Grim Reckonings

The Georgian parliamentary commission investigating the war in August has published its report, blaming Russia for provoking the hostilities. That’s hardly surprising, considering the body’s official title – the ‘Temporary Commission on Military Aggression and Acts of Russia against the Territorial Integrity of Georgia’. But the commission did criticise the military and civilian leadership for failing to predict Russia’s response and for an inept military campaign. The report came not long after a leaked Pentagon assessment of the Georgian army also concluded that the country’s fighting force was deeply flawed.

The human impact of the war is again highlighted by this report from Al Jazeera, whose correspondent managed to get rare access to one of the villages in South Ossetia where the Georgian population has been driven out and houses have been burned and looted by militias. She also managed to interview and photograph looters. However, severe restrictions still apply to journalists seeking to travel to South Ossetia – if they’re even allowed in at all by the authorities – and the full picture of what happened there during this brief but tragic conflict has yet to emerge.