The dark side of South Ossetia

Just after Russian forces stormed the South Ossetian capital, celebrated Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, who grew up in Ossetia, gave a concert to honour the victory. Our Observer there managed to photograph the event with his mobile.

Gergiev gave the concert in Tskhinvali on 21 August. At the same time, the capital of South Ossetia lay in ruins, and Russian troops were rumoured to be carrying out ethnic cleansing just kilometres away from the scene. The conductor arrived on stage with a group of children. In his speech, which was aired live on Russian TV, he condemned Georgia for carrying out a genocide.

A few metres from the concert, Georgian hostages watched the event from the barracks they were being held in. Our Observer managed to access this zone, prohibited to journalists, and take these pictures with his phone. In the foreground you can see the Georgian hostages, and in the back, Gergiev's concert.

Contributors

Comments

The Western media is lying and has double standards

I fear that the Western media has lost track of things with its attempt to start a new cold war.

The government of Georgia sent its army to control the people in these provinces, and make sure they don't split. This is exactly the same as the Serbian did in Kosovo!

Didn't the Kosovars have the right to self determination? According to the international community (including the Western media) apparently yes.

Don't the South Ossetians have the right to self determination? According to the "West" (including the Western media) apparently not.

Why the double standards? Why you journalists lie like this?

It isn't Russia that invaded Georgia. It's Georgia that invaded South Ossetia, and Russia went to help, at the request of the South Ossetians.

Re John - the Western media is lying and has double standards

Considering that the two 'provinces' (I notice you use that word rather than state or country, which tends to imply self-determination) are recognised globally (also in Russia) as part of Georgia, I would suggest that Georgia had every right to try to bring the two 'provinces' back in to line or perhaps you conveniently forget Chechnia! The West's involvement in Kosovo was simply because of genocide on a vast scale and this has been proven - this has not been proven in South Ossetia (contrary to Russia's 'Putin saved me from a tiger' PR machine), and the other 'province' just used the situation in South Ossetia to jump on the bandwagon.

Give it a break John; it's amazing how the Russians just had 300 odd tanks waiting to rescue the South Ossetians (oh sorry, yes they were peace-keepers weren't they), and proceeded to try to bomb all the oil pipelines to the West. Russia had conveniently given passports to the South Ossetians when technically they were only entitled to Georgian passports - what happens if there are problems with the Poles in Britain? Is Poland going to invade? Since Russia is so keen to provide self determination to part of another country on the basis they also hold Russian passports, will they also give it to Chechnia - I think not. Get a grip John and be very cynical about all politicians, both East, West and in the middle - suggesting the nuking of Poland because they have made a decision that Russia doesn't like . . . or is that the Western media lying again?

Richard, answer a simple

Richard, answer a simple question: what for the NATO moves on the east and how Russia can stop it? When the Warsaw block broke up, the USSR and the USA have agreed that will not be accepted new members in the NATO. Also what?

Re Igor: Richard, answer a simple question

Dear Igor,
To a reasonable degree, I almost agree with you, but conversely shouldn't sovereign states also be able to make their own decision as to whom they side with. Why do you think Poland made their recent decision to host US missile systems - perhaps they feel threatened by Russia now - 'if they can do that to Georgia, perhaps they'll do that to us or the Czechs again, what's to prevent them.' I am sure that Poland would not have hosted missiles before, but Russia has now threatened the former CIS countries and instead of threatening nuke attacks, maybe they should try diplomacy. I am sure this goes down well with some Russian generations who need some nationalistic tub thumping. Oh and by the way if you doubt the PR machine behind Putin then defending a member of the Russian press from a tiger really hits the big time. Putin with his shirt off fighting tigers is about as bad as Bush wrestling steers to the ground or Gordon playing bowls!

If every sovereign state

If every sovereign state should make there own decisions, why did USA stop Cuba from installing Russian's missiles.
Doesn't USA feels threatened from Russia from this, it is same with Russia when USA comes closer to the east.

Oh and one further thing

Oh and one further thing John (and this is stepping onto your side of the argument), there is no doubt that Mr Saakashvili displayed less that significant diplomatic skills, and is to a great degree responsible - or have the Western media interpreted the causes incorrectly?

Richard, don't you think

Richard, don't you think that the inhabitants of a place (a province, or a county if you want, and the difference between the two is that "county", and "province" is used for exactly the same political entity in different countries. Other synonyms are "canton", "district", etc.) should decide which country they want to belong with?

Before 1921 South Ossetia was part of Ossetia. Now obviously they want reunification, instead of being part of Georgia, which was imposed upon the indigenous population by the Red Army.

Shouldn't be people decide with whom they want to be?

Or should it be the "western powers" or the "western press"?

What do you think?

Russian history is amazig

I HAVE QUESTION HOW RUSSIA CAN TALK ABOUT GEORGIAN HISTORY?WHEN RUSSIAN SATAN AND ADMIT CHRISTIANITY IN 10 CENTURY(MEAN WHILE GEORGIANS WERE PUBLISHED OWN LITERATURE ) ,AND STILL DIDN'T ACT AS A CHRISTIANS AND REMAINING AS A SATAN.AND THERE IS NO SUCH AS OSSETIA IT IS REGION OF KARTLY, AND TSKHINVALI NAME IS SAMACHABLO. THE NATION WHO HAS NO OWN LANGUAGE,NO OWN MANUSCRIPT HAS NO RIGHT TO RIPOFF THE ANCIENT COUNTRY APART AND MAKE A NEW MAP!IT IS SO RIDICULOUS OSSETIAS AND ABKHAZIAS HISTORY WILL BEGIN FROM 21ST CENTURY?AND MADVEDIEV SAID THAT ABKHAZIA AND OSSETIA ARE INDEPENDENT AND AS I KNOW INDEPENDENT COUNTRY HAS TO CHOOSE THE OWN PRESIDENT?BUT PUTIN AND MEDVEDIEV TAKING DECISION BY THEMSELVES WHO WILL BE PRESIDENT AND THEY CHOOSE SEPARATISTS. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!
SOME SHORT PART OF GEORGIAN HISTORY
Georgia is the country of ancient culture and historical past. It has made a valuable contribution to the development of the world culture and civilization. From ancient times the aboriginal population - the Georgian tribes were well known for their original and highly developed culture. The witness of it is great many relics and monuments that have survived not only in Georgia, but abroad as well, and the best proof of it is, that one of the existing 14 alphabets on the world is Georgian.
Christianity started to spread in Georgia from the 1st century, and became established as a state religion of Kartli in the 330s and about the same time in West Georgia as well.Georgian writing was first seen in the 5th century. The first examples include inscriptions in the Georgian monastery of the Holy Cross in Palestine, in the Bethlehem desert (Bir-ell-Kat
In 572, the Kartlians rose in arms and expelled the Persians. A local administrative state government or saerismtavro was instituted in Kartli. This early feudal state actually served as the basis for the creation of the future united Georgian monarchy. In the 7th-8th centuries, important sociopolitical changes took place in Georgia. The principalities (samtavros) of Kakheti, Hereti and Tao-Klarjeti, as well as the western Georgian Kingdom of Abkhazia, took shape in this period. A new force, the Arabs, appeared on the international scene in the 730s and 740s.
Giorgi XII desperately called on St. Petersburg to stand by its commitments of the Georgievsk treaty. But the terms of the treaty no longer satisfied the Russian goverment. In January of 1801, Paul I signed a manifesto which annexed East Georgia to Russia, in violation of the 1783 treaty.

IF ANYBODY WANT TO READ MORE GO http://ggdavid.tripod.com/georgia/history.htm

RUSSIA HAS A LONG-LONG ANGER WITH GEORGIANS BECAUSE GEORGIANS NEVER EVER OBEY RUSSIANS,GEORGIAN LAND IS EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL AND THE PART WHICH IS THEY OCCUPIED ABKHAZIA IS THE BEST AND LOVELY PLACE,AND NOW UNFORTUNATELY
IN BARBARIANS HAND.
RUSSIA HAS NOTHING ONLY COLD PLACES. YOU CAN GROW NOTHING,THERE SOIL IS POOR.THAT WHY RUSSIA WANTS TO OCCUPY ALL CAUCASIAN SIDES. RUSSIANS DIE FROM STARVING .THEY HAVE NO FOOD BECAUSE OF THEIR COLD CLIMATE.

Dear John, I agree with you.

Dear John,
I agree with you. I am not disputing the issue of self determination, so long as it is wanted by the vast majority of the inhabitants and not imposed by the minority. I refer again to the Chechen question, Tibet, the Kurds, the Basques and where does it all end, Norfolk seceding from the United Kingdom? And how far do we go back, the Gauls in France and Germany, the Mongols in China - fat chance of China letting that go!

I also suggested that we shouldn't trust any politicians, East, West or otherwise, of particular note the Bush and Putin administrations . . . and don't even mention Gordon Brown! I think the western press does a reasonably good job of reporting from an independent and non partisan perspective - I don't believe the Russian press currently has such freedom of expression, so I suspect that you mean the western powers, but may I suggest in line with my comment above, that you add the Russians to that view.

Reminder - comments

Once again can I remind everybody to refrain from making irrelevant or overly offensive comments, on either side of the argument. These parts of the comments will have to be censured or the entire post deleted.

Thanks,

Sophie, Team Observers

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