Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has said a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry ‘leaves space for conversation’. The PM has faced pressure for appealing to Russian authorities last Friday, and for the response it received from Russia.
N B, currently a resident of an IDP settlement in Karaleti, an internally displaced person as a result of the August 2008 war
‘The 1990s were the most difficult years; since November 1988 to be more exact. At that time, the bleakness had already started. We started hearing stuff from both sides. We already felt tension, and 9 April 1989 put an end to every hope we had, 9 April was a day you will never forget. We sacrificed for the independence of the country, but we still cannot feel that we are an independent country today. What have so many young lives been wasted for?’
G V, the village of Saribari, Kaspi Municipality.
Village consists of 8 households and is entirely populated by ethnic Ossetians.
In the beginning of the 1990s the danger of invasion came from neighbouring Kodistskaro, from the side of the Georgians. Residents of Kodistskaro protected the village, they did not let anyone pass.
While throughout the region there are debates around compulsory military service — how it applies to students or if it should apply at all — in Azerbaijan, a different debate is raging. Many are demanding exemptions for only sons in a family, who continue the family name, while most politicians oppose the move, calling it unpatriotic.
For the majority of Georgians, the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are only about Russia. The only way out of this stalemate is to start paying attention to the Abkhazian and South Ossetian experience.
I T, the town of Znaur.
‘In 1988 I graduated from the Institute of Economics at the Faculty of Light Industry in Moscow. I returned and married into a family with a Georgian mother and Ossetian father. A slogan suggesting that Georgia was for Georgians and that Ossetians were aliens was being thrown around. These were popular phrases and slogans, which had already penetrated South Ossetia. There were Georgians in our districts, nationalists, and they would also gather.’
L Ch, 60, Ergneti village, Gori Municipality.
‘Those days, Tskhinvali was a city where the doors of houses were never locked, there was such intimacy and enormous trust. We played in the street and didn’t know the nationality of our friends: there were Ossetians, Russians, Jews, Armenians. I was raised in such an environment, where the people were not segregated by their nationality. Probably everyone knows who hid that ‘bomb’ in Tskhinvali, which was put into operation from the 1990s.’
Khatia Kardava, 28, IDP Women Association — Consent
‘I was three years old when the war began. I hardly remember anything, but I don’t really like when people ask me about it, because it’s painful. As time passes the memories become blurry — I don’t really know what are actual memories and what are expressions from photos and videos.’ [Read more…]
E J, 62, the village of Dzau, teacher.
‘I was born and raised in Java [Dzau]; my father is a local man. During the Soviet Union he was the head of the police of the May First district in Tbilisi — the city’s largest district. He lived among Georgians and we would often host his friends, elderly people, and I could never imagine that something could happen between us — that they would never come to visit us or could betray or deceive us.’