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Construction of military towns in de facto South Ossetia to be completed by August

By Mzia Kupunia
Tuesday, April 27
The construction of military towns for Russian “border” policemen at the Georgian-South Ossetian administrative border will be completed by August 2010 – a year after the start of building works, information agency Osinform reported on Monday. The works are being conducted in an “expedited regime” according to the de facto South Ossetian authorities.

“When we started working at this site the place was a desert. Today we have almost completed building the houses. The workers have now started planting trees, so that by August we will have a green zone here,” Vasily Pliev from the construction company Tur, which is conducting the building work at the village of Muguti told Osinform “We want to finish this work as soon as possible,” construction site head Eduard Kochiev said, “as the security of the local population depends on the presence of the border police here.”

The news agency reports that the “security of the locals is currently in danger.” “Two weeks ago there was a case when Georgians crossed the River Prone at the Georgian-South Ossetian border and stole cattle which belonged to local resident Svetlana Kobesova,” Osinform reports. “The local population are afraid that as time passes the Georgians might even start kidnapping people, so the construction of military towns for border policemen is of vital importance,” the news agency writes.

Georgian Interior Ministry officials were not immediately available to comment on the allegations of the de facto South Ossetian officials. Deputy Integration Minister Elene Tevdoradze said that the Integration Ministry has no official reports on the situation at the administrative border with de facto South Ossetia. “We have not received any official information about such cases,” Tevdoradze told The Messenger. “I usually receive claims from people living at the administrative border, however no such complaints have been filed to the Ministry,” she added. Tevdoradze said that in order to prevent incidents the Georgian side of the administrative border is protected “even more than is actually needed.”

Russia and the de facto Abkhazian and South Ossetian republics signed cooperation agreements on border control on April 30, 2010. Tbilisi called the agreements “illegal”. The Georgian Foreign Ministry called the signing of the documents “yet another attempt by Russia to increase its military potential on Georgia’s occupied territories and legitimise the occupation.”