Latest Stories: Georgians Newly Displaced
This is a story of Georgians displaced who became so due to a recently broke-out war in Caucasus. Most of them come from South Ossetia or the nearby villages around the region. Unfortunately their future is seemingly unprospective, even deeply manipulated by the power states, such as Russia, US, and EU countries.
This summer of 2008 witnessed the war between Russia and Georgia on Georgia’s disputed region of South Ossetia, as well as that of Abkhazia. The conflict started on Aug 07th when Georgia tried to retake South Ossetia by force after a series of low-level clashes between the Georgian security forces and South Ossetia’s separatists -- Georgia claimed that South Ossetian separatists had shelled Georgian villages in violation of a ceasefire, on the other hand, South Ossetia denied provoking the conflict.
As most 70,000 South Ossetia’s populations are Russian speaking pro-Russia Ossetians, Russia launched a counter-attack and the Georgian troops were ejected from both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russian troops continued their operation, advancing deep inside Georgia's territory. Both Russia and Georgina denounce one another’s military acts as ethnic cleansing or genocide.
An EU-brokered ceasefire brought a formal end to the conflict five days later. On August 22, Russian tanks started to leave a town of Gori, and next day, Russia declared the withdrawal of its troops. However, Russian troops still stay in Georgian proper – areas around South Ossetia and some Northwestern parts of the country (near Abkhazia). Georgia has described them occupation forces, announcing that it is cutting diplomatic relations with Moscow. Yet, Russia says the troops left behind are serving as peacekeepers, since it has withdrawn the bulk of its forces.
In these political environments, a very tough future might stand on most of more than 110,000 fresh Georgian refugees, or internal displaced people, who escaped the early August crisis into further Georgian proper. On 26 August 2008, following Russia’s parliament’s vote, the Russian President formally recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Although those two regions are parts of Georgina territories in terms of international law, the political position of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is very complicated.
It is related to the status of Kosovo. This early year, the West, strongly led by US, recognized the independence of Kosovo, despite the fact it is part of Serbia and the majority of the international community, surely including Russia, oppose the independence. In these situations, Russia condemns the West as double standard, as the West says yes on Kosovo, yet no on South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia is a member of P5 of UN’s security council, -- has the right of veto. In addition, more than 30 percent of energy sources in Europe comes from Russia.
Due to these reasons, most Georgian displaced might lose the chance to go back to their home nearly forever, at least in the name of Georgian territory. Meanwhile, a new hegemony contest between US, the West, and Russia over Caucasus, as well as other parts of crossroads between Asia and Europe or the regions below Russia, seems to escalate.