„In search of my destiny, I was everywhere. From time to time I had more sorrow. With all the unhappiness on Earth, I am surprised that the sky has not yet darkened. It turns and turns, fate turns, time passes, time goes, does not turn back.“ - Georgian folk song
During a visit to the Tserovani refugee camp, I met three veterans who sang this song. They themselves fought in the 2008 Caucasus war and have been living in the camp ever since. Around 100,000 Georgians had to leave their homes in South Ossetia at that time. South Ossetia is a breakaway region of Georgia that has been occupied by Russia since 2008. Background at the time was a conflict between Georgians and South Ossetian separatists that had been smoldering since the 1990s. The 2008 war, which lasted a total of five days, began with an advance by Georgia to regain control of the region. Russian troops then intervened from the other side, pushing the Georgians back to just outside their capital, Tbilisi. It is reasonable to assume that Russia‘s disproportionate reaction was intended to prevent Georgia from becoming a member of NATO and to secure its control over the region. Georgia had hoped for support from the West, but this largely failed to materialize. Since the end of the war, Russia and a few other states have recognized the sovereignty of South Ossetia. In recent years, the Russian side has repeatedly moved the barbed-wire border.
1: Soso, Paata and Temo soldiers of the war 2008 in the Tserovani Refugee Camp, Georgia 2: Tserovani Refugee Camp, Georgia 3: Paata, veteran of the war 2008, Tserovani Refugee Camp, Georgia 4: Georgia - South Ossetia border, Bershueti, Georgia