Officially there are 133 people registered who have been killed as a result of the conflict on the South Ossetian side, an official from the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office said.
“133 victims have been registered, but there are many graves, which we are not yet able to examine,” Boris Salmaksov, deputy head of investigative unit at the General Prosecutor’s Office southern district service, was quoted by Interfax as saying on August 20.
He also said that the General Prosecutor’s Office initiated criminal proceedings in connection to murder of peacekeepers, civilians, as well as in connection to “genocide.”
The secessionist authorities in South Ossetia, as well as Russian senior officials have been claiming that about 2,000 South Ossetian civilians were killed in the conflict, accusing Georgia of “genocide.”
Anna Neistat of Human Rights Watch, who was leading a team investigating the humanitarian damage in South Ossetia, however, said the claims that 2,000 civilians were killed were “exaggerated.”
Meanwhile, the official from the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office also said on August 20, that 51 bodies of Georgian soldiers killed during the conflict were examined by the Russian experts.
“We carried out examination in order to then prevent any possible allegation that the bodies were mutilated,” he said.
Georgian officials said that total number of people killed since the launch of the armed conflict reached 215 on the Georgian side as of August 19, including 69 Georgian civilians.
70 soldiers are missing, according to Givi Targamadze, a lawmaker from the ruling party, who chairs the parliamentary committee for defense and security.