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Argument: Russia exaggerated the humanitarian crisis in South Ossetia

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"South Ossetia". Global - Russian officials and Russian commentators have magnified the significance of this conflict to a scale greatly exceeding Western perceptions. While the full extent of the fighting is unclear, Russian reports of thousands dead and massive destruction cannot be reconciled with available annecdotal evidence of vastly less death and destruction. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, meeting Saturday with South Ossetia refugees who had fled across the border to the Russian city of Vladikavkaz, described Georgia's actions as "complete genocide" - further raising the stakes of the contest.

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