Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Scarred South Ossetia penniless, shaky year after war
Tue Aug 4, 2009 9:28am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Amie Ferris-Rotman and Nikolai Pavlov
TSKHINVALI, Georgia (Reuters) - Under a lattice of green grapes dappling their courtyard, a Georgian-Ossetian couple sees a future with Russia for the tiny rebel region over which Tbilisi and Moscow fought a brief war a year ago.
"I don't care if South Ossetia becomes part of another country, such as Russia," said Grigory Loladze, 71, an ethnic Georgian born in the rebel region's capital Tskhinvali.
His South Ossetian wife Zamira, perched on a stool beside their plot of cucumbers, agreed: "We just don't want war."
Russia crushed a Georgian assault last August and sent tanks into Georgia proper, pushing relations with the United States to a post-Cold War low. Moscow then recognized the tiny enclave on the slopes of the Caucasus mountains as an independent state.
A year later, tensions are still high in South Ossetia, and the signs of conflict are omnipresent.
Shattered cement crumbles off government doorways damaged last August and electricity and water shortages are common.
Moscow's backing initially spurred dreams of statehood, but widespread poverty and thousands of homeless have since led the pine-covered statelet to change its tune.
Pro-Russia billboards -- "Forever with Russia!" and "Ossetia is indivisible" -- pepper the ravaged landscape.
Ethnically different from Georgians, South Ossetians say they have been separated from their fellow people in North Ossetia in Russia, who share the same Farsi-related language.
The leaking, four-km (2.5 mile) Rocky Tunnel from North Ossetia is now the only official way into the region.
Once resplendent with Georgian fruits, meat and cheeses traded by Georgians, sellers in Tskhinvali's sole market, where dimly lit stalls are perched in mud, peddle what is left from South Ossetia's dwindling agricultural industry as the roads to Georgia proper have been closed.
"South Ossetia belongs with Russia, with our own people," Liuda Zhdanova, 54, said, perusing the meager offerings.
Unlike Abkhazia, another Georgian rebel region on the Black Sea which Moscow also recognized, South Ossetia has no tourist industry and its population is just 63,000. The rest of the world, apart from Nicaragua, consider both regions as part of Georgia.
FEARS OF INSTABILITY
Western powers worry the impoverished region could destabilize the South Caucasus, which hosts oil and gas pipelines that flow to the West. Continued...
View article on single page
Madagascar rivals to hold talks in Mozambique
Also on Reuters
Blog: Five reasons why Obama will hike taxes
Goldman employees told no big purchases
Bill Clinton makes surprise North Korea visit
More International News
Bill Clinton in North Korea, meets Kim Jong-il
Taliban rockets land near embassies in Afghan capital
Iranian moderate vows to keep pressure on president
Lebanon's Hariri takes time out after ally quits
Pakistan suspects Al Qaeda allies killed Christians
More International News...
Georgia peace fragile one year after war
Europe war risk no longer unthinkable post Georgia
Georgia more modest a year after war
FACTBOX: Georgia's rebel regions one year after war
FACTBOX: Facts about the 2008 war in Georgia
Russia says boosts readiness of troops in South Ossetia
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Bank regulators dig in against Obama shake-up
Rather sues to return CBS execs to $70 million suit
Alabama's Jefferson County makes massive job cuts
Scientists study huge plastic patch in Pacific
Bill Clinton in North Korea, meets Kim Jong-il | Video
Goldman employees told no big purchases: report
Fans urged to drink whisky to ward off swine flu
Pentagon eyes accelerated "bunker buster" bomb
The price of U.S. recession is paid in jobs
US reality stars Jon & Kate back on air after split
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
WH: No middle class tax hike
Bill Clinton in N.Korea
More troops for Afghanistan?
Pakistani Christians burnt alive
Oz arrests four in suicide plot
Turbulence slams U.S. jet
Clinton on East Jerusalem
Court OKs Jackson mother custody
China plague leaves 3 dead
Odd jobs help unemployed woman cope
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.