Surprise surprise. I, along with many others, indicated recently that the alleged death tolls as high as 2,500 put forward by Russia were entirely without a basis in fact. Now, according to the BBC:
Russia has issued new, reduced casualty figures for the Georgian conflict, with 133 civilians now listed as dead in the disputed region of South Ossetia. The figure is far lower than the 1,600 people Russia initially said had died.
133? That sounds closer to fact. But Russia Today has been using the 2,000 figure across its ticker for over a week. This would polarise viewers very quickly, and I imagine now many would accept that figure as fact. It was a figure largely accepted by Western media, though always with the proviso that it was based on Russian media/government reports.
And in a further chilling of Western-Russian relations, Russia has said it is to cut all military ties with NATO.