My former journalist colleagues has tried to investigate the issue – who started and provided an interesting, though contradictory picture of what was going on.
With the Caucasus still reeling from the disaster caused by the war that erupted over South Ossetia, questions are being asked as to how the conflict started on the night of August 7-8.
Everyone agrees that the Georgian army launched an attack at 11.30 pm that night. The key question is to what degree the Georgians were facing a direct threat. Government officials say that they had been confronted by unacceptable provocation in the form of attacks on Georgian villages in South Ossetia and a Russian military build-up on the other side of the mountains and had no choice but to act as they did. They say they then came up against massive Russian aggression.
“How could we have prevented the hostilities, after Russia clearly decided to start a war?” Georgian state minister for reintegration and Tbilisi’s chief negotiator over South Ossetia Temuri Yakobashvili told IWPR.
For their part, the Ossetians and Russians say the Georgian operation was a cynically planned attack to recapture South Ossetia only hours after President Mikheil Saakashvili had lulled Ossetians by announcing a ceasefire and promising them “unlimited autonomy”.
Aelita Jioyeva left Tskhinvali on August 7 a few hours before the fighting began.
“Of course, the situation was tense before that and a lot of people had decided to leave,” she said. “But no one thought that they would attack us so unexpectedly, at night, when everyone was asleep and when the Olympic Games were opening in another part of the world. It was such a horrible thing they did.”
continues here http://iwpr.net/?p=crs&s=f&o=346346&apc_state=henh