POLITICS
US Assistant Secretary visits occupation line: "We call on the Russia to withdraw the recognition of these regions"
02 May, 2018
The US Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Aaron Wess Mitchell visited the village Odzisi, at the occupation line between Georgia and its occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region.
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Aaron Wess Mitchell visited the village Odzisi

There was the war here 10 years ago and I am here today to remind Russia that the world has not forgotten these events, - Wess Mitchel stated.
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During his visit to Odzisi village Wess Mitchel was accompanied by Foreign Minister
Mikheil Janelidze


During his visit to Odzisi village Wess Mitchel was accompanied by Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze and a representative of the Analytic Department of the State Security Service.

"We do not recognize this dividing line as an international border, we are very concerned about the security situation of those Georgians living beyond this line. We condemn any action related to the detention, torture and murder of Georgian citizens and offer our condolences to their families. We call on the Russian government to comply with the 2008 ceasefire agreement obligations and to withdraw the recognition of these regions.
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The village Odzisi

The United States is committed to Georgia and its security and we appreciate the effort that comes from the government, parliament and people - to show commitment to democratic reforms and to have a successful and democratic country,” Wess Mitchel said.
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The village of Odzisi is bordering the occupied village Akhmaji

The village of Odzisi is bordering the occupied village Akhmaji, Akhalgori Municipality, where currently the Russian military base is placed.
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Mitchell arrived to Georgia on April 29

The situation in Akhalgori is quite alarming and Georgian citizens have to live in fear and terror every day. The peaceful citizens, such as the shepherds are often kidnapped by so-called border guards and taken to Tskhinvali (so-called South Ossetia) militia.
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US Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in village Odzisi

The occupation regime of Tskhinvali accuses them of violating of so-called borderline and generally releases after paying the fine.

Between January 1 and May 11, 2018, 19 citizens of Georgia were arrested in the occupied Tskhinvali Region and 16 - in the occupied region of Abkhazia for allegedly crossing of the so-called border.

According to the information provided by the Georgian State Security Service, in 2017, there were 52 cases of detention for so called “illegal crossing” of the border in the direction of Abkhazia and 126 - in the direction of Tskhinvali.
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A BMP-2 of the Russian 58th Army in Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).  August 2008. Photo courtesy Yana Amelina

However, the most tragic and painful accident for the whole country occurred on February 22, when the occupation regime arrested three Georgian citizens - Archil Tatunashvili, Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili in Akhalgori.

The kidnapping of Georgian citizens resulted in one of the detainees, Archil Tatunashvili’s death in unclear circumstances. The authorities of the occupied South Ossetia said that Tatunashvili fell down the stairs when resisting law enforcers, despite the fact that Georgian soldier’s body (it was handed over to the Georgian side after being detained on the territory of Tskhinvali for almost one month) had a clear signs of violence and torture.
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A Russian armoured column in Tskhinvali (South Ossetia). August 2008. Photo courtesy Yana Amelina

Archil Tatunashvili's body had been examined at the National Forensics Bureau, but establishment of the death cause is complicated, since Archil Tatunashvili’s organs, in particular brain and heart, were removed while the body was on the territory of occupied Tskhinvali Region.

Tskhinvali, so called South Ossetia, is the breakaway region of Georgia since the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. As for Abkhazia, on July 23 of 1992, functioning of Georgian Constitution in the autonomous region of Abkhazia was terminated.

Related stories:

Another citizen of Georgia kidnapped near occupation line of Tskhinvali – Alarming statistics of 2018

De facto South Ossetia releases two Georgian citizens from illegal imprisonment

Georgian soldier who died in captivity of South Ossetia transferred to Georgian-controlled territory

Georgian soldier who died in occupied Tskhinvali Region buried with honor
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