But didn’t they say they were ‘pulling out’?
“The soldiers told us they had an order from Putin – leave or be killed.” Manana Dioshvili showed no emotion as she described how Russian troops forced her to flee her home. Her former neighbours nodded in agreement, huddled together in a kindergarten whose windows had been blown out by a Russian bomb.
“That’s how they explained themselves to us,” she recalled of the moment they fled the ethnic Georgian village of Kurta, near the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali.
“They said, ‘Putin has given us an order that everyone must be either shot or forced to leave’. They told us we should ask the Americans for help now because they would kill us if we stayed.”
Vardo Babutidze, 79, was not lucky enough to be visited by Russian soldiers. Her husband Georgi, 85, was shot twice through the chest by an Ossetian paramilitary who came to their house to demand weapons.
“We didn’t have any guns, so he shot Georgi in front of me without saying a word,” she said. “A neighbour helped me to bury him in our garden and then I just fled.”
Manana Galigashvili, 53, whose husband Andrei stared vacantly from a bed behind her, said that Ossetian soldiers had returned later and torched the house. They, too, had left after a soldier threatened to slit their throats.
Frightened refugees told similar stories all over the city of Gori yesterday as the Russian army extended its reach deep into Georgian territory despite a ceasefire agreement signed by President Medvedev that requires them to withdraw.
Troops and tanks moved to within 25 miles (40km) of the capital, Tbilisi, setting up roadblocks and digging in defensive positions in the hills above the highway. A line of tanks faced towards Tbilisi outside the village of Kaspi, a day after soldiers had blown up the railway line linking the capital to Georgia’s main port of Poti.
The Russian troops are being rewarded for their butchery.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev awarded medals Monday to servicemen involved in the conflict in Georgia, calling it a peacemaking operation that will be remembered as one of the “glorious deeds” of the Russian military.
Amid conflicting signals about a promised Russian troop withdrawal from Georgia, Medvedev visited the base of Russia’s 58th Army in the southern city of Vladikavkaz, near the Georgian border and the separatist province of South Ossetia.
He stood on a drill square in front of camouflage-clad soldiers and officers.
“It has been only 10 days since you faced a cowardly aggression. You stopped a full-scale operation,” Medvedev said.
“Thank you for standing in the way of those who brought destruction and death to the people of the republic,” he said, apparently referring to South Ossetia — the Russian-backed separatist region at the heart of the conflict, which erupted amid a Georgian offensive Aug. 7.
……It was unclear what specific role the 30 soldiers and officers he decorated had played.
Three guesses…first two don’t count.
Medvedev has the gall to make a filthy accusation like this:
……Medvedev repeated Russian accusations that Georgia committed genocide.
“What Georgian authorities have done is beyond human understanding. It cannot be understood and left unpunished,” he said. “The world realized that even now there are political freaks who were ready to kill innocent people for the sake of political fashions and who compensated for their own stupidity by eliminating a whole nation.”
Last I checked, it’s the Russian freaks who are mowing down innocent Georgians for the goal of eliminating an entire nation.
Somewhere, Stalin is smiling.