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Estonians will learn “the truth”2010-06-04 17:53
A book on August 2008 events in South Ossetia has been released in Estonia. Remarkably,the compilation was based on materials from Novaya Gazeta known for a rather peculiar presentation of the conflict. The newspaper, however, asserts that judgments therein are not final. Is that really so?
The book "Russian-Georgian War" has been a modest 1000-copy edition in Estonia. As Sergey Kozheurov, Novaya Gazeta's first deputy editor-in-chief said, the book was released in this post-Soviet republic exclusively in Estonian since the Russian edition is popular with the indigenous population. "We are grateful that opinions of our political analysts, our military observer and correspondents who were working on site - both on the Russian and Georgian sides, are considered interesting and impartial", - ERR quotes.
Kozheurov remarks that Novaya Gazeta is not engaged in propaganda, there are no definite conclusions in the book since such wars have no winners. "This is a tricky situation, - he says. - Georgia and Russia have definitely won nothing in this war. It is never clear who is right and who is wrong in such conflicts". According to Novaya Gazeta's deputy editor-in-chief everyone is guilty of the August conflict: one side for provoking the conflict in pursuit of their goals, the other side for accepting the provocations, the third side for rising to these provocations and using heavy arms.
The impartiality of the book causes lots of questions before reading: the preamble was written by Mart Laar - ex PM of Estonia that has lately worked as an advisor to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. He is well known for his nationalist radicalism and harsh statements against Russia. According to some information Laar was one of those who solicited the Georgian leader to invade South Ossetia. "Saakashvili had no other choice but to launch a military operation", - he said on his return from Georgia.
It would be naïve to expect Laar's impartiality in the preface. However, the tonality suggested by Laart is nicely supplemented by some articles from Novaya Gazeta about "burning villages, pillaging and ethnic cleansings" after Russian pull-out.
Thus, "The Russian-Georgian War" can be a perfect counterweight to the books on August events edited in Russia. However, it makes no sense to compare this book with "Ossetian tragedy" written by Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russian Prosecutor General's Investigative Committee. Bastrykin's viewpoint on the August events fully relies on materials of the criminal case against Georgian leaders - over five thousand various documents and other kinds of evidence of the Georgian army's barbaric actions in the territory of South Ossetia.