"It isn't a secret. There was a plan in place and we were guided by it. It was developed by the General Staff in late 2006 - early 2007, and it was negotiated with me. We trained South Ossetian militia under this plan," he told the press.
"Although our experts argued that training South Ossetian militia was a hopeless thing, as militia would be weaker than a regular army, even Georgian, it proved more than effective," Putin said.
Asked about his personal participation in those events, he said, "While in Beijing, I called Dmitry Medvedev and the defense minister twice, on August 7 and 8."
Georgian troops shelled Tskhinvali with Grad multiple launchers early on August 8, 2008 and then attempted an assault on the city. A larger part of the South Ossetian capital was ruined. On August 8, 2008, Russian troops entered South Ossetia to defend its residents, most of them citizens of Russia, and pushed the Georgian troops out of the region within five days. (Interfax)
0- Tskhinvali: three years after the Caucasian war (PHOTO)