I have just read Tim Whewell's article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7692751.stm.
I find this article to be ill-researched and full of biased reporting and half-truths not consistent with the normal independent policy of the BBC.
Take for example the statement published by the BBC by Taya Sitnik, she states that: “We jumped up straight away, switched off the lights and ran down to the cellar.” and yet earlier she said: “...he bled to death in her arms...after a fragment from a Georgian tank shell hit him in the throat as they were both sheltering from the artillery fire in the basement of her block of flats.” And yet on the Newsnight programme she showed the shell that had struck her flat. It had not struck the basement. You can see that her flat was above ground level. So how could her son have died from a tank fragment shell if they were both sheltering in a basement. Doesn't make sense unless she is lying about what happened. The BBC should have known this and not broadcast this or allowed this 'evidence' to be written.
There was also the part of the Newsnight programme where a young man in civilian clothes proudly stated that he had destroyed a Georgian tank in Tskinvali two days before the Russians arrived. Where did he get the anti-tank weapon from? Is it possible that the Georgians were firing into the blocks of flats because the South Ossettian freedom fighters were firing from there? If that is the case then this claim that the Georgian forces were targeting civilians just does not hold water. The BBC should have spotted this.
As to the interview with the Ms Kochieva about her car being attacked and forced into a ditch, look at the Newsnight photo of the car and tell me if that is a ditch. She complained that she was escaping and was fired upon at night. How were the Georgians to know that this was a civilian vehicle when they had already been fighting 'civilian' freedom fighters!
This article and the previous night's Newsnight article is not up to the normal standard of the BBC. Just one last point, why does the BBC need print the figure of 1% of the population of Tskinvali is equivalent to 70,000 deaths in London? Why is the BBC trying to put an horrendous death figure into the minds of its viewers and readers?