Voices From Russia, Too

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

VOR Presents… Tskhinvali: The Third Anniversary of the Caucasus Conflict

Three years ago, on 8 August 2008, Georgian troops launched an assault on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali. The Georgians launched a massive bombardment of both residential areas and the positions of Russian peacekeeping forces around the city. Russia sent troops into the republic to defend the South Ossetians (many of whom were Russian citizens) from the Georgian aggression, and, after five days of fighting, drove the Georgian invaders from South Ossetia. Today, on the third anniversary of the war in South Ossetia, Russians remember those killed in August 2008.

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The Georgian attack on South Ossetia in August 2008, “killed civilian residents of the Republic, wounded a significant number, completely destroyed 655 houses, and seriously damaged more than 2,100 housing units”.

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A toddler in the ruins caused by the Georgian bombardment of Tskhinvali.

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Wrecked Georgian armoured vehicles in the streets of Tskhinvali.

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Anniversary events honoured the memory of the soldiers and civilians killed in the military conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia in August 2008. On 7 August, Russian heroes, actors, and public figures gathered for a public memorial service at Patriarch’s Ponds in Moscow. Exactly at 21.00 MSK (18.00 UTC 13.00 EDT 10.00 PDT), after a moment of silence, they floated 387 candles onto the water. That was the total number killed on both sides in the” five-day war”.

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Speaking at an anniversary event, South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity said that in August 2008 Russia saved the people of the republic from destruction. The inscription on the sign is “Thanks, Russia!”

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Memorial Cross in remembrance of the victims of the Georgian aggression (Tskhinvali, South Ossetia).

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In fact, today, Russia’s the only guarantor of security in the Caucasus. Over the past three years, Russia’s committed more than 40 billion roubles to the aid of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. At the same time, the RF is also trying to help the two republics diplomatically, taking part in negotiations for the recognition of their sovereign status. The inscription on the banner is, “Tskhinvali, a Hero City”.

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A woman in Tskhinvali grieves at the grave of an OMONets (MVD Security Policeman, “black berets”) killed in the fighting in 2008.

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“The Museum of Burnt Souls” in the village of Khetagurovo commemorates a convoy of civilian vehicles ambushed by the Georgians during the fighting in 2008. The people were fleeing the war zone in Tskhinvali.

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8 August 2011

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/54341229/54341240/

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