Russia has ordered an end to its military operation in South Ossetia, although a date has yet to be set for the withdrawal of Russian troops, which invaded the Georgian breakaway province on Friday. Our Observers in North Ossetia, South Ossetia and Georgia comment on the situation.
Napoleon Tabouev, 53, is a chauffeur in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia.
The Georgians act like animals. They crushed people with their tanks [not verified]. Without the Russians we'd all be dead."
Before the first conflict in 1991, the South Ossetians were closer to the Georgians than to the North Ossetians. This was largely because there was a natural frontier between the north and south - the mountains. There were many mixed marriages [between South Ossetians and Georgians] and young people went to study in Tbilisi rather than Vladikavkaz [North Ossetia]. The South Ossetians had more or less the same customs as the Georgian people. They lived together, side by side. Before this war, they kept up good relations. It's really this conflict that's changed all that.
South Ossetian refugees sheltered in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia.
Photos: Liza Valieva.
Oleg Panfilov, a Tajikistan national, is the director of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, which criticises the lack of press freedom in Russia. Oleg was in Tbilisi when the conflict broke out.