CNN: “Returning home to find your house in a 'different country'”

10 Jan 2018

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By Lali Tsertsvadze

Review by the Journalist of,10 Jan 2018 Tbilisi,Georgia

CNN has published an article about life along the occupation line that divides the breakaway Tskhinvali region, also knowns as South Ossetia, from the rest of Georgia.

The article tells stories of several Georgian citizens who were affected by barbed-wire fences erected by Russian-controlled guards along the occupation line.

One of them is Dato Vanishvili, an 82-year-old farmer who is trapped behind the razor wire.

Five years ago, Vanishvili left his native house to run some errands in the local village, only to find his house fenced off, effectively in a different country, when he returned.

"They don't let me go", he says, plaintively. "I'm stuck here. Where should I go? I don't have food, bread, I don't have anything. What should I do? Kill myself?"

Another story is about Merab Mekarishvili, whose home near the small farming village of Dvani was bombed during the 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia, but he was determined to keep living there.

Then the Russians came and fenced off the road, leaving the house his father had built on one side of the wire and the family's land on the other. He says they gave him a choice: Become a citizen of South Ossetia, or move.

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