Washington - The United States called on Russia Wednesday to allow an investigation into all possible atrocities committed during the conflict over Georgia's breakaway regions.
"We've seen reports that there are atrocities being committed against civilians," State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said.
"And we want to call on the Russians to allow a credible investigation to take place, of reports that atrocities have been committed by both sides," Wood said.
The Georgian and Russian governments have exchanged accusations against each other of committing crimes against civilians during the conflict that began in Georgia August 6.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allege the Georgian military committed genocide against South Ossetians while trying to quell a separatist uprising.
They used the allegations as a basis to justify a large scale invasion deep into the former Soviet Republic well beyond the disputed regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has accused rebel militias and Russian troops of committing atrocities against Georgians.
Wood said the international community would have to discuss the best way to investigate the allegations.
"These types of reports are of serious concern," he said. "And we want to make sure that the international community is able to investigate these charges, because we all take them very seriously."
Wood also said the Russians have not taken enough steps to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into areas of Georgia devastated by the war.
"Obviously the response has not been adequate enough," he said.
Medvedev announced on Tuesday that Russia now recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, a move that drew a sharp rebuke from US President George W Bush, who called the decision "irresponsible." (dpa)