TBILISI, DFWatch–One Georgian was detained Monday in a village that lies on the de facto border with the breakaway region South Ossetia. One more is missing in another village, and presumed detained.
The first incident took place in Dvani, a village which is cut through by the Russian-imposed border.
The detainee, 57, year old Beglar Akhalkatsi, was according to his wife out in his own garden cutting wood when people from South Ossetia came and took him away.
Akhalkatsi was taken to a detention facility in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. Family members claim it was Ossetians who took him, not Russian border guards.
Neighbors say people from Dvani have fruit gardens on the same location as where Akhalkatsi was taken and now they are afraid the same thing will happen to them.
Akhalkatsi’s wife Giuli says her husband wouldn’t go near the border.
“He went to work. Phone, jacket, cigarettes, all was left in garden, where he worked, also saw and tractor.”
When Russian soldiers pulled back from a “buffer zone” after the war in 2008, Dvani ended up being cut through by the new border between territory controlled by the breakaway region and Tbilisi. It was one of the first places Russian soldiers installed barbed wire and fences and moved the border.
December 20, Russians soldiers detained two Georgian citizens also for crossing the border. One of them, Vasil Khidasheli, was released December 23, while the other, Alexandre Shiukashvili was released on December 26.
Valiko Kasradze, 77, disappeared on Sunday in a village Ergneti, which also borders South Ossetia. His family has been searching for him for the last two days. They believe the man might have lost his way and been detained by Russian soldiers.
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