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South Ossetia resisting return of OSCE mission to Tskhinvali

By Ernest Petrosyan
Monday, January 9
The so-called South Ossetian de-facto regime is opposing the possible return of the OSCE mission to breakaway region Tskhinvali. The local news agency OSINFORM published an article on the results of the OSCE mission’s fifteen year involvement in the conflict region.

The article accuses OSCE of falsely provoking and instigating the attack on the Ossetian side under the guise of “objective reporting on the situation in the conflict zone”.

“The decision to open a field office in South Ossetia was taken by the OSCE in 1993. People who had taken this decision assumed that a field office in Tskhinvali would be able to transfer accurate and objective information about events to Vienna, so that Georgia would no longer dare to commit acts of genocide similar to the 1991-1992 period,” reads the article.

However, according to the article, in OSCE’s reports numerous crimes of the Georgian military and police against “people of South Ossetia” were carefully concealed, especially after Mikehil Saakashvili’s arrival to power in 2004, who according to the agency “defrosted” the conflict. As for obvious violations, they were presented ambiguously.

The article claims that much of the information sent to the OSCE office in Tbilisi by the local military monitors, successfully disappeared from the final reports. “Even a report of the 7-8 August, 2008, does not contain the information that Tskhinvali was semi-destroyed by Georgian troops, nonetheless eight employees of the mission remained until noon on August 8.

According to the article, the report also withholds information that Georgia strengthened the presence of its troops, including heavy military equipment, on the “border”, nonetheless monitors saw this very fact on their way from Tskhinvali to Tbilisi.

One of the monitors, British officer Ryan Grist, upon arrival to the OSCE office in Tbilisi tried to raise the alarm on this issue to avoid military action, however his effort was blocked.

The article also reads about the humanitarian projects implemented by the OSCE mission in the region, including small grants and loans. Afterwards, however, bullets and shells hit Tskhinvali and the OSCE supporting Saakashvili took a “pro-fascist” stance.