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Russian website publishes WikiLeaks revelations on Russian-Georgian war

The Russian Reporter weekly, a WikiLeaks partner, published the U.S. correspondence on the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.

The Russian Reporter weekly, a WikiLeaks partner, published the U.S. correspondence on the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.

Russian Reporter is the only Russian magazine, which, along with U.S. and German media, receives materials from whistleblower website WikiLeaks in advance to prepare publications and analysis.

On August 7, a day before the war officially began, John F. Tefft, then U.S. ambassador in Tbilisi, blames South Ossetia for beginning the hostilities, saying that "a full-scale South Ossetian attack against a Georgian village" took place.

He later reported that "Georgian forces along with GRAD artillery are on the move, either as part of a show of force or readiness, or both."

"From evidence available to us it appears the South Ossetians started today's fighting. The Georgians are now reacting by calling up more forces and assessing their next move," the report reads.

Later, the ambassador reported that "embassy observers on the highway noted approximately 30 yellow city buses, the usual mode of transport for moving Ministry of Interior forces, carrying uniformed men heading north from Tbilisi."

On August 8, Tefft says that "fighting in South Ossetia had continued throughout the night of August 7, resuming four hours after [Georgian] President [Mikheil] Saakashvili unilaterally declared a cease-fire."

At the time, Russia blamed Georgia for provoking the war by launching an unprovoked attack on South Ossetia, whilst Georgia blamed South Ossetia for starting the firing.

The WikiLeaks documents also say that the EU member states were divided over the Russian-Georgian conflict, with some having "sympathy for Russia's "defensive/offensive operations."

"[Polish Foreign Minister] Radoslaw Sikorski had to overcome significant opposition within the EU even to schedule a foreign minister level meeting on Georgia August 13," the dossier says. "A number of EU member states believed Georgian President Saakashvili was responsible for the conflict."

Another leaked report quotes Poland's late Gen. Franciszek Gagor, then Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, as saying that "Saaskashvili made an extremely bad decision to move into South Ossetia and played directly into Russia's hands."

It says Saakashvili was "manipulated by Russian agents, possibly even among his advisors," who were seeking to disrupt pipelines in Georgia and derail the country's NATO aspirations.

"Georgia's 'stupid' move only benefits Moscow and greatly strengthens resurgent forces in Russia," the report reads.

In July WikiLeaks published some 400,000 secret U.S. military files ("Iraq War Logs") on the conflict in Iraq. This time it plans to publish more than 250,000 documents dated from December 1966 to February 2010.

The main suspect in the leak of secret documents to WikiLeaks is jailed U.S. Private Bradley Manning, who had top-secret clearance as an intelligence analyst for the Army when he was stationed in Iraq.

The WikiLeaks website does not have a central office or any paid staff and its operations are run only by a small dedicated team and some 800 volunteers.

Wikileaks' founder, Australian activist Julian Assange, has no home address but he often pops up in Sweden and Iceland, where Internet anonymity is protected by laws. He is being hunted by Pentagon investigators and is suspected of releasing confidential U.S. State Department documents.

A Swedish court recently issued a warrant for the arrest of Assange on suspicions of rape and sexual molestation.


MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti)

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