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Tskhinvali Opens Crossing Points for Easter Holidays

Kremlin-backed authorities of the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia have temporarily opened three crossing points along the dividing line with Georgia proper from 08:00 on April 21 to 20:00 on April 25 for Orthodox Christian Easter holidays, Tskhinvali-based RES news agency reports.

The crossing points that will resume operations are Odzisi, connecting the ethnic Georgian majority occupied Akhalgori district to Mtskheta district in Georgia proper, as well as Karzmani and Sinaguri, connecting the occupied Java district with Sachkhere district, Imereti Region.

Ergneti and Zardiantkari crossing points, along the occupied region’s dividing line with the Gori district in the Shida Kartli region, will apparently remain closed.

The State Security Service, Georgia’s domestic intelligence agency, told Civil.ge today that “partial lightening the restrictions on freedom of movement improves the day-to-day lives of the local populace.”

An activist from occupied Akhalgori, Tamar Mearakishvili said yesterday that the crossing point will open on both sides, but those wishing to leave or enter must possess “citizenship” papers or a permit. She added that people will not be allowed to travel through the crossing point with an automobile.

Kremlin-backed authorities in Tskhinvali began to close down the crossing points in September 2019, citing threats coming from Tbilisi amid the Chorchana-Tsnelisi crisis over the Georgian police checkpoint near the occupation line.

They first restricted access to the Sinaguri and Odzisi crossing points, the latter having served up to 400 crossings on average per day prior to the closure.

Later in 2020, citing the COVID-19 outbreak, incumbent leader Anatoly Bibilov’s administration closed all five crossing points with Georgia proper, exposing the residents of the occupied region to a severe humanitarian situation, chiefly caused by delayed medical transfers to Tbilisi-controlled territory.

Georgia’s State Ministry for Reconciliation, overseeing occupied regions, reported in November 2020 that the closure had claimed the lives of 16 people over delayed medical transfers.

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

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