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Russian border police frees 2 Georgian citizens

By Mzia Kupunia
Friday, May 21
Russian border police officers deployed at the administrative border between Georgia and its breakaway region of South Ossetia freed two Georgian citizens detained on May 19, local officials reported. Murman Makasarashvili and Mirian Burdzenidze were detained at the village of Jria, Sachkhere region on “illegal border crossing charges.” Both are members of the Movement for Fair Georgia, led by former Prime Minister, Zurab Noghaideli. The Movement representatives said that Makasarashvili and Burdzenidze had no identity documents at the time of detention. The released citizens feel “normal” and are already at their homes, the head of Sachkhere region police department, Vasil Bakhturidze said

However some newly detained Georgians still remain in jail in de facto South Ossetia. Earlier on May 18, the de facto South Ossetian law enforcers and the Russian border police detained 8 Georgian citizens, news agency Osinform reported. According to the de facto South Ossetian deputy Special Representative in Post Conflict Regulation Issues, Merab Chigoev five Georgian citizens were detained at the village of Znauri on “illegal border crossing charges.” “The same day one more Georgian citizen was detained at the village of Artsevi, Tskhinvali region - again on illegal border crossing charges,” Chigoev told Osinform. “Right now we are investigating the reasons of violation of the border by the Georgian citizens,” Chigoev was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile the Georgian Interior Ministry issued a special statement, condemning the facts of “assault” on Georgian citizens by the “Russian occupants.” The Interior Ministry also reported on an incident in the village of Takhtisdziri, Kareli region. According to MIA, a 26-year-old Vakhtang Kokoshvili was wounded as a result of an explosion of a “hand grenade booby trap”. “Kokoshvili was in his own orchard collecting wood when he noticed a hand grenade booby trap, but he could not avoid the explosion,” a statement posted on Interior Ministry website says. As a result, according to MIA, Kokoshvili received “multiple wounds”. “The Ministry of Internal Affairs condemns attacks on the civilian population and calls for the Russian occupants to stop attacks on civilians,” the statement reads.

A grenade was found in one of the central streets of Gori, GHN news agency reported on Thursday. According to the locals, a teenager found the grenade close to residential houses and petrol stations. The police evacuated the employees of the petrol stations and asked residents living nearby to stay at home, according to GHN. The grenade was disarmed. An investigation is underway to look into the incident.