I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Winston Churchill

Aug 18, 2008

Personal Stories (eyewitnesses)

Mamisashvili Venera, 51, resident of Eredvi (village in S. Ossetia)

I left on 11th of August. At first they told us there would be terrible bombardments. That's why we left…we were hiding on the valleys at first, but they did not allow us to stay there either. So I decided to go back to the village, because, you know, my heart was pushing me there, I did not want to leave my house. They were urging me to leave, saying "go auntie (Georgian way of calling an unknown woman), go, leave", but I was insisting on entering my house. Finally, they forcefully took me out of the house. Bombs were being dropped in every corner, it was getting blurry, you would not be able to see anything in a few minutes… bombs destroyed everything, people were dying. Even though military base is far from the village, civilians were involved in the fight as well. They were tackling the civilians. Village is 5-6 kilometers away from the base. However, bombs were dropped right in the heart of it. One of the bombs was dropped on a bus getting civilians out of the gorge. Houses were burnt down along with the people in them. I got out; I am sitting here and crying now. We walked all the way here; I don't even remember how we got to this place.

We have not seen the troops. We were frightened because of the bombs. All the glasses in our houses shattered. If they got into the house, they would have broken everything, they would harm our cattle. It's true that the house is still there, but it is burnt down. I am here and I don't know exactly in what conditions it is, but people say the villages have been burnt down and destroyed.

At first there were a few gun shots, I don't know if Russians or Ossetians were shooting, but I guess they were Russian, because they were holding Russia's flags. Troops were definitely from Russia. They were shooting from what we call Russian spots.

We were not afraid of the shots, because we could hide in a lot of places, but bombs scared us to death. That's why everybody left the village. Airplanes and fighters were

bombing us. Houses were destroyed, cattle were killed, and people were dead.

Our relatives are still there. I have a sister in Vanati. Can you imagine? She is walking through the village during those bombardments, when everyone is shooting. She is hiding in the bushes sometimes. We need help to get people like my sister out of the village, they need help… How can we get them out of the village?

That's the trouble we are in. See how our country has been destroyed? My heart is aching…


We barely managed to get out; we left by Kamaz (truck). Two days ago we took our kids to Gori. Then when the situation in Gori was escalating they went back to the villages. And when situation in Gori was getting worse they met us with Kamaz truck on the road and we took it to Gori, where we transferred to doctors' bus and left by it.

While we were in the village it was constantly bombed. Since then, as we are here we hear rumors that they are going around and robbing houses, they even set houses on fire after they're done robbing.

I don't know what the situation is; I don't know anything so far. We have no contacts with the village. My relatives are probably devastated, but weather they are dead or wounded, I don't know. Before the army came, we witnessed bombing and my neighbors' house, I don't know weather it was a bomb or what, but six people was killed. This is what we witnessed.


- I left when the first explosions happened, practically I fled.

I left by bus. We left during chaos and panic.

I don't know what happened to my house. My husband's parents are still in the village, the elderly, and I don't know what the situation is. We left them alone without any supervision.


- I am from Nokozi.

We left Nikozi, the shootings were intense. We came to Gori and then we went to my sister's and then we came here. There were non-stop shootings. Planes were bombing. My house is completely destroyed. I don't know if my relatives are dead or alive so far.

- I am from Achabeti. When the shooting already began they told us to take children and leave the village immediately. There was no transport and we walked. Sometimes we walked through woods and sometimes we walked and walked alongside the road, and finally, we barely made it to here. They were shooting in our village too, but I don't know now if it's destroyed. We have no contact, they are saying that Ossetians came in, but I don't know. ----------------------

IDP, Lower Nikozi (Tskhinvali Region)

- We are from lower Nikozi. We left amidst cross-fire. During the shooting as we got very scared the village started to get deserted and people were leaving; every time it got a little bit quieter – we used to go back. Finally explosions became so violent that now children were in panic and we decided to leave. The next day the road was blocked. We left, reservists were taken and they were followed by bus, which we took.

I have no idea about the condition of my house. My in-laws (father-in-law and mother-in-law) stayed there and I don't even know how they are. We were able to contact them briefly only once and they said nothing is happening so far. There are lots of robberies. There are burglaries of houses. They are saying if the hose is descent (looks good from outside), they're going in and robbing it, but as for destroying, I think…well, I don't know. I was speaking on a cell phone, and the connection was bad. The only thing we ask "What is the situation, how are you?"- like that. They are saying they go out in a yard at night and staying at home during the day. When it's little bit quiet, we are coming – they said – because usually shootings used to occur at night, but I don't know now.

No comments: