Carrying out an operation to force Georgia to peace, Russia has sought to protect the civilian population of South Ossetia and there are Russian citizens. This was stated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Channel One television Germany "ARD", ITAR-TASS reported.
Replying to a question whether Russia was trying to "remove President Saakashvili further destabilize Georgia and thereby prevent its entry into NATO", Putin said: "This is not the case. It's just a manipulation of facts. This is a lie ".
Putin said that "after the unlawful decision to recognize Kosovo is expected that Russia would recognize the independence and sovereignty of South Ossetia and Abkhazia." "And we had a moral right, but we did not," - said the prime minister. "And what have we got? - Further said Putin. - Escalation of the conflict, the attack on our peacekeepers, assault and destruction of the civilian population of South Ossetia. "