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Russian Occupying Forces Renew ‘Borderization’ in Village Atotsi

The Georgian State Security Service has reported that Russian occupying forces are carrying out the process of illegal “borderization” in the village of Atotsi of Kareli Municipality adjacent to Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

It noted that “provocative actions” that the occupying forces resumed along the line of occupation with Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia “significantly damage the security situation on the ground.”

The Georgian State Security Service said that the hotline has been activated and the EU Monitoring Mission has been informed over illegal actions of Russian occupying forces.

The Russian occupying forces launched the process of “borderization” in the village of Atotsi about a year ago and erected artificial barriers across one-kilometer long section, leaving farmlands of several local residents beyond the new dividing marker.

The situation on the line of occupation with Tskhinvali Region started to aggravate from August 2019.

Russian occupation forces started construction of new artificial barriers in Gugutiantkari village of Gori Municipality, near the line of occupation with Tskhinvali Region on the eleventh anniversary of the Russo-Georgia war on August 7.

In late August, the Georgian government constructed a police checkpoint at the edge of the occupation line, between the villages of Chorchana of Khashuri Municipality and Russia-occupied village of Tsnelisi. Protesting the construction of the checkpoint, Tskhinvali representatives disrupted the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in the village of Ergneti on August 29, demanding Tbilisi to remove the checkpoint.

In a tit-for-tat move Tskhinvali announced on September 5 that “border service” crew has started works to “mark the border” in the disputed Chorchana-Tsnelisi area, by placing “border signs” and their flag on Tbilisi-controlled territory west of Tsnelisi village on height 944.8m.

Representatives of Tbilisi, Moscow and Tskhinvali continue discussing the issue of disputable posts during technical meetings. However, on the recent 5th meeting on October 1, the sides failed again to reach any agreement.

The situation across the line of occupation with Tskhinvali Region is further aggravated as the crossing points between the occupied region and the rest of Georgia remain closed since early September.

The security service (KGB) of the Moscow-backed authorities of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia announced on September 3 that all the crossing points connecting the region to Georgia proper would be closed in relation to the celebrations of the “Day of Knowledge.”

Later on September 9, Tskhinvali KGB announced that two crossing points – the one between Mosabruni (“Razdakhani” in Ossetian) of Akhalgori Municipality and Odzisi village of Mtskheta Municipality and the second, of Sinaguri of Sachkhere Municipality – connecting the region with the rest of Georgia will be closed temporarily, citing tensions coming from Tbilisi. It then also noted that the crossing points will be opened as soon as “the situation returns back to normal.”

According to the EUMM, Odzisi (Mtskheta district) crossing point serving residents of occupied Akhalgori Municipality and is usually used by 400 persons daily. More than half of Akhalgori Municipality dwellers are ethnic Georgians.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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