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Kidnapped teenagers a continuation of the aggression

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, November 11
Four Georgian teenagers from Tirdznisi village who were kidnapped by separatists are still detained in Tskhinvali. It looks like the separatist regime is determined to hold a court case to make an example of them, though there is no actual border anyone could be prosecuted for “violating”.

This incident is just one of the continual kidnappings undertaken by the Russian-backed puppet regime. These are designed to scare the Georgian population and force the Georgian authorities to agree to the existence of the so-called border. The Georgian administration has no real mechanisms it can use to stop this crawling annexation and aggression and is relying completely on the support of the international community.

Currently Georgia lives in an absurd reality. On one hand its political parties talk about the development of democracy in the country and prepare for the forthcoming local elections, speculating how the Mayor of Tbilisi should be elected. On the other a huge Russian military presence is only 40 kilometres from Tbilisi, occupying much of Shida Kartli, the so-called Tskhinvali region. Ossetian separatists, inspired and supported by the Russians, continually create provocations by shooting at Georgian civilians, kidnapping and detaining them on charges of “crossing the state border”. NGOs state that in the last 1 month almost 25 people have been kidnapped and detained by the separatists. Their provocations take different forms: sometimes bandits from the separatist-controlled territories steal cattle and sometimes they raid houses, robbing the peasants. Kidnapping ethnic Georgians and saying they have crossed the state border is just the most popular of these forms of banditry at present.

Georgian analysts think that such conduct is designed to achieve several different objectives. The first is to frighten the Georgian population living in the region so that life there becomes intolerable and they will be forced to abandon their homes. So called buffer zones - no man’s lands- would therefore automatically come into existence. So far the Russian occupiers are succeeding in this aim. The second objective is to eventually force the Georgian Government to start negotiations on demarcating the border between the rest of Georgia and its autonomous regions now recognised by Russia as independent states. This of course would be an indirect recognition of these territories by Georgia itself. The third and greatest Russian goal is of course to trap Georgia into answering these provocations by force and thus giving itself the excuse to launch a repeat full-scale military attack on Georgia.

The kidnapping of the four teenagers is the most disgusting operation carried out by the Russian-supported separatists so far. The boys were allegedly planning to launch a terrorist attack in Tskhinvali. The Ossetians insist that the teenagers had explosives, grenades and other means of carrying out a terrorist attack on them. They deny this, and no evidence has yet been produced which would give any credence to these allegations.

Some Georgian political analysts think that Tbilisi is not responding adequately to the kidnapping of these teenagers. Mamuka Areshidze suggests that Georgia should more actively involve international opinion and apply different types of international laws and conventions to the brutal violations committed by the Russian/Ossetian side. Georgian officials however say that Russia would not take any notice of international conventions. They stress that the Russians and Ossetians are not allowing any international organisations to enter the occupied territories. But if someone commits a murder and does not care about their punishment, does this mean that every murder should therefore be left unpunished?

Four teenagers are being kept in prison in Tskhinvali while the occupiers continue to conduct their thinly-veiled aggression in the Tskhinvali region. No significant action has yet been taken by the guardians of international peace and order, so nothing has changed.