De facto president points at Georgian gov’t as locals in occupied Akhalgori protest isolation

The Russian-controlled Tskhinvali region is located in central Georgia and locals have to buy everyday items in other regions of the country. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 27 Dec 2019 - 14:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

De facto President of Georgia’s Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region Anatoly Bibilov says that they were “forced” to close crossing points with the rest of Georgia in early September to respond to the “destructive actions” of the central government of Georgia.

This statement was in response to the locals of the occupied Akhalgori district, who protested and expressed their dissatisfaction with the de facto leadership because of the closure of crossing points, which has isolated them from the outer world for about four months.

You should express your dissatisfaction to the Georgian government, which placed an illegal, armed police post in the territory of the village of Tsnelisi,” Bibilov told the population of Akhalgori yesterday.

The police post, which was opened in the village of Chorchana, on the Tbilisi-controlled territory, at the end of August 2019, is located near the Russian-controlled village of Tsnelisi.

Bibilov said that the population of Akhalgori, who have to buy vital, everyday items in other regions of Georgia, ‘must not think based only on their own interests and comfort, when the inhabitants of Tsnelisi have to live under threat due to the police post.’

We are a country and we must have a broader perspective of situation, considering the interests of each citizen of South Ossetia,” Bibilov said.

The closure of crossing points creates severe humanitarian situation on the ground, the Georgian government says. Photo: RFE/RL. 

Tskhinvali, which calls itself South Ossetia, was recognised as an independent state by Russia, together with another Georgian region of Abkhazia, after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

Since then, only Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria have recognized the regions as independent republics, while the rest of the international community unanimously agrees that the regions are occupied by Russia.

The de facto authorities of Tskhinvali say that the crossing points allowing people to leave the region will reopen “as soon as Tbilisi removes the police post” from the village of Chorchana “which creates a security threat for the residents of South Ossetia.”

The Georgian government refuses to dismantle the “ordinary police post” which is located on the Tbilisi-administered territory.

Two individuals have already died because of the closed crossing points, as there were not transported in a timely manner to the Tbilisi-administered territory for medical aid.