe that Alagir is located near the city. But in fact, Alagir is located in North Ossetia, Russia. This article from Reuters also would suggest that casualties are far lower than reported.

     

    10 Responses to “Propaganda from Georgia and Russia”

    1. eNews Reference Says:

      Here is the Russian media assesement… http://www.enewsreference.com/newspaper/russi.htm

    2. Shannon Love Says:

      All warfare is based on deception — Sun Tze

    3. Tatyana Says:

      Can you clarify: who exactly, reports that there are no Russian tanks around Tbilisi? And how they arrived to that conclusion?

      If JJ reads this: look at this Journal:
      http://reytar.livejournal.com/27495.html

    4. Ralf Goergens Says:

      The authors of the article are Florian Gathmann, Annett Meiritz and Heike Sonnberger from Der Spiegel. This report by SkyNews seems to bear out that there are no tanks at the Georgian capital yet, and that they aren’t heading for it, either.

      I can’t read Russian, and without wanting to cast aspersions here, but threads like this and this suggest that this Mr. Reytar is not exactly unbiased.

    5. Tatyana Says:

      The article @Sky news only list various reports; they didn’t go and checked for themselves. I’m not surprised that Georgian Deputy minister denies reports by eye witnesses: the governemnt doesn’t want to sow panic. The article also says there were eye witnesses who’d seen the tanks. Why do you believe one part of the article and not another – I think you yourself is rather biased, not unlike *raytar.

      Besides, to base your assumption that someone’s lying just because his threads are trolled by Russian nazis – it’s a bit rich. By that logic, this blog is of left-liberal persuasion – because sometimes it’s attacked by the likes of Fred Lapides.

      Maybe before you dismiss my link you should find somebody who reads Russian – and access the factual information that *raytar posted.

    6. Tatyana Says:

      Here, Ralph, you can’t deny this one:

      PRESIDENT: Yes. The Russians have blocked off the main roads and surrounded the capital. People are trying to flee – we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of displaced persons and a humanitarian disaster. The city is normal. Cars are driving around. Electricity and water supplies are functioning, shops are open. The police are regulating law and order.

      But in other parts of the country, the police are not trained to withstand Russian tanks. They are there to establish law and order. Russian troops are bombing the police, and trying to ensure destabilisation and economic collapse. They are good at destroying other countries, and they are implementing this here. Thank you, goodbye.
      Posted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia at 8:18 PM

    7. Ralf Goergens Says:

      The article also says there were eye witnesses who’d seen the tanks.

      Some Russian tanks were seen, apparently heading for the capital. Since then it has been reported that the tanks turned into the direction of South Ossetia, on the road that leads there. Otherwise, they would already be in or at least near Tblissi.

      I ddin’t say Raytar is lying, just that he seems to be biased, as in not impartial. I was reffering to the Georgian flag and and the paw of the Russian bear’s paw mauling Georgia, not to the people trolling the comments. I also didn’t dismiss the website. What I am saying is that I would like some independent confirmation from other sources.

      And look, I am neither anti-Georgian nor pro-Russian, I am just very cautious as far as sources are concerned.

    8. Tatyana Says:

      He has no obligation to be unbiased, he’s not member of the press – (and even press is not unbiased); he’s a blogger who happened to be in a possession of facts unknown to general public. The post I linked to explains the history of the conflict, years back, in more detail. In Caucasus, “years back” is sometimes more important than what’s happened yesterday – they carry their grievance and revenge through millenia.

    9. Ralf Goergens Says:

      Tatyana, I am not denying it, but it is a website run by the Georgian government, so I hope that I am allowed a bit of skepticism.

      I am logging off for tonight, but feel free to post comments. I’ll answer tomorrow.

    10. Ralf Goergens Says:

      He has no obligation to be unbiased, he’s not member of the press – (and even press is not unbiased); he’s a blogger who happened to be in a possession of facts unknown to general public. The post I linked to explains the history of the conflict, years back, in more detail. In Caucasus, “years back” is sometimes more important than what’s happened yesterday – they carry their grievance and revenge through millenia.

      No, he does not have to be impartial, but neither am I obliged to accept his views as authoritative.

      And yes, as I wrote in an earlier thread:

      nobody there thinks that there should be some kind of statute of limitations on revenge, claims to independence or respectively the reconstitution of former statehood as it had been in centuries past.

      I am very aware of the long memories they have.