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Confrontation (Part IV)
05/07/2010 12:59
Vasil Kvirikashvili
Experts' Club

Strengthening of Ossetians and their becoming insolent was aided by the Georgian RevCom that at the session of March 13th 1921 determined to put aside one billion rubles and appropriate construction materials for restoration of so-called South Ossetia which according to the RevCom "was destroyed by the Menshevik troops during the rebellion". It was the day when it was decided to create South Ossetian RevCom which would include only ethnic Ossetian representatives. And it was also decided to introduce a representative of Ossetians into the RevCom of the Gori district...

After this it was not accidental that in June 1922 an intense clash took place between Ossetians and Georgians. Ossetians authorities of "South Ossetia" were in every way harassing population of Georgian villages Dvani, Shindisi, Lower Kheta, Upper and lower Nikozi, Ditsi, Plavismani and Mereti. They were trying to take away arms from Georgian population in order to make it easier for Ossetian extremists to deal with local population. We should mention here that only in 1922 damage that Ossetians did to Georgian population of the Tskhinvali district amounted to two billion twenty seven million four hundred thousand rubles (at the rate of the time). It is important to mention that we are talking about just 87 Georgian families.

Ossetians from a village of Tedereti were attacking population of the village of Perevi of the Chala community in Sachkhere district with animal brutality. They were robbing Georgians and were not letting them live peacefully. The situation was becoming tense. A big bloody confrontation was expected between Ossetians and Georgians.

On night of May 9th 1923 a group of armed Ossetians attacked the village of Kudaro (Java district in the Gori region). They abducted cattle and other assets. Five Georgian policemen followed and caught up with them in the village of Kotinako of the Java district. Shooting happened between Ossetians and the Georgian police that lasted for two and a half hours. This situation was calmly observed by local police and executive committee of the Ossetian community but they rendered no assistance to Georgians in arresting the robbers. Practically Ossetian party officials were supporting Ossetian population in robbing Georgian villages.

After the defeat in August 1924 the rebellion Ossetians that were dressed in uniforms of the Red Army burnt villages of Khevsureti region, they tied to a post 80 year-old Khevisberi (elder) and Gaga Gogochuri only because that they gave shelter to Kakutsa Cholokashvili.

Ossetians were also opposed ethnic minorities living in Georgia. For example, Ossetians citizens, even workers of law enforcement agencies, maltreated Tskhinvali Jews. There were cases that Ossetians bakers did not even sell bread to Jews. In 1929 lands were taken away from Jewish population absolutely unlawfully. Their relations became very strained and grew into hostility.

After the beginning of so-called Perestroika in the Soviet Union one of the strong factors for aggravation of relations between peoples became the politics of the centre of setting soviet republics and their autonomies against each other by recognizing the latters as units of the union. It was done under the pretext of taking care of small nations and without taking into account what real ground were there for this in an autonomy.

In the beginning of 1990 situation became especially tense in Shida Kartli and it reached a critical stage. Insolent Ossetian extremists were carrying out the horrible actions against Georgian population (verbal abuse, rape, shooting, killing, banditism). On January 3rd during one of the raids on Georgian villages Ossetians committed unbelievable crime in the village of Prisi they killed nine months-old baby with a gun. On January 4th large representation - around 150 men, women, young and old – from villages Prisi, Eredvi, Kurta, Kemerti and others went to Tbilisi in search of justice. At the meeting with the media villagers of Shida Kartli recounted about hard times for Georgians: that Ossetian policemen participated in attacks against Georgians; Georgians were afraid to go to Tskhinvali; People were unable to get products from there as everything was going to Ossetian villages; Georgians there would have died of hunger if not for the help from Gori district; Ossetians armed with guns and machineguns were roaming around Georgian villages in groups. In the beginning of January Kekhvi, Kurta, Dzartsemi and other Georgian villages were almost under the siege.

During the period of preparation for the elections separatist movement intensified even more in the Ossetian population of Shida Kartli. Extremist leaders of Adamon Nikhas being instigated by Russian reactionary circles were intensifying anti-Georgian agitation and were demanding turning district into republic. They were openly supported by the central soviet media that were painting Ossetians as "an oppressed side". As to extremist organization Adamon Nikhas it was first formed in 1979 in the form of an informal organization. Its activities became especially active after the opening of the Roki tunnel in winter 1986 when communication with North Ossetia became easier. An issue of joining of "two Ossetia" was again put on the agenda. It was already symptomatic that Georgians inscriptions were being erased one after another, especially in the Java district.

In the beginning of 1988 one part of Ossetian intelligentsia (Chichoev, Tskhovrebov, Abaeva, Jigaev and others) started to really organize informal politicized movement Adamon Nikhas. This process was headed by Alan Chochiev and the organization at the time already was raising demands that are so well known to all of us. In June 1989 Adamon Nikhas managed to significantly increase its provocative actions for destabilization of the situation. According to 1988 data it was thanks to this informal chauvinistic organization that 85 members out of total 140 members f the bureaucratic apparatus of the political leadership of the former district was ethnic Ossetians , only 34 were Georgians while out of 227 members of the executive authorities176 were Ossetians and 43 were only Georgians.

Interesting to note that leading posts often were given to those Georgians that were not known for their high moral principles and national pride and who were just executors of the will of others. Such persons often used to unlawfully make decisions with regards to Georgians in order to please Ossetian leadership. Intellectual core of Ossetian population were those who were educated in Russian-Ossetian bilingualism and that conditioned orientation of significant part of Ossetian population towards North Ossetia as an integral part of the Russian state.

On December 23rd, 1989 one of the ideologists of this organization, corresponding member of the Georgian Academy of Science Napi Jusoiti who before that had been acting in disguise, announced at the second session of people's deputies in Moscow that Georgians were harassing Ossetians and himself just managed to escape from Tskhinvali. This was categorically denied by Interior Minister of the USSR Bakatin himself who said that according to operational data no such cases were ever recorded. Bakatin voiced what was indeed true. After December 23rd soon the situation in "South Ossetia" became significantly tenser. It should be also noted that majority of writers and scientific workers in Tskhinvali region were members of the anti-Georgian organization Adamon Nikhas.

Together with the collapse of the Soviet Union and approaching restoration of long-wished sovereignty separatists of the South Ossetian Autonomous District who were governed from the Kremlin again betrayed Georgian under the pretext of "staying in the brotherly family of the Soviet people". On September 20th at the XIV session of the XX call of the Congress of People's Deputies of South Ossetia they approved an anti-constitutional declaration on transformation of "South Ossetian Autonomous District" into South Ossetians Soviet Democratic Republic which was annulled on September 21st by the session of the supreme council of the Georgian republic. But on October 16th of the same year XV session of the XX call of the local soviet once again confirmed non-changeability of its unlawful decision. It also elected executive committee of the "republic", passed temporary election terms and formed a central election committee after which on December 9th 1990 it conducted "elections of the supreme council of South Ossetian democratic republic". And on December 11th it organized a session of "the supreme council". In response, on the same day December 11th the Supreme Council of the Georgian republic passed a law on abolition of self-declared South Ossetian unit and that was followed by bloody anti-Georgian incidents in Tskhinvali (December 12th 1990).

On March 7th 1991, at eight in the morning an armed group of 100 Ossetians attacked Georgian villages of the Tskhinvali district - Upper Achabeti and Monasteri. Bandits fired rockets, bombs and bullets at civilian population. They killed local resident Tariel Khetagashvili. Their attack continued till 12 pm and was stopped only by efforts of Georgian police and village residents. One rocket, self-made rocket launchers and rifles were found on the place of the attack of the Ossetian extremists.

All this was followed by long conflict between Georgians and Ossetians that did not seize even after the restoration of Georgian independence (April 9, 1991) and the collapse of the Soviet Union (December 1991) and it still continues ...

 


 
 
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