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4 Oct, 2009 06:35

Relief in Tskhinval over EU report

An EU report, released earlier this week, says it was Georgia which ignited last year's bloody war in South Ossetia. RT has been hearing reactions from the residents of the Republic’s capital.

The document explains that hostilities began with a Georgian artillery attack on the capital, Tskhinval, leading to a large-scale military offensive.

Building work is in full swing in South Ossetia. The signs of last year’s war are still visible everywhere, but with Russia’s helping hand the situation is slowly changing for the better.

Timur Tskhovrebov, a local resident, witnessed the beginning of the aggression. He took up arms last August when Tbilisi launched heavy artillery fire on a sleeping Tskhinval. He lost many friends and relatives and he cannot understand why Western countries had been supporting Georgia.

“I laughed when they blamed Russia for the war. Everyone who lives here knows who started it, especially those who took part in the fighting. Europe has finally realized just how twisted the Georgian leaders are. The best thing Tbilisi can do now is recognize our independence,” the man told RT.

The Russian army was criticized in the West as an invader after it repelled the Georgian aggression. The international community was quick to point the finger at Moscow for what they claimed was “disproportional use of force,” and was ready to help Tbilisi.

“Right away the international community started sending financial and humanitarian aid to Georgia when the news said that Russia started the war,” Joe Mestas, a US citizen living in South Ossetia, recalls. “I'd like to know, when the international community is going to start sending aid to South Ossetia now, that the fact is known that Georgia, that Saakashvili indeed started the war.”

South Ossetian officials say the EU report was not entirely objective in some details, but at least the aggressor was named together with the countries that supplied it with military aid. Now, the republic’s Foreign Minister Murat Dzhioev says there is potential for other positive moves:

“I think this report will persuade more countries to recognize the real and independent state of South Ossetia.”

The EU commission statement that it was Georgia who unleashed aggression against South Ossetia last summer came as no surprise to locals, who have long expected the truth to be revealed.

Now, many Ossetians hope the Saakashvili regime will be punished for the war crimes they committed. Until then, they say, provocations from Tbilisi may never end.