Saturday's fake report by a Georgian TV channel on an alleged Russian invasion and on killing the South Caucasus state's president was part of an information war waged by Georgian authorities, Russia's envoy to NATO said Sunday.
The broadcast by Imedi TV, which used the channel's normal news graphics, began with a warning that the program showed a sequence of possible events that could occur "if Georgian society is not brought together against Russia's plans." Those viewers who missed the program's introduction took what was shown for real, thinking a new Russia-Georgia war erupted.
"This was a grandiose provocation as it will leave its trace in Georgia's public opinion. This means attributing a stable image of [Georgia's] enemy to Russia and Russians, this means tensions regarding delimitation of borders between Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia," Dmitry Rogozin told the Russia Today TV channel.
"This is part of an information war [President Mikheil] Saakashvili keeps waging," Rogozin said.
Saakashvili, 42, brought to power following the 2003 Rose Revolution, on Sunday called Imedi's program "unpleasant" but "very close to reality," adding that Georgia's key task was to prevent the Imedi-shown scenario from happening in real life.
Former Georgian republics, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russia recognized as independent in August 2008 after Russian troops repelled a Georgian attack on South Ossetia, have condemned the broadcast.
MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti)