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Do you have Ossetian friends, and what do you think of their presence in Georgian society?

Thursday, September 17
“I have many Ossetian friends and feel as comfortable with them as with my Georgian friends. I have never distinguished them by their nationality, on the contrary we should appreciate them because they have remained in Georgia after the terrible events and kept on saying that Ossetians and Georgians are friends, not enemies.”
rakli, economist, 32

“I had some Ossetian classmates but that was a long time ago. They were very good children and all Georgians had good relations with them. I have not seen them for a long time ago but I think that their presence in Georgia is necessary and important, because we are one country and their place is here in this land.”
Vika, IT specialist, 46

“I was never against Ossetians, but after last year’s war, when they brutally destroyed our villages and killed our people together with the Russian occupiers, I changed my opinion about them. I suggest them that if they are going to live here in Georgia they should make some contribution to resolving the problem and must try and tell their Ossetian friends and relatives not to carry out Russia’s orders or support Kokoity’s puppet regime.”
Beka, student, 22

“I do really respect those Ossetians who have decided to stay here in Georgia even after the war. They are in a very difficult position because on the one hand they born here and live in Georgia with Georgians and on the other it is psychologically very hard for them to see their fellow ethnics on the opposite side, confronting them. I have heard many times how the pro-Russian Ossetians call pro-Georgian Ossetians traitors and assault them. This is really very shocking. Of course they should continue living here.”
Lela, doctor, 51

“I do not know any Ossetians living in Georgia. If I did I would ask them what they were doing during last year’s war. Did they see what their people did in our territory? If I were an Ossetian I would never live in Georgia after the August war, because they killed our people. I had a friend who died in Tskhinvali by an Ossetian’s bullet in August.”
Nutsa, shop assistant, 25

“I have an ethnic Ossetian relative, she is the wife of my uncle, and we never raise the issue of her ethnicity because she is as much Georgian as I am.”
Maiko, student, 18

“I don’t know any Ossetians. I have nothing against the presence of people of any nationality in Georgian society if they learn Georgian and integrate as full citizens of this country. It is unacceptable to me that someone can spend all their life in Georgia and can’t speak a single word of Georgian. I think this kind of person does not deserve to be called a citizen of Georgia.”
Levan, economist, 29