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Occupants Detained Georgian Man as He Tried to Cross Occupation Line to Meet his Sweetheart

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 11
A Georgian man, 28-year-old Paata Arakelov was detained for the third times by the Russian-controlled border guards for so-called illegal crossing of border with the country’s occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region on Friday.

He was released on Monday, after paying a fine, as it happens in most of such cases.

Locals said that Arakelov had relatives in Tskhinvali and that was the reason why he was so often caught by occupant forces.

However, a journalist of the Radio Liberty, Goga Aptsiauri spoke with Arakelov and posted on his Facebook that the man is in love, which makes him disobey the occupants.

“Sometimes we meet at the occupation line, but it is also dangerous,” Arakelov told the journalist.

He says that his sweetheart is Ossetian, living in the Goiaani village, and due to the occupation he has no other way but to ignore the rules set by occupants and risk his life.

The Russian-Georgian 2008 War was a war between Georgia, Russia and the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The war displaced 192,000 people and while many returned to their homes after the war, 20,272 people, mostly ethnic Georgians, remained displaced.

35 Georgians and 6 Ossetians remain missing since the war.

Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, two occupied regions of Georgia, have been recognized as independent states by only Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria.