"When we win we lose, and when we lose we win”

True Ossetian heroes stay behind the curtain, says Alesya Zhioeva, an Ossetian now living in Moscow.

Zhioeva worked as an English teacher in the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinval and left her hometown less than a week before the conflict began last August.

She just returned from a visit to her native town and says Tskhinval is still in ruins. There is also fear in the air that last year’s catastrophe could happen again.

“Ossetia was totally destroyed, but later benefited because it was recognized, so in this sense we lost, but we won,” says Zhioeva.

“The thing is that today when we won and were recognized – we would not lose that again and re-build whatever we have,” she said, recalling the famous aphorism by Confucius.

“We will strive for the future and… not just stand with a stretched out hand to Russia,” the former resident of Tshkinval said. "We must do something for ourselves.”