Press TV – August 29, 2008
Russian military officials have claimed that US national were among Georgian commando units who invaded South Ossetia earlier this month.
A senior Russian military official claimed that a US passport had been found in a building in South Ossetia which had been occupied by Georgian forces during the Caucasus conflict, Russia Today
reported on Friday.
According to Deputy Chief of Russia's General Staff Anatoly Nagovitsyn, after Russian captured the building, they found the passport belonging to Michael Lee White, a Texan man.
He showed photocopies of the passport to reporters in a press conference on Thursday.
"There is a building in Zemonekozi - a settlement to the south of Tskhinvali that was fiercely defended by a Georgian special operations squad. Upon clearing the building, Russian peacekeepers recovered, among other documents, an American passport in the name of Michael Lee White of Texas," the official said.
The official added neither the owner of the passport nor his remains were found at the scene. "I do not know why he was there, but it is a fact that he was in the building, among Georgian special forces troops.
The comments came after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told CNN that American citizens were directly involved in the war.
"We have serious reasons to believe that American citizens were right at the heart of the military action," Putin said.
Russia entered a war with Georgia after the country's troops invaded the breakaway region of South Ossetia to retake its control earlier this month.
The Israeli media had earlier reported that Tbilisi had received military aid from Tel Aviv, including weapons and advisors.
Last updated 01/09/2008