Jan. 21 (UPI) — The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that Russia committed violations during 2008 Georgia war and after the cease-fire in the “buffer zone.”
The ruling against the Russian Federation addressed “the killing of civilians and the torching and looting of houses in Georgian villages in South Ossetia and in the buffer zone,”
The court also ruled that the “seriousness of abuses committed,” could be categorized as “inhuman and degrading treatment,” of Georgian victims detained and, tortured and targeted as an ethnic group, in violation of the Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Attorney Ben Emmerson, who represented Georgia, told The Guardian the release of the ECHR findings the days after Joe Biden became U.S. president was not coincidence, since he suggested Biden is set to take a tougher approach to Russian President Vladimir Putin than former president Donald Trump.
“After years of delay, the ECHR seems to be finally taking a strong position against Russian human rights violations,” Emmerson said.
The case stems from Georgia accusing Russia of war crimes in the five-day conflict, from August 8-12, 2008, in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, or the Tskhinvali region, a de facto state in the South Caucuses recognized by most countries as part of Georgia.
In 2009, a European Union team found then-Georgia president Mikheil Saakashvili ordered the first military strike against breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which escalated into a five-day war with Russia that the powerful neighbor won. Still, Otto Luchterhandt, a German international law expert, argued the Kremlin was entitled to the counterattack but violated “the principle of proportionality” with its massive response in Georgia.