EU-geförderter Bericht zum Augustkrieg - 2009 >>

Bericht im Original - 30.09.2009 -
Bericht über den August-Krieg von der EU-Untersuchungskommission unter der Scheizer Diplomatin Heidi Tagliavini
On 2 December 2008, Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini was appointed, by the Council of the European Union, Head of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia (IIFFMCG – CEIIG).
According to the Mission’s mandate as agreed by the Council, the aim of the fact-finding mission was to investigate the origins and the course of the conflict in Georgia, including with regard to international law (including the Helsinki Final Act), humanitarian law and human rights, and the accusations made in that context (including allegations of war crimes).
On 30 September, the results of the investigation were presented in the form of a Report to the parties to the conflict, and to the Council of the European Union, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations (UN), in the form of a Report.
Bericht im Überblick und wesentliche Auszüge als PDF - Georgier in Karlsruhe



Nachrichten zum Bericht >>

Professor of international law analyses Tagliavini war report - 02.03.10, Rustavi 2
02.03.10 17:05 The report by the Heidi Tagliavini Commission on Georgia-Russia War 2008, confirms that Russia carried out open aggression against Georgia - Levan Aleksidze, professor of international law announced today. The professor studied the report by international commission in details and made an analytical report at the open session of the academic and advisory councils of the Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University.
Professor Aleksidze defines that the facts depicted in the report gives Georgia evidences that the aggressor side was Russia.
Professor says he has remarks to those members of the European commission, who sympathize Russia in this conflict.

Nach einem TV-Bericht soll ein Experte aus der Kommission, der deutsche Prof. Otto Luchterhandt, von GAZPROM einen bedeutenden Geldbetrag auf sein Konto in Bonn erhalten haben - 08.10.2009, Civil Georgia
One of Georgia’s largest national TV stations, Rustavi 2, claimed in its primetime, evening news program, Kurieri, on October 7 that one of the members of group of experts contracted by EU-funded fact-finding mission into the August war, received “fee” from Russia’s state gas monopoly, Gazprom.
... Reporter: Russian experts say that this is a well-tried method of the Kremlin, as a special budget exists in the Kremlin through which this kind of politicians [referring to Otto Luchterhandt], who are lobbying for the Russian interests, are financed.

Bank account of one of the Tagliavini commission members, Otto Luchterhandt, may be probed by the law enforcement agencies. Compromising materials about him was released this morning by news agency Expressnews [a little-known Georgian news agency, which was established in January, 2009]; according to the agency’s source from Moscow, Gazprom transferred significant amount of money in Bonn on the expert’s bank account. The source suggests that it is a fee for those statements, which the member of the Tagliavini commission made in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard in which Otto Luchterhandt says that it is possible to defuse the current situation through recognition of Abkhazia’s independence. ...
Reporter: Otto Luchterhandt has not yet made any official explanation on the matter.


Präsident Saakashvili über den EU-geförderten Bericht zum Augustkrieg - 01.10.2009, Civil Georgia
"Es ist ein großer diplomatischer Sieg Georgiens. ... Zum ersten Mal in der Geschichte der internationalen Beziehungen sagte eine internationale Kommission mit Autorität, dass ein ständiges Mitglied des UN-Sicherheitsrates, ein Mitglied der G8, der größte Staat der Welt, militärische Verbrechen beging und ethnische Säuberungen ausführte. ..."

Langes Zuschauen, kurzer Krieg - 01.10.2009, Zeit
Der Bericht zum Kaukasus-Konflikt gibt Russland und Georgien die Schuld an der Eskalation der Gewalt. Die unrühmliche Rolle Europas blendet er aus.  ... Umso mehr müssen sich die Europäer fragen lassen, warum sie nicht früher gehandelt haben. Erinnern wir uns: Nach fünf Tagen schaffte es Frankreich, einen Waffenstillstand zwischen den Konfliktparteien auszuhandeln. Hätte ein ähnlich beherztes Eingriffen im Vorfeld den Krieg vielleicht sogar verhindern können?

Lessons of the Georgia Conflict - 30.09.2009, in NYT
By HEIDI TAGLIAVINI, a Swiss diplomat, led the E.U. investigation into the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia.
... Russia systematically gave passports to residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, asserting responsibility for Russians in what it called its “near abroad” without any consultation with Georgia, whose territorial integrity was thus increasingly challenged.
Meanwhile, Georgia was pressing to accelerate its accession to NATO, and embarking, with the support of the United States, Ukraine and Israel, on a major modernization of its armed forces. Georgia’s military budget grew from 1 percent of G.D.P. to 8 percent, and military bases near Abkhazia and South Ossetia were modernized.
In 2007 and the first half of 2008, cease-fire arrangements made after the first Georgia war came under increasing strains. Russian forces did not refrain from shooting down Georgian drones over Abkhazia, and dangerous incidents provoked by both sides occurred more and more frequently.
With the presence of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Union, there was no dearth of international organizations in Georgia. But the international community looked the other way, as if it had given up not only on solving the underlying conflict, but also on upholding an increasingly fragile cease-fire.
The stage was set for a violent confrontation.
At a time when preventive diplomacy is rightly seen as a priority, it must be said that the conflict of 2008 was predictable and preventable.
Today, everybody has lost: Georgia is divided; the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognized only by a handful of countries; and, most importantly, more than 35,000 people are in forced displacement for an indefinite future.
...

Tiflis bestreitet Schuld am Georgienkrieg - 30.09.2009, FTD
... "Alle Argumente der Russen für ihren Einmarsch haben sich als haltlos erwiesen", sagte Eka Tkeschelaschwili, Leiterin des Nationalen Sicherheitsrats Georgiens. "Der Bericht bestätigt unsere Sichtweise." Die georgische Auslegung stützt sich auf Angaben im Text, wonach bereits vor dem Ausbruch der Kämpfe "Freiwillige oder Söldner", aber auch "einige russische Einheiten" aus der Russischen Föderation nach Südossetien gekommen seien. "Was ist das anderes als eine Invasion?", fragte Tkeschelaschwili. "Muss erst Wladimir Putin offiziell den Einmarsch verkünden?" ... In den vergangenen Tagen war es beim Thema Georgien im Europarat zu heftigen Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Vertretern Russlands und anderer Staaten gekommen. Mehrere Redner warfen Moskau vor, das Waffenstillstandsabkommen nicht einzuhalten, und verlangten Sanktionen. Der Europarat forderte, EU-Beobachter müssten Zugang zu den abtrünnigen Gebieten erhalten.

Alle haben versagt - 30.09.2009 - Märkische Oderzeitung
Von Christian Stiller - ... Denn das gehört auch zur Wahrheit, dass Moskau nichts ausgelassen hatte, um an dem seit langem schwelenden Konflikt zwischen Georgiern, Abchasiern und Südosseten mitzuzündeln, anstatt als Ordnungsmacht, die Sezessionsbestrebungen selbst verfolgt, auf eine friedliche Lösung hinzuwirken. Diesbezüglich hätten auch NATO und EU beherzter vermitteln müssen. ... Georgien muss dennoch in seiner Westorientierung unterstützt werden. Sonst könnte der Kreml rasch ermutigt werden, auch gegen andere nach Westen hin orientierte ehemalige Sowjetrepubliken in dieser Art vorzugehen wie man es eben im Kaukasus tat.

Eine Gewaltspirale mit langer Vorgeschichte
- 30.09.2009, NZZ
... Am einfachsten konnten Tagliavini und ihre Mitstreiter noch klären, was den unmittelbaren Auslöser für die Kampfhandlungen bildete: Am späten Abend des 7. August, um 23 Uhr 35, begann die georgische Armee auf Befehl ihres Präsidenten Micheil Saakaschwili, den südossetischen Hauptort Zchinwali erst mit Rauchgranaten und dann mit Artilleriegranaten zu beschiessen. Die in Südossetien stationierten russischen Einheiten – «Friedenstruppen» mit Uno-Mandat, in Wahrheit aber eine einseitige Schutzmacht der Osseten – beantworteten das Feuer. Die Schuld für die unmittelbaren Ereignisse des 7. August liegt also bei Georgien.
Die Nacht des Kriegsausbruchs lässt sich jedoch nicht ohne die Vorgeschichte beurteilen. In einem zweijährigen Sezessionskrieg hatte Südossetien die faktische Unabhängigkeit erreicht, die 1993 und 1994 in Waffenstillstandsvereinbarungen besiegelt wurde. Doch seit dem Jahr 2006, so urteilt der Bericht, begannen alle Konfliktparteien, den Waffenstillstand auszuhöhlen und den «eingefrorenen Konflikt» in einen heissen zu verwandeln. Saakaschwili glaubte, Südossetien und Abchasien mit amerikanischer Unterstützung wieder in seinen Besitz bringen zu können. Die abtrünnigen Gebiete hofften, mit Hilfe des grossen Bruders Russland die volle, international anerkannte Unabhängigkeit zu erreichen.
Georgien wie Südossetien hatten kein Interesse mehr an einer Verständigung, weil sie fest davon ausgingen, die Rückendeckung Washingtons beziehungsweise Moskaus zu besitzen. Die unmittelbaren Kontrahenten hätten zielgerichtet auf eine Eskalation hingearbeitet, heisst es im Bericht. Damit wurde die 13 Jahre tragfähige Waffenstillstandsvereinbarung obsolet. Moskau wiederum verfolgte eine Doppelstrategie. Einerseits bot der Kaukasus dem Kreml die Chance zur Revanche, nachdem sich die Nato auf dem Balkan mit der Abspaltung Kosovos durchgesetzt hatte. Zugleich setzte Wladimir Putin alles daran, die russische Position im Kaukasus zu festigen und Georgien zu destabilisieren.
Die seit 2006 andauernden Spannungen eskalierten im Jahr 2008. Alle Seiten griffen im Verlauf der gut zweieinhalb Jahre zu Methoden, welche die Tagliavini-Kommission als völkerrechtswidrig einstuft. Georgier und Südosseten unternahmen Anschläge und Mordaktionen und verstiessen damit gegen das Gewaltverbot der Uno-Charta. Russland wandte keine direkte Gewalt an, provozierte aber nicht minder: Wirtschaftlich setzte man Tbilissi unter Druck, indem man die Grenzen schloss und Versorgungsleitungen unterbrach. Im Frühjahr 2008 verstärkte Moskau seine Einheiten in der Region und reparierte die im Sezessionskrieg der neunziger Jahre zerstörten Gleise in Abchasien – und damit eine Route für den militärischen Aufmarsch gegen Georgien.
Russische Drohungen
Aggressive Äusserungen Putins unterstrichen die russische Drohkulisse gegen Georgien. Aber schon die Androhung von Gewalt, so hält die Kommission in Anlehnung an eine neue Auffassung im Völkerrecht fest, widerspreche der Uno-Charta. Völkerrechtswidrig sei auch die massenweise Ausgabe von russischen Pässen an die Bevölkerung in Südossetien und Abchasien, weil damit die Staatlichkeit Georgiens untergraben werde. Nominell sind die Einwohner der Gebiete noch georgische Bürger. Ein Staat hat das Recht zu entscheiden, ob er eine Doppelbürgerschaft zulässt. Diese Aussage des Berichts ist brisant, da Russland auch auf der Krim freigiebig Pässe an ukrainische Bürger verteilt. Brüssel will die Ukraine an die EU heranführen und müsste daher diesen Angriff auf die ukrainische Staatlichkeit in Moskau zur Sprache bringen.
Untersucht wurde auch das fünftägige Kriegsgeschehen, bei dem den russischen Truppen zunächst das Recht auf Selbstverteidigung zustand. Das Völkerrecht legitimierte sie jedoch nicht, die Demarkationslinie zu Georgien zu überschreiten und Städte im georgischen Kerngebiet zu bombardieren. Denn dies sei zur Selbstverteidigung weder notwendig noch verhältnismässig gewesen. Dasselbe gilt für den abchasischen Angriff auf das obere, von Georgien kontrollierte Kodori-Tal. Alle Seiten, besonders aber südossetische Milizen, verübten Brandschatzung, Geiselnahmen und Vergewaltigungen.
Die Analyse der Vergangenheit ist das eine – welche Folgerungen daraus für die Gegenwart zu ziehen sind, eine andere und ungleich schwierigere Frage. Tagliavini und ihre multinationale Expertengruppe sahen sich seit Beginn ihres Mandats im letzten Dezember Druck ausgesetzt. Nicht nur die Konfliktparteien, sondern auch die EU-Länder formulierten unterschiedliche Erwartungen. Das deutsche Aussenministerium setzte die Einrichtung der Kommission und die Ernennung Tagliavinis durch, verband dies aber mit der unausgesprochenen Annahme, vor allem Saakaschwili werde an den Pranger gestellt. Andere EU-Staaten hingegen wollten Russland verurteilt sehen. ...

Both Sides to Blame for the Georgia-Russia War - 30.09. 2009, Time
... In the 1,100-page report, the investigators said that Georgia fired the first shots in the August 2008 conflict when it launched an attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which the team deemed "unjustifiable" under international law. But the report, which was sponsored by the European Union, said the attack followed months of Russian provocation, including a heavy military build-up in the region and increased support for separatist movements in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway region of Georgia. (See pictures of the war in Georgia.) ...


EU: Russia, Georgia share responsibility for 2008 conflict - 30.09. 2009, CNN
... Historical tensions and overreaction on the part of both Russia and Georgia contributed to a five-day conflict between the two in 2008, a European Union fact-finding mission concluded in a report released Wednesday.
South Ossetian mourners at the grave of a relative killed in the conflict on the first anniversary in August 2009.
South Ossetian mourners at the grave of a relative killed in the conflict on the first anniversary in August 2009.
"The conflict is rooted in a profusion of causes comprising different layers in time and actions combined," said the report from the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia.
"While it is possible to identify the authorship of some important events and decisions marking its course, there is no way to assign overall responsibility for the conflict to one side alone. They have all failed, and it should be their responsibility to make good for it."
...

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Reaktionen und Stimmen zu dem Bericht >>

Miliband über den EU-geförderten Bericht zum Augustkrieg - 09.10.2009, Civil Georgia
Der Bericht seii eine Mahnung zur Wichtigkeit der Konfliktpräverntion.
UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said that the report by EU-funded fact-finding mission into the August war was “a reminder of the importance of conflict prevention.”
“The international community should ensure international mechanisms (such as the Geneva process) contribute to solutions, that all parties meet their obligations and, crucially, that those who have committed human rights abuses are brought to justice,” Miliband wrote on the Foreign Office blog on October 8.
  “But there are still many issues that need to be resolved. Russia needs to use its influence to allow access for humanitarian organisations and international observers to South Ossetia and Abkhazia – EU monitors are still being barred. And internally displaced persons must be allowed to return home – over 30,000 are still unable to,” he added.

NATO-Generalsekretär Anders Fogh Rasmussen - 07.10.2009, Civil Georgia
"Nach dem Bericht gab es in diesem Konflikt Fehler auf beiden Seiten. ..." Zu Georgiens Streben in die NATO: "... der Bericht wird keine Auswirkung auf die Entscheidungen haben, welche bereits in der NATO getroffen wurden." In Bezug aufs Bukarest: Georgien und Ukraine würden eines Tages NATO-Mitglieder werden, wenn sie NATO-Standards erfüllen.

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said when asked if the findings of the EU-commissioned report on the August war would influence on Georgia’s aspiration to join the alliance, that the report “will not have any impact on the decisions already made in NATO.”
Recalling the 2008 NATO Bucharest summit decision, Rasmussen said at a news conference on October 7, that Georgia and Ukraine would one day become the alliance members providing that they meet NATO standards.
On the report itself NATO Secretary General said: “According to the report there have been mistakes on the both sides in this conflict. However, I think that the most important thing now is to focus on the future.”
“I would encourage all parties in this conflict to show restraint and refrain from any step that could increase tensions in the region,” he added.
He also reiterated that NATO allies “insist on respect for sovereignty of Georgia and Georgia’s territorial integrity.”

Tagliavini: Georgia started conflict, Russia created conditions - 04.10.09, Rustavi2
If
Georgia started the conflict with assault on Tskhinvali on August 7, Russia enlarge photohad created conditions conducive to the outbreak of hostilities with Georgia, Heidi Tagliavini said in her exclusive interview with Le Temps French newspaper.

The Swiss diplomat, who was heading the independent international fact-finding mission on the conflict in Georgia said, that the conflict was not a local one and it has created danger to the relations between the West and the East.

`Russia violated the norms of international law, when conducted the military operations beyond the administrative boundaries of South Ossetia, on the rest territories of Georgia. In addition to it, Moscow recognized independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia`, Heidi Tagliavini said.

The diplomat emphasized in the interview that blaming Georgia of committing a genocide against the population of South Ossetia was an unreal accusation.


Saakashvili Again Comments on War Report - 01.10.2009, Civil Georgia
Following the opposition’s reaction to the report by EU-funded August war inquiry mission, President Saakashvili again commented on the matter on two separate occasions on October 2 asserting that the report confirmed what Georgia had been saying about the war and its causes.
Speaking at a ceremony of awarding Lithuania's first post-Soviet head of state, Vytautas Landsbergis, with St. Georgia’s Order in Tbilisi, Saakashvili said that “for the first time in the history permanent member of the UN Security Council has been directly accused of war crimes.”
Unlike his first comments on the August war report made on October 1, in his recent remarks on the matter, Saakashvili spoke more about the part of the report which says that
 “shelling” of Tskhinvali by the Georgian armed forces during the night of August 7-8 “marked the beginning of the large-scale armed conflict.
“I want to say again with full responsibility – it was a holy duty of mine and all of us to respond with all type of resistance, when a foreign country’s army enters into your country,” he said.
And in separate remarks also made on October 2, at a live televised outdoor meeting with some local residents of Mtskheta, close to Tbilisi, Saakashvili said: “We do not need to be taught by anyone. We are grateful to the Europe for saying the truth… But we have acted like England, Germany or France would have acted.”
“Those who have not fired shot they have disappeared from the map… Finland fired and maintained its independence,” Saakashvili said referring to Soviet attack on Finland in 1939. “Our historic experience tells us that when the enemy enters into your territory you should resist it, like Finland did it.”
Below is an extract from Saakashvili’s remarks made at awarding ceremony of Vytautas Landsbergis:
“I want to return back to this topic again and again, because this is very important issue.
This report has confirmed that everything what we have been saying about the last year’s events was true.
We have been saying that Russia entered and was arming separatists and was provoking – and it turned out to be true. We have been saying that passportization [process by Russia of the residents of the breakaway regions] was ongoing and it has been confirmed. We have been saying that they [Russia] had no citizens in Georgia to protect and it has been confirmed. We have been saying and I have been saying – putting my reputation on stake – that the Russian regular forces entered into Georgia before August 7 – hence the military aggression took place and it has also been confirmed by this [EU-funded fact-finding] commission. The most difficult was to confirm it, because it [reference to presence of Russian regular forces] was done covertly, but our teams and our friends worked very well and it was confirmed.
Of course after having all these confirmed, it already a prepared accusatory conclusion; for the first time in the history permanent member of the UN Security Council has been directly accused of war crimes; it has been directly accused of ethnic cleansing – hence crimes against humanity – and of aggression.
It was a fact-finding mission; the commission’s task was not to make conclusions. But the mission anyway made conclusions and eventually said: yes, it was all this way, but although the Russian forces were already present in Georgia, but it was Georgia who fired the first shot, which is a violation of certain norms.
I might have better law professors in the international law, than some of the European experts, who made this conclusion, are. But professors are not at all required, as well as much knowledge – any first-grade student can tell you, that when a foreign country’s army – the army of the country, which openly threatens you with war for many years, which in fact is conducting war – and the commission said that this conflict did not start yesterday; and when its paratroopers’ units enter into Georgia – it is called a directed military aggression by a foreign country.
But saying this, it means that it [apparently referring to Europe] must handcuff and arrest them [apparently referring to the Russian leadership]; but they are not able to do that.
Some of our compatriots have no self-respect to acknowledge that this is so.
Our truth has been proved and we should be happy about it and struggle to achieve our country’s de-occupation. The truth will find its road.
The aggression by Russia is now actually proved; ‘actually’ - because giving a full explanation of that would mean that the entire Europe should stand up, but we have no illusion that it will happen in a day or two, because they have lot of bitter experience in this regard.
I want to say again with full responsibility – it was a holy duty of mine and all of us to respond with all type of resistance, when a foreign country’s army enters into your country.
We did it and I do not regret it a bit.
I am proud and it was proved that not a single woman and child have been killed – to say nothing about genocide – as a result of our operation.
Our peaceful struggle for de-occupation will continue until this struggle is finally over.
I want to ask those people, who do not want to face the reality – how would France have acted in this situation? how would Germany have acted?
As we know from history, the Spanish Armada entered to the British coast and the British were the first shoot at Armada; so was it Britain to have started the war or was it Spain? Maybe, everything what is correct for Europe is not correct for Georgia?
I think that everything what is done by civilized nations is exactly applicable for our country as well. So what if we are a small country? We are a small country but we have history and civilization, as well as bravery greater than many other countries.
The fate of all freedom-loving nations, including Lithuania is being solved in Georgia today. We have no illusion that they [Russia] will leave us alone, but we will not say no to our progress in order to create democratic and free state.”

Opposition’s Reaction on EU-Backed Report on War - 02.10.2009, Civil Georgia
Some of the opposition parties stepped up President Saakashvili’s criticism amid report from the EU-funded fact-finding mission probing into the last year’s August war.
“We believe politically irresponsible and indiscreet decision of President Saakashvili to open fire towards Tskhinvali has jeopardized Georgian statehood and its development as a free state,” Alliance for Georgia, led by Irakli Alasania, said in a statement on October 1.
The alliance, uniting Alasania’s Our Georgia-Free Democrats, Republican and New Rights parties, also said that this decision by President Saakashvili “not only prevented Russian occupation but marked [Russia’s] massive intrusion into Georgian territory.”
“Russian Federation committed undisputable act of aggression against sovereign Georgia and occupied its territories,” Alliance for Georgia said. “This war was not unavoidable; it was a consequence of thoughtless political decisions over the years.”
It also said that the EU-commissioned report “has not changed internal political agenda.”
“Government has to be changed peacefully and constitutionally through free and fair elections in immediate future,” it added.
Nino Burjanadze, former parliamentary speaker and leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia party said that President Saakashvili should be held responsible for his decisions and called on the opposition parties to launch consultations on how “to set Georgia free of Saakashvili’s regime, so that the people can elect a truly national, accountable and state-minded leadership.”
“Considering the disastrous consequences of the August war, the Government led by the President Saakashvili must bear responsibility before the Georgian people.  It is to be liable and will be,” Burjanadze said. “President Saakashvili’s irresponsible and illegitimate actions have damaged the country’s vital interests and contributed to accomplishing those of Russian [interests], not only here in Georgia but in rest of the region as well.”
“There is no doubt that such kind of a leader has no legitimacy to remain in power,” she said.
Kakha Kukava, co-leader of the Conservative Party, suggested that the report would become “a tool for Russia to mount more pressure on Georgia.”
“And I wonder what strategy the Georgian authorities have and how they will counter those attempts by Russia,” Kukava said. He also added that
According to Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili’s interpretation, the report would trigger “further isolation of Georgia.”
“The EU special commission has unambiguously declared Georgia as an aggressor in unleashing the war. It means further international isolation of our country, irreversibility of its further disintegration, acceleration of the process of further international recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and self-destructing civil confrontation in our country at a final stage,” Natelashvili said on October 1.
Comments by lawmakers from the parliamentary minority were mostly in line with those made by the ruling party lawmakers and government representatives.

Saakashvili on EU-Backed Report on War - 01.10.2009, Civil Georgia
President Saakashvili said on October 1, that the EU-funded fact-finding mission into the causes of the August war “said even more truth than I could ever imagine.”
“It is a great diplomatic victory of Georgia,” he said in live televised remarks at an outdoor meeting with the Tbilisi municipality officials and local residents of one of the capital city’s neighborhoods.
Below are extracts from Saakashvili’s remarks:
“You know that the European Union set up a commission – it was not the EU commission, it was a separate commission - which should have probed into the reasons of the last year war. I want to say that this commission has been set up at our insistent demand, but I did not have many illusions about it, because I understand that all European countries need Russia, they need gas, they need contracts and sale of the cars - nobody would like to have a headache for small Georgia. But I know one thing – despite it, the Europeans cannot close their eyes on the truth.
So, this commission was set up. And what particular results did we receive? Do you remember what Russia was saying last year? They were saying that Russia entered into Georgia because Georgia attacked [Russian] peacekeepers; Russia said it had citizens there [in South Ossetia]; Russia said Georgia killed 2,000 Ossetian children and women and therefore, it had a legitimate reason to enter into Georgia.
Yesterday, the [EU-funded] commission, whom Russia pinned great hopes on, said that there is not a single fact that Georgia attacked Russian peacekeepers – this is a lie number one.
A lie number two – ‘we had citizens there’; the commission said that they had no citizens there; they were citizens of Georgia [in South Ossetia].
A lie number three – ‘Georgia carried out genocide against Ossetians’. I announce with full responsibility and now it is already documented; I could not have spelt at night if it were otherwise – during the heroic resistance of our guys last year not a single child and woman has been killed in the places, which were not controlled by us and where our troops entered – we have never made it secret that of course, we carried out an operation there. Unfortunately, children and women have been killed in the areas where Georgian positions were shelled.
So, this most devilish lie, which Russia said [reference to genocide allegations], appeared to be a farce too.
Lies are short-lived and it has been confirmed by a reliable international commission yesterday.
But this commission has a second aspect, which is more important than revealing of the Russian lies; everybody knows well that historically it was very seldom when the Russian state was telling the truth.
For the first time in the history of international relations, an authoritative international commission said that a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a permanent member of G8, the largest state of the world committed military crimes and carried out ethnic cleansing. This is the first case in the history of international relations.
When in 1921 Russia attacked us and occupied us no international commission was set up then. When they imposed a civil war on us in 1992 and 1993 here no international commission was set up. When acts of sabotage were carried out in 2004, no international commission was set up. We achieved, first of all, setting up an international commission even on their conditions, as they composed the commission with the experts, which were acceptable for them, who had already blamed Georgia in advance. We closed eyes on it and agreed because we believed that they were Europeans and they would not lie.
They said even more truth than I could ever imagine. It is a great diplomatic victory of Georgia.
Some may say what is a conclusion – they say that Georgia did not observe everything and violated something. But it does not matter, because these are conclusions - this commission should have ascertained the facts, which would have been written in history.
Hundreds of thousands of our citizens were expelled from Abkhazia in 1992, and the European Union or more serious organizations have never said that it was ethnic cleansing. Now it is written [in the report] that there was ethnic cleansing.
We had no illusion that Europe - which is preparing for a cold winter and which needs Russian gas – would have said that ‘yes Russia carried out ethnic cleansing, it committed war crimes and Vladimir Putin is to be blamed for it’ – what would have happened in that case? Would they have arrested Putin when he had arrived in Brussels? I think that nobody had such illusion.”

Bundesminister Steinmeier würdigt Arbeit der Tagliavini-Kommission - 30.09.2009, Auswärtiges Amt
Nach der Veröffentlichung des Tagliavini-Berichts hat Bundesaußenminister  Frank-Walter Steinmeier die Arbeit der unabhängigen Kommission unter Leitung der Schweizer Diplomatin Heidi Tagliavini gewürdigt. Steinmeier sagte dazu heute (30.09.) in Berlin:
„Der Bericht der Tagliavini-Kommission analysiert unabhängig und ausgewogen Vorgeschichte und Verlauf des Georgien-Konflikts im vergangenen Jahr. Für diese wichtige Arbeit gebührt Frau Tagliavini und ihrem Team mein aufrichtiger Dank.
Ich bin zuversichtlich, dass dieser unparteiische und mit großer Sorgfalt erstellte Bericht zu einem vertieften Verständnis der Geschehnisse des vergangenen Jahres beitragen wird.
Eines macht der Bericht noch einmal sehr deutlich: Die verhängnisvollen Ereignisse vom August letzten Jahres dürfen sich nicht wiederholen. Alle Seiten sind deshalb aufgerufen, mit den Ergebnissen und Schlussfolgerungen des Berichts verantwortungsvoll umzugehen. Nur auf diese Weise ist eine nachhaltige Stabilisierung der Region möglich. Ich rufe die Konfliktparteien auf, alle Möglichkeiten zu nutzen, um zu einer politischen Lösung des Konflikts zu kommen.“

Georgischer Staatsminister Temur Iakobashvili äußert sich zu dem Bericht: "der Bericht sagt, dass alle russischen Argumente, um die Invasion in Georgien zu rechtfertigen, nicht korrekt und eine Lüge sind" - 30.09.2009, Civil Georgia
Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, said shortly after the EU-funded report on the last year’s August war was released, that the document denies Russia’s claims that Georgia launched the war.
“This report definitely says that all Russian arguments, which it brought to justify its right to invade Georgia, are incorrect and a lie. The report unambiguously confirms that no genocide has been carried out in the Tskhinvali region [as claimed initially by Russia]. This report unambiguously says that Russia had no right to invade a sovereign state under the pretext of protecting its so called citizens. It says that the passportization, which was conducted there, was illegal. The report says that they have no proof to confirm that the Georgian side killed Russian peacekeepers – as you remember, it was one of Russia’s arguments to attack Georgia. All the three arguments used by Russia have been rejected in the report,” Iakobashvili said.        
“I want to emphasize that the document does not mention anywhere that Georgia has launched the war. Any provocations, interpretations around this issue will be a lie. Nothing similar is written in the report. The report says that the war was not launched on August 7 or 8 and that this military provocation was prepared long before.”
“Although a great part of the facts coincides with the facts submitted by us, we do not agree with some assessments included in this report,” he continued.
“First of all, we do not agree with the opinion and interpretation that there was no mass invasion of Russian forces [prior to late August 7 when Georgia says it had to launch defensive operations]; here the report contradicts with itself, as it says that Russian forces, other than peacekeepers, were already deployed there; it confirms that the Russian side was actively arming and assisting the separatists. So, in this case we cannot see any difference between the separatists and the Russians,” Iakobashvili said. 
“We also think that the argument included in the document that Georgia used excessive force while attacking Tskhinvali is incorrect because all those facts, we are talking about, incited us to take efficient steps for depending our population,” he said.
“Our decision was justified and it was proved by consequent developments, when we managed to evacuate the majority of our population out of the region. We want to stress that the military action carried out by Russia is an aggression against a sovereign state,” he added.


Tagliavini`s commission promulgates its conclusion
- 30.09.2009, Rustavi 2
... Georgian envoy to the EU Salome Samadashvili says, the document does not specify who started the war.
`The conclusion of this commission has confirmed all the facts the Georgian side presented since the war started. Russia repeatedly lied and all their reasons explaining the necessity of the attack carried out on Georgia, turned out lie. This report has proved that the war did not start on August 7 and it was the result of a very long-term aggression against Georgia. This report has also confirmed that unfortunately, the international society was not able to prevent this conflict`, Salome Samadashvili said.
European diplomats and independent experts say, the document obviously shows the Russian stamp that is the five-day war, the Russian side was talking about even before the commission`s conclusion had been promulgated.
`In the report, Russia has been accused of illegally crossing the Georgian side. It says, the Russian troops had entered the Georgian territory earlier, than the war actions started there. The conclusion says, the Georgian boundary was violated in consequence of the aggressive intervention that are the provocative actions carried out on the territory of Abkhazia, also the illegal occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the illegal recognition of the two regions. In my opinion, although this report contains systematisized and quite a large amount of information, it will not finish the informational war between Georgia and Russia,` Russian political expert Andrei Ilarionov said.
The closed meeting in Brussels lasted for about an hour. According to the demand of the European side, media should not have attended the meeting. The Georgian and the Russian envoys refrained from making comments beforehand, although Andrei Chizhov gave a comment to teh Russian media later.
`I do not doubt that Ms. Tagliavini got down to her mission with great responsibility. I`d like to express hope, that the report will be impartial. Impartiality of the report implies that it will not be a surprise for Russia, because we clearly imagined what was actually happening there. I hope, that the report will help those people, who still doubts about the events that occurred there and whose number is decreasing`, Andrei Chizhov, the Russian envoy to the EU said.
European leaders, MPs and experts say the document does not represent a tribunal and the commission aimed to state facts. Actually, the EU needs the document to observe the mistakes the international society has made and therefore similar conflict takes place in the 21st century.

Lessons of the Georgia Conflict -
30.09.2009
By HEIDI TAGLIAVINI
A year ago, the European Union helped mediate an end to a war that left 850 Georgians (including South Ossetians) and Russians dead and 138,000 displaced.
Then, for the first time in its history, the E.U. created an independent fact-finding commission to determine what went so badly wrong and how to avoid a repetition.
I was honored to be chosen to lead that initiative. Our report is now public, and it has important lessons for Europe.
Like most catastrophic events, the war of August 2008 had several causes. The proximate cause was the shelling by Georgian forces of the capital of the secessionist province of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, on Aug. 7, 2008, which was followed by a disproportionate response of Russia. Another factor was the lack of progress, for more than 15 years, in the resolution of the two “frozen conflicts” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
As the special representative of the United Nations secretary general in Georgia from 2002 to 2006, I saw a narrow window of hope open and close in the first half of 2005, after which the differences between Russia and the West over Kosovo, and the deterioration of relations between Georgia and Russia, destroyed any prospect for a substantive negotiation.
Russia systematically gave passports to residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, asserting responsibility for Russians in what it called its “near abroad” without any consultation with Georgia, whose territorial integrity was thus increasingly challenged.
Meanwhile, Georgia was pressing to accelerate its accession to NATO, and embarking, with the support of the United States, Ukraine and Israel, on a major modernization of its armed forces. Georgia’s military budget grew from 1 percent of G.D.P. to 8 percent, and military bases near Abkhazia and South Ossetia were modernized.
In 2007 and the first half of 2008, cease-fire arrangements made after the first Georgia war came under increasing strains. Russian forces did not refrain from shooting down Georgian drones over Abkhazia, and dangerous incidents provoked by both sides occurred more and more frequently.
With the presence of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Union, there was no dearth of international organizations in Georgia. But the international community looked the other way, as if it had given up not only on solving the underlying conflict, but also on upholding an increasingly fragile cease-fire.
The stage was set for a violent confrontation.
At a time when preventive diplomacy is rightly seen as a priority, it must be said that the conflict of 2008 was predictable and preventable.
Today, everybody has lost: Georgia is divided; the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognized only by a handful of countries; and, most importantly, more than 35,000 people are in forced displacement for an indefinite future.
How could such a disastrous outcome have been avoided? Certainly, better use could have been made of the various international organizations involved. But that would have required a genuine commitment of all the key actors to what the E.U. calls “effective multilateralism.”
In the case of Georgia, the involvement of outside powers unfortunately served to harden positions rather than to build common ground. There was no attempt to recognize the genuine concerns of each party to the conflict.
In the end, unilateralism — indifference to the implications of one’s actions on the other side’s perceptions — became the guiding principle.
The international community can do better, and it does not have to reinvent the wheel to do so. It need only to go back to the charter of the United Nations and to principles it agreed at Helsinki in 1975.
Good neighborly relations require first that the threat or use of force — let alone the commission of war crimes, as those that were committed during the war of 2008 — be totally banished, along with intimidation of small countries by big ones. It also requires that the difficult issues created by the breakup of the Soviet Union, many of which are still not fully resolved, be addressed through genuine engagement and in good faith.
Our report shows that the forces of unilateralism and violence are still very much a part of Europe’s political landscape. A stable European order has to be based on the rule of law and a genuine commitment to multilateralism.
Heidi Tagliavini, a Swiss diplomat, led the E.U. investigation into the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Tagliavini will send the report prepared by the commission to the authorities of so-called South Ossetia and Abkhazia - 30.09.2009, The Georgian Times
The Head of mission of EU of investigation of circumstances of the conflict in Georgia in August, 2008 Tagliavini will send the report prepared by the commission to the authorities of so-called South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the constant representative of the Russian Federation at the European Union Vladimir chijov has informed on Wednesday to journalists. On it informs RIA Novosti news agency. 
«Madam Tagliavini has informed that it is in contact to representatives Abkhazian and South Ossetia the parties, and they too will receive this report», - chijov to journalists has told.
Tagliavini will direct the conclusion of Georgia, Russia, to the European Union, the United Nations and OSCE. 
According to the conclusion of mission of the European Union on an establishment of the facts which have caused the conflict in Georgia, in August of last year the first shot was made by the Georgian party. On it has informed "InterpressNews" from Brussels journalist George Popkhadze who by this time already has a specified conclusion. 
Mission has refuted statements of the authorities of Georgia, and in particular, Michael Saakashvili that military operations were the compelled answer to input of the Russian armies through the Rocks tunnel. 
Mission does not relieve from responsibility a Russian side, but Russia in the conclusion is not mentioned, how the invader and the culprit of the beginning of war. In the document it is noticed that the Kremlin arranged the provocations the situation aggravation in separative regions was which purpose. 
The Russian side is mainly accused of distribution of the Russian passports to the population of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia, and also in excess of force and resistance to so-called Ossetia civil guardsmen what burning of the Georgian villages and prosecution the Georgian has followed.