Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sokhumi and Tskhinvali celebrate new independence

Сухуми и Цхинвали празднуют выстраданную независимость

Residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia greeted Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's announcement of the recognition of the independence of these republics with joy. The capitals of both countries have turned into improvised stages for mass gatherings. People are congratulating one another, many of them with tears in their eyes. Leaders have joined the people. The people are waiting for President Sergey Bagapsh.

A few minutes ago, the president of Russia signed a decree recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In Medvedev's words, "Saakashvili chose genocide as the solution to his own political problems." "Russia stepped in to stop the destruction of the Ossetian and Abkhaz people. Russia showed patience and equanimity. We repeatedly called for a return to the negotiations table," stated Medvedev, noting that these appeals were ignored both by NATO and the UN.

[Read Medvedev's speech in full]

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