National Geographic uncovers tragic story of people living in conflict zones between Georgia and Russia-occupied territory
21 May, 2018
National Geographic uncovers tragic story of people living in conflict zones between Georgia and Russia-occupied territory
National Geographic uncovers the Russian intervention of Georgia in August 2008, also known as Russo-Georgian War. 10 Years have passed since the war, yet it still remains a painful issue of Georgians. As a result of Russia’s assault, 228 Georgia’s citizens and 14 police officers, 1 747 were injured. About 150,000 people were forced out of their homes, with 30,000 among them remaining refugees to this day. 169 soldiers deceased and 5 were missing in action, although due to no
trace of them being found for 2 years and no signs of them being alive reported, they are now officially considered deceased.

Alexandra Genova, author of the article published on National Geographic, starts describing the situation in conflict zones by talking about the village of Nikozi, which rests just south of Tskhinvali (so-called South Ossetia) border and which was heavily bombed during the Russo-Georgian War in 2008.
geotv.ge
10 Years have passed since the war

“At the time of the conflict, Isaiah, a metropolitan bishop, led a congregation that included people on both sides of the border. He chose to stay in South Ossetia with a portion of his community for three years, until finally returning home to Nikozi,” reads the article.

The article tells the story of people living on shifting borders between Georgia and Russia and their daily life full of intense terror and fear. They have to live in absolute chaos – as Russia’s illegal borderization on Georgian territory still continues, some people just wake up in the morning and find themselves on occupied territories - their home now sits on foreign soil and their money becomes worthless. The community members find themselves, their schools, and their places of business unexpectedly under occupation.
geotv.ge
Eighteen-year-old Mariam lives in Nikozi village near the southern border of South Ossetia. Her village was bombed during the Russo-Georgian War in 2008—a memory she says she'll never forget

“Fear, thick and unyielding, is a constant for many Georgians living along the shifting borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russian-supported separatist territories that were once governed by Georgia—and officially still are according to the United States and the majority of the international community,” tells the journalist of National Geographic.
geotv.ge
A mother and daughter walk along a road that leads to and from Tserovani, a village created for Georgians forced to flee Tskhinvali (South Ossetia)

According to the article, the regions declared their independence in the 1990s and have been under dispute for decades. During the Russo-Georgian War in 2008, Russian forces invaded the territories and have continued to move their administrative borders farther and farther into Georgia.

The author of the article stresses the fact that the borders are not currently recognized by much of the world. However, they have real and serious effects on the people living in the area.
geotv.ge
Children play outside in Dvani village, located on the southern border of South Ossetia

The journalist talked with Georgian photographer Daro Sulakauri, who has spent nearly 10 years documenting this volatile region.

It is worth mentioning that Daro Sulakauri has recently published a photo project on the villages bordering the breakaway regions of South Ossetia (Tskhinvali Region) and Abkhazia. Her project focuses on people who live right at the occupied border lines to the breakaway regions.
geotv.ge
This bridge, in Napati village, was previously one of the main border crossings

According to the photographer, it is the “psychological games” imposed on those living on the borderlines that she finds most problematic.

As a Georgian child of the nineties, she says tensions with her neighboring country were a pervasive part of her daily life. “You never know how safe you are,” says Sulakauri. “I felt this when I was walking around visiting the [borderline] villages. There is no one around. If you scream out, no one will hear you.”
geotv.ge
Nine-year-old Nana plays in her yard in the village of Khurcha on the southeastern border of Abkhazia. One of eight siblings, she is a folk dancer who hopes to become famous

As Daro Sulakauri told National Geographic, Georgian villagers out for a walk may suddenly find themselves across a newly moved border—facing fines, arrest, or detention. “There are also a lot of cases where farmers lose cows because they will wander over to occupied territory and never come back,” she added. “This is a big issue when a lot of their income comes from their cows.”
geotv.ge
A child takes a swim in the Enguri River, which is used as the borderline of the Russian-supported separatist territory of Abkhazia. The river was previously known as a good location for safely crossing into Abkhazia, but recent installation of barbed wire fencing and surveillance equipment has stalling those crossings

The worst thing is that people living in conflict zones lose their family members, the do not have the opportunity to get proper education and they have to live in crushing poverty.
geotv.ge
Children in Tserovani board a school bus

Daro Sulakauri photographed 84-year-old Georgian citizen Data Vanishvili through a barbed wire fence. Sadly, he woke up one morning to find his home on the other side of the border and his money worthless.

“It is a really sad situation for him,” she says. “Since he got a pension in Georgian Lari (GEL), when he wants to buy bread he would call his neighbors and give them money over the barbed wire fence and then the neighbor would buy the bread and give it back to him. He's trying to survive somehow.”
geotv.ge
A family stands near their corn field in Pakhulani village

The journalist also stresses the fact that despite the terrible life conditions, the locals still maintain resilience and a warm-hearted optimism. Daro Sulakauri felt this most keenly among the children. “They're so pure, but they are also grown up because of what they have gone through,” she said.

All photos courtesy Daro Sulakauri

The first image depicts a brightly lit cross, erected after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, stands on the road leading to the village of Dvani. Photo courtesy Daro Sulakauri

Related stories;

Living on the Shifting Border of Georgia and Russia – The New York Times

Georgian photographer depicts the creeping borders in her country

Russia's illegal borderization on Georgian territory continues! - What EUMM says

Georgian soldier who died in occupied Tskhinvali Region buried with honor

US Assistant Secretary visits occupation line: "We call on the Russia to withdraw the recognition of these regions"
Print
Other Stories
Donald Tusk: "The collapse of the Soviet Union was very positive"
I want to say loudly from this tribune - the collapse of the Soviet Union was very positive, - Donald Tusk,
Donald Tusk reads a quote from Vazha Pshavela’s letter in Georgian
President of the Council of Europe Donald Tusk read a quote from Georgian writer
Economist: “An unwelcome Russian visitor has helped to revive an old antagonism”
Economist has recently published an article reviewing the recent events taking place in Georgia.
Russian Duma supports sanctions against Georgia, President Putin opposes
The Russian Duma supported sanctions against Georgia.
Prosecutor: Individuals planned to overthrow the state government
On the night of 20th of June, 2019, individuals were planned to violently overthrow the state government through uprising,
Court releases Nika Melia on GEL 30, 000 bail
The Tbilisi City Court sentenced Nika Melia to GEL 30, 000 bail at today’s court hearing.
Parliament suspends Nika Melia's MP's immunity
Nika Melia, the member of the opposition “United National Movement” party, has arrived at Tbilisi City Court.
"Russian Church blackmails Georgian Patriarchate" - Claims Ukraine's Rada member
Victor Yelenskyj was the head of the Ukrainian delegation at that fateful Interparliamentary Ortho­dox Assembly in Tbilisi that sparked the protests still ongoing to this day.
What the Protests in Tbilisi Mean for Relations with Russia
The protests in the center of Tbilisi over the Russian MP’s presence in Georgian parliament caused a nation-wide outburst against the ruling Georgian Dream party and Russia.
Government agrees to one of the protesters demands: Proportional Elections in 2020
The government has agreed to hold proportional parliamentary elections in Georgia in 2020.
Russia bans flights to Georgia from July 8
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree yesterday prohibiting Russian airlines from carrying Russian citizens to Georgia from July 8.
Zakaria Kutsnashvili renounces his MP mandate
Zakaria Kutsnashvili, who was the head of the Georgian delegation in the Inter-parliamentary Session on Orthodoxy, has renounced his MP mandate.
Police use teargas, rubber bullets against protesters, says Human Rights Watch
Riot police in Tbilisi fired rubber bullets and used teargas without warning against thousands of nonviolent protesters
Russian lawmaker demands “official apology” from Tbilisi
Tbilisi should give its formal apology to Russia for the provocations against Russian delegates in the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy,
Georgian police used teargas, rubber Bullets and water cannon against protesters
Police in Georgia used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to stop protesters entering the country’s parliament on Friday.
Gavrilov: "Russia and Georgia are united by the brotherly orthodox union"
The citizens of Georgia are protesting against the conduct of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in Georgia, which was led by Russian Deputy Sergey Gavrilov.
Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy canceled following public outrage
The session of Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy held at Parliament of Georgia has been canceled after the protest.
The Russian deputy in the Chairman’s chair of the Parliament of Georgia
The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy is taking place between the 19th and 22nd of June in Tbilisi.
Michael Carpenter about Georgia's open policy with Russia
Michael Carpenter has recently tweeted about Georgia's open policy with Russia.
Another Georgian David Arakhamia to work with President Zelensky
Georgian businessman David Arakhamia also known as David Brown is another Georgian to join President Zelensky’s team in Ukraine.
What Do the EP Elections Mean for Georgia?
The European Parliament elections are over, with the liberal wing sighing with relief, while the right wingers can smugly point to the increase to 25% of representation in the world 's second largest democratically elected parliament.
PM Mamuka Bakhtadze met with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo
Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze met with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on the 11th of June.
Zourabichvili talks about Russian occupation at Labour Conference
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili took part in the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference,
UN General Assembly passes Georgia IDP Resolution
The UN General Assembly has adopted the Resolution on „Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia”
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko offers Mikheil Saakashvili to chair the Udar Party
After arrival of ex-president of Georgia and ex-Governor of Ukraine's Odesa region Mikheil Saakashvili in Ukraine there were speculations about whether he would be offered political positions.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
15.07.2019
16.07.2019
USD
1
USD
2.8513
2.8555
EUR
1
EUR
3.2094
3.2210
GBP
1
GBP
3.5727
3.5862
RUB
100
RUB
4.5215
4.5596
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.8555
EUR
1
EUR
3.2210
GBP
1
GBP
3.5862
RUB
100
RUB
4.5596
July 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31