Georgia’s Russia-controlled Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region has made Russian and Ossetian languages mandatory for teachers of kindergartens in Georgia’s occupied Akhalgori area, which is mostly resided by ethnic Georgians, Akhalgori governor Nugzar Tinikashvili announced on Tuesday.
Breakaway Tskhinvali makes Russian and Ossetian languages mandatory
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 13
The governor says that with the step Russians and the representatives of the de facto region are restricting Georgian language in the district which is mostly resided by ethnic Georgians, which may lead to forcing the people leave the region.
“The step aims at forcing Georgian families leave Akhalgori. Most of the kids are Georgians and they do know neither Russian nor Ossetian. This is the restriction of fundamental human rights,” Tinikashvili said.
Russia recognised the occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent republics in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.
Only Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria say the regions are independent countries.
Before the war, Akhalgori district had a population of 7,700, with approximately 2,000 living in the town itself.
The largest villages were Ikorta, Korinta, Kanchaveti, Kvemo Zakhori, Largvisi, Doretkari, and Karchokhi. The population was primarily Georgian (6,520) and Ossetian (1,110).
Last year, the Georgian Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili said that Russians and Ossetians were taking a step to remove Georgian from schools, which she said is “unacceptable, contradicting fundamental human rights.”
The issue has been raised at various international events by Georgia. However, the Russia-controlled region continues to restrict the language.