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5 Days of War

The newreviews of Renny Harlin’s very bad5 Days of War haven’t interested me very much, but I noticed that the report in The New York Times on the movie’s (American) release did a poor job of describing the facts surrounding the war’s beginning:

The fighting began when Moscow invaded Georgia ostensibly to end atrocities against ethnic minority separatists in the South Ossetia region, while Georgia contended that Moscow was dressing up expansionism with bogus humanitarian intervention.

As The Christian Science Monitor‘s report on the anniversary of the 2008 war stated:

Though Tbilisi still officially maintains that Russia started the war in an effort to unseat its pro-Western president, Mikhael Saakashvili, there seems no doubt that the war began on the night of Aug. 7 with a massive Georgian bombardment and armored assault on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali. The attack resulted in the death of several Russian peacekeeping troops stationed there under international accords.

The assault on Tskhinvali and the presence of Russian forces in South Ossetia prior to the attack receive no mention in the NYT story, which is a rather significant oversight. It treats the beginning of the war as if it were unclear who was responsible for escalating what had remained a largely frozen conflict. 5 Days of War is a bid to reinvent the story of the war for which Saakashvili bears a large share of responsibility in the hopes that an American audience will not know enough to realize that it is being deliberately deceived.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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