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Comment of the Informational Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia

On the International MEDIA coverage of the situation in South Ossetia.

The entire world was shaken by tragic developments in South Ossetia and information broadcasted by different Mass Media arouse bewilderment as they were trying to justify cruel actions of Georgian troops in Tskhinval.

We all witness mixed feeling of the world community about the situation in South Ossetia. Some governments prefer to step aside, some – stay calm and courteous, others just don't want to face the facts.

Diverse or even polar judgments on the situation could not remain unnoticed. Mass media was unconcerned and indifferent, at least the very first hours of the armed clash. And that still remains vague. Was it an order made by Georgia or another sponsored PR campaign aimed at supporting Georgian territorial claims and providing Georgia with informational cover for solution of territorial issues at any price, especially as Georgian leadership got approval to such actions from the US. Or the World Media wanted to discredit in front of world community the aspiration of small peoples to self determination, peoples that struggle for their independence at the price of their lives. Or could the passive position of world community be bounded with Russia's activities as it supports and protects the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in their struggle against Georgia oppressors.

The answers to this should to be gotten in the near future. But let's analyze some expressions from Western Media. For example, such big media giants as CNN and the BBC continue to ignore the fact of genocide of Ossetian people. The information about numerous victims among civilians is shortly mentioned in the footage lines somewhere at the bottom as if it were the oil exchange rates. While most of international media broadcasters remain deaf to the situation in South Ossetia, Russian channels beam detailed reports supported by interviews with real witnesses of the developments.

The impression is that World Media is split and now report about different events from opposite camps.

Meanwhile, the situation is changing day by day, journalist community slightly confused by diametrically opposite political views which are becoming more imdependent thus objective. Probably that was the reason why Geogian government banned the broadcasting of almost all channels except local. However in times of multimedia technologies no information can be hidden. Continuous rallies of opposition in Tbilicy reflect the position of ordinary people. Georgians do not support the destructive policy of Saakashwili. How can numerous killings of women and children, destruction of hospitals, schools, entire settlings, deny in holding alley for refuges and another facts of gross violation of international law be supported?

These actions, by the way, were not reviewed at UN Security Council Session as gross violation of international humanitarian law. Thus, there is direct evidence of the policy of double standards. This gives Abkhazia a clear message that if Georgia attacked Abkhazia, reaction of most of the mediators in the Georgian-Abkhazia conflict would be same silent and one-sided.

Sukhum, 12 August 2008

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