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Russian occupants harvest crops of locals on Georgian territory

By Mariam Chanishvili
Thursday, August 25
Russian occupants are harvesting barley crops planted by Georgians on the outskirts of the eastern village of Sobisi in the Gori region on territory controlled by Georgia.

Local resident Shalva Chilindrishvili planted barley in spring. Armed people told him that his cropland "is not located on the territory of Georgia".

Chilindrishvili noted that these people brought combine harvesters and harvested the barley crops themselves.

He also said that he is no longer allowed to enter his fields. As a result, he could not harvest 20 tons of barley crops.

"My family has owned the land for years. Of course, it is a Georgian territory though the occupants appeared last year and told me that half of my garden, meaning 6 hectares, has been placed under the control of South Ossetia,Ēsaid Chilindrishvili.

"The Russians started harvesting operations on August 23. They donít let our citizens enter this territory. There are no barriers or wires, but they donít let our citizens harvest and accommodate their crops," said Davit Onashvili, governor of the Gori municipality.

Earlier this summer, 10 hectares of agricultural land possessed by the locals ended up on the occupied territory.

Ethnic Georgians residing in the villages along the borderline, who are occasionally arrested by the occupant forces, are also under threat.

The situation was the same in the summer of 2015 when, as a result of the installation of wire fences for demarcation, several Georgian villages were deprived of their agricultural lands and fields.

After the Russia-Georgia war in 2008, Russia recognized two Georgian regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. The regions are now considered as occupied territories by Georgia and the international community.