Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pillaging

From The Observer (UK):

Georgian officials yesterday took The Observer by helicopter across a landscape of shimmering green pasture and mountain to the steamy port of Poti. Their aim was to show off its destruction by Russian soldiers - and to point out that they were still there.

Russian bombers destroyed Poti's naval base, killing five people, on the second day of the war. Yesterday, the gun turret of a sunken vessel stuck out above the turquoise water; nearby a white coastguard boat was listing and sunk. Russian soldiers had ransacked the port's main building, blowing open doors and upturning filing cabinets. One had written on a whiteboard: 'Georgian bitches. Die pederast cocks'.

'They turned up in 23 BMP armoured vehicles and took whatever was valuable,' said Reza Managadze, a port employee. 'They didn't even leave us anything to eat.' In a smashed-up medical room lay a portrait of Georgia's pro-US president Mikheil Saakashvili. A Russian soldier had stamped on it. He then added one word: 'Dick'.

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