Friday, August 1, 2008

გზა, რომელიც ცხინვალის დე-ფაქტო ხელისუფლებას დასასრულამდე მიიყვანს...

The following is my translation of this interpressnews (a Georgian news agency) article:

The path which will bring Tskhinvali’s de-facto government to its end…

According to the command of the Georgian peace-keeping forces in the Tskhinvali conflict zone Mamuka Kurashvili, the Georgian peace-keeping forces’ posts in the Eredvi and Sarabuki heights came under Ossetian fire at approximately 22:00 [29 July].

The barrage of mortar, machine-gun, and automatic fire lasted for one hour. Some of it landed on the nearby village of Eredvi. The town’s new stadium was damaged.

“Nobody on our side was wounded. It’s possible that someone on the Ossetian side was injured, which would explain why they quickly stopped returning fire. Tskhinvali needs to realize that we control the road from the Sarabuki post to the Greater and Lesser Liakhvi Gorges and that we don’t plan on giving it up any time soon,” said Mamuka Kurashvili.

According to Mamuka, the peace-keeping forces and the OSCE observers will release their findings of last night’s shootings at around 12:00.

Kurashvili noted that the monitoring group had concluded in its report about the July 29 shootings that the first shots didn’t come from the Georgian side, but rather the Ossetian.

For the past two days, the Ossetian side has fired upon the Georgian peace-keeping forces’ base in the Sarabuki Heights.

As would soon become widely known, yesterday’s shootings left one Ossetian wounded and several homes damaged. The Russian news agency “RES” was quick to disseminate this information.

Tskhinvali accuses the Georgian side for opening fire first. The de-facto Ossetian Ministry of Internal Affairs claims that the first shots came at 22:00 from the Georgian police bases in the villages of Sarabuki and Tliavana.

Soslan Alborovi, the man reported to have been wounded in the shootout, is listed to be in stable condition.

According to a news release from the de-facto government office, Alborovi is a 36 year-old policeman.

“Alborovi received multiple shrapnel wounds to the upper part of his body. He was first treated at a medical center. A short while later, he was transported to Tskhinvali Hospital,” said Tskhinvali Hospital emergency room doctor Giorgi Gogichaevi. Due to the current situation and the Georgian forces’ unwavering position, the de-facto government of South-Ossetia is once again considering asking for external forces to be mobilized.

President of the self-declared republic Eduard Kokoiti will ask Northern Ossetia and Russia to increase the number of personnel in their battalions in the conflict zone.

According to the Russian news agency “The Caucasian Knot,” Kokoiti is asking that each battalion be reinforced by 300 soldiers.

“We will make a request for each battalion to be reinforced by 300 personnel—by 300 soldiers. This is a reasonable request, for the current levels simply aren’t enough,” stated Kokoiti at a press conference yesterday in Vladikavkaz.

According to Kokoiti, critics of the Russian peace-keeping forces are right about the communication between the Russian and the South Ossetian sides. “Although this doesn’t mean that we are against the presence of Russian peace-keepers. I want to officially state that the peace process in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone is a unique one. Peace-keeping forces will remain in the conflict zone until its resolution,” said Kokoiti.

Ossetian battalion commander Kazbek Friev said that the battalions should have been reinforced by 50 personnel each weeks ago.

However, Mamuka Kurashvili, commander of the Georgian peace-keeping forces, explained that all three battalions—the Georgian, Russian, and South Ossetian—had already reached the 500-man quota.

The Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia made remarks today about the shooting incident in the Tskhinvali region.

As David Bakradze stated to reporters, this shooting incident is just one more link in a chain of provocations which have become more and more evident and aim to create tensions.

According to Bakradze, provocations, generally speaking, occur in the territory of Abkhazia, but as we can see, Kokoiti was disheartened that they weren't occurring in the north as well.

“By choosing this route, he has decided to stir things up and endanger the existence of his very own guardians,” said Bakradze, adding that Kokoiti is on a path which will very quickly bring him to his political end.