In response to international pressure to come forward with the truth behind their claims of ‘mass casualties’ in South Ossetia, the Russian government has finally admitted that initial death toll estimates of nearly 2,000 dead were overstated. New figures released today show that 133 civilians died in South Ossetia. South Ossetian officials said 1,492 civilians had been killed, but international investigators are reporting the numbers will be in the ‘dozens’ not hundreds, let alone thousands.
Both Georgia and Russia have filed human rights cases accusing the other of genocide. As these trials move forward additional facts may come to light.
Last week Georgia said it had filed a case against Russia on charges of ethnic cleansing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which rules on disputes between nations.
Meanwhile the International Criminal Court said it was conducting an analysis of the conflict over potential war crimes – but that it was stopping short of an investigation.
Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in a statement that his office had been “closely monitoring all information on the situation” including reports on attacks on civilians.