Georgia reports deaths in clash

More strange goings-on in Georgia and South Ossetia. The question is who do we believe. I tend to believe the Georgians when they say things like

“external forces [planning] to drag Georgia into a large-scale armed conflict on its own territory”.

Or Russia to you and me.

The Ossetians are blaming Georgia for:

28 people had been injured, and a hospital and a kindergarten in Tskhinvali had been damaged by shelling along with 50 Ossetian homes.”All night they were firing from all types of weapons – mortars, artillery, everything was engaged,” one South Ossetian fighter told Russia’s Channel One Television.

You have to believe two things here. One, An Ossetian fighters claims, and two, a heavily Russian State-controlled TV station. And for State-controlled read Putin-controlled. And you also have to believe that the Georgians would start shelling and then just happen to hit a kindergarten and a hospital. Somewhat emotive targets don’t you think?

So do I believe Georgia when it says:

At least three Georgian villages were hit: Tamarasheni, Kurta and Achabeti. Speaking at a meeting of the Georgian Security Council, President Saakashvili confirmed that three Georgian peacekeepers had been killed.

That sounds much more believable to me. This could get ugly. Followers of Caucasian politics may also be interested to know that ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky visited the other breakaway region, Abkhazia. The BBC reported:

Accompanied by about 40 fellow MPs, Mr Zhirinovsky, a deputy speaker in the Russian parliament, arrived in the region’s capital, Sukhumi, for what he described as a holiday.

You have to like the Russians, they certainly have balls. A holiday my arse. As Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said, it was intended to provoke. Not only did Zhirinovsky and his pals visit Sukhumi, but they also decided to do so by ship, just a week after Georgian patrol boats fired on an Abkazian ship, while claiming jurisdiction over the waters off Abkazia.

Georgian coastguards initially impounded the boat in which he was travelling as it neared Abkhazia. It was later released, in what the Georgian authorities described as a gesture of goodwill.

Well what else could the Georgians do?

This all gets more and more intriguing