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29 Aug, 2008 01:37

Back to school: but ruined classrooms await Ossetian children

Slowly but surely life is returning back to normal in South Ossetia, with emergency workers getting schools ready for the start of the academic year, and a mobile hospital set up by Russia's Emergencies Ministry being sl

However, the war has seriously affected the republic’s infrastructure, which impedes its rehabilitation. Hospitals have resumed operation but international observers admit they are still in poor condition.

Schools are being rebuilt, however the situation remains so bad that few people believe Ossetian children will start the academic year in buildings which meet even basic requirements. Electricity has been restored to one third of the streets, but even then the supply is unreliable.

The situation is exacerbated by reports about frequent shootouts on the Georgian-South Ossetian border.  

On Thursday, despite being recognised as a state by Russia, the mood in South Ossetia was somber, as locals paid tribute to the victims of Georgia’s attack three weeks ago. Memorial services were held during a day of remembrance.