Disinfo: Western media portrayed burning Tskhinvali as footage of "Russia bombing the Georgian city of Gori"

Summary

Nikolay Baranov, former producer of Russia Today, recalled the footage of the burning Tskhinvali, which the Western media portrayed as footage of "Russia bombing the Georgian city of Gori." This footage was filmed by his film crew.

“I lived in Gori for two days, nothing burned there. It is not true. Gori was absolutely calm, people, of course, were worried, some were offended that the Russian TV company was in Gori, and the Russians were protecting Tskhinvali at that time, but nothing was burning in Gori,” said Baranov.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation trying to deny any role for Russia, blaming Georgia and its political leadership for the Russo-Georgian war of 2008 which resulted in the further occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by additional military forces from Russia timed around the 13th anniversary of the conflict.

Western media has never presented burning Tskhinvali as the city of Gori. Contrary to the claim, pro-Kremlin media have repeatedly presented the bombed city of Gori as the occupied Tskhinvali in order to advance their narrative that it was Georgia, and not Russia, who started the war in August 2008 against South Ossetia by attacking peaceful Tskhinvali at night. See similar case here.

The destruction of residential buildings with Russian bombs and the photo of wounded Sophio Muradov with the flaming buildings in the background became a point of interest of the international media the same day it happened. It became the symbol of the aggression carried out by Russia in Georgia. In total, the Russian bombings of residential buildings on August 9, 2008 killed 15 people.

On August 8, 2018, a Russian TV channel НТВ broadcasted the video showing footage with Sophio Muradov, wounded during the bombings of residential buildings in Gori by the Russian Air Forces on August 9, 2008, and presented the given footage to falsely illustrate the attack on Tskhinvali by the Georgian side.

Previously, on August 10, 2008, pro-Kremlin media outlets disseminated materials that allegedly proved that the footage of the Gori bombings were fake. Read the full debunk at Myth Detector.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 255
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/08/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Georgia, Georgian region of South Ossetia, Russia
  • Keywords: Media, Russo-Georgian War, South Ossetia
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