Signs of ethnic attacks in Georgia; signs of bias at New York Times

An Aug. 15 New York Times story, “Signs of Ethnic Attacks in Georgia Conflict,” states: “The identities of the attackers vary, but a pattern of violence by ethnic Ossetians against ethnic Georgians is emerging and has been confirmed by some Russian authorities.” It quotes Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav Nikolaevich Borisov, commander in charge of Russian-occupied Gori, as saying, “Now Ossetians are running around and killing poor Georgians in their enclaves.” It also cites Human Rights Watch as saying it had “documented attacks by ethnic Ossetians in and around Tskhinvali.” Yet the HRW press release on its report from Georgia also noted the “plight of ethnic Ossetian villagers who had fled Georgian soldiers”—a plight not mentioned by the Times. We hope HRW will write a letter to the Times calling the newspaper out on this critical omission.

The Institute for War & Peace Reporting meanwhile writes that North Ossetia (an autonomous region within the Russian Federation) has been flooded with some 35,000 refugees from South Ossetia. North Ossetia’s regional parliament has passed a resolution calling on Russia to recognize the independence of South Ossetia.

See our last post on Georgia.