On September 30, 2009, an EU backed commission found that Georgia violated international law when it shelled the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali in August 2008. The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia (IIFFMCG) concluded that "it is not possible to accept" that the armed response by Georgian forces to the buildup of Russian troops near the breakaway region was "necessary and proportionate" to protect Georgian villages, and that the response by South Ossetian forces was therefore a legitimate act of self-defense. The IIFFMCG also found that military action against Russian forces was not justified because the commission could not substantiate Georgian claims of a large-scale Russian military presence in the region prior to the Georgian offensive.
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