U.S.: No mercenaries fought with Georgia

Dec. 24, 2008 at 2:21 PM

MOSCOW, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The United States says no American mercenaries fought alongside Georgian troops in Tblisi's August conflict against Russia in South Ossetia.

The U.S. embassy in Moscow Wednesday dismissed Russian claims about such mercenaries after Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia's special investigative committee, claimed paid Ukrainian, U.S., Turkish and Czech fighters had been involved in the hostilities, RIA Novosti reported.

Bastrykin said his investigation had turned up evidence of foreign mercenary activity, such as personal photographs, military uniforms and notebooks in the South Ossetia conflict zone, as well as eyewitness statements.

U.S. officials, however, issued a statement claiming that U.S. nationals had not participated in the fighting, nor had they been in the conflict zone, the news service said.

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