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28 Aug, 2008 23:51

South Ossetians pay tribute to war victims

Despite being recognised as a state by Russia, the mood in South Ossetia has been sombre recently as locals pay tribute to the victims of Georgia’s attack three weeks ago. Memorial services have been held during a day of remembrance.

Life is slowly returning 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 slowly dismantled.

Meanwhile, on Thursday the South Ossetian Interior Ministry announced that an unmanned aircraft was shot down on Wednesday. Eyewitnesses say the low flying drone approached from Georgia.


Two days of celebrations followed Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on Tuesday. Crowds took to the streets in both capitals.

On Wednesday the president of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, came in person to meet with his people, and remind them of the responsibility that comes with independence.
“Nowadays we face many objectives and since yesterday much responsibility lies upon us, upon our republic and state,” said  Kokoity.

The president denied claims that Georgians are being ethnically cleansed in the territory. He said it is important to live up to the standards of an independent state and maintained that all human rights are being observed in the republic.

Kokoity added that the Georgian population is protected by the Interior Ministry.

Russia recognises republics’ independence

On Tuesday the Russian president recognised the republic’s sovereignty.

The republics are now looking to an independent future following Russia's recognition of their status and are calling on the international community to recognise them as well.

The road to this moment was long and hard. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the republic claimed its independence. Tbilisi on multiple occasions responded with force, claiming thousands of lives. Its last attack on the republic came in August.