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Dueling Investigations


Dueling Investigations

A crater at the site where a missile landed near the village of Tsitelubani (InterPressNews)

There have been three investigations into the August 6 incident, in which Georgia claims Russia dropped a missile on its territory. Russia denies the allegations.

1. Defense specialists from the United States, Sweden, Latvia, and Lithuania concluded on August 15 that an aircraft had entered Georgian airspace from Russia and dropped a missile. They said the plane flew from Russian to Georgian airspace and back three times. The experts described the missile as a Russian-designed KH-58, which is intended to take out radar systems. The team added that Georgia's air force "does not possess aircraft equipped with or able to launch" that missile. (Read the full report here)

2. A group of experts from Britain, Poland, and Estonia on August 22 corroborated the results of the first investigation. The experts said that a military jet illegally entered Georgian air space from Russia and dropped or jettisoned a missile before flying back to Russia. (Read the full report here)

3. A team of experts from Russia dismissed on August 17 the findings of the first investigation. The experts said that no aircraft violated Georgian airspace from Russia and suggested that Georgia might have planted the missile itself. (Read a transcript of authors' press conference here)

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