samachablo

2008

Average Reading time: 10 minutes

In the early 1990s, the Russian Federation used the strategy prepared during the Soviet regime. The main methodology of which was to inspire and stir up ethnic strife in the autonomies established by the Soviet government in Georgia, as well as to form a local separatist elite. The OSCE Mission to Georgia started working in the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia in late 1992. As a result of the conflict, up to a thousand people were killed and up to a hundred people were missing. About 70-80 thousand people were evicted from their homes. The region was virtually empty. As of today, the population of the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia is 15-20 thousand. This time, Russia managed to play the role of “mediator” and “peacemaker” in the conflict it caused. On June 24, 1992, under the Russian (Sochi) Treaty, a joint peacekeeping force (consisting of Russians, Georgians, and Ossetians) was deployed in the region and a Joint Control Commission was established. Prior to the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008, the Georgian government established control over a significant part of the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia. As well as the functioning peacekeeping format, which provided economic and infrastructural rehabilitation to the region with the assistance of the international community (EU, OSCE). During this period, the Georgian government developed a number of peace initiatives, including the granting of broad autonomous status to the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia, the redistribution of power, economic development, and international security guarantees, but Russia effectively thwarted all peace plans. At the same time, the Russian Federation was illegally granting Russian passports to the population of the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia, which was confirmed by a report prepared by an independent international fact-finding mission (the so-called Tagliavini Commission), intensifying the military militarization process and increasing violence.
 
Finally, the pre-existing “frozen conflict” was replaced by full-scale military aggression and occupation by the Russian Federation in August 2008 in the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia, with Russia opening its second front in Abkhazia as well. As a result of the war, about fifty Georgian villages in the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia and surrounding areas were burned and completely destroyed. In these areas, including the Akhalgori district, the central government of Georgia has lost control. Up to 130,000 people, mostly ethnic Georgians were evicted from their homes and subjected to ethnic cleansing. 26 thousand of them, residents of the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia and surrounding areas are still in exile. According to current data, the number of IDPs and refugees from the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia and Abkhazia exceeds 300,000. The international community has strongly condemned the ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population in the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia, as evidenced by resolutions of the European Parliament in 2011, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 2008-2009, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in 2010, as well as numerous reports from authoritative international organizations. The military intervention was carried out by the Russian Federation, on August 26, 2008, by so-called South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Recognition of “independence” followed, which further complicated the peace process. After the Russo-Georgia war in August 2008, an “Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia” (the so-called Tagliavini Commission) was set up with the support of the European Union. The mission presented a report in September 2009 detailing the conflict chronology, assessments, and other materials related to the conflict.
 
Currently, the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia is completely isolated from the outside world. Barbed wire, fences, and other barriers are being erected by the Russian military, including buildings directly built on the land belonging to the population. Such a process significantly hinders and in some cases makes it impossible to move freely, to receive first aid, to receive education in the native language, to work on agricultural plots, to have access to drinking and irrigation systems, to enter cemeteries, and to enjoy other civil and economic rights, and the Cases of arrest on charges of “illegal border crossing” are very common. All of the above exacerbates the dire humanitarian situation for both Georgian and Ossetian populations living on both sides of the dividing line.

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