The war in Georgia last year was started by a Georgian attack that was not justified by international law, an EU-sponsored report, released yesterday has concluded. It found that Tbilisi triggered the conflict, but the attack followed months of provocation, and both sides violated international law, the report said. It also found that Georgia’s claim that there had been a large-scale Russian military incursion into South Ossetia before the outbreak of war could not be “sufficiently substantiated”, though it said there was evidence of a lower-level military build-up.
It found that Moscow acted illegally in the extent of its invasion of Georgia and allowed “ethnic cleansing.” It said Russian forces either “would not or could not” control the South Ossetian militias.
It also found no evidence to support Russian claims Georgia committed genocide the night of Aug. 7-8, 2008.
The Report was commissioned by the Council of the European Union, and written by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini, with the help of thirty European military, legal and history experts. The EU mandated the report last year to investigate the “causes and roots” of the conflict, but not to determine guilt so it could be used for compensation claims.
The website for the Independent Fact Finding Mission can be found here – http://184.108.40.206/ceiig/Report.html