Georgia Lost Up to 3,000 Men in S. Ossetia Conflict - Source
(Officers from the Investigative Committee of the Russian prosecutor's office examine the bodies of dead Georgian soldiers outside the South Ossetian capital of Tshinvali August 13, 2008.)
About 3,000 Georgian military and police personnel were killed during its recent attempt to take control of South Ossetia, a Russian intelligence source said on Monday. Georgian troops attacked the breakaway republic on August 8, killing a number of Russian peacekeepers and hundreds of civilians. In response, Russia launched a five-day military operation to "force Georgia to accept peace." "Our data gathered from various sources indicates that Georgia lost up to 3,000 servicemen and police in the attack on South Ossetia," the source said, adding that Georgia's Western allies also were aware of numbers involved. "Georgia's leadership is attempting to cover up the real scale of the losses and is officially reporting about 70 confirmed deaths," he said. "But their figures are significantly understated." The source said Georgia suffered such heavy losses because of the poor training and low morale of its military personnel, especially reservists. "Besides, many Georgian soldiers, who are accounted for as MIA, are deserters," he added. "Georgian police are still looking for these people, who simply left the battlefield." Official statements last week put Russia's losses in the short conflict with Georgia at 66 killed and at least 340 wounded.
In other news:
Britain Outraged by Lavrov’s English
Past weekend, a raft of Britain’s media accused Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of using an expletive in the conversation with Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Lavrov is said to have sworn in the phone conversation with Miliband dedicated to Georgia. The RF Foreign Ministry denied the accusations. That English-language telephone conversation of Lavrov and Miliband happened August 13. According to The Daily Mail, Lavrov exploded when Miliband set to describing Britain’s attitude to Russia’s actions in Georgia. "Who the xxxx are you to lecture me?" Lavrov allegedly said. Of interest is that, according to The Daily Telegraph blog, Lavrov said: "Who are you to xxxxing lecture me?!" The bringdown rebuff blamed on Sergei Lavrov is in line with the context of current relations of Russia and Britain that aggravated beyond any limit past year, when the Kremlin ordered to shut down British Council’s offices in Russia and refused to cooperate in the case of Alexander Litvinenko. Britain’s standing on South Ossetia didn’t improve the relations either. Nevertheless, the RF Foreign Ministry denied such tirade of Lavrov, saying he is the diplomat of great experience, and his comments on foreign events are always well-formed. Lavrov explained swearing during the Sukhumi news conference. The minister claimed he repeated to Miliband the description of Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili given by one of European leaders. “xxxxing lunatic” were the words that Lavrov quoted in an attempt to convince his British counterpart that it had been Saakashvili that had started the war for South Ossetia.
"The xxxxing Lunatic"